China Everest 87 expedition team. Charles Irion pictured (far left)
Interestingly enough, the idea for the Summit Murder Mystery Series started when author Charles Irion was climbing Mount Everest. According to Irion, "I was part of a 1987 Everest expedition. I never planned to attempt a summit but thought the experience would be one of a lifetime. I was right. I reached 21,000 feet, well below the summit, but that was enough for me. Climbing Everest, even with the aid of all the technology now available, is a daunting and dangerous undertaking. What I took away was just how dangerous high altitude climbing is. When the prospect of murder is introduced the possibilities were immediately apparent."