Return to Everest - Never Give Up

£915 of £25,000 goal

Raised by 24 people in 26 days
Hey Guys,

Thanks for stopping by my Return to Everest campaign. I am hoping to crowdfund my way back to Mount Everest for what I hope will finally be a successful conclusion to a life long endeavor.

If I am able to raise or get anywhere near to the target I will use the money to cover the costs for a third attempt to climb the mountain in the April and May of 2020.  If I am successful in doing so and then subsequently in climbing the  mountain I hope to show everyone who has ever had a dream but with odds always stacked heavily against them that it is possible to achieve dreams in life.  

Raising money to achieve a personal ambition seems a bit of a stretch I know, but then anyone who knows anything about me knows I am nothing if not ambitious. To achieve anything monumental in life you need to dream big. It is this level of thinking and this mindset that previously got me on two expeditions to attempt to reach the summit of the highest mountain in the world. 

 So Who am I then? 

As some of you may know who have read my book I have dreamed about climbing this mountain almost all my adult life. In 2014 I finally got my chance after managing to raise almost $45,000 so I could take my place on a team attempting the climb in that spring.  Sadly an unprecedented disaster on the mountain killed sixteen Nepal mountain workers closing the mountain to all ascents that year.  

In 2015 I returned after once more raising another significant amount of money. This time a disaster on a larger scale occurred when an earthquake struck Nepal causing widespread death and destruction. The earthquake shook Everest resulting in the deaths of 22 individuals and destroying large sections of base camp, including our own camp with three fatalities. I was stranded on the mountain and cut off from rescue for 48 hours. Once more for the second year running the mountain remained un-climbed.

My Book

In late 2015 and most of 2016 I wrote about these experiences on Everest by way of a book I self published called Everest: It's not about the summit.  I crowdfunded the printing and editing costs via gofundme after failing to be signed by a publisher. The book was released on Amazon in late 2016. In early 2018 the book went to the top of the kindle mountaineering chart. The book is currently the second highest reviewed Mount Everest book on Amazon in the UK, second only to Into Thin Air. I am finally in talks with a publisher about the book. I am incredibly proud of how well the book has done. 

What this means to me? 

Everest and this journey to take myself as high as I am able on the mountain has defined a large part of my life for over two decades. You don't live through what I have lived through on the mountain for it to not leave its mark. To me this dream is now so much more than standing on a small patch of snow at the top of the world. It is about the chasing down of and the trying to achieve our goals and ambitions in life. I feel the legacy that I will leave behind one day is the gift of instilling in my own two daughters a message of never giving up and trying to achieve our dreams no matter what life throws at us.  I can not live the rest of my life not returning to the mountain to have a try under my own steam. I need to know if I have what it takes to achieve the dream I have refused to let go of almost all my life. I do not want to regret not trying once more to achieve this ambition.  Regrets in life are toxic and this is the biggest regret I will have if I do not act on it, 

Hundreds of people have been inspired by my journey and my story and I hope that I am able to keep inspiring by finally being able to close out this dream sometime in May 2020. 

By supporting this goal you will be helping me to not only attempt the mountain for the third time but you are also helping me to demonstrate that anything is possible with the right mindset and work ethic.  

Nothing in my life has ever been handed to me on a plate. I have had to work incredibly hard for both my previous opportunities on this mountain and to take my place once more I am expecting a tough battle. This is not going to be easy and it will not happen for me if I just quietly drift off into the night.  Where there is a will, hopefully there is a way. 

Doing this for others

In my journey to climb this mountain I have so far met so many wonderful individuals who have inspired me equally as much as I have them.  One individual in particular has made a real impact on me due to a personal battle he is having with his own Everest. Rob Metcalfe, a 30 year old from Yorkshire was recently diagnosed with Synovial Sarcoma, a cancer which affects the bone and soft tissue in the body. A keen outdoors person and climber himself I recently went to visit Rob and I was struck with his positivity and determination in the face of this disease. Rob would love to one day visit the mountain himself but in a recent devastating phone call  he informed me he was terminal. Rob has asked me if I will take a photo of himself, his wife and his young son all the way to the top of the mountain, if I go back. I told him I would do my best and that if I am successful in returning he has my word that I will take the photo as high as my ability will allow. 

The Mountain 

Towering at over 29,035 feet, Everest is the undisputed highest peak on earth. The lure of the challenge of the climb has fascinated and even intimidated the hardiest of souls for decades, stretching all the way back to the first attempts of the 1920s.  Today most modern climbing teams attempt the climb by way of two popular routes. The south east ridge route through Nepal, which is the the route which eventually paved the way for the first successful climb in 1953, and the north ridge, north east ridge route through Tibet, a route which was first attempted by the British in the 1920s. 

In 2014 and again in 2015 I attempted to reach the summit via the southern approach in Nepal. In 2020 if I am successful in raising the funding I intend to take my place on a team attempting the climb up the mountains northern slopes from Tibet. Both sides have distinct advantages and disadvantages. This is Everest at the end of the day. Whether you choose to climb from Nepal or Tibet it is still a tough proposition, whichever side you climb from. 

The Flag

I am not just asking for donations without giving something back in return. That is not my style. So for anyone who donates an amount towards Everest 2020 I am offering the opportunity to have your name and a message of support printed on a flag. I don't believe in something for nothing so to those who do make a donation I will include you on the flag. The larger the donation the bigger your name/company name. This flag will also be shared often on social media and my personal website, so as it grows with names (hopefully) I can regularly show it. I will take this flag with me to Everest and capture a photo with the flag at the high point of the trip, whether this is Camp One or the summit. 

Text Service

To everyone who donates I will also ask for your mobile/cell number so I can add you to a text service. I appreciate that social media is not for everyone so to keep you all in the loop with how the climb is going I will send out regular text updates. Texts are easier to send, and I should be able to send them from all the way up the mountain. Can you imagine receiving a text from me from the top of the world? 

GPS/Spot Tracker

I will also have a spot tracker on me at all times when I begin the climb so you can track my progress in regards to height gained.

The Video

I would love dearly for you to watch this YouTube film. It is just over 16 minutes long and was recorded recently in my house by a creative media chap who read my book and asked to come and interview me. It captures the essence of what this mountain and ultimately this dream means to me. 

What if I don't make it?

If I am not able to raise enough to be able to go to Everest for the third time all donations/amounts received will be donated to:

Rob Metcalfe's Cancer Fund

Everyone who donates will be informed of this closer to the time if it looks as though I will fall short of the target. 

Thank You!

After reading all of the above and watching the video interview I hope you become one of my Everest 2020 benefactors. I won't say donors because a benefactor is a more worthy word for what you will be. In a day and age when it is incredibly difficult to secure corporate sponsorship, I yet again turn to the one thing that I have had most success with. I have been able previously to crowdfund some of the costs for both of my previous expeditions plus all the costs to release two formats of my book. It would be criminal of me to not to try one more time for this the ultimate challenge. My dream of climbing Everest. 

As well as this my main campaign to return to the  mountain I will also try to secure a sponsorship deal. If this happens then the target on the campaign may be reduced. 

You will have my utmost gratitude for eternity if you come onboard to help me return to this mountain for one more try. 

Never Give Up!

Ellis J Stewart
1st April 2019.
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Video update 2 for the 16th May.
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The first of my video updates letting you all know on the progress of the campaign to return to Everest as it stands today May 2nd 2019.
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Today is the anniversary of the cataclysmic events that occurred on Everest and in Nepal four years ago. I was strung out between base camp and the first camp on Everest’s southern route when a huge earthquake struck killing thousands, including many on Everest. I was lucky to survive and not a day has passed when I don’t think of that fateful day and all those who lost their lives. These events became the basis of my book so I do not need to talk much more about my experiences as they are well documented in the book. But today I do give pause for thoughts.

Fast forward those four years and here I am again with one last campaign to return to the mountain. This time though it all feels very different. If I am successful in returning it is my intention to do so on the mountains northern side through Tibet. Since 2015 record numbers have attempted the mountain through Nepal and I have no further intention of joining the crowds on that side of the mountain. I feel the north side offers a far more organic mountaineering challenge, with certainly less people but also offering a more technical climb.

This update comes as I am currently on £685 raised out of a target of £25,000. This target I have set myself is a huge amount and if I am completely honest it may be unachievable. But I will use the remaining time to see how close to this I am able to get. I have stated that if I do not hit the target I would like to donate across all funds received to a chap called Rob Metcalfe. Rob is a 30 year old married dad to a young boy who recently was given the devastating news that he had terminal cancer. Prior to this cancer diagnosis Rob wanted to visit Everest BC himself, but this is now no longer an option. Rob has asked me if I do go to take a photo of his family with me and get a picture taken as high as I can reach. I would dearly love to do this for Rob, but if the finances prove beyond me then the least I can do is transfer across what I have to Rob’s campaign, so in the time he has remaining he can enjoy life with his young family. If it appears as though that may be the case I will inform everyone who has donated nearer the time giving you an alternative option to be refunded.

That brings me on this campaign, and I have just realised that I am on an old GoFundMe platform. This means that I am still on the old rate of paying a 5% fee on all donations. The new platform is a 0% platform fee so therefore I need to migrate across to this new platform so I don’t keep paying this 5%. This basically means that all my current donations will disappear. However the amount donated will carry across and all donations received so far will stand, and your name will appear on the flag. It is just from the GoFundMe page that your name and donation amount will disappear. There is sadly nothing I can do about this. It is annoying but I will just have to roll with it. I will manually add your name and donation amount to the story timeline.

Thank you everyone so far. I am quietly optimistic that I can achieve my dream. Let’s do this together.


Ellis J Stewart
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Thanks to those who have sponsored my attempt to get back to Everest next year. In a world of so many worthy causes I know I am seriously up against it but I have promised myself and a few key individuals that I will try. You can’t ask more of someone than that. Although Yoda would disagree. “Do or do not, there is no try”
With the first £200 sponsored I am hopeful of being able to build the momentum. Thank you and much love
Ellis ❤️
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£915 of £25,000 goal

Raised by 24 people in 26 days
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