Rotarians enjoy Kilimanjaro trip talk

Richard Burnett together with Oldmeldrum Rotary Club President Richard Thomson
Richard Burnett together with Oldmeldrum Rotary Club President Richard Thomson

Meldrum Rotary Club enjoyed a talk about freezing temperatures and making new friends.

Club member, Richard Burnett took part in one of the toughest climbs to the top of Africa’s highest mountain.

Richard, a Director of an Oldmeldrum Property Management Company, described of how he had taken part in the climb of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania on a “Walks Worldwide” expedition.

The steep trek was just one of the many obstacles that the club member faced, when other elements such as temperatures below freezing point were thrown into the mix. But, before that, just getting to the destination was a trip in itself for the club member.

Departing from Aberdeen to Heathrow and then to Nairobi, Richard finally arrived at Kilimanjaro airport.

After a talk on the dangers of the mountain, the group set off the next day to begin their eight-day climb.

With over thirty porters and guides on hand throughout the trip, Richard then went on to describe how some of the walkers fell into a group which described itself as the gang of ten.

Richard said: “We were probably the noisiest, most badly-behaved group on the mountain.

“At 2,468 feet up on the first afternoon, we discovered that we all liked musicals, and we didn’t let our lack of knowledge of the words get in the way of enjoying ourselves”

“The lower slopes of the mountain were pretty dry and arid and without much vegetation, so there wasn’t really all that much to see at that point

“It’s difficult to explain just how slow the pace was at times.

“In order to acclimatise, our guides had us walk high, but sleep lower down.”

The climb was getting harder for the group as they were approaching the summit and extreme changes in temperature and altitude began to kick in.

Richard continued: “No-one could have prepared us for how hard it was

“It wasn’t very comfortable and at minus 25C it was phenomenally cold.”

The team made it six hours later and five members made it to Uhura Point, which sits at an impressive 19,635 feet above sea level.

However, despite the freezing temperatures, it didn’t stop Richard making some new friends along the way.

He added: “As friends we became inseparable, and are still in contact with each other on a near daily basis.”