Sunday, January 22, 2006

The Kili 5

As I mentioned in the first Kili50 BlogPost, I've found 4 other hardy souls up for joining me in the Kili Challenge in February 2007.

The original invitation went out to a much larger group of family and friends but, after an initial surge of conditionally positive responses, enthusiasm waned as I pressed for a commitment. As expected, a deadline for hard cash for the deposit sorted out the sherpas from the shirkers.

Excuses ranged from dodgy knees to not able to commit that far ahead to washing my hair that week and is it covered by the life assurance policy?

For anyone still wavering it's not too late...but very soon will be. Our group with Explore is leaving on February 23, 2007, will be a maximum of 16 and is already over half full.

Anyway, the committed sherpas - The Kili 5 - are briefly as follows, with more colour to come from everyone over the coming months.

Me. Andrew/Andy/Smarm (thanks, Doug) Morris (I'm the one on the left with my Canadian lobster chum)

Age: rapidly approaching 49. Impossible.

Motivation: to conquer Kili before I hit the big 5-0 and to raise funds for World Vision projects in Tanzania (see separate posts and the link on the right hand side to sponsor me online)

Job: Foolish CFO

Health: suffering from gout, allergies, old age, fear of heights and open spaces, and a chronically bad back...otherwise in rude health

Experience: gentle strolls in the Surrey Hills and on friendly mountains in the Italian Dolomites, French Alps, Corsica, Spanish Asturias and Pyrenees, Canadian Rockies. Climbed The 3 Peaks a few years ago...but nothing to compare with Kili

Summit odds: 25-1

The missus. Gill/Gillian Morris/Mrs M

Age: a scarcely believeable 43....44 in February 2006

Motivation: not wanting to miss out; addicted to mountains

Job: owner of South Minster Kitchens, a fast-growing kitchen design company in Surrey (call 01483-424657 or email Mrs M on for a no obligation chat) end of advertisement

Health: completely recovered from a very bad horse accident in 2004...rebuilt by Pilates and The Royal Surrey Hospital. Now more like a 34 year old

Experience: as for Andrew...and she has also walked up a lot of stairs at Fitness First in Godalming

Summit odds: 2-1

Steve Morris/Neph#1/Lardy Boy (the mixologist on the right hand side with Neph#2 Dave)

Age: 21 in February 2006.

Motivation: a love of mountains, and never known to say no to any invitation

Job: telecomms to water

Health: recovering well from a 4 month diet of Fosters, McDonalds and 24 hour parties in Australia and New Zealand a couple of years ago

Experience: Duke of Edinburgh trekking around the UK, The 3 Peaks, epic trip to Kygrystan...and the Sydney Harbour Bridge on his 19th birthday

Summit odds: evens

Jon Wallis/Spider/Tarantula

Age: 42

Motivation: it seemed like a good idea when Andrew suggested it. And it's high time I did something more "serious" than sitting in front of a computer and watching TV. And the idea of having climbed the highest peak in a continent really appeals (although the idea of pulmonary oedema doesn't)

Job: Foolish customer service guru

Health: generally sound, except for the 12" of titanium in my left leg. And the bad back.

Experience: I've done a lot of walking in the past - Snowdonia, Lake Distict, Yorkshire Dales, etc - including quite a lot of winter stuff (Snowdon Horseshoe, Helvellyn/Striding Edge). I've been rock climbing on-and-off (but more off) since 1997 - mainly at The Roaches (Peak District), and N. Wales (Snowdonia, Tremadog), plus some indoor stuff in Bristol. I've also done one season in the Alps, based in the Täsch-Randa valley, near Zermatt, which is in the Wallis Canton of Switzerland, so it seemed appropriate!. Routes included a traverse of the Balfrin, and climbing the Weissmies. However, I'm now rather less fit - and a good deal heavier!- than I was back then (although I aim to be somewhat fitter and lighter by this time next year). At least Kili won't need crampons and an ice-axe. As you can see, Jon is a bit more experienced than the rest of us amateurs

Summit odds: 4-6

Esther / Eszt Horvath-Papp

Age: 26 by the time we climb Kili

Motivation: I am a self-declared “wuss”. I’m lazy, I get hungry and cold easily, I don’t have a very high tolerance for pain, I give things a go and if they don’t work – well what the hey, I can live without it, and I generally prefer to just curl up in bed and catch up on some sleep. So, my motivation to climb Kili is... erm... just to do something different for a change. This is going to be an incredible journey for me, both physically and mentally, especially if I manage to make it to the top. It’ll also give me an opportunity to indulge in my hobby of photography, get to know a bunch of crazy people and to experience something to tell the grandkids about

Job: wannabe solicitor

Health: my health is ok, but fitness is another matter... that is something I’m going to have to work on over the next year and a bit (join the club)

Experience: I am originally from Hungary, the highest point of which is a staggering 1014m, so let’s just say that I’m not a natural mountaineer. Of the Kili 5, I’m by far the least experienced. I do not recall a single mountain I’ve climbed in my life, and I’ve never done more than a day’s walking. I hope to get at least some hill-walking practice in before we go.
Apparently beginners tend to do well on Kili because they take things slowly, so let’s just hope that that will apply to me

Summit odds: a racing certainty


Anonymous Mrs M said...

Hey! I thought it was just a joke - didn't know we were really climbing it!

4:17 PM  

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