Laura Climbs Kilimanjaro For Marie Curie Cancer Care

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“I has to pay all my own travel and expenses to get there, but I managed to raise over £2300 for my nominated charity, Marie Curie Cancer Care. Although you did not have to be superfit I did have to do some training to get in good shape and make sure I was healthy. Climbing to altitude is quite demanding and you do need to be on your toes. [caption id="attachment_30850" align="alignleft" width="400" caption="Well done! Laura Mageean pictured at the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. "][/caption] “And climbing this mountain takes you through some amazing landscapes from low rolling hills to the actual foothills of the mountain itself just prior to the climb. “I flew from Belfast International to London and met up with those going on the trip and then flew off to Niarobi in East Africa. From there we travelled to the lower slopes of Kilimanjaro, passing through rural villages where we saw the incredible poverty and hardship of the African people. “We moved on up to the higher ground from sunny weather to mists and rain and it got a lot colder as we went up in altitude. There were about 30 of us on the trip altogether and we experienced all sorts of weather from brilliant sunshine to snow and ice. We had porters helping us with much of the essentials and we each carried our own personal items in a rucksack. “Once our group were on the real climb on lower Kilimanjaro, we had to  spend four days trekking to the basecamp. Some people suffered from altitude sickness even from an early stage. It did not affect me until the final stages of the climb two hours from the top. The actual assent was four days and the last stage took eight hours. “By then the nausea headaches and aches had started. But if that was not all, the weather broke from the misty rain to snow and hale stones and wind. It was tough going up the mountain, and some climbers actually turned back as it was [caption id="attachment_30852" align="alignright" width="259" caption="Laura Mageean who climbed Mt Kilimanjaro."][/caption] so demanding. But I battled on and reached an area that levelled off  called Stella Point. It got easier then I looked up a gentle slope and could see the sign that said that was the summit. That gave me all the determination I needed to pull myself on, and I made it. “Our guide was seriously thinking of calling the climb off as the snow and ice were proving to be a serious problem with most of us. It was so cold at the top of the mountain that my camera even froze! The wind chill factor was -15 degrees Celsius.” This was certainly a life-shaping experience for Laura who added, “I would recommend this type of adventure for everyone. I would do something like this again, but I don’t think I will be going back up Kilimanjaro! I am delighted to have raised funds for Marie Cure Cancer Care. “I really enjoyed this experience. I did not know anyone when I went on the trip but we all became great friends in the short time and we all encouraged each other on.” You can check out Action Challenge at: www.actionchallenge.com]]>

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