Kili climb is a family affair

Tuesday, 16 November, 2010

A Rustington midwife has achieved a challenge of a lifetime by climbing the tallest free-standing mountain in the world to raise vital funds for the Sussex Air Ambulance.

Carole Fendick, who works at St Richard's Hospital in Chichester, scaled the heights of Mount Kilimanjaro with daughters Catherine and Louise.

Catherine, from Worthing, was also raising money for the life-saving charity but was forced to pull out on the advice of the team doctor.

She was just 700metres from the 19,340ft-high summit when she was struck down by altitude sickness.

Grandmother-of-two Carole, 57, has so far raised almost £1,500 for the Sussex Air Ambulance which needs £1.7m-a-year to keep the helicopter flying.

She said: "It was a great experience but very hard which was to be expected. It was just absolutely amazing".

"We got up at 11pm to start climbing to the summit which we reached at 8.30am the next day.

"It was snowing when I got there but Louise was 20 minutes behind me and when she arrived it was glorious sunshine.

"We were very tired that day after walking a total of 12 hours, eight to reach the summit and four to get back to camp.

"Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. Someone died trying to do it two weeks earlier so it's not a mountain to be under-estimated."

Carole was among a group of 30 climbers in total but six were forced to pull out due to altitude sickness.

She has previously climbed Ben Nevis, the Pyrenees, the Alps and the 13,671ft Mount Toubkal in Africa.

Her previous challenges include cycling coast to coast from Whitehaven to Sunderland earlier this year and walking 194 miles from St Bee's Head to Robin Hood Bay.

In 2007, she cycled 1,000 miles from Land's End to John O'Groats in Scotland where daughter Louise lives.

Carole has also completed several 100-mile cycle rides, walking marathons and cycled from London to Brighton 14 times.

She is still seeking sponsorship online at and is hoping to raise a further £400 at a Spin Masterclass at the Esporta gym in Rustington on November 27.

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