February 2018

Amanda – Climbed Kilimanjaro 

When you think back about how you brought in the New Year – it probably wasn’t quite the same as Amanda – who welcomed 2018 scaling the heights of Kilimanjaro and raising over £4,500 for Shooting Star Chase.

“I had heard wonderful things about the work that Shooting Star Chase does and I wanted to choose a local charity to me as I’m a local Councillor. When I made contact with Shooting Star Chase, I was made to feel so welcome and valued and felt encouraged for my big challenge ahead,” explained Amanda. “I’m not sure everyone believed that I could complete such a challenge being 50 and not the most athletic but I was determined to never give up.”

Not wanting to make life easy for herself, Amanda and her group took the most difficult route possible, the Machame, and completed it over just 6 days (4 days up, 2 days down), timing it so they could summit on New Year’s Day. “It was an amazing feeling to reach the top and I was determined to have a picture taken in my Shooting Star Chase T-Shirt, despite it being very cold up there and the mountain having more snow than it’s had for the last 15 years!” said Amanda.

Amanda began her training for her challenge back in April 2017, climbing everything she could in the Peak District, Lake District and the Brecon Beacons. She also climbed Box Hill numerous times as well as El Camino in the Pyrenees. “The hardest part of the challenge was getting up on New Year’s Eve to set off at 5.30am and do a 10 hour hike to ‘high camp’, over the Barranco Wall. The wall itself is tough to climb requiring you to use your hands to scramble up. We then had a few hours to rest before starting our summit attempt at midnight, in the dark and freezing cold weather. The summit took 9 hours (to reach Stella Point) and then another 45 minutes to get to the very top Uhuru Peak. Then we had to descend back to High Camp (3 more hours) and then 2 more hours back to our overnight camp – so it was a long 48 hours with no sleep. The altitude does funny things to you and this makes it tough too. I had to dig deep about 4am on summit night but luckily the twilight appeared at 5am and then the sun came up at 6am and the views were stunning.”

Karen Peffer, Challenge Events Fundraiser at Shooting Star Chase, said: “A huge congratulations to Amanda on conquering Kilimanjaro and raising such an incredible amount! The challenge sounds so very tough and we can’t thank supporters, like Amanda enough for their continued support to help raise vital funds for Shooting Star Chase.”

Amanda now has the challenge bug! “I never thought that I would say this but I found the whole experience so rewarding and amazing. I’ve now signed up for Everest Base Camp leaving on March 16th 2019 and will of course be doing this to support the fantastic work Shooting Star Chase does!”