Your Australian University in Dubai

News Article

UOWD students attempt to scale great heights

Monday, 5 July, 2010

Two UOWD students, sisters Afshaan and Sara Mukhtar will embark on an ambitious journey to scale the highest peak of Africa, Mt. Kilimanjaro. Located in the north-east of Tanzania, Kilimanjaro stands about 5895m (19,340 feet) high, ranking as the highest free standing mountain in the world rising at 15,100 feet from the base to the summit. It is also the 4th highest of the 7 summits in the world.

The journey to the Uhuru summit demands intense training. Over the past 6 months, the sisters preparation has included climbing 250 floors once a week, walking 12kms uphill and clocking almost 30kms on normal terrain. The training has been physically and mentally challenging, with the level of intensity increasing as the expedition gets closer.

As Kilimanjaro is known as one of the few places on earth that encompasses every ecological life zone, the five day climb will offer various sceneries. The trek will begin at the Marangu gate through a forest to Mandara which is 2700 meters high. The next day is a walk through twelve hills of savannah towards Horombo that stands at 3720m. The third day is a hike through the cold alpine desert known as the "saddle which ends at the Kibo huts positioned at an altitude of 4703m. And finally, the same night holds the steep ascent to the icy cradle of the Uhuru summit standing at 5895m.

The journey, as adventurous as it sounds, is a test of not only physical ability, but also inner strength and the will to push past all weaknesses to achieve success and a view of the Earths horizon reserved for the eyes of the fortunate few. Once they reach their destination, the sisters will place a commemorative UOWD flag at the summit.

The entire UOWD family is backing Afshaan and Sara as they set off on this expedition and look forward to welcoming them back on their return.