As we travelled back from a great day on Stac Pollaidh we heard over the radio that John Henry Stokes MBE BEM, known as ‘Brummie’ Stokes, had passed away. Brummie was a British Army soldier and mountaineer, known for his successful summit of Everest in 1976 passed away yesterday aged 70 . He wrote an interesting book called Soldiers and Sherpas which is hard to get hold of but an interesting read. I met many of his mates when they were training for Everest in his early days when they were up in Scotland winter training and they helped us on a few call – outs in the mountains. We always had a good laugh and their was lots of winding up going on and it was great that we built up a bit of a mutual respect and contacts with the SAS that lasted for many years and we even we lost the odd troop to them. The military mountaineering world was a small place in those days and big changes were happening in the military expedition world, these were interesting times.
After he left the military he went again to Everest on several occasions and had an attempt on the North East Ridge the “unclimbed ridge” in those days. These tales are told in his book and it gives an interesting account of his life. After his life in the military he went on several expeditions and latterly ran a charity in Hereford. Another great character gone.