Hartlepool mountaineer who survived Everest quake in aid drive for tragic team members’ families

LUCKY ESCAPE: Ellis feared for the worse when the quake struck

LUCKY ESCAPE: Ellis feared for the worse when the quake struck

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A MOUNTAIN climber has launched a fundraising bid to support three tragic families who lost loved ones in the Nepal earthquake.

Explorer Ellis Stewart, 41, was climbing to Everest’s Camp 1 when the earthquake, with a magnitude of 7.9, hit on Saturday, April 26.

Before tragedy struck

Before tragedy struck

Once back at Camp One, Ellis heard that 19 people had been killed at Base Camp, including Ellis’ teams’ two cooks and climbing Sherpa, with whom he had spent the previous nine days.

Now, he has launched a fundraising campaign through the sale of commemorative T-shirts at £15 each.

And because they have been donated by the professional design and printing company which made them, it means the sale of all the T-shirts printed would raise around £1,500.

Ellis said: “The company has donated 125 T-shirts and we have had 62 sales already.

Please help me sell all 125 and help to make a difference to the families of our three fallen team members.

Ellis Stewart

“Every penny of profit will be given to the families of the three members we lost on Everest.”

They were Pasang Temba an Everest Camp 2 cook for 19 years, a young climbing Sherpa and Kumar who was a high altitude porter and assistant kitchen crew member.”

Ellis praised Apparel Studio for “not only donating the shirts but also laying out the design and printing each and every one”.

He added: “If demand is high, we could do another print run.”

Ellis hopes to sell all 125 to “help to make a difference to the families of our three fallen team members”.

Ellis, who lives on the town’s Bishop Cuthbert estate, and a friend had successfully reached Everest’s called Base Camp and were on their way to Camp One when they felt the earthquake around midday on Saturday, April 26.

He was on a stretch called the Khumbu Ice Fall – a notoriously dangerous strip of blocks of ice, some the height of houses, where a number of Sherpas were killed during an avalanche last year – when he said he felt it start to sway.

He previously told the Mail: “I suddenly felt the ice start to sway from side to side and then we started hearing all of these cracks and noises in the ice.

“I just feared for the worst and thought, ‘I’m about to be taken out here’.

To find out more about the fundraising appeal and the T-shirts, visit https://www.planet-adventure.com/nepal-earthquake-hg-team-t-shirt