Everest 2015

In late 2015 Ellis began writing his thoughts on the events that transpired in Nepal during his second attempt on Everest in the spring of that year. Those thoughts eventually found their way into his book which came out late in 2016. Because of this Ellis didn't write a summary of the events on Everest this year. For a full detailed account of the earthquake and the subsequent avalanches please read the book:

It's Not About the Summit.


(Start) In April to May 2014, Ellis Stewart from the UK embarked on the greatest challenge of his life to date, an attempt to climb Mount Everest. So what you might say, this has been done by thousands of people now. What was unique and special about this dream was that it was being shared with over 7,000 followers on Ellis’s Facebook page. Ellis had tried to take as many people as possible along on the journey with his very honest and frank updates, not only whilst out in Nepal this spring but also in the 2 year run up to the climb. Ellis was very honest about the financial hardship endured to reach the mountain and the physical slog of the training schedule he was undertaking.

Ellis had also produced a very stylish range of t-shirts and sweatshirts which he was selling to part fund his climbing costs. Lots of people it seems wanted to help as this clothing became a massive success online. Ellis’s Everest Dream had become a brand in its own right.

When the expedition was cut short this year due to the tragic avalanche

early on in the climbing season which claimed sixteen Sherpa lives, the outpouring of support Ellis received from the pages followers was immediate and highly sympathetic. The one message that appeared more than others was the fact that ‘Ellis was safe and was returning home to see his family again.’ Another recurring theme was the issue of whether Ellis was ever going to return and try again. In September 2014 Ellis announced his intention to try one last time next spring, hoping the political agenda is resolved by then of course.

This tragic incident brought an abrupt end to the climbing on Everest in 2014 but also kick started a political storm between certain Sherpa and the Nepal government which made a climb of the mountain highly untenable. Personally this also brought a sad premature end to the dream of climbing Everest for Ellis without even stepping foot on the mountain.

After the tragic events of the 2014 season, Ellis returned home with his Everest aspirations blown to pieces by the tragedy but with a renewed deep respect for the mountain.

Having spent the summer back at home with his young family reflecting on all that happened out in Nepal this past spring season Ellis reached the decision to give Everest one last go with an attempt in 2015. But before Ellis can return to the mountain he will need to find around $19,000 USD to cover his costs out in Nepal.

Lead guide on next year’s Everest climb would again be Tim Mosedale, who Ellis was out in Nepal with this spring. Tim like lots of us it seems would like to see Ellis finally stand on the summit and has agreed to offer his guiding services for an attempt next year completely for free. The amount Ellis needs is strictly to cover costs in Nepal and on the mountain.

The Nepal Ministry of Tourism, the government department responsible for mountaineering permits within Nepal initially stated they would honour all 2014 climbing permits for a 5 year period, giving Ellis time to earn and save the money needed to return. However it now seems to be the case that the permit is not valid on an individual basis but rather valid as a team permit. If this is the case then it is highly likely that the permit will be exercised next year by other team members, hence Ellis’s decision to immediately return to the mountain at the very first opportunity. 

Alan Arnette, an Everest and K2 summiteer noted by Outside Magazine as "the world's most respected chronicler of Everest.” interviewed Ellis before his 2014 attempt and stated that his tenacity to want to climb this mountain was unprecedented in his opinion.

You will be hard pushed to find someone who wants to climb this mountain more passionately and with as much drive and commitment to the cause as Ellis does.(End)

What follows is a chronological sequence of updates as Ellis posted upon his Everest Dream Facebook page at the time. Hope you enjoy. 

26th March 2015

Well....it only took me 15 years of trying and with just 1 week left but by Jove! I finally cracked it. I am pleased to announce that I have a brewery by the name of Camerons Brewery Ltd from my hometown onboard as one of my key sponsors. Here is the proof. That is me behind the bar with a pint of Strongarm (Flagship beer) with the brewery MD, Chris.

How fitting that it just so happens to be their 150th anniversary. Having repeatedly failed to entice a local organisation to see the value attached in my climb of Everest, it is a breath of fresh air to find one which clearly alligns itself with my own hopes and dreams. The MD fortunately for me sat in on a talk I gave at a local college last week and listened to me talk about this 20 year dream. I must of said something right.

Sponsorship must be like waiting for a bus. With Berghaus coming onboard as my kit sponsor and now Camerons, then two definitely came at once. My wait just happened to be a little longer.

With one week to go now till departure things are finally all coming together. From the adversity that was last year on the mountain I now have super confidence and a good feeling that this year's climb is going to be a good one for all concerned.

3rd April 2015

Made it to Kathmandu at last. That was a tiring journey. Made more tiring by an unorganised chaotic visa system upon arrival. I'm sure it was more seamless last year. Still I'm here in one piece and I have my bags. Success I think. Let the chaos commence. Till Sunday at least, then fingers and weather crossed I'll be out of here and on the trail

5th April 2015

Day 2 Trek to Namche and Kyangjuma

Left Monjo early this morning and entered the national park. I was keen to get ahead of a large group of trekkers heading up or else I could of got stuck at the park entrance for some time. Showed the permit and we were on our way. It's a steep slog all the way up through the pine forest to Namche but we (me and Rajah my porter from Lukla) made good progress and seemed to arrive in Namche in no time. I even had my first glimpse of Everest today on the path up to Namche. I am feeling strong with no ill health and long may that continue. I am keen to get the days trekking done before mid afternoon as there seems to be a pattern emerging of torrential downpours late afternoon.

The trekking so far has been through some of the most glorious scenery imaginable. The khumbu truly is spectacular. If you ever get a chance to come trekking here in your lifetime please do. You will not regret it. Ok time for a rest and some lemon tea. Kyangjuma for 2 nights beckons. Now where's that bakery.

7th April 2015

Day 3 - Quick hike up to 4000m and then back to Kyangjuma for 2nd night.

I am slowly giving my body time to adapt to the ever thinning air as I trek up through the Khumbu and closer to Everest. I will be spending my second night sleeping at 3,600m before moving up to Pangboche (4000m) tomorrow. Today I trekked up to 4000m to the village of Mong La. I used a fairly steep stair case that cut right through an imposing rock face before rejoining the main path. I was dismayed to see my altitude watch only displaying 3,880m upon arrival so I scouted the near hillside and climbed up the remaining 120m to get my watch to display 4000. After a few lemon tea I headed back down for lunch, wifi and relaxing for the rest of the day. So far so good.
Tomorrow I move up to 4000m to sleep. Almost half way. This thing is easy....if only!!

Onwards and Upwards. (Will be a nice feeling when I will be able to say onwards and downwards.)

8th April 2015

Day 4 Trek to Pangboche via Tengboche

Today I felt full of energy. From arriving at the bridge at the bottom of the climb up to Tengboche it should of taken 2 hours, but I found myself outside the monastery an hour later. Even my porter was telling me slow slow. But I feel great at the moment with no headaches, coughs or other ailments. Hope this continues.

I have just arrived at Pangboche where I am staying for the next 2 nights as I am at 4000m now or more or less. Tomorrow I am going to trek up to Ama base camp at 4600 and visit Lama Geshi for a blessing for safe travel on the mountain.

I am staying in the Sonam lodge where from my room window I am staring straight up at Everest poking over the top of Lhotse.

The picture of the porter by the way blew my mind. He was carrying 120kg all the way to base camp. These people are super human and deserve every respect. They certainly have mine.

 9th April 2015

Day 5 - Second day at Pangboche. Blessing from Lama Geshe and trek to Ama BC

I received my own personal blessing from Lama Geshe today. This was an incredibly spiritual experience for me and having been blessed I feel an aura of safety sweep over me now.

Last night just before it got dark I glanced back in the general direction of Everest and was astonished to see just the summit of the mountain itself illuminated by the setting sun. The picture I grabbed doesn't really do it justice. But I believe it was an incredibly strong sign of good luck. Well that's what I'm telling myself.

At 4,000 metres all is well and I am feeling strong, condident and enjoying every moment of this trip so far.

Pushed up to 4'600 metres today with a 2 hour trek up to visit Ama Dablam base camp. It was a good workout and when I reached BC the Gurkha 200 team were there and invited me over for hot orange. I stayed a while and then quickly descended back to Sonam lodge, where I am now waiting to devour a plate of veg and tuna fried noodles.

A great day.

10th April 2015

Day 6 - To Dingboche (4,400m)

Nice steady 2 hour trek up to Dingboche today. I'm increasing in altitude gain slowly as the days go by and I am now half way to the summit.

I will spend 2 days here now before moving up to Chukkung where I will then go above 5,000 metres for the first time on the trip with a trek up Chukkung Ri. But that is a few days away for now.

Still feeling strong and no ill health to speak of.

Due to arrive at Everest on the 18th April, a very poignant date.

15th April 2015

Days 6 - 10

Had zero phone and Internet connection for the past several days plus we had a large drop of snow that kept me pinned down in a lodge in Chukkung for 3 days. Here is a selection of photos from the past few days.

I attempted to climb Island Peak last night with Rob Casserley's team but sadly I was Ill throughout the whole ordeal and only managed to make 5,800 before sensibly turning back. Not sure what was wrong but I was violently sick several times. I don't think it was altitude induced. Hopefully! Anyway I feel much better now.

In 2 days time I arrive in base camp with Everest Expedition and Tim and the rest of the team. We have a puja planned for around the 21st so their will be no climbing on the mountain until after the 21st. Looking forward to getting going now though. The trekking phase is almost over.

Sorry for the silence. Signal is very patchy up here to say the least.

18th April 2015

Day 14 - Relaxing day at Base Camp. It was a tough walk in yesterday. The last 2 hours into camp were in a complete whiteout with driving snow. In fact base camp is covered in the stuff. Today is the 1st anniversary to the 16 Sherpa souls who lost their lives up in the icefall last year. Out of respect no one is moving anywhere today. So it's kick back time, sort out your living space in your tent so it's as comfortable as can been for the next 5 weeks or so and sort out kit so it's ready to go. This thing now feels very real

April 19th 2015

Day 15 - Stunning day at Base Camp

So having been battered by severe winds through the night base camp this morning is a scene of sheer stunning beauty.

Pictures do not do justice to how simply spellbinding the views are. Today me and the rest of my team are practicing on a ladder in crampons, learning the skills we will need to know for safe passage up and down the mountain. I can't wait to get stuck in to be honest. This trip now moves from the trekking phase to the serious climbing phase. Everest is looking ready for business and we almost are too.

21st April 2015

April 21st - Day 17 - Sorry folks, WiFi has been down the last couple of days. We had our Puja today and venturing into the icefall tomorrow (22nd April).

22nd April 2015

Day 18 - Through the Khumbu Icefall.

After our puja ceremony yesterday at BC today we ventured through the notorious Khumbu ice-fall and it didn't disappoint. The route is new this year to avoid a repeat of last year's tragedy and for a first introduction to moving up and down the fixed ropes and ladders it was an amazing day. We set off at 5.30am statistically when the icefall is at its most stable. As soon as the sun hit the icefall it was like being baked alive in an oven. Next time through I hope it's all in the dark. We didn't go all the way to C1, but up to around 5,850m just to get a feel. We crossed ladders though and they were insane. The whole route up to camp one is crazy stunning.

Now for a well earned rest.

 24th April 2015

Today was a final rest day before spending the next 3 days on the mountain. This morning I caught up with a friend from back in the UK who happened to be at BC for a few days. Tony trekked to Everest to raise funds for Alzheimer's research and organised for me to do an after dinner talk to his company back last October, so it was really nice catching up with him before I venture up the mountain.

The afternoon was spent sorting out food to take and last minute logistics. I probably won't have any comms now until I am back at EBC.

All is well and I am looking forward to the next few days as I continue with my goal to climb this mountain.

 25th April 2015

Before it hits the news and everyone starts to worry, there's been a big Avalanche on Everest caused by an earthquake in Nepal.

Ellis was above the icefall at the time and was hit but he and his team are ok - One of his team has a sat phone and got the news to us. Awaiting news on everyone else on the mountain, let's hope and pray they are all ok also.

26th April 2015 

Hello, if anyone notices Ellis is online its not him its his wife Tamara. I will be checking the situation and updating you with any information I may have. At the moment I have not spoken to Ellis directly but have heard he is being helicopter evaced from camp one to base camp today. I will keep you posted.

Hi, this is Ellis wife Tamara. He has called and is safe at camp 1, waiting for evacuation by helicopter tomorrow morning.

29th April 2015 

This is Ellis. Thank you for all your messages of concern. I am currently in Lukla, awaiting a flight out to Kathmandu. It's been a horrendous few days since the quake hit. I was near the top of the icefall when it hit but was able to recover and continue on to C1, where we waited for 2 days before being flown off the mountain.

Thanks everyone for your support.