The start of my journey and the fundraising...
So I don't actually know where to start with this .. when I first saw the post for the SPF (Steve Prescott Foundation) posting up for people to join them on this amazing once in a lifetime challenge I was in Costco with my mum and I was like yes Mum I'm going to go for it ! Im going to apply... it it's always something I have wanted to do, Everest was my goal before I reach 30 (9 years left 🙄) but this was to good a opportunity to pass on so I sent my application off and waited. I got a phone call the following week saying I had been accepted and I could join them on the Mount Kilimanjaro challenge ! I was so excited that was that I was doing it . My overall target was to raise £5000 for the charity sounds easy right ? NOOO it's so much harder than what you think it is at times I thought im just not going to be able to do this , not the climb but the fundraising. There was a team of 40 of us hoping to complete Kilimanjaro and we were all trying to raise money, some people from closer to home St. Helens and others from all over the world, America, Greece, Cumbria, London all with one goal in mind, to raise £5000 each and to complete the challenge. I had to come up with some unique ways to try raise the money so I sold my calendars, what I do every year and change charity's that I feel is right for me that year... sold my signed pics (still available I'll attach links below) then my sexy bingo night came into play with the amazing Joel and his charity always with a smile. Iv known Joel for many years now, we met through modelling and weve worked together a few times were also on the cover of a published book together called Torn by Carian Cole ( check it out ) the idea of my sexy bingo was Joels its something he does to help out different charity's, The night was a huge success and we managed to raise just over £1400 ! Next I contacted company's to help me gain more sponsorship Julian Revail pageant group sponsored me to take a flag up to the top (hoping I would get there) and get a picture for him promoting his business. Also the lovey Sue Haunch of LUCAM consultancy sponsored a flag too. Then comes JJ's closet some of my nearest and dearest friends who I met a couple of years back when I started my modelling career, at the time they were working on their own business from home and now they have a absolutely beautiful shop that just keeps growing and growing. I couldn't be more great-full to everyone who gave there time to help me and sponsor me, without them I could not have done this.
So obviously I didn't have a clue what to expect I has herd the horror story's I had herd the good story's but my mind was totally open to take on what ever was coming my way. We started a Wats app group (my daily entertainment) and started talking about training that we needed to do, planning walks little trips out to smelt mill (maybe a little to much alcohol consumed 🙄) not only just to get to know these people who I would be going through the hardest challenge of my life with but to get those miles on my legs ! We also started altitude training chamber sessions and to be totally honest I actually loved them, a little bit of boxing and weights and the spin session they were very intense and the oxygen was lowered to try to get us acclimatized but still actually nothing compared to the mountain you could feel the strain on your breathing after day One! I actually dragged my mum out to do Snowden so we made a little date of it bringing along my 2 aunties and my cousin, we did Snowden had a amazing meal and stayed over in hostel (first experience and it was so good 😂) besides no sleep with my rhino snoring family ! I was in the gym training as much as I could but I wasn't actually walking no where near as much as I should of been doing I was busy with other things in my life but I knew I wanted to get to the top and the best quote I ever heard and what got me to the top "what the mind believes the body achieves"now I know for Everest (which I will do next) I will need to do a lot more training. Kilimanjaro is in fact higher but Everest is a longer trek and lot colder 😂 but that's a different chapter.. [video ] Equipment...
So I had absolutely no clue about this and I couldn't really of prepped with out the amazing Kirsty hornby who basically gave me her Uni outside activities bag and said knock your self out 🙄some things I was like no way can I ever wear that I'll look like a whopper! I didn't even own a pair of walking boots never mind base layers thermals hats. Waterproofs. 100s of good walking socks. Bridget Jones underwear (I never stuck to this rule and deeply regretted it thongs ain't for mountains) 😭 cut of walking pants.. gloves. Silk gloves (I forgot) sun hats. Honestly the list is endless the most important thing I bought well actually a few things were my camel pack for my water and my two 1L metal container bottles. My base camp sleeping bag (I hated it) it caused me more trouble than good couldn't fit anything in my bag couldn't stuff it back in my back pack but with the help of my mountain mother Laura we did it 😂 number one sleeping bag stuffer ! I took so much chocolate to munch on to keep my energy up with the long days of walking I didn't eat one bit of it, I lived of uncle joes mint balls they saved my life !I ended up giving basically all my food I brought with me away to the sharpers who are the most motivational people you will ever meet ! they will get you up that mountain ! I took so much not very practical things including fairy lights ! But they were the best thing ever in our tent on a night and I will 100% be taking them up a mountain with me again 😭
so after what felt like the longest hottest flight of my whole life we was in beautiful Africa with stone bake pizza and pineapple Fanta 😍 a good night sleep 3rd wheeling Ruby and Ste. It was time to re pack.. unpack.. re pack.. unpack and one more time for good luck, fill my water up and head of to the gates to start the best journey of my life! I felt sick, tired, hungry ,nervous and exited everything you could feel I felt it, We set of through the Rain Forrest we were walking for about a hour then camp was set up PASTA AND SAUCE all ready there waiting for us ! Fat cow me stuffed my face and threw up the whole of the 6 hours on the way up to camp, at this point I was like OMG what have I got my self into , being sick on the first day of walking TYPICAL ME ! I reached camp after everyone else but I had the best being sick stroll ever with doctor Mike , He told me so much about the Mountain we even spotted some monkeys. I really just thought this is something special I'm so happy to be here with theses amazing people , im going to give this everything I have ! I'm going to add some videos into this or I would be here all year trying to tell you everything about the climb!
Day one and two
Stella point my mental break down
I did it I got to the top!!!
This is my daily diary I wrote while on the Mountain
First day of starting the climb
I was awake At 6:30am to get ready for the first day of walking we needed to leave by 8:30am to go on a one hour drive to the gate, when we eventually got there it was like a 3 hour wait until we could go in we had around 140 porters and guides in our team to help us complete the challenge.. we started the walk around 1:15pm it's was instantly up hill, I was absolutely fine a little out of breath for the first 50 mins. We stopped to have some lunch because we had a long way to go after that I started to feel sick and dropped back from the group in front I started literally throwing up ever couple of minutes. We were already about 2000 ft when we reached our camp, I got there 10 mins after everyone else but at least I was there, we had some tea everything was all set up for us. It started to go dark really early I didn't eat any more carbs and gave all my food pack away for the day.I started to feel more positive as the day went on , we had a brief about day 2 got in our tents not many of us could sleep well at all even though we were tired it was just to cold.
Wake up 6am to leave for a 7:30 start I had a little bit of omelette for breakfast because today was a 800m climb it was so up hill constantly not knowing where it ended it was hot but not as bad as yesterday but in the rain forest yesterday it was covered so today walking I have sun burn on my face it was hard I used my sticks when we got to camp we are 3750m so were more than half way there.. we walked up to 3800m and dropped down to acclimatize. I had a rest in the tent we got to camp about 1:30pm so it was a long hard walk hard to breath at some points but the views are amazing... at 4.30pm we went for a 40 minute walk to go higher to get out body ready for tomorrow's 8 hour walk 3 hours steady incline then the rest hard climbing on lava tower at 4600m then drop back down to 4300m I think. I'm in my tent now it's absolutely freezing I have my water bottle full of hot water Between my legs and my hand feels like it's going to fall of.. the plan for the trip is shorter just so we don't have to sleep in the crater where it's -10 or below but our summit day is 18 hours long (hopefully I will make it ) I want to so bad people in camp have got altitude sickness throwing up and there's been some tears today it's been hard but I feel better than yesterday physically and mentally not looking forward to tomorrow but one step at a time long day night.
I didn't sleep at all it was so hard to breath I was panicking my chest was tight I had 2 nose bleeds and my lips got very chapped in the night we have a long day ahead walking 7/8 hours high altitude then drop down a lot but I don't have any appetite at all ... started the walk at 7:50am and arrived to camp 5ishh it was mental and physical horrid... we went to the highest point we had been to 4600ft at lava tower and then dropped down to 3950ft I actually got signal and got a text of my mum I burst out crying it was a little push I needed I felt altitude before I was being sick.... in the clouds today pretty good views my lips are awfully chapped not looking forward to tomorrows walk it's literally like 5/6 hours but where getting closer to the summit. ONE STEP CLOSER
Tonight is summit night I'm nervous as hell 18hours of something Iv never felt before
But I actually slept last night but had very strange dreams about being kid napped... today's walk was about 3 hours 20 mins I struggled the whole way with altitude it really got me, I couldn't carry my bag I was dizzy sick my belly hurt but I made it to camp ! had a nap just woke up for dinner then went and seen doctor Mike he advised me to have a dimox to reduce swelling in my face and body and to hopefully help me make it to the top, help me to acclimatize faster and help reduce headache and nausea. It's 6 hours to Stella point where we get a certificate and they then say if we can Carry on another 2 hours to summit or if we have to go back down to camp , if we get to summit then they say we have to go down and not play the football I think I can deal with that but I can't deal with not making it to the top of the mountain after all this way and hard work... 8 more hours and I could be stood at the top I really hope I can do it I feel really emotional and nervous my lips really hurt me and my ear but I can do this it's the end of phase one acclimating summit night is phase 2 let's hope we can all do it 2 people have been took down already one will be going to hospital and Ste really injured his Knee it's really emotional to see that they won't be coming up to the top with us .. I just woke up from another nap because my dimox kicked in I'm all tingly and my 2 tent girls are asleep and I'm just ley here thinking literally over my life should I have done this should I have done that said this or said that it's strange to have 40 odd people around you but feel alone with your thoughts you really figure out who's there for you and who's just there. My lips have grew again I'm going for tea soon I'm not very hungry just yet but I'll need it for tonight it's getting closer.
I never finished writing the rest of my little notes because I made it to the top and I have all the memories in my heart it was the best experience of my whole life ! Ive made the best of friends for life and I can't thank my family enough for supporting me and pushing me to make it to the top and always believing in me even though they think I'm the worlds laziest person :)
Below is my overall favorite pic of the trip this is took about half 4 in the morning half way up to Stella point I had my favorite song on, sat having a moment to my self and I will forever remember this moment