A Kingston student reached the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro after overcoming some of the toughest mountain conditions in 25 years.
Creative writing and history student, Josh Clinch, 28, succeeded in reaching the summit of Kilimanjaro despite facing the challenges of the mountain in August in aid of clean water charity Dig Deep.
Mount Kilimanjaro had an unusual amount of snowfall this year, and particularly strange weather patterns, making it the toughest conditions seen in 25 years.
Clinch said: “Looking back it was great and it was way more than just the difficult parts. Kilimanjaro is a beautiful place and I met a whole range of wonderful people among our group from Dig Deep, out amazing porters, and other climbers all who helped each other as we climbed.”
Clinch, who suffered from attitude sickness, climbed the mountain as a fundraising trip that Dig Deep holds for universities every year.
“Some people when they got to the top cried, but when I finally got to the top, I was just so tired,” said Clinch.
“The altitude sickness gave me a bitch of a headache and trying to eat was an absolute chore. I don’t know if anyone threw up before summit night but I remember to the side seeing where others had thrown up. I remember wanting to but not being able to.”
Clinch says that even though the climb was tough, he is proud his accomplishment and the help he was able to give Dig Deep.
Clinch and the group took six days to summit the mountain.
“For me the toughest day was acclimatisation day to Lava Tower at 4,630 meters,” said Clinch. “Some people had headaches and trouble sleeping before this but the altitude didn’t really hit the group until the climb up to Lava tower.”
Kilimanjaro is the largest freestanding mountain in the world at 19,340 feet, and has rapidly changing temperatures.
Altitude makes it one of the most difficult mountains to climb, and 50 per cent of climbers suffer from mild to severe altitude sickness.
Dig Deep’s challenges have over 90 per cent success rates with their fundraising climbs and do important work with rural communities in Africa, providing clean water and sanitation.
Senior logistics officer for Dig Deep, Simon Franklin said that they work with incredible support teams of guides and porters up the mountain.
Kilimanjaro is known for the rapid variations in temperature, the highest temperature at the summit reaching to minus one.
Clinch raised over £3,000 for Dig Deep.
Dig Deep will be holding an information evening at Kingston in the near future for their next mountain climb challenge.