“...toughest physical challenge of my life’

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Two Deeside friends have scaled the highest free-standing mountain in the world raising a staggering £25,000 for a local cancer charity.

Iain Abernethy and Bryan Rogie climbed Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro as part of a group of 27 all raising funds for the new Maggie’s cancer centre in Aberdeen.

All together the group brought in £115,000 atb the time of writing.

The intrepid adventurers spent five and a half days trekking to the mountain’s peak and then a day and half getting back down.

Iain told the Piper that the experience was the “toughest physical challenge” of his life, adding: “When you get to the top the view is simply mindblowing. We felt like we really achieved a lot and not just personally but also by raising a lot for the charity.”

Iain couldn’t have got further away from his job in learning and support at accountancy firm Johnston Carmichael when he strapped on his walking boots.

He carried a pack of between ten and fifteen kilos every day of the trek with the “tremendous” local guides helping the group with tents and other equipment.

Speaking of his training for the trek Iain said: “People had a laugh when we told them that we were climbing Scolty to train for Kilimanjaro but we got plenty of practice on that hill. It’s just a matter of how many times you do it!

He added: “I’d never put anyone off doing (the climb) but I would definitely recommend that they prepare fully for it!”

The weather was extreme with even the Tanzanian guides reached for the sunblock.

At it’s peak Kilimanjaro stands at over 19,000 feet above sea level and is ranked as the fourth highest mountain in the world.

Iain said: “I would just like to thank the backpackers, those who supported the 70s, 80s and race nights, the 24 hour golfers and night golfers, everyone who donated to the just giving page and the people of Banchory for their incredible support.”