Kilimanjaro conquered and more…
[October 2015] After 6 days of trekking I reached Uhuru peak, the top of Kilimanjaro and the roof of Africa, at 5895m the highest free standing mountain in the world — Kilimanjaro. Taking 6 days to reach Uhuru Peak the extreme challenge was in aid of UNICEF and Progressio.
Kilimanjaro has been an incredible experience — a physical and mental challenge and one of the toughest things I’ve ever done. It’s difficult to describe, it really pushed me beyond my limits and I am still processing how I made it to the top. For 7 days it felt like the people we were was stripped away and we forget everything.
I trekked over 6 days to reach the peak and roughly 1.5 days coming down. The extreme altitude meant he and his group had to make a gradual ascent to acclimatise or risk a number of symptoms and dangers. Some days were quite long, and every 1 step felt like 10 steps, every pound of weight like 10 pounds and once we started hitting 4000–5000m it really intensified with oxygen levels dropping to 20–30% compared to sea level, it was tough going and my resting heart rate from 58–60 to 120 bpm.
I stayed in a tent in designated camps with temperatures dropping as low as minus 15c, it was as much a test of surviving on the mountain as well as trekking it.
The views were amazing, and one of my favourite parts was on day 4 when we made an almost vertical 800ft scramble up Baranco wall, of the course the euphoria of reaching the summit.
Summit night was quite brutal, we started trekking from midnight for 8hrs in the pitch black freezing cold, our water froze and when day light I sat exhausted and struggling to breathe at 5,600m altitude. We sat for a final cup of tea to compose ourselves and warm up before the final slog to Uhuru Peak.. 19/21 of us made it to the top! And thus ended our ascent and conquering of Kilimanjaro!
Why did I do it? Yes it was about fundraising for some great charities but one my objectives was also always to inspire others to get involved and take action — whatever that may be.