Day one consisted of lush, emerald rainforest, with steep wooden steps built into the mountainside. Wines grabbed at our feet, as if to halt our stride. But we marched on, through the thirst, through the blisters, all twelve of us were determined to reach the next camp, yet this was only day one.

More days passed, with increasing difficulty, the lush rainforest we had taken for granted had thinned, leaving us exposed, cold and tired. We were now in the Alpine Desert. We were gaining altitude but with this came altitude sickness,

Day four proved as one of the hardest as we had to tackle an enormous vertical wall embroidered with wet moss. After three full hours of climbing we could still hear the roar of the waterfall below.

After six days each one worse than the last, it was summit day, or should I say, summit night. Having been rudely woken at 11:30pm in the night, we began the final ascent. Oxygen connected, we started fumbling around in the dark, clambering over rocks guided by only the dim light from our head torches. The temperature plummeted like a heavy stone. Even with two pairs of thick skiing gloves our hands were still numb with cold and we had a fiery cold in our feet. The sun started to rise over the mountain about two hours before the summit, at least now we could see what we were clambering over. At last the peak was in sight. Frozen to our very cores, joy spread through us as we reached the famous sign, almost warming us up. We had done it. We had conquered Mt Kilimanjaro.