A CLIMBER from Hartlepool hopes to be on top of the world by scaling Mount Everest next year.
Michael Buttery will attempt the mammoth task of reaching the summit of the world’s tallest mountain next year.
The 45-year-old last year scaled Mount McKinley which is the highest mountain peak in North America at 20,237 feet.
But Michael, of Rift House, said conquering Everest will be a whole different challenge.
The welding inspector, who works in Holland, said: “I spoke to Tim Mosedale, one of the lead guides, and he wants me to join his team.
“I have been thinking about climbing Everest for some time and thought I’ve got to give it a go.
“It is a once in a lifetime opportunity for me.”
Michael puts his love of the outdoors down to former Rift House Primary School teacher Roger Smith.
He added: “It was through him and going to Carlton Camp and it progressed from there.
“I’ve always been interested in the outdoors and have been climbing more seriously in the last five years.
“I spend a lot of time working away and when I’m home I like to go missing in the Lake District for a few days.”
Michael first tried to climb Mount McKinley, also known as Denali, in 2012 but had to abandon his attempt at 14,200 feet.
But he returned in May last year and successfully reached the summit.
Michael, who went to Brierton Community School, added: “Everest is a whole new challenge. I will have to use oxygen which I haven’t used before and it can be dangerous so you have to tread carefully.”
Hartlepool could have two town men on the mountain next year as there is a chance for Ellis Stewart, 40, to return.
Ellis, who had dreamed of climbing Everest for 20 years was forced to come home early after an avalanche killed 16 Sherpa guides in April.
He was just a day away from reaching Everest’s base camp when the tragedy struck.
All further ascents were abandoned after tensions between the Sherpa guides and the Nepalese Government reached a stalemate.
Ellis, a married dad-of-three, of Bishop Cuthbert, has been offered the chance to try again next year for a fraction of the £35,000 he had to raise this year.
He said: “There is a possibility I could return but I don’t know if I will yet.
“I would still need to get a fundraising campaign together and at the moment I just want to have the summer without thinking about Everest and I will see how I feel in the autumn.”