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
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
|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