Falkirk quartet conquer Kilimanjaro and set sights on £10,000 for charities

Four Falkirk district women have completed the trek of a lifetime and are now close to raising £10,000 for charity.

Tuesday, 15th February 2022, 9:13 am

The quartet donned their hiking boots and climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in a daunting challenge for Strathcarron Hospice and Alzheimers Research Scotland.

Denise Laird, who runs her own dental practice in Grangemouth, Gill Winters and Lynn Jarvie from Carronshore, and Sara McCrorie from Linlithgow completed the 5895m trek to the summit in six and a half days.

They finally made it to Africa to the third time of asking after previously schedules were hit by the pandemic.

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The Falkirk quartet at the summit of Kilimanjaro

Denise said: “We were due to go last July, but when that fell through we ended up in Fort William to do some training - but you really can’t prepare for the altitude.”

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The quartet, all in their 50s, chose Kilimanjaro as the ultimate challenge.

They arrived in Tanzania in mid January and began tackling the Lemosho route - one of seven official routes to the summit and back - as part of a bigger group of hikers all raising funds or undertaking their own personal goal of reaching the summit.

The hikers prepare for incredible trek

Denise said: “At first we were hiking through rainforest. It was very beautiful and warm - it was no different in those first few days from doing a Munro.

“But, as you get further and further up, the air becomes thinner and it gets much tougher.”Reaching the summit also meant hiking after midnight – a truly unique experience for the foursome.

The elation of reaching the top was worth the pain.

“Seventeen people in our party and 16 made it to the summit.

At the summit

“ We stopped every hour for a drink and to make sure we were still sane!

“It really felt as if I was dreaming at time - it was quite surreal climbing in the middle of the night

“The higher you go, the harder it gets, but when you see the summit you get such a thrill. There was a real feeling of elation.”

Photos taken and a chance to drink in the stunning views, the descent quickly followed.

The group made their back back to base camp where there was an unexpected link to back home in Forth Valley.

Denise explained: “We got on the bus and went to send some postcards - the post box was made at Carron Iron Works!”

The quartet are now hoping to crack £10,000 - and with the trips self-funded, every penny donated goes to their chosen charities.

Sara has raised over £2000 for Alzheimers Research Scotland, while Denise, Gill and Lynne have £7000 for Strathcarron.

Added Denise: “We have done lots of fundraising for the hospice - it is local and it means so much to people here. We all know someone who has been affected by cancer.”

Donations can be made to both online fundraisers before they are closed.

To donate to the Strathcarron Hospice fundraiser, please visit https://www.strathcarronhospice.net/Fundraisers/killikrankies

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