Twelve Peaks club members scale Africa’s highest mountain

The New Year was celebrated in style by the group from the Peaks Mountaineering Club who climbed Kilimanjaro and reached the summit at Uhuru on 1st January at 8.40am local time. It was a very momentous occasion for the group of twelve as everyone made it to the very top and back again without mishap. The adventure started from Dublin Airport at 6am on 28th December with a flight to Amsterdam and onwards to Tanzania, landing later that night. The next day it was into the bus and the drive to Marangu Gate, getting the licences and the start of the almost 40 kilometres climb to the top of Kilimanjaro, with Bernard setting the pace.

The New Year was celebrated in style by the group from the Peaks Mountaineering Club who climbed Kilimanjaro and reached the summit at Uhuru on 1st January at 8.40am local time. It was a very momentous occasion for the group of twelve as everyone made it to the very top and back again without mishap. The adventure started from Dublin Airport at 6am on 28th December with a flight to Amsterdam and onwards to Tanzania, landing later that night. The next day it was into the bus and the drive to Marangu Gate, getting the licences and the start of the almost 40 kilometres climb to the top of Kilimanjaro, with Bernard setting the pace.

And then it started to rain and it rained like we have never seen in Ireland and lasted for two days until the group were at Horombo Camp at an altitude of 3270 metres. Next day it was glorious sunshine, with the majestic snow-capped Kilimanjaro ahead. A very slow and steady pace was set for the long walk and climb to Kibo at 4700 metres. Then it was into the sleeping bags, rest, some food and then it was time for the last leg of the climb. Starting at 11pm local the group very slowly shuffled its way up the zig-zag path towards the crater rim. As midnight approached all the group, with guides Emmanuel and Sauly and assistant guides, formed a circle and after joining hands said a prayer for friends, family and self before resuming the upward trek. All twelve watched the sun rise on a new year on the highest mountain in Africa and reached Gilman’s Point at daybreak.

Resting a few moments it was onto the dangerous ice track on the inner crater rim to Stella point and the final stretch in bright sunshine and bitter winds to the final goal of Uhuru at 5895 metres in temperatures of minus 20 degrees. Photos were taken, hands shaken, club members hugged and after a final look it was a reverse walk to Gilman’s before the rapid drop back down the scree slope to Kibo and a well-earned rest. Congratulation are extended from the club to Kevin Bowen, Margo Kelly, Catherine McMahon, Alice Hally, Maurice Hally, Kathleen Tobin, Patricia Naylor, Gerry Cahill, Noreen Greene, Janet Lennon, Andrew Lennon and Bernard Lennon. All reached the summit and have photos and certificates to prove it in what was the adventure and climb of a lifetime.

Both walks on this Sunday, 15th are in the Knockmealdowns, with Ray Prendergast and Alvara Duggan leading the 10am walk. The noon walk will be led by Nora O’Donovan, with Sean Brackett and Fionnuala Kennedy assisting. The ordnance survey map is no. 74. More details are available from PRO Bernard Lennon at 086-2937220.

The New Year’s walking calendar got off to a flying start in the Galtees on Sunday when the noon walk, led By Sean Condon who was assisted by Joe O’Dwyer and Donal McNamara, had a huge turnout. Keeping the walk local to Cahir Sean led into the woods just outside the town and with 43 club members, including 6 new walkers, he chose the Slieveanard circuit as his route. The early walk was led by Niall Quinlivan and John Byrne and they also gave it plenty of welly, covering a good stretch of the Galtees in excellent walking conditions.