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82 year old climbs Kilimanjaro for Willen Hospice

An eighty-two-year-old Olney man has become the oldest person in the world to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.

George Solt climbed a total of 5,895 metres in memory of his wife, Jen.

The money raised from the climb up Africa’s highest peak will go towards Willen Hospice in Milton Keynes where Jen spent her final days.

During an interview with BBC Three Counties radio, George expressed how proud of his achievement:

“It’s great, I can say I’m a World Record holder and have done something no-one else has ever done.”

He revealed that the hardest part about the challenge were the “headaches, nausea and plain tiredness”.

Training hard

George took on the challenge with experts and fellow climbers including his son, daughter-in-law and three grandchildren, one of which is 12 years old.

However, George revealed his 52-year-old son didn’t make it:

“He just suddenly went absolutely bananas and had to be taken down and was extremely ill on the way down but right as rain the minute he got to the bottom.”

George described what he felt when he got to the top:

“I was totally blank and exhausted, I was just glad to be able to turn around and get down again.”

George also commented on the descend:  ” (It was) absolutely awful, I was absolutely wrecked. The bottom half was the worst, in the wet rainforest, it was very slippery, the next day I couldn’t even walk down the hotel steps.”

It took the group six days to get up and two days to get down Kilimanjaro.

He prepared for months, using weights, cycling hard and walking.

George described his preparations before the climb, which included training with TA Sergeant, Ghandi Daykin:

“I walked up and down the South Downs, which were specifically designed for people climbing Kilimanjaro.

“That was some 17 miles of up and down hills in six hours.”

George left the UK on 7 July 2010 reaching Kilimanjaro’s peak on 14 July 2010.

Once the Guinness World Records verify his climb George’s name will officially go down in history.

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