Stevenage woman, 69, ‘crackers’ for climbing Kilimanjaro

Easy does it: Kate tackling Mount Kilimanjaro.

Easy does it: Kate tackling Mount Kilimanjaro. - Credit: Archant

Ahead of her 70th birthday next year, a fitness-shy woman has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania – Africa’s highest peak – to raise more than £800 for charity.

Kate Hart from Stevenage climbed Mount Kilimanjaro for two charities close to her heart at the age o

Kate Hart from Stevenage climbed Mount Kilimanjaro for two charities close to her heart at the age of 69. - Credit: Archant

Kate Hart, of Hazelmere Road in Stevenage, said her husband ‘thought she was crackers’ when she announced she intended to climb to more than 18,000ft for charities Invest in ME and The National Osteoporosis Society.

She said: “I’m somebody who takes a bus into town, and have never attempted anything like this before, but I was determined to complete this challenging trek and trained for 18 months.

“I started walking from home to the lakes at Fairlands Valley Park, which is about two miles, and increased it from there.

“I had planned to do the climb for my 70th birthday next year, but I was ready this year.”

Kate Hart at the top of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Kate Hart at the top of Mount Kilimanjaro. - Credit: Archant

Kate, along with her sister Maureen, 65, and brother-in-law Simon, 67, took six days to complete the Lemosho route to the top of Kilimanjaro, and a day and a half to climb back down.

Kate said: “It was a lot harder than I thought it was going to be. I thought it was a walk, but it was more of a climb and it was frightening at times. I found it very hard because it wasn’t what I expected.

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“It was the altitude that defeated me – the breathing and my heart rate. The last 100 feet took me four hours to walk. I was just exhausted.”

Kate has raised £848.71 – more than double her £400 target – for the two charities, which she chose to support because two close family members suffer from the debilitating conditions.

Kate is determined to keep her fitness levels up and continue with regular exercise and, asked if she would do more fundraising challenges in the future, she said: “Never say never.”

To support Kate visit www.justgiving.com/kate-Hart5 or www.justgiving.com/kate-Hart4.

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