Twenty-five-year-old Josh Imber is back in Uckfield after spending four days climbing Kilimanjaro the highest mountain in Africa.
Josh who attended Uckfield Community Technology College, and is a technical support engineer for an East Hoathly-based company providing equipment for radiotherapy, was elated to reach the summit because there were times he thought he wouldn’t make it.
One night, when suffering altitude sickness, he even discussed plans with his guide to get off the mountain which is about 4,900 metres from its base to 5,895 metres above sea level.
But the next morning he woke to see the peak. It looked close and when Josh was told they were due to reach it that night he forgot about leaving the mountain.
He told Uckfield News: “This got me up for it again and this is where it got hard.”
There was an eight-hour walk, dinner, then a rest. A storm meant he only got an hour’s sleep and they set off again at 11pm.
From 11pm to 5.40am they trekked through snow and -15c to the Stella point which is an hour from the peak.
Josh said: “I felt I had nothing left, and an hour seemed like a lifetime. This is when the sun began to rise and gave me what I needed to push through to Uhuru (freedom) peak.”
Josh said he was massively overwhelmed and emotional to reach that point after four days.
He and his guide, who spoke only a little English, then trekked down again, reaching camp at 9.30am. At 11am they began another five hour walk to their final camp.
“This day was 20 hours walking on a total of three hours sleep. When we reached the final camp I was hit by altitude sickness again.”
Josh had set out with his father Steve and brother Miles for a family holiday with a challenge but unfortunately he was the only one to reach the top.
He decided to use the experience to raise money for charity and has so far been promised nearly £900 when his target was £500.
The charity Josh chose is Mind, the mental health charity, because he has first hand experience of how amazing they are.
He says on his JustGivingPage:
“Suicide is the biggest killer of men under the age of 45 in the UK. Mind works to try and prevent this and help people know it’s ok not to be ok. I’m lucky to have amazing people around me and the help I needed to get through my battle.
“Mind isn’t just about the support but helping people understand and respect the different issues people face.
“Any donation would be gratefully received for this amazing charity.”
If you would like to contribute please visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/josh-imber.
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