Chris beats the odds on Mount Kilimanjaro

Amy Bailey and Chris Offer at St Barnabas Hospice in Louth.
Amy Bailey and Chris Offer at St Barnabas Hospice in Louth.

A Louth coach driver and former soldier has officially joined the ‘45 per cent club’ after successfully reaching the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro for charity.

As reported previously, Chris Offer, 61, decided to take on one of the world’s biggest challenges after losing over 3.5 stone in weight following twelve months training.

In doing so, he decided to raise money for St Barnabas Hospice in Louth - a ‘fantastic’ charity that Chris admires, despite having no personal connection whatsoever.

Chris carried out the epic challenge over a week at the end of August, and joined ‘the 45 per cent club’ - which represents the percentage of successful summit attempts, as Mount Kilimanjaro has a high failure rate due to the extreme harsh conditions, with many climbers turning back after the second day.

Thanks to fundraising from Chris’ family and friends, and generous clients at the ‘Hair Therapy’ salon in Elizabeth Court where his wife works, Chris managed to raise an impressive £1,737.25 for St Barnabas Hospice.

Chris recently presented the cheque to East Lindsey community fundraiser, Amy Bailey, and revealed his next ambition is to reach Mount Everest base camp in 2020.

After completing his Mount Kilimanjaro climb, Chris said: “This life-changing experience was, to me, a lot tougher than I had ever imagined. It doesn’t matter how fit you are, you cannot train for the altitude sickness.

“Seeing young people being so ill, and young athletic men being carried down from the mountain, certainly puts things into perspective and shows us how dangerous climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is. If it is not shown respect, then it will beat you.

“Being mentally prepared is a massive help, not giving up when your head is telling you to. It will tell you to give up.

“Keep thinking positive thoughts and kill 
the negativity. It’s a mental game, but you will win.”

Chris’ final words of advice for anyone thinking of tackling Mount Kilimanjaro? “Enjoy every minute of it!”

• To fundraise for St Barnabas, call 01507 351507.