A Whitley Bay family successfully reached the highest peak in Africa during a poignant trip.
William Dorey’s parents, Hugh and Gill, and brothers Joe, 28, and Dan, 25, were joined by eight other people from Australia for the six-day Mount Kilimanjaro trek, using the Rongai trail route that starts at the Kenya and Tanzania border.
The summit, in Tanzania, is at an altitude of 5,895 metres. All 12 were accompanied by porters and guides – 11 made it to the top, with Gill arriving there a short time later than her husband and sons during the final section of ascending the mountain.
William died after being hit by a car while out running near his home on May 7 last year. He was aged 18 years and five months.
Joshua Cherukara had been racing his friend Harry Cable’s Vauxhall Corsa along the A193 The Links road well in excess of the speed limit.
Cherukara lost control of his vehicle and collided with William.
The 20-year-old and Cable, 18, were both jailed at Newcastle Crown Court after admitting causing death by dangerous driving.
The Dorey group paid all their own expenses so that all monies raised goes to the William Dorey Climbing Club. The total raised at the moment is about £7,500.
His parents allocated donations to the family in the weeks following his death, which totalled £2,600, to the project to refurbish the climbing wall at Kings Priory School in Tynemouth, where William was in the Sixth Form. The club at the school is supported by Newcastle Climbing Centre.
Hugh had hoped to climb Mount Kilimanjaro with his three boys as he had successfully climbed the mountain with his father in 1986.
He said: “There was a wonderful sense of achievement that all four of us reached the summit, but that was mixed with sadness because William wasn’t with us – although he will always be in our thoughts and hearts.
“Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is a life-changing experience and there are many memories and spectacular views that will stay with us for a long time.
“We are very grateful to everyone who has made a donation and those who have also given us encouragement and support.
“We will leave it to the school and Newcastle Climbing Centre to decide how best to utilise the funds.”
On the third day of ascending – they reached the Mawenzi Tarn Camp at 4,330 metres high after about four hours of climbing – the group had gone above the clouds and so there were plenty of amazing views, although the Doreys were starting to feel the effects of the high altitude at this point.
The next day involved five to six hours of trekking across the saddle that stretches between Mawenzi and Kibo Camp at 4,700 metres.
Following some rest, it was a midnight start to get to Gilman’s Point at 5,681 metres for dawn, the preferred time period as after a short break climbers can then attempt to reach the Uhuru Peak summit later in the morning.
After getting to the top, the descent began and this included a steep section back to Kibo Camp, where those in front waited for the whole group to come together.
They then went on to spend the night at Horombo Camp (3,720 metres) to make it 15 hours in total that day.
Before the final section of descending, there was a traditional ceremony from the locals that the Doreys enjoyed. The last walk to complete the trek took between four and five hours.
To make a donation to the William Dorey Climbing Club, go to www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/william-dorey?utm_term=jx5DdKvp6