MW Competition Entry Image
Kilimanjaro Climb October 2013
Raising money for Dreams and Wishes

Why we’re fundraising

We’re climbing Kilimanjaro in October to raise £50,000 for the charity Dreams and Wishes. Dreams and Wishes are a small charity who operate UK wide to help seriously ill children and their families. These children are battling serious and terminal conditions, having their lives turned upside down. At such a young age they’re already facing the prospect of their own mortality and spend much of their time in and out of hospitals. Many of the Dreams and Wishes children have put up with several treatments from injections and scans to chemotherapy and, in some cases, amputations. Imagine, at such a young age, having to live such an abnormal life compared to your friends. The parents suffer too; having to watch their child fight a condition that may end up taking their lives. Dreams and Wishes offer opportunities for children and their families to free themselves from the pain, heartache and the burden of their conditions as well as giving them lasting memories by arranging meetings, holidays or events.

What We’re Doing

The trek will commence on October 13th and last ten days however our fundraising will continue until June next year. The expedition will entail a ten 9 day trek with the aim of ensuring all of our charity climbers reach the summit 'Uhuru Peak'. What makes our Kilimanjaro different from the rest is our resident ex-Paralympian John Harris who, at 68, will be ascending the mountain in a specially designed wheelchair. John’s numerous successes include:

  • Winning Gold, Silver and Bronze Paralympic Medals
  • Taking part in five Paralympic Games
  • Torchbearer for London 2012
  • Inducted into Welsh Sports Hall of Fame
  • Awarded the honour of giving the athletes oath, an accolade that was special to him at the time and remains so today. 

Climbing the world’s highest free standing mountain is no mean feat for even the fittest person but getting up there in a wheelchair will present an enormous physical and emotional challenge.

How Challenging is Kilimanjaro?

  • Mount Kilimanjaro stretches 5,895 metres (5891ft)into the sky, making it the world’s tallest free-standing mountain and the highest point in Africa
  • Nearly 5 times higher than UK’s largest mountain Ben Nevis
  • Has a 60% failure rate
  • Out of the several routes available we’re climbing the Marangu route which has a 65% failure rate
  • Temperatures can be as high as 45°C and as low as -25°C
  • The highest point on the mountain, Kibo, is a dormant Volcano
  • There are six distinct ecological systems on the mountain: cultivated land, rainforest, heath, moorland, alpine desert and finally the arctic summit.
  • Altitude sickness is a hazard of mountain climbing. It occurs when a person ascends too quickly to acclimatize to higher altitudes. Mild symptoms include headaches, lethargy and insomnia, thus slow ascents are recommended.
  • Around 10 people die each year trying to climb the mountain

The Training

We’ve been training since we announced the trek. Obviously we’ve stepped up a notch recently; we’ve reached the top of many Welsh mountains and hills like the Garth and Pen y Fan. We’ve recently done an overnight hike in Brecon with our expedition leader. These challenges are difficult but put it into perspective what we’re going to face up Africa’s highest mountain.

You can find out more on our justgiving page

Check out our videos of John in training for the Kilimanjaro climb

The Challenge
We are trekking up Africa’s highest mountain to raise money for charity, no mean feat but an even bigger challenge for our 68 year old ex-Paralympian who will be ascending in his wheelchair. Help Us!
The Charity
Dreams and Wishes are a small charity so they don't receive a massive amount of funding. They aid seriously ill children and their families by making their dreams come true and bringing a smile to their faces during a difficult time.
The Training
For our ex-Paralympian John Harris, this will be a huge physical challenge so every weekend he and the rest of the team are travelling for hours along rough terrain in order to adapt to the mountainous land. This isn't just another charity climb; it is a test of human endeavour. John is expecting to fall from his chair a lot and will need to get out and pull himself along the ground for some parts of the journey. His only reason for doing this is to allow Dreams and Wishes to carry on their work