Climbing Kilimanjaro in Sept 2011 is definitely the most mentally challenging event I have ever taken part in. You need to be physically fit and well equipped with a range of clothing and equipment. However the biggest challenge was the altitude sickness and nothing can prepare you for that. I would highly recommend to anyone who is planning to do this or a similar trip to make sure you are with a reputable and experienced guide company, and if you are not used to this type of altitude that you take your time going up and take the longer trip of 6-8 or 10 days. Our trip was less than 5 days, reaching the summit on day 3 and unfortunately most of our group of 17 got very ill as we didn’t have enough time to adjust to the altitude. As a result this was not as an enjoyable adventure and was defiintely a test of mental and physical strength. It was however an educating experience and I feel I can now advise people who wish to take part in a similar trip on the do’s and don’ts of a trek like this.
On the plus side, we raised funds for this charity and assisted in raising awareness of cystic fibrosis in Ireland.