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Jonathan Briggs Climbs Kili For The Nasio Trust

“I was one of a group of seven people who climbed Kilimanjaro with the Nasio Trust in September 2013. If anyone is reading this and thinking of taking up the challenge, I couldn’t recommend it highly enough. The whole experience was amazing, and genuinely life changing.

Firstly I’ll talk about the climb itself, as for most people this is the starting point, and researching climbing options was what made the individuals in our group become aware for the first time of the Nasio Trust and the wonderful work that they do. We climbed Kilimanjaro by the Lemosho Route, a wonderful trek that gives you time to acclimatise to the altitude and experience quieter areas of the mountain while transporting you through changing terrains of rainforest, moorland heath up through wonderful landscapes of petrified lava to pure mountain terrain. It was an amazing experience most of us only having done day treks back in the UK prior to this. You go through an amazing kaleidoscope of emotions on a long trek like this, sometimes moments of self-doubt, the tiredness and segues into weariness as you climb higher and feel colder right at the end, the exhilaration you will feel after each days trekking has been achieved and when self-belief takes over to banish the doubts: “I can do this” you will tell yourself. There will be tiredness and you may get headaches as the altitude kicks in, other minor discomforts may befall you. Overriding these will be that sense of achievement when you stand on the summit in dawn’s bright rays of sunshine, the support of your fellow climbers having helped you there. The support network of Nancy and Sami who met us on arrival in Kenya and travelled with us to the mountain, from the guides lead by Heaven and the whole team of cooks and porters on the mountain, this support was incredible and humbling. Amazing bonds and lifetime friendships can be forged through an experience like this.

Kilimanjaro is amazing, but what is amazing about climbing it with the Nasio Trust? For me two things especially set the Nasio experience apart from any of the other options for climbing the mountain. The first is the care and consideration that goes into preparing you for the adventure.

The key to this is that Nasio offer a training and orientation weekend in the UK (beautiful Snowdonia for us) several weeks prior to the climb itself. We got to meet Nancy and Jonathan, Louise and John, who were able to share experiences of their work with Nasio and about the climb itself. It also allows the climbers to meet and get to know each other before the climb itself, in our case over several bottles of wine! Jonathan led us on a thrilling and challenging trek over tricky Snowdonia terrain, his guidance giving us the confidence get through and enjoy the day. The weekend gave us a good insight into not only what we could expect from the climb, and good tips for success, but also the chance to learn about the work that the Trust do in supporting HIV orphans in Western Kenya. Which brings me to the second great thing about climbing Kili with Nasio, and that is that you have the opportunity after the climb to visit the project and see at first-hand what you have raised money to support. You meet the wonderful children, the dedicated teachers and volunteers, and you can link the adventure of climbing Kilimanjaro with the help that your money can give. I think that everyone in our group came away feeling that we had achieved something special and thinking of the ways we could support the Nasio Trust in the future.”

This post is listed in Climb Stories

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