Day 1: The BT Red Nose Climb Begins1st March 2009
The BT Red Nose Climb has begun with a tough first day.
At the crack of dawn, 5am to be precise, the celebrity team (consisting of Gary Barlow, Chris Moyles, Ben Shephard, Ronan Keating, Alisha Dixon, Cheryl Cole, Kimberly Walsh, Denise van Outen and Fearne Cotton) awoke to eat a hearty breakfast of porridge, eggs, and toast to set themselves up for their challenging day ahead.
Before their departure for the climb itself, Fearne was incredulous about her strict instructions to take just four pairs of socks to last the entire trip, stating ‘There’s not just four pairs of socks coming for an eight day trek - are you kidding me? Up a mountain with four pairs of socks! No way am I letting delicate little Cheryl Cole smell my big cheesy feet. That is not happening. Multitudes of socks are coming up the mountain with me!’
Once the packing was complete, the team went to register for their expedition at the foot of the mountain. They then made their way to La Mosha Gate where they met the porters who’ll be travelling with them to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro. It was there that they had a snack before setting off through the dense rain forest on the first leg of their journey.
The first day saw the climbers face a steep climb to begin with and lots of walking up great ascents and down harsh declines as they pushed their way forward on their route.
Stopping only for meals, their packed lunch consisted of a sandwich, chocolate bar, banana, carrot sticks, boiled egg and a tropical fruit drink each to keep their energy levels high.
The climbers coped remarkably well with their first grueling four hours of climbing. Cheryl carried her backpack, which was almost the same height as her, and they all managed to avoid stepping in elephant poo as well as surviving the nests with biting ants scuttling around!
It was, however, an exceptionally tough day for Gary who had to take the climb very slowly after waking up with sever back pain. He used two walking poles and the whole team helped him along. He’s hoping his back will loosen up after the first day's climb and is determined to make it to the top.
When the team reached 2800 metres, they stopped at The Big Tree Camp in a big clearing to have a cup of tea and some popcorn before setting up camp.
The exhausted climbers settled at their camp for hot soup, pasta and lots of drinks to rehydrate themselves and stock up on carbs before they begin on the second leg of their great fundriasing feat.
Remember that the team are doing this for one reason - and one reason only – to raise a mountain of cash for Comic Relief. They need all the help they can get so show them your support and sponsor the whole team right here, right now!