We are delighted to announce that Derek Mahon successfully reached the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro at 06:45am on Wednesday 2nd of August and is now safely back in Ireland.
Congratulations Derek and thank you for taking us along the journey.
Derek set off to reach the 3rd summit of “The 7 Summits” challenge on Thursday 27th July 2017, having previously already summited Mount Everest and Mount Elbrus.
Derek is fundraising for mental health charity GROW Ireland.
On behalf of The Panel, well done Derek!
3 down – 4 to go!
I travelled via Addis Ababa to Kilimanjaro International Airport and arrived on the 28th July. Having taken an additional rest day we started climbing on Sunday the 30th.
From 1,870m at Kinapa we trekked to the Mandara Huts at 2,720 m through equatorial and mountain rain forest where we spent the night, amongst the friendliest mice you will ever find in a hut!
After breakfast on the 31st we trekked for the Horonbo Huts at 3,720m through a mix of rain and alpine forests. It was dull, grey and wet! Not at all comfortable or expected given Kilimanjaro is only 4 degrees from the equator. Having spent only one night at Horonbo (again with our friendly mice), where most climbers take an additional day for acclimatisation before heading higher, we left for Kibo at 4,720m on the 1st. This took 5 hours and for the first time in days we enjoyed some sunshine and warmth as we trekked through alpine desert to pre glacial and volcanic desert before reaching Kibo in the mid-afternoon. We ate and rested and decided to depart for summit on the 2nd at 2am. The rest of the camp left at midnight. We summited at 06:45am having passed many of the midnight climbers en-route. We saw 6 people turn around during the climb and believe many more did also. Through Stella and Gilman’s Point the summit beckoned. We pushed on as best we could to reach summit for sunrise which was magical. I took so many photos and some videos and was delighted to have reached my 3rd summit of my 7 Summit Challenge.
We remained on the summit for 30 minutes before descending again to Kibo. Having eaten we discussed another summit, sunset this time, but one of our team members had picked up an injury and with the weather forecast predicting high wind and snow and also a death of an Englishman near Kibo, we then decided against another climb and descended to Horonbo for the night. We departed Horonbo early next morning with the aim of passing through Mandara and onto Kinapa which generally takes 6 to 7 hours. We were at Kinapa in 3 hours 35 minutes!
It is great to be back off the mountain and I looked forward to a beer, food, warm shower, a soft bed and of course, no mice!! …
I arrived home on Sunday morning at 05:45am and I have already started planning my next climb to Aconcagua in South America in February.