In Jan 2015, I planned to climb Aconcagua, in the South American Andes. It’s the mountain in the background of this website. It is the tallest mountain outside Asia at 6962metres (22841 feet) and the 2nd highest of the 7 summits taking 3 weeks to summit. It became my next mountain expedition after completing Mount Kilimanjaro in 2011. I’ll need crampons and an ice axe in case I start sliding off the edge as it’s still snow covered and has high winds!
Unfortunately, my father-in-law John was diagnosed with brain cancer 5 months before departure. I postponed my expedition. The team I was going to climb with didn’t make the summit due to weather. Two very experienced French climbers lost fingers from frostbite. Sadly, John died a year later. Then we moved house and started a 2 year renovation project. So, as of early 2017 I still haven’t made it to the top of Aconcagua yet…but the mountain is still there as you can see from one of the team members Garry Strider who reached the summit on his 2nd attempt earlier this year.
Background to Aconcagua Expedition
In October 2011 I summited Kilimanjaro, the tallest mountain in Africa, for GivingAfrica.org. On summit night we had the worst weather our guides had seen in 150 climbs, several didn’t reach the top and it wasn’t by any stretch of the imagination a pedestrian long walk. It was the hardest thing my mind and body has had to endure. See the videos here sharing stories of both Burkina and the climb.
Thanks to your previous support, our team raised almost £100,000 and with the £12k raised from the justgiving campaign so far (target £22,841 for a £1/foot). We opened the school and it’s now doing well with pilots of vocational programmes run in 2016.
I did 1000 miles of training for the expedition, rowing 5-10km 3 times a week, doing Tabeta and hiking 12 miles a week with my 2 year old on my back, to build stamina and strength. I completed a 40km in a single day in September’13 and in September’12.
In 2014, Pip and I lived on eating with just £1/day of food each (the UK equivalent of extreme poverty). The sponsorship money is going towards this bigger challenge. I budgeted about £5.5k for my costs – but donations go straight to charity.
It would be fantastic support and motivation for me and the children in Burkina Faso if you could consider sponsoring me. If you fancy joining me for this climb, let me know.