Matt’s Kilimanjaro Challenge

Matt and Alex took on one of the world’s most iconic peaks – raising more than ¬£1700 that will go directly to building brighter futures with Universal Chance.

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“In October 2017, my fianc√©, Alex, and I flew to Tanzania to embark on a 7 day trek in an attempt to reach the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, the world’s tallest free-standing mountain to raise funds for Universal Chance. It was our first real experience of high altitude and true mountaineering.

We were greeted at the airport by our brilliant guides from the Kilimanjaro brothers. Abel and Nasri proved to be fantastic in helping us ascend to the top of Africa. We ascended the Macheme route and encountered constantly varying terrain, from rainforest to a mars like barren world to a glacier and experienced temperatures as low as minus 25 degrees celsius.

Each day brought more stunning views, but colder and harsher nights. After 4 days trekking we made it to base camp and prepared for our final ascent. The wind was up making sleep impossible. Our guides woke us up at midnight and within 20 minutes we were on our way. After half an hour we were passing a fellow climber being sick as a result of the altitude. At this height the level of oxygen in the air is half as much as at sea level. Our guides ensured we took our time, they fed us chocolate and tea as our energy sapped, our breathing became increasingly laboured and it felt like we were only held up by our trekking poles. The top seemed ever further away.

After 5 hours of walking uphill in the dark and freezing cold, a faint red light starting appearing at the horizon and then, when it felt like we could go no further, we made it to Steller Point, a point on the rim of the crater at the top of the mountain and the peak was in sight. Within minutes, dawn was breaking and the view was breathtaking. We made it up the last 200 metres to Uhuru Peak and felt like we were on top of the world at 5895 metres above sea level! We then spent 15 minutes taking photos and just trying to take in the incredible environment. We had made it! Two days later we were back down in Moshi, looking up at the beautiful mountain, sipping on a Kilimanjaro lager.

Thank you so much to Kilimanjaro brothers; you were amazing. And thank you all for your fantastic support.”

To further contribute, visit Matt & Alex’s JustGiving page here.