Mount Kenya team conquer 4,979m summit for the Foundation!

Dan Mew

On Monday 6th June, a team of six adventurers embarked on a charity challenge to climb Mount Kenya, the tallest mountain in Kenya and second-tallest in Africa, on behalf of African Adventures Foundation. This was by no means the start of their journey, however, as the team had been fundraising and training for a number of months beforehand.

After touching down in Nairobi on Tuesday morning and enjoying a scenic route through the Rift Valley, Phil, Rikki, Ricky, Adam and Lily spent their first day in Nakuru, where they visited African Adventures’ flagship project, The Walk Centre. Here, they got to meet the project staff and children and were faced with the reality of what this challenge was all about; raising funds for projects like The Walk Centre and raising awareness of the importance of the work African Adventures does and the positive difference it makes to people in Africa and the UK. Nikki joined the group at this point, as she had already been in Kenya for a week volunteering with Derby County Community Trust.

The Walk Centre - Mount Kenya Charity Challenge 2016

The following day, the group were all charged and eager to start the climb so off they went. The team spent four days climbing the Naro Moru Route, gradually making their ascent to the Point Lenana summit at 4,979 metres. There were some hurdles along the way, and a couple of practice runs, hiking for several hours up the mountain to then come back down again to rest for the night; all part of the altitude training!

Mount Kenya Charity Challenge 2016
The group on day 1 of the climb – all set and ready to take on the mountain!
Mount Kenya Charity Challenge 2016
Nikki  on day 2 of the climb after trekking through the dense forest before reaching the rolling moorlands of Mount Kenya.
Mount Kenya Charity Challenge 2016
Reaching the Met Station at 3,040m at the end of day 2.
Mount Kenya Charity Challenge 2016
Day 3 (above) – altitude training before trying for the summit on day 4. (Below) breakfast with a view!

Mount Kenya Charity Challenge 2016

Mount Kenya Charity Challenge 2016
Day 3 – Ricky reaching Naro Moru River lodge in the PM after a long trek!

On Saturday 11th June, the team were up at 2am and trekked through bitter, icy winds to finally reach the summit at sunrise. With good morale and motivation amongst the group, they successfully reached the top and celebrated with a team photo, taking in the breathtaking scenery of the beautiful surroundings of Mount Kenya National Park and beyond.

Mount Kenya Charity Challenge 2016

Ricky Adams, one of the Mount Kenya team reflects on the climb having returned home:

“Finally! I’m home, the experience was a million percent worth it and I have no regrets whatsoever. I have met and plan to keep in touch with some of the most amazing and inspirational people ever. As a team, we took care of each other, respected each other and always had a laugh and kept each other smiling.”

Mount Kenya Charity Challenge 2016

Lilly John also reflects on the past week:

“After what can only be described as an emotionally, physically and mentally demanding week, we did it! I am so proud of what [the group] accomplished together during our Mount Kenya Charity Challenge!”

This has been an incredible achievement for the team and between them they have raised an amazing £8,500 for African Adventures’ partner projects in Ghana, Kenya and Zanzibar. There are some big goals to work towards over the next couple of years and some of these include; the construction of a new primary school at The Walk Centre, the installation of piped water and septic tanks at projects in Kenya and the continuation of a two-storey, eight-classroom block at Dedzidi Community Complex in Ghana. All of these will be part-funded from what the team have raised through this charity challenge.

On behalf of everyone at African Adventures and African Adventures Foundation, we would like to say a massive congratulations and thank you to Phil, Rikki, Ricky, Adam, Lily, Nikki and of course Fred (a fantastic host as always) for being part of this journey! We look forward to sharing with you the progress at our partner projects, thanks to your amazing efforts.

“If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”  ~ African Proverb

You can join the 2017 climb by visiting the Mount Kenya Charity Challenge or emailing Tom, the Projects and Foundation Co-ordinator.