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Everest 2003: Ellis Stewart "LIVING THE DREAM 2003"

From Dreams to Reality

In January 2001, Ellis Stewart a 28 year old from Hartlepool in the North East of England set out on a journey to achieve a remarkable dream. This dream encompassed climbing two of the world’s great mountains, before ultimately attempting to reach the summit of the world’s mightiest peak, Everest.

It was whilst being a transient visitor to Everest’s Nepalese Base camp, one Easter Sunday in 2000 that Ellis conceived the idea of transforming his life long dream into reality. Returning back to the UK he began to put the seeds of this dream in to motion, and worked out a plan and timescale to return to Everest, and fulfill his life’s ambition.

Ellis decided early on that if he was to have any success on Everest at all, then it was imperative that he built up to it progressively rather than throw him self-straight into the Lions Den, so to speak.

The dream was officially born and the plan began to formulate. In February of 2001 Ellis scrimped and saved, begged, steeled and borrowed, and somehow managed to buy his way into a New Zealand expedition attempting Aconcagua, the highest peak in the western and southern hemisphere, and one of the world renowned seven summits. At 6,964 meters, this was the perfect peak with which to get to grips with High altitude, and on February 12th after an epic 12 hour climb from the high camp, Ellis reached the summit of the roof of the Americas, and moved that one step closer to realizing his dream.

Whilst back home in the North East, Ellis began working towards the next part of the dream, an attempt at an 8,000-metre peak. There are fourteen peaks in the world, which tower over 8,000 meters in height. Everest being the undisputed monarch. However several of these Himalayan giants were tempting options to consider before Everest, and the experience gained would be invaluable. Ellis began to set his sights on the world’s sixth highest peak, Cho Oyu in Tibet, at 8,201 meters high. This would be a true test of grit and determination, and one in which Ellis knew he would have to seriously perform well on, if Everest was to be a serious viable option.

Ellis contacted a team attempting the Mountain in the autumn of 2001, and was offered a place due to his expedition to Aconcagua. For the remainder of the time left, before departing for Tibet, Ellis worked hard on training and fund raising for the expedition. When you conceive the notion of achieving a dream you don’t always think through the financial implications, and climbing mountains is not cheap. The Cho Oyu trip alone was going to cost in excess of £6000, and that doesn’t include the £3,500 that the Aconcagua trip cost, nor the estimated $$$ it is going to cost for Everest.

Ellis worked towards securing funding right up to the day before the expedition departed, but after much heartache and near misses he finally managed to book his ticket on the plane, and on September 6th 2001 flew out to Kathmandu with an international 6-man team for the second part of the dream.

Ellis is now busily preparing for Everest and is spending the majority of his spare time in fund raising for the expedition, as well as training and raising money for the official charity (The Hartlepool & District Hospice) that he has pledged to support with his trip to Everest.

Climbing Everest is a monumental achievement and is still one of the worlds most grueling and arduous undertakings.  It requires a tremendous amount of inner will power, and a very high level of fitness and stamina, coupled with the desire and determination to reach the summit. 

One of Ellis' potential sponsor who was going to fund the majority of his trip has pulled out at the last minute, leaving him short, which he need to pay soon.... "My climbing endeavors and dreams over the last several years have left me well and truly out of favor with my bank manager, and I simply do not have this sort of money spare. As I’m sure most of us don’t. I hail from a very humble background and I have achieved all I have with very little financial assistance. I have ploughed my life savings and every other penny I own into this venture.  To go and climb on Everest will be the most rewarding experience of my life, and by taking this experience gained from on the mountain, I will put it to good use by educating school children in my local community on the better side of life. "

Why Sponsorship?

The climb of Mt. Everest, which stands 29,035' above sea level, takes a tremendous amount of logistics, which includes:

  • Climbing license from Chinese government

  • Sherpas and porters to carry loads to the base camp

  • Hundreds of feet of ropes, technical ice climbing equipment, tents, etc.

  • Bottled oxygen for above 26,000' and summit attempts

  • Food and cooking staff for the duration of the climb

Because of the high cost (£20,000 - £40,000 per person) of climbing Mt. Everest, usually governments of different countries sponsor the cost of the climb. Or large corporations volunteer to sponsor the climb for advertising their products and gain visibility for their company. Another way of covering the cost is individual sponsorship for a common agreeable cause. "To get to this level where I am now at, I have mortgaged my house, sold my car and put every spare penny I have into this venture.  I am not prepared to let this dream fall by the wayside. Having recently returned from expeditions to Aconcagua in Argentina and Cho Oyu in Tibet, I am now preparing for an attempt to reach the summit of Mount Everest. The expedition to the mountain is set for the spring of 2003 to coincide with the 50th Anniversary of the first ascent. I will be climbing throughout April and May with a seven man British team, hoping to reach the summit at the end of May. Should I raise my remaining funds, I will be climbing the North Ridge route from Tibet. (The Mallory & Irvine route.) This will be a non-guided expedition with very experienced professional mountaineers. However this all hangs in the balance as several years of hardship and sacrifice may be about to come to no good, if I do not manage to raise the remaining balance outstanding. Having dreamt of climbing Everest almost all my life, I was poised to realize that dream, but I now desperately need your help."

Any sponsors interested in helping Ellis please e-mail george@everestspeakersbureau.com

Dispatches

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