Back in 1971 as an 18 year old I was on my gap year (before the name had been invented) which I spent at a rural school in Kenya teaching (sort of!). The school was close to Nyeri in the shadow on Mt Kenya and one of the many highlights of the year was to climb Mt Kenya – or at least the third highest summit Pt Lenana which we reached on Christmas Day. The expedition took a dangerous turn when one of our porters developed Pulmonry Odoema that night and we had to carry him off the mountain but it ended happily!
In contrast, my son Paul as an 18 year old was facing a very different challenge – diagnosis of a brain tumour. He died 20 months later and this November it will be 5 years since we lost him.
To mark the occasion (and my 60th birthday!) I am returning to Mt Kenya on 1 December with two of Paul’s friends, Jo and Rachael and another friend Jerry. We will be traversing the mountain from north west to south east via the Sirimon Track and Chogoria track, hopefully reaching the summit of Pt Lenana (16,355 ft on the 4th day).
This time we are raising money for the charity my wife and I set up in Paul’s memory, “Paul’s Fund” which pays for young adults facing challenging circumstances to have a free holiday staying at our B&B in North Devon.
For more information about Paul’s Fund or to make a donation you can visit www.pauls-fund.co.uk
For some rare photos from a bygone era, go to my Mt Kenya 1971 page!