A South Tyneside student’s feet are firmly back on the ground after climbing the world’s highest free-standing mountain.
Laura Thompson has just returned back from a trip to Tanzania where she scaled Mount Kilimanjaro which stands at 19,341ft.
The 22-year-old from Harton Village, South Shields, was one of 23 people taking part in the challenge to raise funds for Worldwide Cancer Research.
Laura, who is in her final year at the University of Stirling where she is studying a degree in psychology, said: “It was an incredible experience, one I’d definitely do again in a heartbeat.
“I’d never really done much climbing before, I’d only been up the mountains in the Lake District, but overall I didn’t find it too bad.”
It took Laura five days to climb to the top of the mountain and a day and a half to come back down. The hardest part was the final push to the peak.
Laura said: “We had to walk through the night to get to the peak. That was hard. All you could see was the lights from the head lamps people were wearing.
“When you looked up you could see them zig-zagging up to the peak. But you couldn’t see anything else in front of you. It was incomparable to anything else I’d ever done.”
To be able to go on the trek Laura had to raise £3,000 - this covered the cost of the trip and the rest of the cash went to charity.
She did this by hosting a race night at the Westoe Pub, a quiz night at the Maltings and a cake sale at the Westoe Village Fete.
Plus family and friends also held fundraising events and donated sponsorship money.
Laura added: “I started fundraising in May, so it has been a bit crazy since then.
“But I’d like to thank everyone who got involved and helped to be able to take part in the trek.”