Charity No; CHY18456  

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13.06.2011 – Malahide Community School - Kilimanjaro

On Monday the 13th of June at 6am 11 5th year students, 7 teachers and one parent departed from Dublin airport to Kilimanjaro. 30 parents and friends came to the airport to wish the group well. Our school travelled with 18 students and parents from Belvedere College.

The group were met by Ian McKeever at the airport and an introductory briefing was held that night. The following day the 8 day trek began. We trekked and climbed towards the summit for five and a half days through rain forest and then volcanic terrain. We camped at night at various camp sites which were set up on arrival by our Sherpas. 150 Sherpas accompanied us on the trip and carried our larger bags, our tents and enough food for eight days. Our heart rate and oxygen levels were taken and recorded every morning by Ian McKeever and our doctor so that our general health on the mountain could be monitored and early signs of altitude sickness could be detected.

The weather during the day was sunny and warm but at night temperatures dropped significantly. On Sunday evening the 29th we went to bed at 7pm as we started our climb to the summit at 12am. We climbed through the night, climbing for 45 minutes at a time and taking 2 minute breaks in between. Breathing was difficult for most due to the lack of oxygen, temperatures dropped to -15 and some of the trekkers suffered the effects of altitude sickness. Sunrise at 6am lifted the spirits and all 19 trekkers from Malahide summited Kilimanjaro, the world’s highest freestanding mountain of 5895m between 7am and 8am on Monday the 20th of June.

Exhausted but exuberant bodies returned to base camp over the next day and a half. The trip was the experience of a life time for students, teachers and parents. The positive atmosphere during the 8 days was overwhelming and the feeling of achievement was indescribable.

The day after the trek we visited a local Massai community where our students got to spend time with the children of the Massai tribe and give them books, copies etc that we had brought out from Ireland.

We arrived home on Friday the 24th of June to a welcoming party of about 50 people at Dublin airport. This project was initiated by Ian McKeever and we are proud to be one of the 10 schools in the country that summited Kilimanjaro this summer. He brought 148 students, teachers and parents to Africa and all 148 summited.

Daughter to Nuala & Pat Brennan, sister to Anna and Shane, strong competitor and friend to countless people... read more about the beautiful girl that was
Laura Brennan >>