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Prison officer’s successful summit of Mount Kilimanjaro 22 March 2010

PRISON Officer Jan Coleman successfully scaled the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Summiting KilimanjaroShe expects to raise £1,200 for two local charities through her achievement. The sponsorship will be divided between Breakthrough Breast Cancer and the MGP Helicopter Fund.

Despite rigorous training on the Island’s hills prior to departing, Jan struggled to complete the climb.

She explained: ‘I was certainly fit enough but nothing can prepare you for the altitude. It is totally debilitating!’ ‘On summit night we set off just after midnight from Kibo (4,700m) with the temperature around minus 10. It was a slow arduous climb in cold snowy conditions made more difficult because of the crushing headache and dreadful nausea which was all part and parcel of the affect of the altitude sickness. Eventually after battling on for more than six hours we made it to Gilman’s Point (5,681m) around 6.45am to watch the sunrise from above the clouds, which was truly amazing. Feeling slightly more energised after a quick cup of tea we set of for the summit which was only just over 200m away – but it took approx 1½hours! The sun was shining, the scenery breathtaking but the final few metres were possibly the toughest and seemed to take forever. Our arrival at the summit Uhuru Peak (5,895m) was an emotional one – it had been a toughie! After a few quick photos we started on our descent back to Kibo which was to take a further 3hrs of tumbling and stumbling down steep scree slopes with very tired legs! Arrival at Kibo was followed by lunch then a further four hour hike to Horombo (3,700m) where we camped overnight before our final 7hour hike to Marangu Gate and a well earned celebratory beer!’

View from Mount KilmanjaroJan added: ‘It was a truly amazing trip of a lifetime but it will be a while if ever before I consider a hike like that again! I’m thinking of white water rafting instead next year.’

Jan climbed Mount Kilimanjaro between Feb 18 and 23. She recuperated on Zanzibar, a small spice Island for a few days, and returned to duty at the Isle of Man Prison on March 3.

Photo captions:

  • Jan Coleman (right) at the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro with friend Rosie O’Connor.
  • The view at the summit

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