Kilimanjaro charity climb - training in Snowdon

My name is Ian and I am 38yrs old and live in Widnes. I am married and I have3 children 4, 6 & 17 yrs...I am a detective working for Greater Manchester police.
I am raising money this year for awareness for Testicular Cancer in conjunction with the wonderful people at The Mark Gorry Foundation.

My fund raising started last year when, through my work, I became involved with 2 children from Manchester who had lost their mother and brother and all their worldly possessions in a house fire. With the help of work colleagues and members of the community I raised over £5,000.... and so my fund raising bug was born..

This time I wanted to support a charity that was close to home and that struck a cord with me. After some research and speaking to people I became aware of the The Mark Gorry Foundation. The foundation was set up by a Widnes lad, Mark, who contracted incurable testicular cancer when he was only 23 yrs old. Mark being the fantastic person that he was made it his mission to set up the charity to make other lads everywhere aware of the need to 'Check Yourself' and 'Love Your Balls.' Even when he was gong through his horrendous treatment and illness, Mark pushed his dream forward with the help of his wife and friends and the The Mark Gorry Foundation was born..... Check out the web page page and you will see why picking this charity was a no brainer.. Now, how to raise money and what to do....

Call it a Mid-Life crisis but I wanted to do something that would challenge me to the max and also make people sit up and see how much effort it was going to take and show people how serious the foundation are about raising awareness of testicular cancer and after further research the obvious choice was to climb the worlds largest free standing mountain.. Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa.

And so my charity picked, my challenge sorted and now for the fund raising. My initial target is for £4,000 but I would love to smash. Everyone knows a man who is within the 20 - 40 age bracket and it could be anyone of us next.

My training will involve a lot of cardio workouts in my local gym and also I will be doing as much hill/mountain ascents as possible shared between the lakes and Snowdon.
I approached the wonderful people at Regatta in Trafford to see if they could assist me with my equipment for my challenge and to their credit they agreed without hesitation and following liaising with Gill Russell, I was provided with a pair of Alpha Pro VXT Boots, a pair of warm lined soft shell trousers and a Warmtrek Jacket.
The Alpha Pro VXT Boots are very comfy as I have broad feet. The lace system is is strong and the ankle support is reassuring. The trousers are very comfy and warm with good access to the two front pockets and one rear and look the part. The Warmtrek coat is a little square in the fitting and being an extra large which fits around my shoulders, it is verybulky around the waist. (especially with a backpack on) but it seemed warm as I initially used the equipment to take my children sledging in Delamere Forest during the recent snow.
The first real test came on Friday 25th January when I ventured out to Snowdon with a friend to be met by very extreme weather conditions that test the equipment to the max. The boots and trousers were used from the start and the coat was put in my rucksack for later. The boots and trousers were great for the initial first half of the climb. By half way house on the Llanberis route we were met by high winds and driving snow. The snow drifts were 2ft deep in places and the going was hard from there up to the train station bridge turn for the final 1/4 were the winds were that strong that it was decided to turn back. Although the boots remained warm and dry the grips on the sole are so close together that every other step filled the grips with packed snow making them very slippy. On reaching the half way cafe on the way down I decided to change my old waterproof jacket for the warmtrek coat. The conditions had breached my old coat and I was wet and starting to feel the cold. Although the warmtrek coat was warm it could be made better by having a hood to protect the rear of my neck from the driving wind and snow. When we reached the car park my overall thought of the equipment was, apart from the grip in the snow they were excellent and my feet were warm and dry. The trousers kept my legs warm but weren't tested against the snow as I wore waterproof leggings over the top. The coat kept me warm and I presume that if it was used in the condition it was meant for, apart from the fit, it would be excellent. All things considered I was very happy with the equipment and would recommend all 3.

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