ADVENTUROUS Ellis Stewart will get a second shot at becoming the first person from Hartlepool to scale Mount Everest.
The dad-of-three’s hopes were dashed last year just days before he was due to start his final ascent when an avalanche struck, claiming the lives of 16 Sherpa guides.
But he hopes finally to fulfil his 20-year ambition when he returns to the mountain next month.
Ellis, 41, has received confirmation that his climbing permit from last year is still valid.
He said: “It has been touch and go for the last year.
“I wasn’t 100 per cent sure I would be returning until recently.
“I have had to keep up with the physical training even though I did not know if it was going to be in vain.
“I am feeling quietly confident. Last year it was all new to me as it was the first time I had been to Nepal for 13 years.
“I had five weeks trekking and a week at Base Camp last year. I have got that under my belt, so I am feeling a lot more confident in my ability.
“Also my head is in a better place and I have got much better kit and equipment this year.”
I am feeling quietly confidentEllis Stewart
Ellis’s kit is being sponsored by Sunderland-based international clothing firm Berghaus.
Generous supporters have raised around £2,500 towards the cost of the trip after his wife Tamara, 35, set up a page on the GoFundMe website.
Ellis, of the Bishop Cuthbert estate, will leave his family, including daughters Lara, seven, and five-year-old Isla, on April 2.
Ellis, who also has a son Aaron, 17, will make his way up the south side of the mountain as part of a team led by experienced Everest climber Tim Melrose.
He added: “The route has been changed slightly this year after what happened last year.
“The Sherpas are looking to move the path away from the most dangerous areas, although you can’t make it completely safe.”
Throughout his adventure, Ellis, who runs a leisure clothing company, intends to keep in touch with his family and followers through Facebook and his Everest Dream website.