With October creeping up on us I’m finally starting to accept that Summer 16 is officially over. Pretty depressed about now because this summer has been hard to top! Climbing Kili was the hardest, toughest most physically and mentally (I cried more than once) challenging thing I have ever done but I don’t regret a thing. This being said I thought I’d write up a little summary/run through of the whole whirlwind experience.
I decided to climb Kilimanjaro for a charity named Childreach International. They’re a great child rights organisation working in many countries including the UK. More info can be found here. Before our climb we got to visit one of their school projects in Tanzania and see where the money goes which was a really humbling experience.
I pledged to raise £2,895… when I first signed up I thought it’d be totally impossible and there was no way I could raise that amount of money (having barely any fundraising experience) but hey ho I’d just give it a try.
My Charity Auction night was a huuuge success, bake sales, sporting events, selling stuff on ebay, charity football matches, I tried it all! Even selling Krispy Kreme donuts to people in the queue at Digi… wow definitely won’t be doing that again.
Literally amazed that I managed to raise over my target! Big up maaself.
Please excuse the missing nail
Auction night photobooth fun
Charity Auction night raffle prizes
Zorb football tournament
Leeds Half Marathon
Frat Party Fundraiser Northumbria
Having absolutely zero experience when it comes to climbing mountains safe to say I was shitting myself. We had to be ready to trek for 6-10 hours a day carrying our bag and 3 litres of water… not quite your average gym sesh.
And then there was an extensive kit list. Having to be prepared for all weather conditions was a real pain in the arse but really necessary. It can get to -25 degrees at the top. I tried to keep spending to a minimum and borrow bits or buy things cheap but it still came to around the £300 mark! Some people spent that just on one coat.
My god this was tougher than expected. We took the Machame route to the summit which involved 6 days of trekking and set out from a town nearby called Moshi.
As you’d expect it got tougher and steeper each day. The higher the altitude the more calories you burned and the more tired you got. Altitude sickness was a massive worry, theres not really much you can do to prevent it and if its severe the guides won’t let you go any further. I think round 5 on our trip didn’t make it to the summit and one guy was stretchered down and took to hospital. Shit can get pretty serious real quick.
We were eating as many carbs as possible to fuel our days but after all you’re halfway up a mountain so the food isn’t that great. I will never ever eat porridge or soup again. Water sources were on the mountain which meant we had to use purification tablets. They basically make your water taste like chlorine and not taking concentrated dilute was a biiiiig mistake. We slept in two man tents each night, cosy but freezing and not really the good nights sleep you’re after.
It wasn’t all bad, the views were immense (we took far too many photo breaks) and after day two the stars each night were amazing. Because you’re so high up above the clouds everything is so clear. Breathtaking.
Summit night was by far the toughest. We’d been trekking all day and it was dark by the time we reached Barafu camp. We had some food then headed to bed around 10/11pm before a 2am wake up call for the summit. I think the following 24 hours were the hardest in my life.
But we persevered! The support from our group is literally what kept me going, we even had messages from family and friends to read on summit night for extra motivation (so many tears). Do not know what I would of done without meeting such a great bunch, cheesy as it sounds you become a little family, laugh together, cry together, poo in a hole in the ground together. It’s one unique bond.
thats a nice boulder
After all that a holiday was well deserved, and a medal from the queen or something but I’m still waiting on that. We took a two day safari to Lake Manyara Nation Park and the Ngorongoro Crater. Try saying that after a few vodkas. Next was a flight to Zanzibar which was beautiful. The sun was in and out but when it was out, actual paradise.
photo creds to frankie
All in all it was a totally unique amazing experience which I would recommend to anyone who has the chance. Ticked off the bucket list and added to the CV.