A CHARITY walk to the summit of one of world’s highest mountains was a life-changing experience for Brighouse man Chris Percy.
Not only did the trek up Mount Kilimanjaro - at more than 5,895 metres, it’s Africa’s highest peak - give him a taste for adventure, it also enabled him to gain an insight into the lives of children in Tanzania.
Chris, aged 21, of Lane Head, Brighouse, was among a group of 20 young people attempting the summit in aid of Childreach International. He graduated with a degree in mathematics from Sheffield University this summer and is about to start a job with an accountancy firm in Leeds.
Despite suffering the effects of cold and altitude sickness, Chris loved every minute of his charity trek and was inspired by the sights he saw.
“The first couple of days were fairly leisurely but very long and we were all usually fast asleep by 9.30pm. The third and fourth days were tougher as it got colder and steeper and altitude sickness began to affect all of us. Some of us were more badly affected than others but we were all very emotional.
“On the fifth day I reached the summit at 8.20am with most of the other climbers, after a gruelling trek starting at midnight and ascending 1,300 metres from the last camp.
“It was fantastic to see the sun rise over Africa before we had to start our descent. The guides and porters definitely deserve a thank-you as they work unbelievably hard to get each and every group to the summit.”
Chris was sponsored by his family, including his parents Sylvia and Adrian Percy and younger brother Adam, and his friends and colleagues. He hopes to have raised £2,500 for Childreach International projects in Tanzania which improve schools, training centres and employment opportunities.
He said: “It was great to get the chance to visit some of the schools and see where the money is going. Childreach provides books and other equipment. We played games with the children, fortunately football is a universal language!”
“The children and teachers are amazing and it was a pleasure to meet them and to contribute in some small way to a safe and productive learning environment for them.”
Chris completed the Sheffield half-marathon in May as part of his training for the trip. He can still be sponsored on mydonate.bt.com