On 16 October at 4pm Bernie Goosen reached the summit of Kilimanjaro – and in doing so, smashed his own record for the fastest ascent of the mountain in a wheelchair.
Mr Goosen, who has now reached Uhuru Peak, the summit of Kilimanjaro, twice, and remains the only man to conquer the mountain in a wheelchair, covered a total distance of 27km and ascended to 3885m, the highest point on the African continent.
Beginning on 9th October, he reached the summit at 4pm on the 15th, taking 6 days, 3 hours and 20 minutes in total. This beat his previous record of 9 days, set in 2003.
46 members took part in the climb, including a 33-strong Team Kilimanjaro expedition crew. Amongst the trekkers was Neil Stephenson, who lost his leg in a shark attack a few years ago. Stephenson also made it to the summit.
Goosen, 28, has been disabled since birth as a result of cerebral palsy, and is classified as quadriplegic. Despite needing help over the rocks near the Second Cave on the Rongai Route, and again at the crater rim at Gilman’s Point, Goosen covered virtually all of the rest of the climb by himself, and well within the 10% maximum stipulated by the World Record authorities.
It only remains for us to congratulate Bern (and everyone else associated with the enterprise) on this superhuman achievement. Brilliant stuff!