Climbing Kilimanjaro; combining reality with dreams

Increasingly, more and more people have a bucket list. And why not? Having a list – whether it’s in your head or written and stuck on the fridge – of all those things you want to do/see/experience gives life it’s flavour.

However, how achievable are the items on your list?

Waking up one morning and saying: “I know, let’s walk to the moon. It will be fun.” But’s it’s not achievable, is it?

Nick Phillips has been plotting an ascent up Mount Kilimanjaro for many years now. That’s the challenge, however, many people will not be dedicated to wanting to achieve something so extraordinary that they won’t put the effort in to realise it. Not Nick though.

On 21 September, Nick leaves for Tanzania to climb Africa’s highest peak. The mountain is one of the seven summits (the highest peaks on each of the seven continents), and rises 5,895 meters or 19,340 feet above sea level. It is the tallest freestanding mountain (not part of a mountain range) in the world. Eat that Everest! Mount Kilimanjaro is the Roof of Africa.

At Oliver Myles Group, we’ll be tracking his progress and bringing you his progress between now and when he returns to the foot of the mountain after his nine-day long climb.

Kilimanjaro is known as a "walk-up" mountain. No technical skills are required and no mountaineering equipment (ice axes, crampons, rope and harnesses) are specifically demanded. The real challenge in climbing the “Roof of Africa” is altitude sickness. Walking up to such an elevation breaks many; over 50% of those who try fail to reach the top.

With this in mind, Nick began his training over 12 months ago. Nick started with a 100 mile walk along the picturesque South Downs over 3 days. A mere appetiser to the following hard yards that Nick must undertake to ensure he makes it to the summit.

Now over the course of every week, Nick runs 20 miles through the elevation changes of the South Downs. Not only is it a beautiful part of the world, it provides Nick with much needed endurance.

The body’s core is essential to us building strength throughout our entire being. To address this, Nick gets on his paddle board and attacks the English Channel as part of his regimented training and dietary plan to ensure when he starts he has the reserves to meet the sky above Africa to intertwine with the running. Nick feels better for it everyday.

Nick is raising money for British Red Cross. The British Red Cross helps people in crisis, whoever and wherever they are. They are part of a global voluntary network, responding to conflicts, natural disasters and individual emergencies. They help vulnerable people in the UK and abroad prepare for, withstand and recover from emergencies in their own communities.

Why did Nick choose the British Red Cross? His daughter, Bethany, who is 8 years old won a British Red Cross dance competition with her dance troupe and got to dance at the O2 Arena. Along the way he got to see exactly what the British Red Cross does and this inspired him to this challenge. http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=NickPhillips9

The climb by Nick is so thorough and dedicated that we couldn’t cover every aspect of the pre-climb; our next blog will on his hopes, dreams and aspirations for the climb.

Come on, Nick – we’re all behind you!