Posted on: November 27, 2017
Over the Summer period, three staff from Ormiston Sir Stanley Matthews Academy scaled Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, the highest freestanding mountain in the world reaching 19,341 feet above sea level.
Pete Jepson, Danny McLaughlin and Sarah Weaver climbed to the summit to raise money for Cancer Research UK.
Pete Jepson said, “When Danny asked if I fancied climbing the highest free standing mountain in the world it was always going to be yes. While I knew it would be a touch challenge I had no idea what it would take to get to 19341 feet. Consecutive days of trekking for between 8 and 9 hours, sleep deprivation and altitude sickness all contributed to one of the best experiences ever and after reaching the summit at 9am after starting out at midnight in temperatures as low as -17 it was all worth it.
It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done but I’d still recommend it to anyone who gets the chance to do it. Thanks to Danny for coming up with the idea and giving me the opportunity”.
Danny added, “The Kilimanjaro experience is something I will never forget. We came together as a group of 23 people who had never met before. We jelled really well and before we knew it we were on the mountain. The trekking was not too bad however the higher we got the more ill I became. Suffering altitude sickness on the second day. However with help from our doctor I got over this and continued with my trek. The next two days were amazing climbing the Barranco Wall and up to base camp was tough but really enjoyable.
Summit night was a completely different story. After almost 9 hours of climbing to a height of 18885 feet I once again became ill. Dizziness and nausea became the highlight of my climb. With only 100 Metres to go, the doctor and the leader decided I could not proceed any further. I was completely gutted not to finish the climb. However it was still an amazing experience, which I would happily try and complete another time (Maybe!)”.
Sarah found it to be a very personal experience, saying, “Having now completed the climb it is difficult to put into words what we achieved. The climb was difficult both mentally and physically and everyday brought forth new exciting, yet challenging scenarios to accomplish. I have learnt so much about my own perseverance and resilience to challenging situations which I hope will help me develop in confidence in the future. With this challenge now complete I am eager to research and find another challenge to aim towards in the future“.
Their experience, whilst challenging, was very rewarding, raising over £1600 for the charity. Well done to all three for showing determination, resilience and team work.