Islands’ Women Recall Pain Of Kilimanjaro Challenge

Amy Langdon and Ginny Hulands

Amy Langdon and Ginny Hulands

A Bryher resident has described climbing the 5,900 metre peak of Mount Kilimanjaro as “like childbirth.”

Amy Langdon is one of the three islands women who scaled the mountain as a Cornwall Air Ambulance fundraiser together with Ginny Hulands and Rebecca Douglas.

Amy says in years to come, “she’ll probably remember the best bits and not all the pain.”

There wasn’t one day when all three islanders felt in good health, Amy says. The challenge brought headaches and back pain, caused by altitude sickness.

And three of the 30-strong party from across the region had to leave the challenge when their symptoms worsened.

Amy says it isn’t really possible to prepare for a challenge like that. Trekking at night was cold and frost formed on their rucksacks, and she says the amount of dust was incredible.

But the colours of the craters at the top were stunning, she says.

They didn’t celebrate at the summit as there was a queue of other fundraisers waiting to have pictures taken, but Amy says they did have a bottle of beer when they reached their hotel.

Bryher local Kathy Stedeford paid for the celebratory drink. She gave the women an envelope with the instruction not to open it until they’d finished the climb.

Amy believes the best part of the challenge is that combined group of 28 people raised £70,000 for the charity which will fund around 40 air ambulance flights.

On their return, Amy and Ginny met some women in Truro who are climbing the mountain next year.

The best advice they could impart was to take facial masks and oilbas oil to disguise the smell in the toilets.