Kate Barry, our International Corporate and Individual Fundraising Manager shares her experience of climbing Africa’s highest peak and the tallest freestanding mountain in the world- Mount Kilimanjaro.
Kate was part of a team of 16 (inlcuding Restless Development's Chief Executive Eric Levine) who took the eight-day, 5,895 metre trek in October. They raised over £100,000 for Restless Development, a tremendous achievement. What’s more is that the whole team made it up, without succumbing to altitude sickness or tired legs!
“The long treks in rain, hail and shine from camp to camp were filled with amazing scenery, word games and singing, while the evenings laid claim to eating immense amounts of food and playing card games.
“Not enough can be said about our guides who kept us motivated and convinced that the trek was "a piece of cakey", until we hit summit night. We ate dinner at 5pm and slept or rested until 11pm. We set off for the summit at midnight in the freezing cold, head-torches lighting up the pair of boots in front of us, taking it "pole pole" (slowly) one step at a time... the sun started to rise above the clouds as we were just shy of Stellar Point, the rim of Kibo (highest peak of Kili).
“Although the guides were keen to push the first arrivals to start on the next hour trek to Uhuru Peak (highest point) the team stayed at Stellar Point until everyone was together. Although the last hour to Uhuru peak was tough, the magnificent glaciers and blue sky views above the clouds gave some relief.
“One-by-one the team ascended to Uhuru peak, where we lined up for our photos, cried and rejoiced at our victory. We spent a fair bit of time up there completing a few challenges - a card game to relieve one of the guides, ChaCha, of his losing title, which was passed onto our committed Doctor Rob. John undertook a five minute martial arts form and Eric, ChaCha, Pablo and I danced to "Can You See" (twice! as Matt had missed filming the first one!)
“Extremely out of breath the team headed back down the mountain. On the way down we were all in disbelief that we had been able to trek such a steep incline- and quite happy that we had done so in the dark or it may have been way too daunting.
“On summit day we trekked for about 14 hours in total... and on the way down to our final camp, to top it off, it snowed on us.”
A massive well done to Kate and the Kili team!
The team at Uhuru peak