Hartlepool climber turned author tells of Everest horror and lessons in new book

Ellis Stewart with a copy of his book
Ellis Stewart with a copy of his book

The story of how one man’s 20-year dream to scale Everest was crushed by the two worst disasters in the mountain’s history has been immortalised in a book.

Hartlepool’s Ellis Stewart has written Everest It’s not about the summit, after tasting disappointment two years in a row.

A lot of people kept asking me if I was going to write one and said they would love to read about it

Ellis Stewart

He survived an avalanche in 2014 which claimed the lives of 16 Sherpa guides.

Ellis returned the following year, once again bidding farewell to his wife Tamara and children Lara, eight, Isla, seven, and Aaron, 19.

He narrowly escaped with his life when an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.9, hit Nepal killing thousands.

The dad of three, of Bishop Cuthbert, said writing about his experiences helped him to achieve closure and learn that life is about the journey rather than the destination.

Ellis said: “Initially, I didn’t have any intentions of writing the book, but a lot of people kept asking me if I was going to write one and said they would love to read about it, so in the end I bowed down to the pressure.

“I enjoyed doing it because I was writing about a passion. It was difficult writing and trying to be sensitive about the events that happened but I just told it from my point of view.

“It was a kind of closure for me. When I came home I never wrote about it and just blanked it all out so to put it on paper I found it quite cathartic.”

The book has been climbing the charts. Shortly before Christmas it was the 46th biggest seller in the mountaineering category on Amazon in the UK.

Ellis, who runs his own sports merchandise and events company, and is also a sought after guest speaker, added: “It is getting great reviews which is pleasing to see.”

Fellow Everest mountaineer and well-known actor Brian Blessed has written the book’s foreword.

In it he says: “It is a tale of extraordinary courage and sustained, tenacious endeavour.

“Ellis with supreme courage coped with fatigue, cold, insomnia, diminished appetite, avalanches and earthquakes.

“This man is a truly staggering individual. His achievement is a clarion call to all who wish to fulfil their dreams.”

In all, it took Ellis about 16 months from start to finish to write the book after starting back in the summer of 2015.

Everest: It’s Not All About the Summit is available now on Amazon priced at £11.99 in paperback and £5.43 on Kindle.