News January-March 2012

Rainy season climb for two charities
Posted by Henry at 7:07 pm, March 14th 2012.
In 25 May this year a team of 12, put together by one John Taylor, who will be leading a charity trek up Mount Kilimanjaro with the aim of raising £50k for charity. The two charities concerned are Helen & Douglas House, who provide respite care for families with disabled children in their specialist care centres; and Iain Rennie, who provide respite care for those same types of families in their own homes.

The trek is of particular personal interest to John who himself had two disabled children who both sadly passed away in the past seven years. The support these two organisations gave him and his family was invaluable and it was this that inspired John to arrange this event, in order to return that support.

The team consists of the following participants:
Annaliese Taylor
Alan Rogers
Alan Sharpe
Chris Reynolds
Duncan Hawkes
Jen Burns
John Taylor
Lee Angel
Matt Grant
Melinda Livett
Siân Isaac

Their target is an ambitious one: to raise £25k for each organisation. They have, however, been buoyed by some healthy early donations to the just giving websites from colleagues, friends and family. As part of the fundraising activity they will also be holding a Charity Dinner on 10 May in London.

The following two just giving links give more details on the trek (and of course, are also where you can pay!):

Iain Rennie Hospice At Home

Helen & Douglas House

We do of course wish them well – go on, give them some money!

A successful proposal atop Kilimanjaro
Posted by Henry at 7:52 am, March 6th 2012.
I recently received an email from a client, Rod Colianni, who climbed with us at the beginning of last month (February 2012). As with all trekkers, the moment that Mr Colianni reached Uhuru Peak was one of great personal joy and an overwhelming sense of achievement. However, for Rod, reaching the summit was only one of three tasks that he’d set himself that day. I’ve reprinted the email in full, below, to let Rod tell you the story himself:

“Hello Henry

Just had to send you this email as a follow-up to our trip. Jena and I both agree that our expectations of this climb and safari were greatly exceeded in each and every category. We are also sure that the Canadian couple who went with us, Alix Pearce and John Peterka would agree. Of course, a highlight of the trip was that all 4 of us made it to the top. It was a busy event for me at the top as I was able to honor the memory of my grandma by scattering some of her ashes and asked Jena if she would marry me. With great happiness and joy she said yes! If you are interested, I uploaded the video of the proposal on YouTube. It is titled, “Mount Kilimanjaro Proposal” and even has a great song and dance by the lead guide James. If there is a way that James could get this email and/or be able to see himself doing the song and dance on You Tube, that would be fantastic. By the way, if Team Kilimanjaro could clone James so he could be the lead guide on all of the trek’s, Team Kilimanjaro would be the biggest and best in the business.

Thank you for everything!
Rod Colianni”

Congratulations, of course, go to both Rod and Jena! And thank goodness you both made it to the top – one wonders what Rod would have done had either of them not been there at the summit!

Kilimanjaro’s got a new sign!
Posted by Henry at 4:08 pm, January 22nd 2012.
It’s true! For years trekkers have struggled against the elements and their own human frailties in order to conquer Africa’s highest mountain – only to be met by a tatty, beaten wooden sign, adorned with stickers and the odd bit of graffiti and draped with some rather miserable-looking Tibetan flags. It appears, however, that those good people at KINAPA (the Kilimanjaro National Park Authority) have decided that the mountain needs a makeover, and have replaced the sign with a rather smart metal number. You’ll start to see this appearing in our Hall of Fame as people achieve the summit and send in their photos.

I suppose the change was inevitable – that old wooden number has been standing there for years, and certainly since I first climbed in 2001. And at least the new sign isn’t as garish or as tasteless as some had predicted. My only question is: what happened to the old one?

Would love to get my hands on that….

Kilimanjaro news stories April-June 2012 >>