Jonny tops Kilimanjaro

Jonathan Chard on top of Mount Kilimanjaro
Jonathan Chard on top of Mount Kilimanjaro

A former pupil from Fleetwood’s Rossall School has scaled the heights by climbing one of the world’s most famous mountains.

Jonathan Chard, 21, of Gorse Avenue, Cleveleys, climbed the highest mountain in Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

He spent six days heading towards the summit in his quest, which also included raising as much money as possible for the Alzheimer’s Society.

Jonathan, who is known to friends as Jonny, managed to reach his target of £5,000 raised in sponsor money.

Kilimanjaro is 5,895 metres (19,341 ft) above sea level and Jonathan said shortly after completing the epic trek: “It was tough but I suppose that is the point of a challenge like this. We had six days in total, roughly 90km trekked and 50 hours of walking.

“We set off for summit on midnight of day four in the freezing cold, after trekking 18km to base camp and having a few hours sleep, and summited around eight hours later at 8am. The trek was physically and mentally testing as it was over a mixtures of terrains, altitudes and environments – from rainforest, to alpine desert, to glacier.

“The one thing you don’t really take into account at the summit is that you then have to go down again, and it is on loose shale and rock so is particularly difficult as you are drained of energy and adrenaline. Completing something like this gives you a great feeling of achievement, it is one of the best things I’ve done.”

Jonathan was inspired by paternal gran, Margaret Chard, who has the illness, and by losing both his maternal gran, Brenda Waddington, and great aunt, Dorothy Waddington, to the condition.

Jonathan, a history and music student at Leeds University, added: “It is a horrible illness and I’m glad to help fight it.”

Alzheimer’s Society provides support for both sufferers and their carers and also carries out research into the illness.