Larry Anthony (former National Chairman), Rachel Sainsbury (former National Communications Director) and Steph Ball (Duke of Ed Gold Awardee) embarked on their own Adventurous Journey to climb Mt Kilimanjaro after the International Gold Event in Kenya. They required courage, energy, fitness and enthusiasm to reach the top and of course much support from each other and their Tanzanian guides, porters and cook.
Mt Kilimanjaro is located in Tanzania and holds the title of the highest mountain in Africa and the highest ‘free standing’ mountain in the world. Its summit, Uhuru Peak, stands at 5,895 metres above sea level. It took the team 5 challenging days to complete.
Rachel Sainsbury says “Climbing Kili was a truly amazing and challenging experience. The team was incredible. Time just stops when you’re away from phones, laptops and emails, and you remember to truly appreciate just how lucky you are. It was tough getting to the top, but the sense of achievement is immense and something I will carry with me always.”
‘Believe in Yourself and go with an Open Mind’
In order to reach the top, they had to deal with a number of adverse conditions including dense clouds, freezing weather (it was -16 degrees at the summit!), hail, rain and luckily much sunshine. When asked what the most difficult part of climbing Mt Kilimanjaro was, Rachel says “leaving for the summit at midnight and in the dark was pretty full on. That night we walked 7 ½ hours to reach the summit, 6 of which were in the dark. All we could see was a sky full of stars and a line of headlamps snaking up the steep ascent. At times it felt like we were never going to get to the top!”
“My advice for all people attempting to climb Mt Kilimanjaro is to be as fit as you can be, believe in yourself and go with an open mind. I’ve never really done anything like this before and didn’t know what to expect – so I just went with the flow and made sure I was prepared. We took lots of muesli bars, warm clothes and a positive attitude! Also, prepare yourself for altitude by acclimatising for a few days first. Finally, a repertoire of really good songs to sing on your way up the mountain makes for a fun and enjoyable journey,” Rachel said.
We would like to congratulate all three Duke of Ed team members on their success at reaching the top of Mt Kilimanjaro – Africa’s highest point!
Pictured above from left to right: Larry Anthony, Steph Ball and Rachel Sainsbury at Uhuru Peak