Hartlepool mountaineer to write book on Everest earthquake survival

Ellis Stewart with his wife Tamara and daughters Isla (left) and Lara. Picture by FRANK REID
Ellis Stewart with his wife Tamara and daughters Isla (left) and Lara. Picture by FRANK REID
0
Have your say

Mountain climber Ellis Stewart is set to put pen to paper and write a book about his lucky escape from Everest.

The 42-year-old adventurer from Hartlepool was on the mountain when the deadly Nepal Earthquake struck causing numerous avalanches and leaving mountaineers dead.

Ellis Stewart at Everest holding a copy of the Hartlepool Mail

Ellis Stewart at Everest holding a copy of the Hartlepool Mail

After feeling the ground tremble and then being buried in snow, he feared that he would never see his wife and children again.

But Ellis returned home and set about fundraising for the families of some of those killed on the mountain by selling Nepal charity T-shirts.

Fellow climber and celebrity Brian Blessed was pictured wearing one of Ellis’ designs in a bid to boost the cause, which managed to raise over £3,000 before it ended recently.

Now Ellis wants to document his climbing story in a book, which he hopes will be ready for Christmas.

I’ve probably got enough interest there and there’s enough for me to write about

Ellis Stewart

The dad-of-two, from Bishop Cuthbert, Hartlepool, said: “I’m kind of hoping I can spend the next three or four months getting it all down and then get it out there for Christmas.

“I’m putting the feelers out there and speaking to some publishers so hopefully I’ll be able to get something sorted.”

Ellis says the book will chart his climbing career over the last 15 years, culminating in the most dramatic ending of being on Everest as the earthquake hit Nepal, killing thousands of people.

“I’ve had a lot of comments about whether I should or shouldn’t write a book,” he said. “I didn’t give it much serious thought until recently, when I thought ‘why not’.

“I’ve probably got enough interest there and there’s enough for me to write about.

“Yes it’s not the outcome I’d hoped for but it’s interesting.”

Ellis and a friend had successfully reached Everest’s called Base Camp and were on their way to Camp One when they felt the earthquake.

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 was about half an hour from Camp One and I’d climbed up this last vertical ladder and I was stood on an ice shelf.

“I thought, this is it, I’m never going to see my girls and my wife again. I thought I was going to leave two children fatherless.

“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.

“We couldn’t see anything because it was a complete white out, we could just hear it coming. When it did come it knocked us both to the ice.

I turned my face into the ice with my head resting on my forearm to create an air pocket. We got covered in snow - enough to leave us unable to breathe.

“We thought we were going to be buried alive.”