Warminster man's got summit to be truly proud of
Altitude sickness and exhaustion were just some of the hazards overcome by Waminster husband and father Simon Pope on his way to conquering Mount Kilimanjaro.
The 39-year-old, who lives in Giles Hollow with wife Elle and their two boys Ben, 10, and Tom, eight, took on the challenge after seeing an advert in a magazine.
Mr Pope joined a group of 15 attempting to climb Africa’s highest mountain for children’s charity Compassion, which is a Christian sponsorship organisation dedicated to the long-term development of children living in poverty around the world.
The group set off on January 31, flying from Heathrow to Nairobi, where they visited a Compassion project, before travelling to Tanzania for the start of the six-day trek on February 2.
Mr Pope, who works in IT, said: “I wanted a challenge and when I saw it advertised I thought I would go for it. I asked my wife and I was expecting more of an argument, but straight away she said I should do it.
“As I spend most of my working day sat at a desk, I did do a lot of training beforehand, going on regular walks, but the biggest thing is the altitude and that’s something you can’t do much about.
“Seeing the Compassion project and meeting the children who will benefit beforehand was really good as it gave us the drive to go on.
“We went up the mountain slowly to get used to the altitude and it seemed to work for me as I didn’t really have any sickness until the last couple of hours, which were a struggle, but the effects quickly wore off on the way down.”
He was one of nine people to climb the 5,895 metres to the summit, with some dropping out due to altitude sickness and injury. As a group they have so far managed to raise more than £35,000 for charity.
Mr Pope added: “It was an amazing experience and it has motivated me to keep raising money for the charity.”
To donate, visit www.kilimanjarochallenge2014. wordpress.com