THE countdown has begun for adventurous Ellis Stewart on reaching his Everest dream.
This time next year the Hartlepool dad hopes to be scaling the world’s tallest and toughest mountain.
But Ellis needs to raise £30,000 to get him there and is appealing to businesses for sponsorship.
The 39-year-old is also raising funds for the NSPCC charity.
Ellis said: “I have got around a year to hopefully get the funding in place.
“I’m trying to get local companies interested and involved in the project.
“Once the funding is in place, any extra donations generated will go straight to the NSPCC.
“I have already raised about £3,000 which is just for the charity.”
Ellis, married to teacher Tamara, 33, has previously completed ‘warm-up’ climbs to help prepare him for Everest in the Himalayas.
Several years ago he scaled Chu Oyu in Tibet which is the sixth highest mountain in the world.
He also conquered Aconcagua, South America’s tallest mountain in Argentina.
But Ellis, of Bishop Cuthbert, admits nothing can prepare someone for Everest, which has claimed the lives of many climbers over the years.
“You can go climbing every weekend and it is not going to prepare you for the mountain,” said the dad-of-two.
“It is about fitness, getting used to high altitude and a desire to want to do it.
“I have had a passion and interest in it since I was about 17.”
Any businesses that wish to help Ellis can contact him through Facebook or call 07815154249.