Kilimanjaro charity climb - training in Snowdon

My name is Ian and I am 38yrs old and live in Widnes. I am married and I have
3 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.

Snowdon 1

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.
Snowdon 2
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.
Regatta 2

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