November 2015: Student scales Africa’s highest peak


AFRICA’s highest peak, Kilimanjaro, was conquered by a Haslingden High School student and her father.

After six months of training, Isobel Wilson, 17, a sixth form student and her father Graham, 60, a consultant engineer and school governor, scaled the 19,342ft high mountain in Tanzania.

Isobel, from Edenfield, said: “The day before we climbed to the summit we walked for three hours, had lunch, had a nap, then tea and another nap.

“We started walking at 11.50pm and all had head torches because it was dark. It was exciting because I had never done anything like that. We walked through to 8.30am when we got to the top.

“It was cold walking overnight, with temperatures of -12C at the coldest so I had six layers on.

“We saw the sunrise as we were walking and it was really incredible. At first it was cloudy, then it started to snow and then rain. At one stage we were walking in a mini-blizzard, but I had expected it.

“As we got higher up we were walking in baby steps, literally only able to just put one foot in front of the other.”

Only three of the five walkers in Isobel’s group were able to reach the summit and she admitted she felt emotional when they arrived.

They were only at the top for about 25 minutes because the air is thin. She said every breath she took felt like she had just run 100m.

“At the top there was a cairn, boulders and a wooden sign saying, ‘Congratulations, you have reached Stella Point’,” she said.

“Looking down was like looking through a plane because all you could see were clouds. From our base camp we could see the cities and towns below.”

They descended the mountain down scree getting back to camp after three-and-a-half hours.

Her father completed the climb 11 years ago and said the mountain had changed since then. Most notably the glaciers had melted a lot and there was a large crack in one and it was warmer at the top.

So far their trek has raised nearly £600 for The Stroke Association in memory of Isobel’s grandfather John Wilson.

To sponsor Isobel and her father log on to

She would like to continue scaling mountains and would like to go on a trek to Nepal in the future, but not to tackle Everest… not yet anyway.