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Everest 2003: Ellis Stewart "LIVING THE DREAM 2003"


On Saturday 8th March, Ellis attempted to climb all 29,035 feet of Everest on a Versa Climber aerobic exercise machine. This has been achieved before, but not that often and not by many people. A special stage had been rigged in Ellis’s hometown shopping centre, The Middleton Grange and over 32,000 people throughout the day witnessed his attempt.

With the backing and assistance of Middleton Grange Ellis began the mammoth task at 9.30 in the morning, estimating a finish time of around 4.30 pm.

The Steel Making Fitness Centre at the BOS plant of Corus Plc (Formerly British Steel) in Lackenby in Cleveland sponsored the event by kindly loaning the versa climber for the attempt. 

The aim of the attempt was to raise funds towards the actual real Everest climb itself, but to also raise the awareness of the climb of Everest within Ellis’s local community.

After an interview on the Stuart McFarland breakfast show for BBC Radio Cleveland, he was ready.

Beginning at 9.30 am Ellis began steady away, and quickly climbed higher than some Historic landmarks. Nelsons Column, Blackpool Tower, Eiffel Tower, Empire State building, all where quickly passed as Ellis began to find a rhythm.

Climbing at a rate of around 110 feet per minute Ellis reached the height of Mont Blanc (15,771 ft), the highest of the European Alps after about 3½ hours of climbing. After around 4-5 hours of continuous climbing cramp began to set in, and Ellis’s feet became unbearably painful. Ellis kept climbing, still might we add with no toilet stop.

At exactly 4.28pm after seven exhausting hours of stepping on the versa climber Ellis passed the magical barrier of 29,035 feet (Newly adjusted claim of National Geographic Everest Height).

Ellis was one extremely exhausted individual, but highly elated at having achieved what he set out to do. Ellis now becomes part of a unique group of people in having climbed the height of Everest on the Versa Climber, and it was also very good training for the real climb to come in the coming weeks.

Ellis would like to thank the following for making the attempt a reality:

Cormac Hamilton, Manager, Middleton Grange Shopping Centre, Hartlepool

Forum Marketing, Newcastle upon Tyne

Eddie Manning, Corus Plc, Redcar Cleveland

BBC Radio Cleveland

Klaus Svensson, Versa Climber UK



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