Monday, 17 March 2014

Blog Tour: The Everest Files - Matt Dickinson

To celebrate the release of his latest novel The Everest Files I'm thrilled to welcome Matt Dickinson to the blog today to talk about some of the questions he is most commonly asked about his adventures on Everest. Before I hand over to Matt here is a little more information about the book. I've been lucky enough to already read it (my review will be posted soon) and if you're looking for an adventure packed story then this is definitely one you're going to want to add to your to read pile!


In the deepest Himalaya a story is spreading like wildfire. The story of an Everest expedition unlike any other. An expedition that ended with mysterious disappearances ... and death.

This is the mystery that eighteen-year-old Ryan Hart sets out to solve.

Ryan is on a gap year adventure, working for a medical charity in Nepal. When a local girl begs him to investigate why her sixteen-year-old friend Kami never came back from Everest, Ryan cannot resist the challenge.

A solo journey takes Ryan deep into the mountains where his detective work finally pays off. What emerges is a shocking tale of lies, betrayal and obsession.

All played out on the lethal slopes of the highest mountain in the world.

Little by little Ryan is falling under Everest’s deadly spell.

Everest Files Series:
The Everest Files
Killer Storm (release date to be confirmed)
North Face (release date to be confirmed)

Visit Matt Dickinson's website or the Everest Files website for more information

Now please give a very warm welcome to Matt Dickinson . . .

Matt Dickinson, the author of ‘The Everest Files’ reveals the five questions he is most commonly asked at school events;

I do a lot of school events. About a hundred a year at the moment. It’s a great way to spread the word about my books for teenage readers and it helps to keep librarians and English teachers up to speed on my new titles. I visit every type of school, from posh public schools to inner city academys in some quite challenging places, but the one thing I’ve noticed is that wherever I go the questions are the SAME!

So here are some of the commonest ones and my replies;

Q 1: How do you go to the toilet?!

Ok, this is the question I get asked more than ANY other and it normally gets a good old ripple of laughter in the classroom when its asked. And the answer really is---as quickly as you can! And as rarely as you can manage. The truth is going to the loo in temperatures of fifty degrees below freezing is not a funny business. Pee can freeze before it hits the ground! Some climbers have a pee bottle in their tent but, unfortunately, this is obviously less practical for female climbers.

Q 2: Do you get homesick?

And how! Three months away from family and loved ones is a long time to bear. Many climbers simply can’t stand the pressure of being away from home and they give up as a result. Internet communications haven’t really helped things; it used to be possible to ‘forget’ about home when the only news was a letter once a month. But email and skype at base camp means a daily update with your loved ones. Some climbers thrive on that but others find it plays on their minds.. with negative results for the climb.

Q 3: Did you see the yeti?

Ah yes! This old (hairy) chestnut. Schoolchildren are fascinated by tales of the abominable snowman but,sad to report, I have to reply that have never caught sight of one of these elusive beasts. But I know a man who has…in fact I’ve met lots of Sherpa climbers who claim to have seen it. Some reckon they’ve lost cattle or crops to these fabled monsters. But somehow no photo exists..a few clumps of ginger hair..but no photo. And for me, no photo, no proof!

Q 4: Can you breathe without extra oxygen on the summit?

Well, you can. But with only 30% of the oxygen available that we normally breathe you would be advised to keep such experiments to a brief couple of gasps. I did try it; cautiously pulling my mask down and giving it a go for about a minute I think. But it wasn’t a good experience. I felt my head going dizzy so I quickly put the mask back on and played it safe. Your lungs are really suffering, that’s for sure.

Q 5: Can you have a bath or a shower on Everest?

Sadly NOT! So that means nearly three months without a proper clean up! Obviously wet wipes can be handy in this type of situation but nothing can really stand in for that great feeling you get from a real shower. The best you can get on Everest is a kind of mini shower using a couple of litres of luke warm water you beg off the cook! In three litres or so you can at least wash your hair and have a bit of a scrub down.
Do climbers smell? Funnily enough you don’t notice it at base camp but when you get back to Kathmandu you notice the trekkers giving you strange sideways glances! And that first real shower is a total treat!

Matt Dickinson

Matt Dickinson is a climber and writer with a passion for pushing the limits. He has filmed on the summit of Mt Everest and directed films for National Geographic TV and Discovery Channel in many wild corners of the world. His teen series ‘Mortal Chaos’ was warmly received by critics and readers alike and his new teen series ‘The Everest Files’ is published by Vertebrate on the 10th March.


Thanks for a fab post Matt, kids always come up with the best questions don't they! Having read The Everest Files I have a new appreciation of the how tough it is to make it to the top of Everest, it's definitely not something I could see myself even attempting so it's great to live it vicariously through books :o)

Don't forget to check out the other stops on the blog tour:

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