ADVENTUROUS Ellis Stewart is counting down the days to achieving a 20-year ambition.
The Hartlepool dad-of-two is just six months away from jetting off to the Himalayas where he will attempt to become the first person from Hartlepool to scale Mount Everest.
Ellis, of the town’s Bishop Cuthbert estate, has been working seriously towards his goal for more than a year and is “98 per cent positive” he will be able to secure the £30,000 he needs to raise to secure his place.
He has embarked on a tough training regime to make sure his body is in the best physical shape for the challenge.
Ellis, 40, said: “This has been about 20 years in the making. I’ve always been interested in the mountain.
“I first tried to go out there in 2000 but I have been passionate about it for a long time.
“I am now starting to visualise myself being on the mountain and my training has intensified massively.
“I am trying to get myself in the best physical state possible before I leave at the end of March when I hope to fly to Katmandu.”
Ellis has raised money by selling a range of Everest T-shirts and hoodies through his own T-shirt business.
He has also raised around £5,000 for the NSPCC children’s charity and is appealing for corporate sponsorship to help him reach his total.
Ellis, married to teacher Tamara, 33, said: “It would be a great opportunity for exposure for any local companies.
“Nobody from Hartlepool has ever been to the top of Everest before and I think it would also be a good thing for the town as a whole.”
To find out more about sponsoring, Ellis visit www.everestdream.co.uk