Over-60s reach their peak on Kilmanjaro

The team at the summit of Kilimanjaro
The team at the summit of Kilimanjaro

At 7am last Saturday, a group of over-60s from the Winslow area realised a dream when they saw the sun rise over Africa from the top of Mount Kilimanjaro.

With an average age of 67, the five-strong team from the Rotary Club of Winslow believe they could be one of the oldest groups to complete the climb.

Team leader Peter Gellatley from Winslow, Gary Eastman from Twyford, Nigel and Esther Turnbull from East Claydon, and Denise Myers from Winslow contended with altitude and cold during the arduous six-day challenge to climb the 6,000m mountain.

Arriving back in Winslow on Tuesday, the team met up with Rotary colleagues to celebrate their success.

Mr Gellatley said: “It was a fantastic experience but it was an awful lot harder than I think some of us expected.

“But we stuck together.

“We started as a team, we got to the summit as a team and we came down as a team.

“Because we did our acclimatisation correctly and because we’d done our training, that was why we got our whole team to the top

“Our guide, who is president of the Kilimanjaro Guiding Association, said we were the oldest average age goup he’d ever taken who all made it to to top.”

The team set off at midnight for the ascent, arriving at the rim of the crater in pitch darkness at 6am.

Pushing on, they made the summit at 7am, enjoying the view for just 20 minutes before begnning the difficult and dangerous 10-hour descent.

The group undertook the challenge to raise money for Florence Nightingale Hospice in Aylesbury, The Puzzle Centre in Middle Claydon, and Help For Heroes. They have already raised about £20,000.

Find out more or donate via the Rotary Club website at www.justgiving.com/rcowtf