THREE young women from Stonehaven have decided to mark their upcoming 30th birthdays by tackling Mount Kilimanjaro and raising money for charity in the process.
Lynne Stephens, Emma Hughes and Sarah Atkinson will set off on their adventure up the famous African peak on February 13.
The trio are paying for the trip themselves to celebrate turning 30 but they are also looking to raise funds for several Scottish Mountain Rescue teams in the process. Mountain rescue teams are all made up of volunteers and rely on donations to be able to continue to provide such a vital service.
Lynne, who grew up in Stonehaven but now lives in New Zealand, said: “We decided to mark our 30th birthday’s with something a bit different! We all love a challenge and our friendship which started in Stonehaven and Aberdeen has continued on the hills and exploring Scotland with weekend’s away.
“It seemed the natural thing for us to all do together as we love it and something to keep us fit moving into our thirties!
“We chose to support Mountain Rescue through sponsorship as I have had to call on them on behalf of family members myself, but also we are very aware of the dangers of walking when the weather can deteriorate so quickly at times.
“The rescue teams provide reassurance and support when required but also act in a timely manner with the skills and knowledge required. It is mainly a voluntary service and supporting this vital service is important for its future.”
Kilimanjaro is generally accepted as the highest ‘walkable mountain’ in the world. It is a long and hard trek, which reaches an altitude of 5,895m and as there is no way of knowing how you are going to react to altitude in advance, there is no guarantees that the girls will make it to the top.
There are six official trekking routes by which to climb Mt Kilimanjaro, namely Marangu, Rongai, Lemosho, Shira, Umbwe and Machame. Lynne, Emma and Sarah intend to take the Lemosho route, and are expected to take more than six days to complete their adventure. Kilimanjaro is often underestimated because it can be walked and is not a technical climb. However, many mountaineers consider Kilimanjaro very physically demanding.
If you would like to support the girls and help them to raise money for Scottish Mountain Rescue, visit www.justgiving.com/Killimanjaroclimb.