Kilimanjaro Expedition

Steve and his good friend Darren each had a long-held ambition to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.   This shared ambition and friendship turned from a wild idea, whilst out for dinner during May 2012 into the reality of a seven day trek in February 2013.

The trek took them through different climatic zones, gradually gaining altitude to acclimatise to the thinner atmosphere at high altitude.  They spent two nights at Mawenzi Tarn [4,300m] where they were able to enjoy some amazing views and great walks.

After 5 days tough walking they reached the Kibo huts camp at the base of the volcanic cone (4,700m) ready for the final summit attempt and the biggest challenge of all.  Shortly before midnight and beneath a stunning star-filledsky, they started out from camp, zigzagging up the long scree slopes with just the light of a head-torch to guide them.  The cold was extreme and, despite the gruelling uphill climb, the two men needed seven layers of clothing to keep warm.

Passing Gillman’s Point (5680m) at 4am, where many less fortunate climbers are forced to admit defeat, they pushed on to Uhuru Peak [the summit, 5,895m] reaching it before dawn and in time to see the dramatic spectacle of the sun rising over the summit ice fields.  Steve recalls: “The profusion of colours and shapes and incredible views as you look down with the plains of Africa stretching away will stay in our minds forever.”

“Reaching the summit of Kilimanjaro has been an important part of my personal journey in coming to terms with living with Parkinson’s as I challenge myself to live life as fully as possible and realise my ambitions.  I believe keeping fit and active is a vital part of managing the condition.  I have always loved walking in the mountains and so tackling the world’s highest freestanding mountain at 5,895m was an amazing opportunity.  It also demonstrates the power of support from family and friends and colleagues.  Their generous donations raised £7,926 for Parkinson’s UK”

More photos and videos can be viewed on my Flickr account page

Day 6

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