Thank you from a parent

13th October, 2011 | by Jodi Unsworth | general

13
Oct

  This is an email sent today by one trekker to the other 18 trekkers.  Totally inspirational and heartfelt, therefore I have asked if I can share it on our blog and he has kindly agreed.  Enjoy… Team CMN, Bizarrely I found myself on the flight home from Nairobi to Heathrow unable to sleep all the way through, not because I was not completely exhausted from what has truly been an epic adventure over the past 10 days, but more I think because there was something which I wanted to say to you all and had not yet said. So I thought I would spend the time productively, to write a few lines, something which I probably could not have said directly without becoming more than a little emotional. In a rare moment of clarity, several hundred vertical metres below Stella Point, I looked around at the team in the darkness, covered head to toe in ice, all well beyond being freezing cold and clearly physically and mentally exhausted, whilst Kilimanjaro threw everything… Read more

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Final thoughts

12th October, 2011 | by Jodi Unsworth | general

12
Oct

Its incredibly hard to explain succinctly the scale of the challenge Kilimanjaro offers and what the team gets out of the expedition. Perhaps its best summed up bu Josh, who yesterday said to me that on summit night what he learned about himself was “maybe i’m not invincible after all”. (He’s our youngest member of the group, at 21 years old). Not all of us made it to summit, but everyone here faced huge challenges – planning, fundraising and training for 12 months or more before the adventure.  This was the real “charity challenge” and in this spirit i found myself last night thinking about what each member of the team brought to the trip. In no particular order then: Nick & Stu – fearlessness, grace and perfect manners at all times… Tom, Josh, Dave – laughter and wisecracks, often in the face of adversity and the ability to help the whole team defuse. Simon – comedy innuendo as well as the extraordinary ability to always know who needed help to get through the… Read more

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A girls perspective

12th October, 2011 | by Jodi Unsworth | general

12
Oct

A girls perspective By Jodi Unsworth and Kirsten Payne After what has been an epic adventure, we thought it necessary to give you a girls perspective of a once in a lifetime experience to trekking up mount Kilimanjaro. This final blog is dedicated to two men who have enabled each one of us to reach our full potential on this giant mountain. First doctor Jim! We want to thank you on behalf of the team… For waking up at 5.40am each morning to ensure us novices are fit and well for the day ahead. For Reminding us to drink lots of water and eat lots of snakes. For filling us girls with envy when you talk about your lovely wife Julia. For the times you’ve missed a hot washy-washy to do your medical rounds. For missing your lunch breaks to encourage those who are feeling weak to carry on their climb. For having the bedside manor to allow us girls to talk about pooing and weeing and quite a bit more. For going above and beyond the call of duty in trying to keep us all on the… Read more

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Day 8

12th October, 2011 | by Jodi Unsworth | general

12
Oct

Day 8 – Summit Night By Rick Parry Inevitably the big night saw me sound asleep at 11pm for the first time on the trek. Thus started an extraordinary 24 hours of which everyone will have their very personal highs and lows, emotionally and physically. I’m sure everyone had a moment when they thought they weren’t going to make it. But the story of this remarkable night wasn’t about individuals, it was about the team. Part of my life has involved building high performing teams and I’m fortunate to have seen some great successes. Tom will immediately think of Istanbul in 2005. And when you build a truly great team, ordinary people do extraordinary things. Mark Bunett, creator of the Apprentice and Survivor, started with a series called Eco Challenge, an absurdly difficult Triathlon that took place in burning deserts and deep ravines. Almost by accident Mark included a rule which said that all 4 team members had to cross the line together. And, this surprise, the focus of the… Read more

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Day 7

12th October, 2011 | by Jodi Unsworth | general

12
Oct

Day 7 – 9th October By Tom Roberts and Josh Smith Good-day (ref Bear) Sooooo… The day started at Karanga camp 400m! We were rudely awaken well before morning 6.30am by some of our fellow tent buddies moaning about lack of sleep and temperature of the night while we were snug as a bug in a rug (ref Si) in our sleeping bags. Next was breakie, which was sound and outside, so that we could appreciate our surroundings which were pretty spectacular! 8.30am or in Bear’s terms 8.30am-9.00am we started to ascend. The first section was made earlier due to the acclimatisation walk yesterday. As we continued, one of us gained weight in the rucksack department (ref David Taylor). Once to the top of the 1st section, the mountain was in touching distance but first we had to make it to4600m Barafu Hut camp which was still a good few hours away! The terrain was deceiving as it looked flat from a distance however dipped and dived, and was quite challenging in sections. Eventually we made… Read more

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Day 6

12th October, 2011 | by Jodi Unsworth | general

12
Oct

Day 6 – 8th October By Richard Fenwick Today has been a day of mixed emotions (more of that later). We awoke to see the 200m Barranco Wall riding up behind our camp. A few of us had seen it last night, so weren’t too surprised – those of the group who hadn’t seen it were a little ‘worried’. The usual morning routine was interrupted by a few extra trips to the toilet tent and the distressing news that one of our group would be leaving due to an eye infection – not beaten by the mountain tho! Goodbyes were said, then we began the ascent of the Wall. I think it’s fair to say we all found it tough going, but eventually we reached the top. A few hours later we all arrived at the next camp, almost losing smothering of the group due to a near catastrophic pole failure! A new camp (Karanga – Peanut) beckons and another acclimatisation walk under our belts…as I write, dinner is arriving so I’ll keep the rest of this brief. MIXED EMOTIONS… BAD- losing one more team member. GOOD-… Read more

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Day 5

11th October, 2011 | by Jodi Unsworth | general

11
Oct

Day 5 – 7th October A Doctors Dilemma – by Dr Jim Blackburn A departure tonight, from David’s light-hearted take on events to give you a flavour of the trip from the expedition doctor’s point of view. I’m Jim, the doctor who, as it turns out, has the privilege of accompanying this happy and go lucky mixed bag of scousers, scots and a few other assorted northern types on this epic adventure. Along with www.markkalch.com, aka Bear (as in Bear Grylls), aka captin RAB, aka Rab C Nesbitt, it’s my job to keep the team happy, healthy and fit for the days ahead. My work started before the trip, contacting the group giving basic health advice and assessing those who have pre-existing conditions. During the days here, I’m watching every member closely throughout meals, walks and evenings to keep abreast of any emerging problems or worries. I also have “evening clinic” after dinner – so far, fortunately only lightly attended and I keep an open door (open zip) policy so the team can… Read more

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Day 4

11th October, 2011 | by Jodi Unsworth | general

11
Oct

Day 4 – October 6th What would Brian do… By David Taylor Things we have learned so far: 1. “waterproof” is a lie. 2. Vaseline should make their own labels. 3. If asking a porter for a thermarest, ensure it is seen before tipping the guy $20. maybe he’s just showing you to your tent. 4. Most importantly “waterproof” is a lie. Today’s walk was in contrast to yesterday’s rain-soaked day. We were given the opportunity to appreciate our surroundings as our train snaked through the landscape. Most of our group climbed to Shira Cathedral to admire the spectacular views. We have been blessed with the best view so far. Kibo rises seemingly meters from our humble campsite behind us. Our group was beginning to suffer earlier today with some sore heads and nausea, but we seem to be coping after a quick nap and quicker washy-washy. Our doc, Jim, continues his open door policy and holds clinics for the sick, elderly and infirm. Group squadron leader www.markkalch.com continues to… Read more

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