Team of women to embark on Kilimanjaro quest

A group of 47 women are to climb Mount Kilimanjaro for charity on the 11th of January next year, it has emerged.

They are undergoing the challenge to raise money for exploited women and children, many of whom are victims of human trafficking.

Kilimanjaro is the largest mountain in Africa, coming in at just under 5,900 metres or just over 19,000 feet above sea level. It was first climbed in 1889, and has since presented one of the toughest challenges for any mountain climber anywhere in the world.

The youngest of the women to embark on this journey is 18 year old Madison Baczewski, but she will be in very experienced company with the eldest of the climbers being an impressive 77 years young. The participants have come from far and wide to take part in what they are calling `the freedom climb. `

The aim of each woman is to raise $10,000, and if that goal is met then that will mean the total amount of funds made will be just shy of half a million dollars.

Baczewski is currently working towards getting a degree in the world of nursing.  Her ultimate aim is to work in a third-world country to `serve people who are servants in their countries. `

Macon Dunnagan, 51, a Mount Kilimanjaro expedition director said climbing the mountain is no easy feat, although users will be able to use trekking poles as it’s a very gradual ascent. One of the hardest things to adapt to is the absence of everyday luxuries such as a sink, shower, and somewhere comfortable to get some sleep (as the upcoming entrants on `I’m a Celebrity..` will discover shortly!)

In addition to that each person will have to carry a backpack full of vital equipment, which will undoubtedly be rather heavy, making progress that little bit harder.

“It will seriously be the hardest thing you’ll ever do in your life,” said Dunnagan, who has climbed the mountain 19 times.

But Baczewski says she’s not deterred by what he has to say:

“The time that we spend on the mountain is going to be miserable,” she said. “I’m glad that it’s not a joy ride… because we’re trying to be a voice for the voiceless.”

A view of the mountain

*quotes courtesy of Orlando Sentinel