CLIMBING a mountain in the blistering cold and falling snow isn’t everyone’s ideal forecast for hiking, but for Laura Clark, it’s all part of the adventure.
Next Tuesday Mackay’s Laura Clark and Trish Edwards and Wil Brown will travel to Tanzania, Africa where they will join 12 others to climb Mt Kilimanjaro on June 25.
Ms Clark is climbing to raise funds for the Community Projects Africa charity group and particularly, the Cypress Hill Vocational Training Centre in Tanzania.
She said the Cypress Hill Centre gives impoverished Tanzanians, those affected by HIV/AIDS and those who care for people affected by HIV/AIDS the opportunity to train in areas such as horticulture, tailoring and the English language.
“I’m responsible for running the Queensland leg of the non-government centre (NGO),” she said.
Ms Clark’s trip is solely self-funded, with all the money raised going directly towards the training centre.
This will be Ms Clark’s first mountain climb and she said she has been training long and hard to enable her to conquer the highest free-standing mountain in the world.
“I’ve been doing some cardio, weights and I’ve been walking up the Eungella Range and Mt Blackwood.
“I think it’s going to be extremely difficult, both mentally and physically exhausting,” she said.
Because nothing in Mackay compares to the 5895 metre high Mt Kilimanjaro, Ms Clark said she had climbed Eungella Range and Mt Blackwood several times in one sitting, to match the distance.
Her trek will include walking through a variety of environments including the rainforest and climbing in the snow.
“We’ll start the climb at midnight and will walk for 15 hours to reach the summit for sunrise.
“I keep picturing myself at the top...I can’t wait to know that I’ve done it and I’ve made it,” she said.
Ms Clark is spending the week before she embarks on her journey finalising the essentials.
“There’s so much to do – it’s not a case of going on holiday and forgetting something and being able to pick it up from the shop.
“If I don’t have something with me (that I need), then I’m in trouble,” Ms Clark said.
To support Ms Clark and Ms Edwards on their charity climb, visit: www.gofundraise.com.au
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