Crowning glory for climbers


LOCAL uncle and niece adventure duo, Jim Newton, Leongatha and Kristy-Lee Jones have successfully summited Mt Kilimanjaro, the world’s tallest free standing mountain in Tanzania, East Africa.

Jim and Kristy-Lee climbed the Machame route that took them seven days, summiting to Uhuru peak at 7am on  July 17. With temperatures of up to -22 degrees the climb is definitely no walk in the park but both agreed the breathtaking sunrise and stunning views of the glaciers is well worth the challenge.

Reflecting on the summit climb and Kristy-Lee said, “It is hard to explain, no words or photos will give the experience justice.

“The overwhelming feeling of happiness and seeing one of nature’s beauties literally leaves you feeling on top of Africa”.

Jim said,  “It was one of the hardest things I have done, I suffered some minor altitude sickness with a headache and it definitely got the heart pumping at times but it was one of the best things I have done in my life and I loved doing it with little pocket rocket (Kristy-Lee).

Jim and Kristy-Lee have been travelling East Africa for the past three and a half weeks with Nathan Taiaroa, founder of the Adventure Out Loud, an Australian based tour company specialising in delivering authentic travel experiences.

The adventurous duo also hiked up the world’s coolest temperature active volcano Ol Doinyo Lengai, located in the Gregory Rift, south of Lake Natron in Tanzania. Standing at 2,980m above sea level, the climb took 16 hours to summit and descend and proved the perfect training for the big Mt Kilimanjaro climb.

“It was quite the hike being so steep and definitely challenged all who climbed but what an experience it was,” Kristy-Lee said.

“The view from the crater at the top just after sunrise was spectacular, I remember standing up there and looking back down over the plains and feeling a great sense of achievement. It was amazing.”

As part of their African adventure Kristy-Lee and Jim fundraised to sponsor a full year’s education for three students who are living in the Kibera Slum, Africa’s largest urban slum and one of the world’s biggest slums.

Kristy-Lee was fortunate enough to meet one of her sponsor’s aunts at her home.

“There are not too many times where I am lost for words, seeing the difference your sponsorship can make and having that personal connection when visiting the aunt’s home was overwhelming and I struggled to hold back the tears,”  Kristy-Lee said.

Jim agreed and said, “No one should have to grow up in an environment like that in the Kibera Slum, yet they make the most out of nothing and still manage to enjoy life”.

Both Jim and Kristy-Lee could not speak more highly of the experiences and friendships created whilst stepping in to the shoes of those living in the Kibera slums all thanks to the relationships Adventure Out Loud has built with The Mirror of Hope, a community based organisation dedicated primarily to serving AIDS – affected children in Kibera Nairobi.

Prior to departing on their east African adventure the Leongatha Newsagency generously donated a significant amount of stationary and stickers to give to students in East Africa. The stationary supplies were welcomed by many schools including the East Meru Community School, opened in 2012 to offer a free education to students from disadvantaged families.

Jim was not only in his element using his concreting skills around the school but he also loved the interaction with the students.

“The energy and infectious smiles you see when playing with the students is so warming, you cannot help but be a big kid yourself and join in on the little things in life that you take for granted in your day to day living,” Kristy-Lee said.

After an incredible month in East Africa, full of so many memorable moments, the duo are set to fly back to Australia on Wednesday, both with warm hearts, big smiles, many stories to share and of course planning their return to East Africa in the not too distant future.

Leongatha’s intrepid adventurer Jim Newton and niece Kristy-Lee Jones will return home this week after climbing the world’s tallest free standing mountain Mt Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

Leongatha’s intrepid adventurer Jim Newton and niece Kristy-Lee Jones will return home this week after climbing the world’s tallest free standing mountain Mt Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=19279

Posted by on Aug 9 2016. Filed under Featured. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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