Army veteran Phillip Gillespie – also known as Barney – is set to complete a Kilimanjaro charity climb for the ABF – The Soldier’s Charity in July next year.
Speaking to the Ballymena Times, Mr Gillespie explained that the charity in question did a lot for him when he was injured after stepping on an IED in Afghanistan in January 2011, an incident that saw him lose his lower right leg and sustain numerous fractures to his left leg.
He was recently fitted with a new prosthetic and, along with a team of people, completed the five peaks challenge over five days, raising £2,500 for the charity – a feat that will certainly stand him in good stead for his Kilimanjaro hike.
Mr Gillespie said: “I have always wanted to climb Kilimanjaro and now my mate and I are attempting this challenge and raise money for a charity that is very important to me. The Kilimanjaro climb is a bigger distance than the other five peaks put together so it is going to be a lot tougher.”
If like Mr Gillespie you’re tempted to complete a climb up Kilimanjaro, you need to make sure you’re fully prepared for the endeavour as it’s by no means an easy task. You should make sure you complete several longer hikes so you can really feel what it’s like to be walking for five hours a day for a week. Don’t be fooled into thinking that it’ll be an easy ride – you’re sure to face a lot of struggles as you may your way to the top.