Year 12 pupil Odad climbs Kilimanjar

Posted by Sitara Bartle on 18 Apr 2024

Modified by Sitara Bartle on 18 Apr 2024

Congratulations to year 12 pupil Odad for conquering the majestic Mount Kilimanjaro! Standing at a staggering height of 19,341 feet, Kilimanjaro is the tallest peak in Africa and the highest free-standing mountain in the world. Odad's achievement is truly remarkable!

Odad commented on the experience, saying: "Over February half term I decided to take on the incredible Mount Kilimanjaro. Standing at 5895m tall, Mount Kilimanjaro is the tallest mountain in Africa and also the tallest free standing mountain in the world. I had climbed a couple of other challenging mountains before, however I knew this would be no easy task, so I decided to start my preparation 2 months in advance, where I went swimming every morning in hope of increasing my lung capacity to help prepare me for the high altitudes to come.

"Upon reaching Kilimanjaro International airport, we drove to the town of Moshi, where we spent two nights, to rest , prepare our hiking bags for the next 6 days and meet up with our guides, as well as acclimatizing slightly to the altitudes which now stood at around1000m. The next morning we were driven to our starting point with our entire support crew which consisted of 2 porters, 2 guides, a chef (AKA stomach engineer)  and a waiter. Currently we were at Marangu gate and our goal for that day was to step by step make it to Mandara huts, where we would spend the night. We were constantly reminded, to hike as slowly as possible, as to acclimatize to the increasing altitudes as best as possible. To keep drinking water and to stay positive. We carefully made our way through densely vegetated forest, streams and torrential tropical rains. The echoes of unknown wildlife surrounded us as we slid up and down the mud soaked path. After around 5 hours we came to a clearing, and now being able to see past the trees noticed we were high up and above the clouds".

Odad added: "For the next 3 days we hiked through  the colourful moorland and alpine desert, being flooded with what seemed like endless knowledge about the flora and fauna from our two guides, it was amazing to learn so much about the monkeys who raided our campsites through the night and the grass mice and lizards that scurried around our feet cleaning up our crumbs along the way, until finally we had reached the base of the arctic zone. At 12am that morning we woke up to the blistering cold, put on our layers checked our O2 stats and it was time to attempt the summit. The light from our head torches and stars caused the snow to sparkle and illuminate an almost magical path for us to follow. The little town of Moshi now seemed like a faraway planet as we could just about make out the flicker of its dingy street lamps. As cold and tired as we felt, as well as our searing headaches, our guides continued to encourage us further and further, each step we took became  more difficult and as the air thinned we felt almost suffocated, if it wasn’t for the never ending positivity from our guides we never would have made it. Just in time for sunrise we had reached the peak. We were surrounded by what seemed like a sea of snow and ice and it truly felt like we were in a whole different world. The gold and orange streaks from the sun which just felt an arm’s reach away glowed upon the mountain. All previous feelings of pain and fatigue seemed to disappear in that moment as I was overcome by happiness, adrenaline and pride in knowing I had conquered it".

He concluded: "The next two days passed quickly as we made our way down through the same paths wed hiked , what seemed like ages ago. Overall I was glad I had taken on this challenge, as it was both mentally and physical testing, allowed me to meet so many different people from around the world, extremely fun and the experience of a lifetime".


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