Mountains have been, are, and always will be our great love. We crossed the mountains tracks of Poland, Slovakia and the French Alps. This is where the idea of conquering the Seven Summits came to us. At the time, it seemed just a dream due to the complicated logistics, the cost of equipment and travel. Nevertheless, with time, the idea became increasingly more realistic. Eventually, we conquered the highest mountain in Europe and in South America.
But what actually are the ‘Seven Summits’? They are the highest peaks of each continent. However, due to the differences and confusion between geographical and political divisions of the world, we can actually distinguish nine peaks.
The ‘Seven Summits’ list:
1. Asia: Mount Everest 29,185 feet (8350 metres)
2. South America: Aconcagua 22,829 feet (6962 metres)
3. North America: Denali AKA Mount McKinley 20,320 feet (6194 metres)
4. Africa: Kilimanjaro 29,340 feet (5895 metres)
· Mount Elbrus: 18,510 feet (5642 metres)
· Mont Blanc 15,782 feet (4,810.45 metres)
6. Antarctica: Mount Vinson 16,067 feet (4897 metres)
· Mount Kosciuszko 7,310 feet (2228 metres)
· Carstensz Pyramid 16,023 feet (4884 metres
During our last two expeditions to Mount Elbrus and Aconcagua, we had to cope with inclement weather and lack of water, carry heavy rucksacks, and sleeping in tents when the temperature outside dropped below minus 20C. As a reward, it helped us to be away from busy reality and civilization and for a short while to feel a small part of nature. The most unique experience is to spend few minutes on the top thinking:: ‘God, how is it possible that the world is so beautiful?’ To take a photo with fingers numb from cold to immortalize this very important moment.
Our goal is the higher peak in Africa – Mount Kilimanjaro. To start with, as a warm up, we will climb Meru (14,980 feet (4566 metres), an active volcano. To reach the top of Kilimanjaro we will climb by Machame road, commonly called the Whiskey road. During seven days our expedition will traverse vast rainforest and moorlands which after 3 days will be replaced by a typical volcanic landscape. Once at the summit, we will leave at midnight on the 6th day so as to admire the first rays of the rising sun from the roof of Africa.
Apart from personal achievement of climbing the highest peak in Africa, we want to be able to contribute to the Neonatal ITU at the JR Hospital in Oxford.
One in ten babies needs some sort of medical care immediately after birth. The care that they receive falls into three categories: Intensive Care, meaning they are very small or vary sick babies who cannot breath by themselves and need significant medical intervention and/or surgery to survive. High Dependency Care, meaning they need more than basic nursing care as they are tube feeding and building strength after having been very ill, and Special Care, meaning they need help with feeding and growing but can breathe on their own and need minimal medical intervention.
Oxford Neonatal Unit was built in the 1970s since when there have been major advances in the care of very sick newborn babies.
In 2000, the ORH Trust refurbished existing facilities to make room for six new cots, and three dedicated “Homeward Bound” rooms, where parents can get used to caring for their babies with medical staff close at hand prior to going home.
The Trust is now planning to move forward with an additional project that will increase the number of intensive care cots by ten, and provide more space, privacy and improved monitoring throughout the Unit. Plans are expected to be confirmed by the end of 2011, construction to start early in the New Year and the expanded building to be completed by 2013.
We would like to say big thank you our family and friends who support us in our efforts.
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