Challenge Complete

February 10, 2010

Summit Story

On 30th January 2010 at 9am I successfully climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro to Stella Point at 5,756m.

After 7 days of hard walking and 3 days of illness we arrived at Barafu Camp 4,600m on the 29th January around midday. I was feeling unwell so went straight to my tent and went to sleep. I missed lunch but felt like I needed the sleep.
I slept through until 6pm when we had dinner. I ate and then went back to sleep at 10.30pm we had a wake up call and I got into all my warm kit ready to start the climb.

We left Barafu at around 11pm and started our summit hike through the night, the terrain was rocky, the pace was slow, it was freezing cold and hard work, I still felt unwell.

Around 6am the sun started to appear and I felt great, at around 8am I started to feel tired like I just wanted to go to sleep but I just kept walking onwards I could see Stella Point and knew it was not far from there.

At 9am I reached Stella Point 5,756m, I was stopped by one of our guides and advised that I should stop there and go back. I was really tired and had fallen asleep on a previous rest stop but other than that I felt fine. I could see Uhuru Peak 5,895m in the distance about 20min walk. I really wanted to reach the peak for my birthday; I wanted to reach the peak for all my family, friends and people that had sponsored me. I couldn’t let people down I had to reach that peak this was all I could think that people would be so disappointed in me if I didn’t reach it, I wanted to make people proud I needed to do it for Granny & Grandad. I felt fine I told the guides and I carried on. A moment later I had blacked out coming back round confused, disorientated and upset.

Yes I blacked out. The guides decided I had to go back down to Barafu straight away helped me to my feet and started taking me down. I now had a huge headache, felt sick, my eye sight went funny and I blacked out two more times on the way down. A Doctor from another group came to check on me he decided I had symptoms of High altitude cerebral edema which is a severe form of altitude sickness. Symptoms therefore usually include those of acute mountain sickness (nausea, insomnia, weakness, and dizziness) plus headache, loss of coordination and decreasing levels of consciousness including disorientation, loss of memory, hallucinations and irrational behavior. The dangers of HACE are compounded by the tendency of its victims to deny having any problems at all. The Doctor gave me a tablet Nifedipine 10mg which is also used in high altitude medicine. He advised I was taken back to Barafu to sleep for a while.

The guides helped me all the way back to Barafu Camp I was seen by the camp Doctor who told me to get some rest for an hour before our final descent that day to Millennium Camp. After an hours rest I felt much better and was ready to move on to the lower camp for the evening. On the descent to Millennium I lost my footing and fell down smashing both arms onto rocks, I injured my right arm badly and the guides though that I had fractured a bone so they strapped up my arm! Once in Millennium Camp doctor also diagnosed a fracture and advised I kept my arm strapped up until we reached Mweka Gate the following day where I could then have my arm checked at a hospital in Arusha.
After a very eventful day it was finally over. I was upset to have disappointed people who had been behind me and sponsored me to climb Kilimanjaro but as all the guides, porters and fellow climbers said I did make it to the top of Kilimanjaro and apparently the sign post was not that impressive! To have got as far as I did as ill as I was they all say I was lucky that things hadn’t been worse and that I should be proud that I made it as far as I did. If it had not of been for blacking out who knows.

The arm wasn’t fractured after having an x-ray at a hospital in Arusha just badly bruised!

Thank you to everyone who sponsored me and believed in me I hope you are impressed with my reaching the top of Kilimanjaro, Stella Point.

I shall make sure I get some photos and diary extracts up here soon. I have been unwell since being home I lost a stone in weight on the trip and had the most amazing experience of my life. Would I climb Kilimanjaro again? No but I would visit Africa again and I did enjoy every second of my time there!

Also I managed to raise thousands for my charity which was the main aim of the challenge. Still collecting sponsors at   

Thank You to all the guides, porters and doctors that helped me on my trip. Thank you to TTC who were out Tour Company for this trip. I also did a Safari day with them. All their staff are knowledgeable and amazing people if you ever wish to travel to Africa I recommend using this tour company.  



All Packed !

January 21, 2010
Well I am all packed and feel ready to go now!

I had a chat with faye at Andover Sound today and will be going out on the radio tomorrow between 6am and 11am and then again at 6pm.

My flight leaves Heathrow just after 7pm for my 15 hour flight. Dave will be dropping me off at the airport!

Thank you to everyone who has phoned, come to visit and sent me Good Luck cards today. I really hope I can achieve this challenge and make you all proud to have been a part of it.

The next few days will be hard ...
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Not Long Now

January 21, 2010
Well I have tomorrow left before I board my 15 hour fight out to Africa to climb Kilimanjaro!

I went to the gym at Peak Fitness today and am feeling fit and healthy slight siffles but I think everyone has! The snow worried me a little today as they had been grounding flights last week with the snow, but today turned to mush quite fast!!

This eveing my family threw me a little surprise party! It was great I didn't have the faintest idea about it! It was lovely my Mum, Step Dad, Dave my Aunties a...
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Snow Snow Snow !!!

January 13, 2010
Had fun training today around Anton Lake in the snow! My coat for summit day is very very warm.

I have been training hard again past few weeks, lots of time spent at Peak Fitness can not thank Andy enough for the use of the gym facilities!

Not long to go now, Need to practice bag packing to make sure i don't have too much stuff to take with me.

Thank you to everyone who has sponsored me already!
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Not Long Now !

January 10, 2010
Not long now till i'll be boarding the plane! Lets hope the snow clears by then.

Things have been going well I have been training at Peak Fitness most days, the weather has made it hard to do much outside although have had a good walk about in  the snow in practice for summit day.

I have almost raised £2,000 so far for the Hospice so I hope you will all keep your fingers crossed for me!

I went to Cotswold yesterday to buy the last of my bits, ended up having to buy Men's trousers as Ladies have...
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To All of You

December 25, 2009

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Page 4 Girl

December 13, 2009
Andover Advertiser - 11 December, 2009 - Page 4

After a successful event my Kilimanjaro Christmas Fundraiser made me a page 4 girl in Andover's weekly local paper The Andover Advertiser! With a whole page dedicated to my event!

The page is full of photo's with four year old Franklin Merritt, who I help teach Kickboxing to, trying to guess the weight of the backpack I will be carrying up Kilimanjaro. Myself with both of my Auntie's, one of which made the cakes we are holding to sell at the event...
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Peak Health & Fitness Club

December 10, 2009

Sunday morning my body wondered what I was doing when I got out of bed early and dragged it to the gym!

Andy Lavery from Peak Health & Fitness Club gave me an induction to extra thing's I could be doing to prepare for Kilimanjaro! With only 5 weeks left before I go I really need to pack in some training to make sure i'm as fit as I can be.
Andy showed me some great things that I wouldn't have thought of doing!

Monday afternoon I had to skip the gym for my Yellow Fever & Typhoid Injections. They ...

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Kilimanjaro Christmas Fundraiser

December 5, 2009
We had a great day today selling home made cakes, raffle tickets, tombola tickets. Encouraging people to play games like Guess how many sweets in the jar? How much does Melissa's backpack weight? Name the Teddy!

We had a great turn out! Thank you to everyone who came along and a huge THANK YOU to all of you who I roped into giving up your Saturday afternoon to help!

Well done to everyone who took part in the Sponsored Kickbox-A-Thon who managed a whopping 13,069 kicks & punches, you all worked ...
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51 sleeps

December 1, 2009
Only 51 sleeps before I fly out to Tanzania. 51 sleeps, 51 days to train, 51 days to panic!!!!!

I have my visa, Thyphoid and Yellow Fever injections on Monday! Only a few more bits of equipment left to get. I should start practicing packing my bag i think!

I have my Fundraiser this weekend so I hope you will all be there! John Hanson School between 2 - 4 pm saturday 5th January!

I have my gym induction on Thursday to make me work harder at training!

51 Sleeps....
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