Local business woman Susan Arkley will scale the highest mountain in Africa this October when she hopes to raise at least £2,000 for the Scottish Association of Mental Health (SAMH). The trek, she reveals, will be an emotional and personal challenge.
Susan, owner of Falkirk-based telecoms company Source Telecom and Director of Kingsfield Golf Centre, said: “Five years ago at the age of just 50 my uncle took his own life. It was a huge shock and absolutely devastating for his family and friends.”
Susan believes that mental health issues shouldn’t be kept secret and offhand remarks such as ‘we all have bad days’ only serve to highlight how oblivious people are to the issues and actually does more harm than good. The anniversary of her uncle’s death occurs during her climb to the summit of Tanzania’s ice-crowned, dormant volcano.
Enlisting the expertise of Ian Taylor Trekking, Susan will power up Kilimanjaro in just over 10 weeks’ time. In preparation for her challenge, Susan has committed to climb 8 Munros and already has Ben Lomond and Ben Nevis under her belt. Commenting on her training schedule Susan said: “It’s the ultimate test of endurance so I’m doing a lot of cardio such as Metafit sessions and incline walks on the treadmill for 90 minutes at a time with a weighted backpack!
“It’s going to be a massive test for me – physically, mentally, and of course emotionally.”
Susan will be taking the Lemosho route to reach Mt Kilimanjaro’s Uhuru Peak at 5,895 m (19,431 ft); the highest point in Africa. Regarded as the most scenic and the best route for acclimatisation, she’ll take 8 days to reach the summit and descend.
Susan will donate all money raised to the charity closest to her heart. To support her in her Kilimanjaro quest please visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/SusanandAngela.