ADVENTUROUS Ellis Stewart is living his dream as he continues to edge closer to his ambition of climbing Mount Everest.
The dad-of-two from Hartlepool posted this stunning picture of himself with Everest dominating the horizon.
Ellis, 40, an experienced climber, of Bishop Cuthbert, set off to become the first man from town to reach the summit of Everest almost two weeks ago.
He is spending the first few weeks climbing higher and higher up the smaller mountains that surround Everest as he heads for its base camp.
And it has been so far so good for Ellis who has dreamed of completing this challenge for 20 years.
He posted the picture taken at more than 15,500ft on his Everest Dream Facebook page with the message: “Another view of me with Everest, from the top of Gokyo Ri, which we have just come down from.
“This picture does not do justice to the view from the top. In nine days time we will arrive at base camp and this acclimatisation trekking is getting us all superbly prepared for the main event. Stay tuned. I will update as and when I can.”
Earlier, Ellis followed in the footsteps of Edmund Hillary as the trekked to Kyanjuma.
He added: “This part of the trek is simply stunning. You are surrounded by an incredible mountain vista dominated by one of, if not the most striking mountain in the world, Ama Dablam.
“I am feeling good and looking forward to getting higher, but slowly slowly is the key at this stage.”
Ellis, who is married to teacher Tamara, 34, and is dad to Lara, six, and Isla, four, thanked his supporters who have are following him on his journey.
He said: “Again thank you for all the comments and likes to my previous updates, I read them all and they are driving me on.”
The hard work will start when Ellis and his team make their final push for the summit after several days of climbing higher to get used to the high altitude.
The closest he previously got to achieving his goal was in 2000 when he reached Everest’s base camp, which stands at 17,500ft above sea level.
Ellis, who runs his own leisure clothing company, is using the climb to raise money for the NSPCC’s ChildLine Schools Service.
It funds specialist workers to visit local schools to sensitively raise awareness of abuse and how to report.
You can sponsor Ellis at www.justgiving.com/everest2013