Vets Lucy Morley and Sophie Church have completed a mammoth climb to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in aid of Vetlife.
The pair who graduated from RVC together, along with a group of friends, reached the whopping 5,895 meter (19,341 ft) peak on the 20th October. Not for the faint hearted, Kilimanjaro in Tanzania is the world’s highest free-standing mountain, and due to its size, offers a variety of climate zones for hikers to overcome, including rainforest, moorland, alpine desert, and the arctic zone at its peak.
The climb, which has taken over 18 months of planning, took the pair 7 days to complete with help from guides and porters.
A true test of resilience
Commenting on the spectacular yet challenging journey, Sophie said: “The trek was a true test of resilience. It was the entire group’s ability to really support and uplift one another that really kept us on track for that summit night.
“None of our walks in Wales or the Peak District could have prepared us for the amount of rain that could fall in one afternoon on day 2, nor the soggy states of our tents and equipment that evening! But rain aside, summit night was the hardest challenge of all. A 6-hr slog in pitch black with little oxygen and energy, no more group sing-a-longs to keep the morale high, just the porters pushing us on. But it was all worth it when the sun began to rise, and we reached the summit at 06:30.”
Lucy and Sophie are both practicing vets and have seen first-hand the challenges of a busy veterinary career. For this reason, the two were keen to support Vetlife. They have raised over £1,100 for Vetlife, which will help fund our three services: Vetlife Helpline, Vetlife Health Support and Vetlife Financial Support.
Vetlife Trustee Robyn Lowe, who is the founder of the Veterinary Voices Hiking Group, said: “We are extremely proud of Sophie and Lucy for completing such an incredible challenge, and so grateful that they chose to fundraise for Vetlife. Those who are inspired to venture into the great outdoors themselves, are welcome to join the Veterinary Voices Hiking Group on Facebook which encourages the veterinary community to ‘walk and talk’ for physical and mental health. Thank you to Lucy and Sophie, and congratulations on the completion of such a challenging summit.”
How to donate
To donate to the fundraiser, visit Lucy and Sophie’s fundraising page here.