Five day trek takes Margaret and friends – and the Link magazine – up Africa’s highest mountain.
Thanks to Margaret Nicholson, chair of the Mad March Hare organising committee, for packing the February edition on a trip to Tanzania to climb 5,895 metres up Africa’s highest mountain, Mt Kilimanjaro.
The five day trek took Margaret and 8 friends through farmland and pine plantations onto a plateau of moorland and desolate landscapes, always with amazing views of the mountain.
Margaret said things got tougher the closer they got. “As we reached higher levels the inevitable altitude sickness began to kick in. There were times of real discomfort and we had no choice but to take it really slowly. With the encouragement of our guides and each other we kept a positive mental attitude. On the last morning we were up very early in the darkness and after eight hours climbing the summit loomed into view.”
Eunice Salmon and Jacqueline Kirwan from Swindon achieved Gilman’s Point on the edge of the Kilimanjaro crater and Margaret went another 300 metres to Uhuru summit.
Fundraising for Breakthrough Breast Cancer and Great Western Hospital breast care unit
Eunice was raising money for Breakthrough Breast Cancer and Jacqueline was fundraising for the Great Western Hospital breast care unit.
Margaret said: “The sense of achievement was immense but at the summit you feel very humble too, as you are dwarfed by the vast glacier that clings to the top and side of the mountain. This trek was the toughest challenge I’ve undertaken – so far.”
Swindon Mad March Hare
From the freezing chill of 5,895 metres Margaret, Eunice and Jacqueline returned to sub-zero Swindon to help with the organisation of the Mad March Hare in aid of Breakthrough Breast Cancer on 24 March.
Some 500 runners and walkers took part including a large group from Bridlewood Primary School who ran or walked in support of headteacher Jo Garton who has been undergoing treatment for breast cancer.
Jo wrote on her Facebook page: “I’m very proud to work with a fantastic group of people who, despite the cold, raised more than £1,000 for Breakthrough Breast Cancer today.”
See more pictures at www.bit.ly/MMH-2013
Pictured, top: Margaret wearing her Mad March Hare sweatshirt on top of Kilimanjaro holding Swindon Link magazine.
Bottom: Jo Garton, centre, with childen, staff and parents from Bridlewood Primary. Photo: Richard Wintle www.calyxpix.com