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Youngster aims to become the Kilimanjaro Kid

Posted 25 April 2012
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Youngster aims to become the Kilimanjaro Kid
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Anyone who has tried to climb Kilimanjaro - and many experienced walkers and climbers have failed amid the challenges of extreme cold and altitude - will know just how hard it is.

Even the notion that an unfit person like DJ Chris Moyles can do it, as shown by the 2009 Comic Relief challenge, belies the fact that he lost two stone in the training he and other celebrities undertook. The simple fact is that the 19,340 ft peak is a cold and difficult place to conquer, with the threat of altitude sickness and high altitude pulmonary oedema common hazards.

So for an eight-year-old to plan to put on walking boots and take on the challenge is quite an undertaking, but it is one that Thomas Dawson of Moulton Chapel near Spalding in Lincolnshire is set to take on, The Spalding Guardian reports.

Despite coming from one of the flattest parts of the country, the schoolboy has taken to climbing mountains with relish and earlier this month, he managed to complete the climbs of Whernside, Pen-y-Ghent and Ingleborough.

His mother Phillida and their climbing partner Chris Weeks were left eating ice cream in a pub at the finish, with Ms Dawson amazed by her son's persistence.

She told the paper: "I was really impressed with him. After the second peak I said if he wanted to stop, my car was only about two miles away. He said he had come to do the Three Peaks and what was the point in coming if he didn't do it.

"I was amazed by the level of determination. He blew me away."

Such desire comes from the inspiration Thomas gained from learning about the feat of American teenager Jordan Romero, the youngest person to climb the highest peak on all seven continents.

Thomas will actually be ten when his planned ascent of Africa's highest mountain is due to take place, as nobody is allowed to climb it before then.

But once he is past that milestone, there may be no mountain too high for a young man on a mission.