01. Preparations underway… excited yet apprehensive!

Jul 11, 2017 Off Comments in Kilimanjaro by

To celebrate SR Timber’s 10th birthday, on the 21st August 2016 two of our Business Development Managers will begin the daunting challenge of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro – all 5,895 metres, or 19, 340 feet of it.
I know what you’re thinking; it sounds more like a punishment than a celebration right? You’d think so, but the guys are genuinely excited about the prospect of pitting themselves against nature, and preparations have already started.

Although these guys are extra ordinary within the Timber construction industry, they are physically run-of-the-mill guys that will, frankly, be up against it from day one as they expedite up the world’s highest free-standing mountain… which has 3 volcanoes all overdue an eruption… just saying.

So let’s meet Mount Kilimanjaro’s challengers from SR Timber:

Jason Lumley, 43, Business Development Manager
Jason’s greatest climbing achievement prior to the challenge was the lofty 5th floor of the Holiday Inn. A laid back man who enjoys golf and socialising, Jason is also a qualified Joiner with over 11 years’ experience in the roofing industry. He has confessed that he got caught up in the moment when the expedition was first proposed, and of course accepted the challenge with gusto! Furthermore, Jason’s friends and family were flabbergasted to hear he’d accepted the challenge as this is totally out of character for him.
As time has gone on, Jason has taken the task more and more seriously and is gradually changing his lifestyle to give himself the best chance of completion.

Having previously rated his fitness levels as 4/10, his training programme started on 4th January where he’s been eating healthier, visiting the gym 2-3 times per week, reducing his nicotine intake and only drinking one day a week. With a weigh in around 6 weeks in however, bemused Jason had somehow gained 9lbs, taking him up to 19.5 stone. It will be cold up there so the extra layer may help, but the health and safety porters that carry any ailed climbers down will need to be strong.

Just when you thought Jason’s challenge couldn’t get any bigger – in 2013 he broke his ankle and leg, which was held together with screws and pins until just over a year ago.

In all seriousness, Jason’s main driving factor, besides raising funds for The British Heart Foundation, is to lead a healthier life and overcome the inevitable physical hurdles… as well as avoiding his main fears of the challenge: altitude sickness (yes, seriously!) and the man-eating mammals.

Richard Stone, 50, Business Development Manager
If Jason is a novice in this challenge (he is) then he is in good company with Rich. With over 23 years’ experience in the roofing timber supply market Rich is an avid hillwalker and mountain climber, having scrambled the hills of Snowdonia and the Lake District many times, as well as Scafell Pike – England’s highest peak (approximately 1/6 of Kilimanjaro).

Quite the outdoorsman, Rich also enjoys white water rafting, clay pigeon shooting and archery – so should they find themselves astray in their trek, Richard ‘Rambo’ Stone is more than prepared to combat any danger.
Contrary to Jason, Rich was over the moon to accept the opportunity/challenge of a lifetime at the envy of many of his friends, and cannot wait to start. Despite rating his fitness levels as at least 8/10 he has re-joined the gym after 4 years to ensure he’s on top form to get himself, and Jason, to the summit. For a man so well prepared for whatever nature throws at him, Richard’s main fear of the trip is the altitude sickness, and Jason’s snoring.
He’s more than up for the challenge physically and mentally, and is looking forward to the hot shower after the challenge is complete – then joining Jason in toasting the African sunset.

Now you’ve met the (un)lucky challengers – do you think they’ll both make it to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro? We’ll be tracking their journey with weekly blog updates – you can also keep up to date with the voyage by following @SR_Timber_ on Twitter.

Tune into next week’s blog when we’ll be documenting Rich and Jason’s first warm up climb as they test their fitness and equipment on Mount Snowdon – the highest peak in Wales.

All the money raised from the challenge will go to The British Heart Foundation – a very worthy cause and a charity close to everyone’s heart (no pun intended). Donating is easy – you can text GOSR89 and the amount you want to donate (eg GOSR89 £5 to 70070 or visit our Just Giving page by clicking the image below. Please join us in supporting this worthy cause and reaching our target of £5,000.

Wish them luck!