Town duo’s Kilimanjaro charity climb

WE MADE IT!: Kirsty and Krystyna at the summit of Mt Kilimanjaro.
WE MADE IT!: Kirsty and Krystyna at the summit of Mt Kilimanjaro.

A BRAVE mother and daughter took on the challenge of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro for charity.

Krystyna Baxter (66), a retired health visitor who worked in Kirriemuir, and Kirsty Baxter (40), a major in the army, decided to do the climb in aid of the charity Diabetes UK as some of their family and friends suffer from the disease.

Krystyna stays in Forfar and Kirsty, a former Forfar Academy pupil, is now based in Ukraine with her work.

They both trained for months before the trek, building up their strength and stamina, by running, jogging and walking.

Krystyna said: “I have always done hillwalking, but nothing like this!”

It took a total of six days to get up to the summit of the 19,341 foot mountain which, amazingly, supports a total of five eco zones: rainforest, heath, moorland, alpine desert and glaciers. They completed the challenge on Thursday, October 18.

Krystyna said: “There was a total of 11 people climbing in our group and all but one of us made it.”

The pair, who took the same route up the mountain, La Mosha, as Comic Relief walkers, were looked after all the way. Porters, cooks and guides were on hand and Krystyna added: “There was wonderful support from all of the team involved and also great support and encouragement from my daughter.”

Altitude sickness was an obvious worry for the mountaineers up Africa’s highest mountain, but luckily the group was only subject to a few headaches and an upset stomach.

Krystyna said: “The porridge and soup we were fed slipped down easily and you had to keep drinking fluids to keep yourself hydrated and alert.”

The mother and daughter duo made “friends for life” on the trek and Krystyna added: “We both had a fantastic time.”

The trip had been planned since the beginning of the year and was organised through the activity and adventure experts, Exodus. The climb itself was paid for in full, by themselves, and all sponsor money raised went in aid of the diabetes charity.

If you would like to support their worthy cause you can visit where you can donate an amount of your choice and support their chosen charity, Diabetes UK.