Ex-pat Trish makes it to the top of Africa

Trish Gilluley reaches the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.
Trish Gilluley reaches the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.

An adventurous former Motherwell woman has completed her trek to the highest point in Africa in aid of a Kenyan orphanage.

The Motherwell Times met up with ex-pat Trish Gilluley back in December as she trained to reach the top of Kilimanjaro by climbing the stairs at Burnside Tower.

Trish, who moved to Australia 30 years ago, was back home due to the ill-health and subsequent death of her mother Elizabeth, but far from proving a distraction it just gave her more motivation to complete the challenge in her mum’s memory.

As well as the tower block stairs, back home in Rockhampton, Queensland, Trish joined fellow adventurers Matthew Norton and Danny Crossley in walking up the near 2,000 ft high Mount Archer every Friday for six months.

All three were no strangers to extreme challenges having previously tackled the Kokoda trail in Papua New Guinea.

Both Kokoda and Kilimanjaro took eight days to complete, but Trish was in no doubt which was tougher.

She said: “I did reach the summit of Kilimanjaro, but it proved to be toughest challenge, both mentally and physically that I have ever done.

“It was so different from Kokoda, my right foot was still numb even by the time I got back home, so it was definitely more of a mental challenge and those last two days were the toughest of all.

“One of our team, the youngest member, could not reach summit so I was very proud that I was able to get there.

“I would never do this again, but having raised about $4,500 (Aus) for the Umoja Orphanage in Mombassa it was all worthwhile.”

Although Trish has no desire to ever climb a mountain again, she won’t be idle for long , because she is already planning another adventure - and aims to tackle the Great Wall of China in April.