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LOCAL woman, Fiona Staniforth beat exhaustion and extreme temperatures to make it to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, raising over £2,000 for the charity, Dig Deep.
Alongside 15 other fundraisers, also climbing for the charity Dig Deep, Fiona travelled to Machame gate, at the base of Mount Kilimanjaro on Saturday 18th August, ready for the ascent up to Africa’s highest point.
Dig Deep works to help schools and communities get access to water and sanitation. They work together to build taps and toilets; to ensure that water and sanitation services are maintained for future generations, and to provide vital hygiene training to the next generation.
Day-to-day saw Fiona and the group set off each morning at 7am, hiking for between 6 and 10 hours at a time, climbing above a new layer of cloud each day.
They finally reached the summit of the mountain at 8.43am on Wednesday 22nd August after suffering from extreme tiredness and extreme temperatures.
Fiona said, “After an exhausting battle of will, I made it. I looked around and took in the view from the ‘roof of Africa’. All the feelings of having been on a mountain for the past five days, with little to no sleep, left and were replaced with a huge, overwhelming sense of achievement. There are no words to describe how I felt in that moment.
“I have come away from this experience with a greater appreciation for toilets and showers, a (slight) knowledge of the Swahili language, and a new aversion for rice…. but more importantly, I have gained a bigger than ever sense of wanderlust, a motivation to climb more of the world’s high points, and a longing to work in the future with charities, such as Dig Deep, to make a difference in the more deprived areas of the world.
“Thank you to everyone who supported me in my fundraising and climb. It really gave me a reason to push on, even when my body was screaming ‘no more’, and helped carry me to the peak of Kilimanjaro. Thank you.
“I’m currently looking for my next mountain; I’m open to suggestions!”
If you would like to help Fiona with her fundraising journey, you can donate at https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/fionastaniforth2.
Left: Fiona Staniforth at the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. Right: The celebration party after reaching the top.