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.