Wallace Quinn Managing Director John Quinn has succeeded in his quest to tackle Africa’s highest mountain. John reached the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro on 28th March, raising money for St Andrew’s Hospice in Airdrie through sponsorship.
John’s trek to the summit started in the rainforest on the lower slopes before emerging through the clouds to a much more barren landscape. John was part of a team that took six days to conquer the mountain, mostly trekking but occasionally scrambling on all fours up steep rocky slopes.
“It was an absolute privilege attempt to climb Kilimanjaro, but it is a brutal endeavour. We were trekking for up to fourteen hours a day, climbing higher at the same time as oxygen levels were falling, meaning exhaustion and nausea were constant climbing companions. On the morning of our final ascent, we were up at midnight and set out in darkness to climb the last steep slope to the top. It was all worth it when the sun came up and we could see the summit ahead of us.”
The summit of Kilimanjaro is 5895m above sea level, with oxygen levels at the top nearly half of what they are at the base.
In 2019, we’re delighted that John pulled out all the stops and made it to the top!
“In 2014 I came close to reaching the top but had to turn back as I was defeated by the effects of altitude. I put in much more fitness training ahead of this attempt and it paid off, but any sense of triumph on the summit was competing with overwhelming tiredness and I don’t think I appreciated what I had personally achieved until a few days later.”
“I’d like to thank all of my friends, family, colleagues and associates who have helped raise a fantastic amount for St Andrew’s Hospice. The hospice provides palliative care and support for patients, families and carers. Although it receives funding from NHS Lanarkshire, the hospice requires to raise at least £4.6 million from public donations every year. Wallace Quinn has been a corporate sponsor of the hospice since we opened in 1990 and I’ll continue to look for new ways to help support this incredibly important charity.”
Does that mean a trip back to Kilimanjaro at some point in the future for John?
“Absolutely no chance. In physical terms that was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done in my life. I’m delighted to have made it to the top but two visits to Kilimanjaro in one lifetime is enough for anybody!”
If you would like to donate to John’s ‘Just Giving” page for St Andrew’s Hospice, click on this link.