How do you celebrate the anniversary of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania? Dougie Kirkwood found his challenge close to home. Mount Teide may be a lot shorter at 3,718 metres but picking an unfashionable and direct route presents its own challenges for the December 11th assault.
The inspiration behind this latest adventure is the Ingane Yami a village for children orphaned by AIDS in Durban, South Africa, a charity championed by Pearly Grey Ocean Club in Callao Salvaje on the west coast of Tenerife where Dougie is Sales Manager. Dougie enjoys the fit sporting life that Tenerife offers and has harnessed it to do his bit towards the 50,000 euros target to build one of the 25 houses that will make up the African village.
Speaking before a champagne farewell for some of the hotel’s guests Dougie was pleased to have added 450 euros just from the sparkling goodbye. “This is typical of our guests, they have been generous in backing all our events and especially with sponsoring me for the Teide challenge.”
Dougie will set off at 4am from the coast of Callao Salvaje having already sussed out most of the route. ” I’m taking a direct approach, that means crossing the motorway, clambering across ravines and scaling a few rocks and obstacles. I will have a few people backing me and have arranged permits for the final assault on the peak (Teide National Park is strictly protected). The route takes us to the Corona Forest above Vilaflor but we have a few break points arranged for food and drink. The toughest section will be Las Moraditas by the TF21, it gets very steep in a short distance there.”
Those who have experienced the glory of Teide at close quarters will know that a spectacular reward awaits the climbers. “We are staying overnight at the Refugio Altavista for an early morning on Sunday 12 December to complete the last few hours to arrive at the peak for sunrise over the clouds and the other 6 islands. The whole trip should take between 24 and 30 hours and we are hoping to raise around 5,000 euros.”
At least Dougie and his exhausted crew will be able to put their feet up when they arrive back in Callao Salvaje, won’t they? Not a chance, on the evening of Sunday 12 December a Gala fund raising evening will take place at Pearly Grey with many top performers from around Tenerife pushing the charity total to a new peak. There are 120 tickets on sale at 25 euros each including a dinner dance. If you want to book contact Pearly Grey or click here to sponsor Dougie.
Hopefully the weather won’t add any extra challenges to the Teide climb but Dougie will be prepared for the worst and will be driven on at each step by the support of his sponsors and the thought of those children who desperately need a home offering hope.