Axminster family scale Africa’s highest peak

PUBLISHED: 08:56 07 May 2015 | UPDATED: 08:56 07 May 2015

Honiton 1st Scouts raised £450 from their Easter fair.

Honiton 1st Scouts raised £450 from their Easter fair.


Mum and three children achieve a long held ambition to climb Mt Kilimanjaro

An Axminster family has fulfilled a long-held ambition to scale Africa’s highest mountain.

Janet Harvell and her children Melanie, 26, and twins Holly and Ross, 25, spent the Easter holiday climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.

They took seven days to complete the tough challenge, following the Machame Route. During their climb they experienced sun, rain, hail and snow.

Mrs Harvell took on the challenge to mark her 60th birthday. Her husband, Axminster Community Primary School headteacher Tony Harvell, stayed home to look after their dog, Bella.

She told the Herald that for her and her children it was a shared ambition to climb the tallest peak in Africa.

“It was the most difficult thing we have ever done,” she said. “It was life-changing because you had to get over your fears and to be able to do something that is so difficult.”

Mrs Harvell made it to the last stage before the final ascent, while her children went on to complete the final gruelling 14-hour night-time trek to the summit.

Whilst getting physically fit, the Harvells also went about raising money for a local charity The Masai Literacy Programme and raised 750 dollars.

● Kilimanjaro is the highest free-standing mountain (not part of a range) in the world and attracts thousands of trekkers each year, hoping to reach its summit, an impressive 5,895m above sea level. Three volcanoes form Kilimanjaro and they are Shira, Mawenzi and Kibo. Trekkers pass either Shira or Mawenzi en route to the top.

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