Siblings are on the top of the world

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Three siblings were literally on top of the world as they reached the top of Africa’s highest mountain.

Kirstie, Cameron and Sam Howard reached the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro after an ascent of over 19,000 feet to raise money for the eating disorders charity BEAT.

The teenagers chose the charity because Cameron and Kirstie are both former Mackie academy pupils and Cameron was in the same year at School as Caroline Robertson, daughter of MSP Dennis Robertson who tragically passed away due to anorexia last year.

Kirstie described the climb as an “incredible” experience and explained that despite altitude sickness they reached the top together.

She said: “ We began our 7 day trip just outside of Moshi and followed the Rongai route as guided by our team from the African Walking Company. We were surprised at how slow the pace was but we were told that wouldn’t be complaining as we got further up the mountain. The pace was so slow to help you acclimatise slowly which is very important to improve your success rate.

“We made our way to Kibo Base Camp on day 5. The views of Kilimanjaro were amazing that day as there wasn’t a cloud in the sky and we were walking straight towards it. After being given a meal which was about 3 times the size of what we were used to we got a couple of hours sleep before getting up at 11.30pm to begin our overnight summit attempt. We were wrapped up in down jackets, ski gloves, and several other layers to brave the -17 degree temperatures.

“It was a slow, steady walk to the top in darkness which was actually nice because there was a full moon and the darkness meant you couldn’t seen how far you had to go. The oxygen was only 10% level at this point so we all began to feel completely breathless.

“We all supported each other all the way to the summit (Uhuru peak). I couldn’t believe determination that came over us all when we could see the summit. The fact that so many people had donated to beat and were so supportive definitely spurred us on. What a great feeling it was to all get there together. The views of glacier were unbelievable and the general vibe from everyone at the top was fantastic - everyone was so chuffed with themselves. Climbing Kilimanjaro was an unforgettable experience and we are so pleased to have raised so much for such a great cause.”

So far, the trio have raised more then £3,200 for the charity BEAT and there are still donations to come in. They would like to thank everyone for their generosity. Their just giving page is still open for donations and if you want to sponsor them you can visit www.justgiving.com/Kirstie-Howard.