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Mammoth effort for climb in Katy’s name

PEAK PERFORMANCE: Paula Holmes and a group of fellow climbers at the top of Kilimanjaro

PEAK PERFORMANCE: Paula Holmes and a group of fellow climbers at the top of Kilimanjaro

Since they lost their daughter, Katy to a brain tumour at the age of 10, Dave and Paul Holmes have climbed many metaphorical mountains.

But Paula has just returned to her Penwortham home after overcoming Africa’s highest peak, scaling Mount Kilimanjaro, raising thousands of pounds for charity in the process.

Paula, who was joined by friends, Darren and Angel Adair, Gareth Hargreaves and Tremane Francis on the climb, along with 32 others - including three other Prestonians - said making it to the top of the 5,895m high mountain was one of the hardest experiences she has been through.

She said: “The experience was absolutely incredible, it was just amazing.

“And best of all I got to share it with the most fantastic group of people I could have met.”

The trek took the group ten days to reach the summit and Paula suffered during the climb.

She said: “Angel and I had altitude sickness from day two - we almost had to go back down but from day three we started to adjust to the climate.”

However, Paula, who has two other young daughters, Charley and Scarlet said the scenery was worth it all adding: “Seeing the night sky was absolutely stunning, over here you can’t really see much apart from a few constellations but on the mountain you can just see everything.

“It was like being in a planetarium - I even saw a shooting star.”

“It’s strange to have two such opposing opinions on just one day, it was heavenly when we got to the top but getting there was absolute torture.

“We were literally on our hands and knees climbing to the top.”

When Paula and the group finally reached the top, she filmed her reaction for a YouTube video.

“I felt so close to Katy up there and the fact that her little robin followed us all the way up there was just so lovely.”

On their return, the group were welcomed home with a surprise party thrown in their honour.

Paula added: “Each and every one of us had a different experience depending on our reasons for doing it.

“It was just an incredible experience and I couldn’t recommend it enough - it was so touch but so so rewarding.”

 

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