Feeling on top of the world!

Michael and Liam at the top of Kilimanjaro

Michael and Liam at the top of Kilimanjaro

A father and son have told of their five day trek up to the top of Kilimanjaro after the Leader published a photo of them last week.

Mike Byrne and his son, Liam, who were pictured on top of the mountain, have returned to Kincardine and Mearns after a three day safari to celebrate their achievement.

Twelve year old Liam, who attends Mackie Academy, took on the challenge with his dad and another local, Charlie Paton.

Mike, who submitted the photos to the Mearns Leader, has admitted to feeling emotional when the pair reached the summit.

He said: “To be honest, when taking on the challenge I never had any doubt we wouldn’t complete it.

‘‘Anyone who knows Liam would agree but I was always aware it would be tough at times and I wasn’t wrong.

“Once we reached the top I was surprised how emotional I felt, and so proud of Liam. I can’t lie, I had tears in my eyes.”

The group started their challenge just before the end of 2013 and reached the top after five days of climbing.

Kilimanjaro is the highest peak in Africa, and the highest free-standing mountain in the world at 5895 metres or 19,341 feet above sea level.

Liam told the Leader how “lack of sleep” was the hardest part of the challeng, but reaching the top felt like he was “on top of the world.”

He added: “During the final stages as we climbed it felt like walking to heaven.

‘‘We were so high that we couldn’t tell if the group in front of us had head torches or it was the stars and when I looked down it felt like I was on the moon looking down on earth.

“When we reached the top it’s was a great feeling. Charlie let me lead the final leg to the sign and highest point and, looking around me, I felt I was on top of the world.

“I would never have done this challenge without my dad.

‘‘I know from previous things we have done that my dad will only let us do them if we train hard, mentally and physically.

‘‘He has always told me the body can do anything - it’s your mind that decides whether you succeed.”

Liam added that a quick power nap near the top of the summit helped him feel refreshed but he still has a couple of challenges lined up.

He said: “Charlie has organised a 500mile ski race over Finland, Norway and Sweden at the end of this month which my dad will be involved in. It’s to soon to ask my mum if I can take part in this but my goals for the future are certainly visiting other summits in the world and my dad and I have a few a few adventures planned meantime.”

Charlie, aformer Mackie pupil, will lead another trip up Kilimanjaro in June for anyone interested. Contact on 07817 337528, http://www.extremeoutdooradventures.co.uk




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