Two or three times a year there is an informal gathering of old OW friends, all of the same vintage 1979-1984. In one such curry house gathering in November last year, a random plan was hatched to celebrate their 50th birthdays, in 2016, by climbing Mount Kenya. Mount Kenya is the second highest peak in Africa but of course much, much tougher than Kilimanjaro!
The five in question, Paul Edwards, Sam Kemp, Sam Vallings, David Granger and Nick Dennis, took three days to reach the summit which was conquered on Thursday 13th October. A home made OW flag was flown to celebrate their achievement. There is no doubt the trip was a great experience and to spend time away from home with a bunch of old friends was a treat in itself.
All agreed that the climb was much harder than we anticipated given the combined effects of our age, lack of fitness, altitude and less than comfortable camping in cold conditions and on very hard ground!
Perhaps the highlight for some of us was the daily event where, plodding along at a snail’s pace wearing all their very shiny, new expensive gear, they would be overtaken by one of their porters who set off an hour after them, carrying a rucksack 20 times the size, together with a two gallon tin of cooking oil and wearing wellies! Perhaps their achievement wasn’t as great as they thought!