They may be young, but Charlie and Lachie Warren have already conquered one of the world’s highest mountains.
Mount Kilimanjaro is 5895 metres high – the tallest mountain in Africa.
It was last year that Charlie, 14, and Lachie, 16, first thought of climbing the mountain and the nine months that followed would see daily training, exercise and an impressive amount of commitment from the boys.
Along the way, Charlie was raising money for Motor Neurone Disease Tasmania and has so far collected more than $1000 through his Reaching New Heights for MND Everyday Hero website.
The big day finally arrived last month when the brothers and their dad Michael boarded a plane and took off for Tanzania.
When they arrived at the mountain and looked up, reality set in.
“The first day we were walking through rain forest, so we were walking up through the clouds and the camp was scrub,” Charlie said
“It wasn’t that physically demanding because we were walking so slowly, which was sometimes a bit frustrating.”
Lachie said that to look up and see what was ahead of them was incredible.
“On the second day we got into more rocky terrain with less trees around us and by the third day it was mainly just rocks we were walking on,” he said.
“It was pretty challenging – some days we were walking seven hours straight so it was hard to continue on.”
But as the boys continued up the mountain and through the clouds, Charlie was struck with a bad case of altitude sickness.
“We kept on going and we thought I would get better on the third day, but I unfortunately didn’t,” Charlie said.
“We got to Karanga Camp which is 5000 metres and then we decided that it would be safer if we came down from the mountain.”
Although the team did not make it to the top, climbing up 5000 metres is no mean feat and they are rightfully proud of their achievements.
“Mount Meru is another mountain just off Mount Kilimanjaro and it looked like an island in the clouds,” Charlie said.