Chipo Dhliwayo, our Client of the Month in November 2013, made it safely to the summit of Kilimanjaro after training with The Altitude Centre for the three months prior to her trip.

Chipo, who didn’t climb with a group, but went up alone with one guide and four porters, made it to the top without even a moment of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS or ‘altitude sickness’). ‘At one point when I was 4500m above sea level I found myself skipping,’ she said. ‘I enjoyed the whole journey.’

Well prepared for her ascent, Chipo took energy dense almonds, Romney’s Kendal Mint Cakes and the mountaineer’s favourite, Snickers: ‘Snickers were the most useful, they gave me such a boost.’

The rain and the cold was Chipo’s biggest challenge, as it rained every day, which meant she had to deal with constantly wet equipment and kit.

‘For two months, I counted down the days to my trip,’ Chipo said. ‘There were not any points I didn’t enjoy it, even the rain. I was scared to fail, so I trained hard and prepared for the worst, so a bit of rain didn’t bother me.

‘When I walked past Stella Point, I saw the Uhuru Peak sign from afar. I was so excited; I dropped my bag and started running towards it. When I got to the sign, I hugged it and did my victory dance. I have never felt so happy, so emotional.’
To acclimatise to the altitude before her trip, Chipo invested in an Event Training Package, and trained our recommended three times a week with Performance Specialist Alex Willis.

‘I’d like to thank Alex for his patience, motivation and encouragement he gave me to help me make it to the top,’ Chipo said. ‘I couldn’t have done it without altitude training.’