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Karen hits heights on charity Kilimanjaro climb
A MUM-of-two was feeling on top of the world after reaching the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro on a climb for charity.
Karen Holgate, head of Victim Support witness service at the crown and magistrates courts in Worcester, said the adventure was the most amazing of her life – but also the hardest.
The 38-year-old from Kidderminster was part of a group of 15 women, aged between 16 and 60, who took on the challenge to climb the highest free-standing mountain in the world, who have so far jointly raised £40,000 for Victim Support.
The group were led by the same guides and porters who had supported celebrities including Cheryl Cole and Fearne Cotton on their climb for Red Nose Day in 2009.
Having enjoyed a steady pace for the first couple of days, the final climb to the summit took its toll on the group with one woman suffering with breathing difficulties and another stretchered down with acute altitude sickness.
Waking up at midnight, the group walked through freezing temperatures and watched the stunning sunrise before six of the team finally reaching Uhuru Peak at 7am.
Miss Holgate said: “It was the seven of the hardest hours of my life. It was really, really tough.
“There were times I didn’t think I would make it and thought I could really not do it but I kept thinking about the charity to spur me on.
“But the experience was absolutely amazing.”
The mother-of-two has raised more than £3,000 personally. To sponsor Karen, go to justgiving.com/Karen-Holgate.