I was thrilled to get the opportunity in June 2023 to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest point in Africa and tallest freestanding mountain in the world, at 5785m.
It was a one in a lifetime experience that I will remember forever, visiting Africa (which I had never been to before), travelling through five climate zones while trekking up the mountain, getting to know a new group of people, and seeing the most beautiful views.
- The push for the summit – Summit night involved 12- 15 hours of walking, much of it in the dark with just a head torch. I was unwell with a medical condition and a touch of altitude sickness but an amazing porter carried my rucksack for me and walked beside me all night. I was determined to make it to the top and to be able to be in “the” photo by the sign on Uhuru Peak.
- Altitude – Even with altitude medication, we experienced some dizziness and headaches. I learned that you can only stay for 30 mins at the top as the altitude makes it dangerous to stay longer.
- Temperature – I started out in the rainforest in shorts but when at the summit it was something like minus 8. It was still really cold even when wearing 5 layers
- Making it to Uhuru Peak!
- Seeing the sunrise at Stella Point, after 8 hours walking in the dark.
- Seeing monkeys in the trees of the rainforest.
- Having 112 porters and cooks walking towards us singing and dancing as we came off the mountain!
- Raising sponsorship for a good cause by climbing Kili.
- Meeting and bonding with 19 other people who I hadn’t known before, spanning ages 16-57.
As a registered Young Carer for my father and as someone with hearing implants, I hope other young people can take inspiration from my trek and see that nothing need hold you back from your goals. I am incredibly appreciative of YET awarding me the Peter Smith Award for my expedition, which I was able to use towards the equipment and clothing that I needed for keeping me as warm and safe as possible on Kilimanjaro. Thank you!