Climbing colleagues Samantha and David set their sights on Kilimanjaro after Christmas

Samantha Westaway, left, and David Harwood are in training for their Kilimanjaro climb.

Samantha Westaway, left, and David Harwood are in training for their Kilimanjaro climb. - Credit: Archant

Have you ever thought about trying to tackle Africa’s highest peak? A pair of amateur adventurers are going to attempt it for charity just after Christmas – even though one of them is afraid of heights.

The two intrepid climbers are Samantha Westaway, 33, from Stotfold, and 36-year-old David Harwood from Baldock.

They’re going to scale Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania between December 28 and New Year’s Day in aid of the Sue Ryder care home at Stagenhoe.

David said: “You know when you’re at a point in your life where you want a challenge, an adventure – something away from the nine to five – and I wanted to do something for charity.

“My mum’s worked for the local Sue Ryder shop for 14 years, and I thought it was about time I got in and did something too.


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“I thought about the Three Peaks Challenge and things like that, but Kilimanjaro was the ultimate goal. It’s come around pretty quick, but we’re set.”

Sam’s motivations for taking on the 4,877-metre (16,001-foot) climb are similar.

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“I don’t think I’ll ever have the chance to see something like this again,” she said. “It’s a life-changing opportunity.

“The added benefit is all the money we raise will go to the Sue Ryder facility.

“I signed up and Dave happened to write on Facebook a few days later that one of his goals for the next year was to climb Kili, so I got in touch and it went from there.

“We fly out on Boxing Day and on the December 28 we begin the climb.

“The aim is the summit on New Year’s morning as the sun comes up.”

About 40 people are taking part, all to raise money for Sue Ryder in the challenge.

“I’m going to be fighting two fears out there,” said David.

“One is tarantulas and the other is that I am scared of heights.

Sam said: “We have an expensive kit list. In terms of food we’re really lucky – we’re accompanied by a team of porters who prepare all our food for us.”

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