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East Surrey water chief climbs Kilimanjaro for charity
12:42pm Wednesday 6th March 2013 in News
An East Surrey water chief has pushed himself to the limit to conquer the highest free-standing mountain in the world.
Richard Rap, Sutton and East Surrey Water’s operations manager, scaled Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania last month.
Richard and his wife Nicola, completed the climb with close friend Alan Houghton and his daughter Chloe, to raise money in sponsorship for the charity, WaterAid.
Richard hopes his gruelling feat will raise about £2,500 for the cause.
He said: “I have never felt so utterly exhausted in all my life!
“It’s a great personal achievement, but it’s hard to say I enjoyed the six days it took to complete.”
He continued: “If I’m honest, it was more difficult than I thought it would be.
“The combined effects of mountain-climbing fatigue, lack of sleep, the cold and pounding headaches caused by altitude sickness really wear you down.”
But he added: “Having said that, not many people can say they’ve climbed Kili, and seen an awe-inspiring sunrise from 5,500 metres up a mountain looking down on the clouds and the African plains. A truly magical moment.”
After four days of trekking up the mountain, the attempt on the summit started at 11.30pm with a climb through the night to reach Gilman’s Point for that memorable sunrise. Although the Uhuru peak summit, where the temperature was a chilly minus 20 degrees centigrade, was only 300m above Gilman’s at 5,895 metres (19,341 ft) above sea level, it took an hour and a half to reach. Richard, who lives in Haywards Heath, West Sussex, said: “The effects of altitude sickness were getting almost unbearable. “Every step of the way was really hard work, but, when you reach the true summit, it is an absolutely fantastic feeling - one of the best moments of my life, and one I will never forget.”
Richard has so far raised £1,950 for WaterAid, but people wishing to help him top his charity peak of £2,500 can do so online by making a donation via his website at: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/RichardRap Sutton and East Surrey Water, which is based in Redhill, supplies water to more than 655,000 people in East Surrey, and parts of West Sussex, west Kent and south London. Website: www.waterplc.com WaterAid aims to transform the lives of those in developing countries by raising money to provide clean, safe drinking water and sanitation. Its vision is of a world where everyone has access to safe water and sanitation. Over the past 30 years, WaterAid has reached 14.38 million people with safe water and, since 2004, 9.4 million people with sanitation. For more information, visit its website: www.wateraid.org