Friday 28 July 2017

'Our motto has always been to share the load' - Irish crew climb Mount Kilimanjaro with a washing machine

The delighted group at the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro with the washing machine
The delighted group at the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro with the washing machine

Kathy Armstrong

An Irish team have managed to climb to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro while carrying a 25kg washing machine.

The 30 people team did the challenge to raise money and awareness for suicide and mental health charity Pieta House and they brought the Beko appliance to symbolise asking for help or sharing the load.

The group were led by Waterford teacher Enda O'Doherty, who was dubbed "Machine Washing, Nguvu kama Simba" or "The Washing Machine Man, Strong like a Lion."

The team carrying the washing machine between them up the 5,896m mountain and Mr O'Doherty has spoken about what an amazing bonding experience it was.

Speaking on his arrival home, he said: "This has been the most exhilarating, exciting and extreme journey of my life.

"We had some tough conditions and challenges along the way including battling steep heights, sleepless nights, thinning air and altitude sickness to name a few, but it has been fantastic.
"I think it’s a safe declaration to make that as a crew, we must be the first in the world to scale Kilimanjaro with a washing machine and I can’t praise the team enough.

Enda O’Doherty pictured at the Barafu Camp with the Beko Washing Machine the day before Summit night
Enda O’Doherty pictured at the Barafu Camp with the Beko Washing Machine the day before Summit night

Mr O'Doherty admits he was disappointed to have to stop climbing just two hours from the summit of Africa's highest peak after suffering acute morning sickness.

He said: "Not making the summit was obviously a real personal disappointment but my body could not go any further.

"We had a doctor with us who was fantastic and helped me all the way.

"Our motto has always been to Share the Load because we want to encourage people to ask for help. In a twist of faith, I ultimately had to share the load.

Enda O’Doherty pictured climbing Mount Kilimanjaro with the 25kg Washing Machine
Enda O’Doherty pictured climbing Mount Kilimanjaro with the 25kg Washing Machine

"I couldn’t go on and I needed help with the actual washing machine and the team were able to bring it to the summit and I’m delighted this happened."

He continued to say: "The whole experience is a bit surreal thinking back on it at the moment and I don’t think the reality has actually sunk in.

"But we have raised a lot of money for charity, which in turn will save lives and we are thrilled about that as saving lives is the ultimate goal.”

For more information or to donate please visit here.

  • To find your nearest Pieta House please call 1800 247247

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