HAVING hit the “brick wall” of altitude sickness during a trek to Everest’s base camp, Moray woman Menita Dickenson is mustering all her determination to confront another item on her personal ‘bucket list’.
So when the day care services manager takes on Africa’s tallest peak next month, she hopes she will be pushed on to the summit by the knowledge she is raising sponsorship for a local domestic abuse charity.
The Moray Council employee is self-funding the Mount Kilimanjaro expedition which means that all the money she raises will go directly to Moray Women’s Aid, a cause close to her heart.
“One of the incentives to completing the climb is to raise as much as I can for Moray Women’s Aid as a wee thank you on behalf of a very close friend who benefited from the support offered by Moray Women’s Aid,” Menita said.
“All the money raised will go directly towards helping others to regain control and rebuild their lives in safety and free from ridicule and abuse.”
As a mum and granny, she hopes she will make her family proud by taking on the 19,330ft mountain, where temperatures can plummet to minus 30C at the summit.
A keen hillwalker, the 41-year-old has already bagged a number of Munros and two years ago trekked to just below base camp on Everest.
While she is confident that she has the fitness and stamina for the hike, her main fear is altitude sickness.
“I experienced mountain sickness on Everest and it is like walking into a brick wall,” said Menita. “You wake up in the middle of the night gasping for breath.
“The summit of Kilimanjaro is a couple of thousand feet higher than the point I reached on Everest, but we will have guides and porters with us and they know the symptoms to look out for so I’m sure everything will be alright.”
Menita is travelling out to Tanzania alone but will meet up with around a dozen other people from all parts of the world who will form into a group for the climb, during which they will sleep under canvas.
Despite the rigours she is looking forward to the challenge and to raising money for her chosen cause.
“It is very exciting and every penny I raise will go to Moray Women’s Aid,” she said.
Menita, who divides her working time between the Keith Resource centre and Gurness Circle in Elgin, has set up a fund-raising facility at www.virginmoneygiving.com where her page can be accessed by typing her name into the ‘donate to friends’ box.