In September, Rakesh Krishnan from Colchester, set off on an adventure of a lifetime to scale the 5,895m mountain in Tanzania in aid of the Essex-based charity Havens Hospices, where he volunteers his time and expertise as a Trustee.
A keen trekker, with other challenges under his belt including Everest Base Camp, Rakesh was looking forward to completing the famous climb. Along with 10 other climbers, he battled the steep ascent of 19,341 feet across seven days of changing terrain and climate.
He said: “When the plans first came up, I was told that Kilimanjaro is not a technical climb and a reasonable level of fitness would get you to the top, but don’t be fooled! Climbing Kilimanjaro was not just a walk up a mountain, it was tough. The ascent is steep and the terrain changes daily the climate hourly.”
Rakesh also faced the woes of high altitude – headaches, nausea and fatigue – but expressed his satisfaction in completing each day’s trek. He said: “Once you’ve done the day’s work; when you’ve made it to the top, it feels great and so worth it. You throw up your hands, celebrate and remember why you’re doing this – raising money for a wonderful cause which makes a difference to so many people’s lives.”
He insists he couldn’t have completed the trek without the support team on the mountain which consisted of 50 people, all needed to help carry all that was needed for the expedition.
“The team needed to carry everything for all of us to live on the mountain for that week: campaign gear, abundant food and the medicines that were essential to help with altitude sickness, muscle aches, water purification and hydration. Sensible planning was critical – packing the right clothes to manage the varying temperatures, the right shoes, foodstuff, personal medication, and then ensuring it all fits into one back-pack no more than 15 kilos.”
The Business Consultant has been a Trustee for Havens Hospices since 2021. He wanted to give back to his community and take up volunteering, leading him to the Trustee position at the charity, which cares for children, young people and adults living with complex or incurable conditions in Essex. He sees first-hand the important work the charity does in the community and knows this is only possible through donations and support.
So far Rakesh has raised over £2,000 through sponsorship. He said: “As a hospice charity, Havens Hospices strive to provide the best possible palliative nursing and supportive care to all ages and provide a lifeline to so many families. The trek might have been difficult but nothing compared to what our patients and their family have to endure throughout illness, death and bereavement.”
To support Rakesh’s fundraising efforts visit www.justgiving.com/Rakesh-Krishnan
Published 11th October 2022