Ben Doran Mountaineer

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After all my months of training it came down to these final few hours on our summit push to the roof of Africa. My body was shaking with the cold, breathing was a huge challenge on its own with oxygen levels roughly half of that found at sea level. My legs were screaming at me to stop and as much as I wanted to call it a day I listened to that one little voice in my head that told me “you’re not finished yet” and pressed on through the wind and the cold. All the suffering was worth it when at 7:15am I reached a sign indicating that I had made it to the top of Kilimanjaro at 19341 feet. For that brief moment every ache and pain had disappeared. I was overcome with an overwhelming sense of accomplishment and pride. We spent 20 minutes at the top so we could take pictures and take it all in then made our way back down to camp. Going to Kilimanjaro was far more than a climb for me it was a life changing experience. Tanzania is a wonderful country but it was the people that made this trip what it was – our porters, guides and cooks but most of all it was our group members that made the trip special.

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