Two of our employees have raised almost £4,000 for the charity, Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) Fighting Blindness, after attempting to reach the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.
Nick Carey, Clerk of Works, and Carole Allen, Housing Options team leader, ascended 5,181 metres up the world’s highest freestanding mountain - which stands at 5,895 metres or 3.6 miles high - but both succumbed to Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) 714 metres from the summit.
Despite an intensive training regime to prepare them for the challenge, which saw them walk 30 miles a week while carrying a 35 litre backpack each as well as litres of water, they were advised by their guide to stop and descend the mountain due to their AMS.
“I would love to say we made it but it wasn’t to be this time,” said Nick. “Carole was suffering badly with breathing difficulties and had to stop every few steps to try and get more oxygen into her lungs.
“To be frank I wasn’t faring much better as I began to suffer from dizzy spells, which obviously isn’t a good thing when you are on the side of a very tall mountain. Needless to say it was an extremely difficult and testing challenge, especially when you take into account we were part of a group of 30 climbers and only 10 reached the summit.”
Despite not completing their challenge both Nick and Carole are delighted with the amount they have raised for their chosen charity and Nick is set to return to Mount Kilimanjaro to finish what he started.
“It’s not all doom and gloom as not only did we receive a medal for our efforts we’ve almost reached the total for our chosen charity RP Fighting Blindness,” said Nick. “And as it was such an incredible experience I’m not finished with Kilimanjaro yet as I’m thinking of returning in two years’ time to conquer the mountain as part of a personal challenge.”