Tuesday 20 August 2019

Jenny climbs high for Pieta House

ABOVE THE CLOUDS: Jenny and the group sit down and relax after trekking for seven days in aid of Pieta House.
ABOVE THE CLOUDS: Jenny and the group sit down and relax after trekking for seven days in aid of Pieta House.

By Sara Gahan

Single mother Jenny Carlyle (30) from Ballymurn will return home to her two daughters after successfully climbing Mount Kilimanjaro for Pieta House, the highest mountain in Africa.

It took the determined young mother seven days to climb it with a group of 30 people, where she only found the last bit hard because of the altitude and needed oxygen on the way up.

Jenny was in the company of inspirational man Enda O'Doherty who carried a washing machine on his back last year for 235 miles in Ireland all in aid of Pieta House - a charity close to his heart.

Enda carried his washing machine again this year, but this time to the summit of Africa's highest peak. The machine symbolises the heavy hidden load that many people carry and the importance of asking for help.

The Pieta House charity motivated Jenny to complete the climb as she sadly lost her brother Ivan to suicide and wanted to do this in his memory.

Mother Anne Carlyle said: 'We were actually laughing when she told us she was going to do it because she is not into fitness. She climbed the Sugar Loaf mountain to prepare for it and that was it.

'She was the only girl in Wexford to do it and it is a fabulous achievement. When she rang me I couldn't believe it, she was just so determined to get to the top.'

The group managed to raise more than €120,000 for Pieta House and Anne wanted to thank the community of Ballymurn for coming out and supporting Jenny.

Anne said it was very hard on Jenny emotionally, especially leaving her two girls, nine and 11, behind who she missed a lot. The family threw Jenny a massive surprise party at The Anvil Pub, Ballymurn where the whole community came out to congratulate Jenny on her great achievement.

Kilimanjaro is not only Africa's highest point but it is the highest free standing mountain in the world.

The Pieta House Challenge is a 12 day itinerary that includes seven days of walking which allows for great acclimatisation and maximises the chances of a successful summit attempt.

The group started in scrub lands thick with African wildlife and then moved into forests followed by flowering alpine tundra. Above 4,500 meters the landscape began to change to snow and rock as they approached the summit.

Jenny said the sense of achievement after climbing the mountain made all the hard work and effort worth it.

Wexford People

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