Chris’s Kilimanjaro Trek for Treloar’s
Each year, we have to raise around £2 million to provide our students with access to the specialist equipment, opportunities and staff that give them the confidence and skills so they can realise their full potential in life.
We can’t do it without the help from our supporters.
There are numerous ways to get involved and help us raise money for children and young people at Treloar’s: we host various events throughout the year, we have charity marathon places on offer, there is TRELOTTERY or our Maxi Sky Hoists Appeal.
There are also active challenges, both in the UK and abroad, that everyone can take part in and raise some funds for Treloar’s. And this is how Chris, dad to one of our students, decided to support us.
It was around the time when Chris’s son, Alex, turned six months, that Chris started having back pains and was advised to exercise. That’s when his adventure with trekking began.
In recent years, Chris has conquered some of the UK’s tallest peaks, but then decided to do a trek in aid of Treloar’s. The Kilimanjaro Trek was his first overseas trek.
“I thought it was time to up the stakes a little if I was going to be asking people for donations, so I am going to be tackling Mount Kilimanjaro, a mere five times taller than Snowdon and the highest mountain in Africa, in September 2023. There will be rainforest, snow, altitude, and mountain camping during the nine-day trek, but I’m looking forwards to it and training has begun in earnest!”
“As a father to Alex, an amazing, jolly, but profoundly physically disabled nine-year-old, I am acutely aware of how much support disabled children need: physically, emotionally and through all kinds of specialist input. Alex, along with all his schoolmates, receives all of this and more at Treloar School, and in the current difficult economic environment, I want to do a little bit extra to help the school continue to provide all the brilliant activities they possibly can, helping all the children to live full, interesting and exciting lives.”
How to prepare for a trek?
Chris said: “You have to be well overprepared both physically and mentally. I started training in January as I knew that we would have Alex to care for over the summer holidays, so I would not be able to spend all summer preparing. So up until June, I’d been focused on an intensive training regime. Below you’ll see an image from my fitness tracker. Green circles are hikes (big circle = long hike); red are gym work; blue are 1km swims. Year to date I’ve travelled 777km as the crow flies and climbed 21,000m, over 3x the height of Kili. Before the end of July, I did over a thousand kilometres; I spent August going through the kit, sorting out the equipment for the trek.”
Chris’s busy training week in June
After his trip to Wales in June, Chris said: “4am start on Monday, drive up to Wales then up Snowdon via the Watkin path in 1h48 and then back down the south ridge. Up early Tuesday and had another go via the Rhyd Dhu path, but conditions were so bad I had to turn back at about 800m up as I hit the Bwlch Main ridge, which wasn’t safe with 45mph winds and 10m visibility. Felt fine afterwards, so feeling in pretty good shape for Kili, just have to keep pushing on through the summer!”
Chris’s took his preparation for the trek seriously: he spoken to people who had done treks like this, did altitude training. He knew what to expect. He did his research. With no contact with his family for two weeks and no access to the Internet, Chris knew that it was absolutely crucial to prepare for the trek. The gear had to be right and the mindset – being positive was the key. Drinking five litres of water per day to keep his blood thin to avoid altitude sickness, Chris took every day as it came and stayed positive right until the end. To the question about the most difficult part of the trek, Chris responded:
“Being away for two weeks was the most difficult part, Susie at home with Alex was the trickiest part to reconcile; but being a parent to Alex provides you with a lot of strength.
“Seven days trekking across the beautiful, remote Northern slopes of the mountain, through rainforest, alpine grasslands and stunning vistas of volcanic rock, followed by a summit push up the last 1000m of steep shale that began at 10pm and ended at 7am as the sun rose. All the altitude training came to bear on that final climb to the top, but standing on the summit of Africa made the whole year’s preparation worth it! Massive thanks to everyone who donated, and the wonderful group of people who helped me to get there!
Chris’s Kilimanjaro trek raised around £4,000! It’s not too late to support Chris and contribute to this amount: donate here.
Ways to support us
If the story of Chris has inspired you and you would like to start supporting Treloar’s, visit our page and find out how you can get involved.