ONE of the deadliest climbing seasons on Mount Everest is failing to deter climber Steve Ellery who has the peak on his "to-do list".
So far this season, 11 people have died on the world's highest peak with most believed to have suffered from altitude sickness, which is caused by low amounts of oxygen at high elevation.
Mr Ellery, from Bathurst, NSW, is an adventurer at heart. Tell him you don't think he can do it and that's the quickest way to help him succeed.
He has already climbed the Kokoda Track (2190 metres), Machu Picchu (2430 metres) and his biggest so far is Mount Kilimanjaro (5895 metres).
"I've always wanted to climb it," Mr Ellery said of the 8848 m Mount Everest.
"If you're worried about dying you'll never do anything, if you're worried about the danger you won't do a thing.
"Part of the lure of doing these sorts of things is that there is a little bit of danger to it. It makes it exciting, the fact that there's the potential to die if you've not trained well enough or you're not prepared well enough."
Mr Ellery straight up says climbing Kilimanjaro was the hardest thing he has ever done.
It took four days to reach base camp and then his group of 17 climbed to the summit in the middle of the night so they could watch the sunrise from the peak.
"We were pushing through at minus 17 degrees ... it's like the walking dead," he said.
"I passed out going up there, well a few of us passed out, but you've just got to walk slow to keep you heart rate low so you don't use too much oxygen.
"The best way to describe it is like trying to breath through a straw.
"There was saying on Kilimanjaro called 'poly poly' which means slowly slowly because as soon as you start tying to go too fast you heart rate would increase, your body would use more oxygen and you pass out.
"I was delirious, but it was really good, the guys made a promise to each other down the bottom that we were going to get each other to the top, no matter what."
You've only got a certain window of time when you can go up, the weather can change so quick up there. If the weather changed all those people sitting in that queue would die.Steve Ellery
Mr Ellery has already set himself a new challenge - Aconcagua in Argentinian. It's the highest peak in South America, at 6962 metres.
"Then Everest will be the one after that," he said.
A recently released photo of dozens of climbers lined up waiting to reach Everest's summit only serves as a cautionary tale to Mr Ellery to be as prepared as possible.
He said delays could be life-threatening when climbing a mountain.
"That's the biggest fear, you get stuck on that mountain and a storm comes," he said.
"You've only got a certain window of time when you can go up, the weather can change so quick up there. If the weather changed all those people sitting in that queue would die."
Despite the risks associated with mountain climbing, Mr Ellery said his sense of satisfaction and addiction to climbing was greater.
"You want the next higher one," he said of his search for a higher peak.