Ellis Stewart is by his own admission an accidental speaker and author. Ellis became an author after writing about two attempts to climb Mount Everest. Through no fault of his own, events so far have transpired to prevent him from stepping foot on Everest’s summit, events that have ended in quite tragic circumstances. Ellis is the first to admit that he is not your stereotypical mountaineer. Having dreamed about climbing the mountain for twenty five years he never let go of that goal.
Ellis is no stranger to adversity and rejection. He first tried to get the funds together to climb the mountain in 2002. Through a lack of interest from potential sponsors he tried again in 2003, 2004, 2007 and 2013 before finally arriving at the foot of the mountain in 2014. Little did Ellis or anyone else know what was about to happen during this attempt, an attempt that ended early when sixteen Nepali mountain workers were tragically killed early in the climbing season.
Ellis returned to Everest one year later determined this time to reach the summit. Once again events conspired to end his attempt when a devastating earthquake hit Nepal and twenty-two people on Everest were killed. Ellis narrowly survived being killed by an avalanche on the mountain and subsequent aftershocks over a 48 hour period.
In the summer of 2015 Ellis began to write his story of being caught up in these two tragic seasons on Everest. In a book he named, Everest: It’s not about the Summit, Ellis wrote very candidly about not only his experiences on the mountain but also what drove and propelled him towards Everest in the first place. Not able to entice a publisher to take the project on, Ellis wouldn’t take no for an answer and decided to self-publish the book. After launching a massively successful crowdfunding campaign he was able to pay the editing and printing costs to release the book, which he did to rave reviews in late 2016. Due to popular demand Ellis launched another campaign to bring the book out in a hardback format in January 2018. Once more he successfully raised the money and was able to release the book in a limited edition run of 250 copies. They sold out instantly. In early April 2018 the book went to the #1 spot in the Mountaineering category on Amazon and continues to receive great reviews.
Although being just a regular guy trying to climb the mountain Ellis accidentally became a public speaker after being invited to share his dream with local community groups. This snowballed and before long Ellis was speaking in front of up to 250 guests at corporate events across the whole of the UK. Ellis's story is a universal one of hope over adversity. Ellis has been lucky enough to motivate and inspire everyone from primary school children, a packed conference full of accountants, to a large group of octogenarians.
In July 2016 Ellis was presented to HRH Prince Phillip Duke of Edinburgh at Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh after being invited to present Duke of Edinburgh Gold Awards to a group of young people from Cumbria. Through his attempts on the mountain so far, Ellis has raised thousands of pounds for the NSPCC children's charity and subsequently for several Nepal charities after the 2015 earthquake. Ellis is planning on returning to Everest in 2020.