Climbing one of the world’s highest mountains wouldn’t be the first choice for most mothers going on a child and husband free holiday. But seven courageous Melbourne mothers have set themselves a challenge that isn’t for the faint-hearted.
Sally Hinton, Janee McEvoy, Katherine Strover, Leanne McLauchlan, Tiffany Comb, Carey Cuneo and Ann Bongiorno are training to climb Mt Kilimanjaro under the light of a full moon this August. At 5,895 metres above sea level, Tanzania’s Mt Kilimanjaro is the tallest freestanding mountain in the world, and higher than Everest base camp.
The ladies’ daughters were at Lauriston Girls’ School’s Howqua campus in 2010. Because their girls were working so hard, the mums wanted to challenge themselves too, explains Sally Hinton:
We did the 100 kilometre Oxfam Trail Walker. We laughed, lost our toenails and wore out the soles of our feet. It’s one of the toughest things I’ve ever done. And last year we decided we needed a new challenge.
“It makes such a difference to how motivated you are with your exercise when you’ve got something to train towards,” adds Katherine Strover.
Tim Strapp from ProSport Health & Fitness will lead the ladies on the climb. Tim is putting them through their paces, with weekly boot camp and altitude training sessions and a series of weekend hikes. There’s no rest for the wicked where this group is concerned. They spent the Queen’s birthday weekend training at Mt Buller. While their husbands cycled to Mansfield, they walked 24 kilometres down the mountain and back up again. If that doesn’t sound exhausting, the next day they walked another 20 kilometres to Mt Stirling.
“My husband’s been to a few of the sessions now and it’s been great to get him along. You don’t know how hard it is until you actually do it,” says Sally.
“I am looking forward to hopefully reaching the summit but I am realistic. I know that 10% of people don’t summit, so I’m trying to make it about the journey, the training, the fun, I think that’s important. If you’re hellbent on summiting it’s going to be an incredible let down if you don’t.”
Good luck ladies, your mountain awaits!