THE BLOG

Kilimanjaro 2014

16/01/2014 11:57 GMT | Updated 18/03/2014 09:59 GMT

Instead of resolutions, I wanted start 2014 with big bang. I felt it was time for a challenge that would not only make a difference to myself but more importantly to others, and somehow involve my deep love for music.

With this in mind, I have decided to throw in the usual sun-drenched days on the beach in my native South Africa - along with relaxing massages and umbrella coconut cocktails for something so far removed from paradise.  Why and what, I am sure you are asking just about now?

On the 22 February 2014, I will attempt to summit Mount Kilimanjaro, one of the highest mountains in Africa. What's more, to add a unique element to my climb I intend to celebrate this ascent by DJing on the mountain top. 

In my own small way, I therefore hope to make a bit of mountain climbing history, as myself and my fellow climbers enjoy some suitably uplifting tunes.

I also intend to play at base camp and in some of the enchanting villages that lace the mountain's lower climes. 

It didn't long to find the charity that I wanted to do climb for as I've played at some of their key fundraising events.

I'm a big fan of Wellbeing of Women, who dedicate their lives and research to improving the heath of women and babies worldwide.  Something extremely close to my heart as I feel it should be the right of every woman to have a healthy baby if she so desires. 

Excited with my crazy idea I set about investigating the right way to do it.  Luckily for me I happen to live with an experienced mountain climber.  Not just any sort of mountain climber.  Heather Geluk has herself summited Kilimanjaro, but the beginning of her love for the mountains actually started with Everest, so as far as experience goes, she definitely made things easy for me.

First things first, we needed a team, but let's spice it up a bit.  There is only one sort of person that could identify with the struggles that women face, another woman.  After a few months of continuous emails and publicity we finally had our eight-woman strong team, and I for one couldn't be happier.  I have never come across such an inspiring group of women.  All so humble yet so incredibly successful in their chosen work fields, and brilliantly we all have the same goal in mind, to create massive awareness for such a well deserving charity and to personally achieve a physical challenge.  Kilimanjaro is a first for all of us, and we are all as eager as each other to succeed.  This is truly going to be an epic adventure and I have no doubt we have just created life long friendships.  

With only two months to go until we undertake this overwhelming adventure, training has begun.  Logistically it's not the easy to be together all the time for training, but we are in daily contact.  Everyone is hitting the gym in a big way, hikes have been scheduled, and we have a few boot camp days planned in February.  We are all raring to go! No one can be sure about what reaction they will have to high altitude and that's always the catch when climbing a mountain.  

Altitude sickness, an unfortunate hazard of climbing many high peaks, can induce vomiting, headaches, insomnia and sometimes and dizziness. 

Effects can be felt from as low as 2,500m above sea level and 75% of people will have mild symptoms at some point along the way, according to studies.

Of course the best way to acclimatise was to climb slowly and the team and I will, be carefully adjusting to increasing height.

The biggest worry is being too unwell to summit. I have heard so many different stories about some of the fittest people in the world not making it to the top.  I feel that's it's very much a case of mind over matter, power on through the pain, mind of matter and of course the will power to want to do it.

And so I have a personal message to you Mount Kilimanjaro, prepare for our arrival, we can't wait to greet you as the sun warms our faces on the edge of your summit.