A team of travel industry leaders will travel to Tanzania to climb Kilimanjaro raising money for G Adventures’ charitable foundation, Planeterra and Abta Lifeline.

We catch up with seven of them to find out what’s driving them, how they’ve prepared, what they’re nervous about and who might get on their nerves.

The 11-strong team of industry professionals will be tackling Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania in support of Planeterra, G Adventures’ not-for-profit foundation. Each team member has pledged to raise £3,000 of which 80% will go towards developing and supporting new social enterprise projects around the world, and 20% will be donated to Abta Lifeline. The group will be taking on the eight-day Machame Route tour offered by G Adventures, which includes six days of trekking.

The team members are Brian Young, Stu Darnley and Leah Whitfield (all G Adventures), Lisa McAuley (Gold Medal and Travel 2 parent, dnata Travel Europe), Jacqueline Dobson and Chris Mottershead (both Barrhead Travel), Miles Morgan (Miles Morgan Travel), Andy Harmer (Clia), Tanya Airey (Sunvil), Sam Conway (Mail Metro Media) and Lucy Huxley (Travel Weekly).

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Lisa McAuley, managing director b2b tour operations, dnata Travel Europe


Why are you climbing Kilimanjaro?
It will be a once-in-a-lifetime trip and from that perspective I can’t wait.

Have you ever done anything like this before?
I’ve undertaken charity treks previously, mainly for Macmillan and other cancer-related charities.

How much preparation have you done?
I go out walking a lot anyway. However, these walks tend to include stops at country pubs and Sunday lunches.

What aspect are you most nervous about?
Altitude sickness.

What aspect are you most excited about?
Having no phone or WiFi signal!

Who on the team will be the most competitive?
Blimey, take your pick, hopefully we’ll use any competitive spirit to support each other.

Who on the team will be the most annoying and why?
There are rumours we have someone with world record breaking snoring levels in our midst, Andy Harmer!

What one luxury item are you taking up the mountain?
I’m not, the less weight to carry the better.


Miles Morgan, owner, Miles Morgan Travel

Why are you climbing Kilimanjaro?
Putting money back into destinations appeals to a guy who has earned his living from overseas destinations and sending customers overseas.

Have you ever done anything like this before?
Definitely not. About a few miles with the dogs has been my limit.

How much training have you done?
It always hard to find time. I walk frequently but the incline and altitude will be something else.

What aspect are you most nervous about?
The attitude and possible sickness.

What aspect are you most excited about?
The challenge of the climb and hopefully the feeling of elation at the top.

Who on the team will be the most competitive?
Lucy Huxley

Who on the team will be the most annoying and why?
Chris Mottershead, have you heard him sing Delilah?

What one luxury item are you taking up the mountain?
Jelly Babies


Andy Harmer, UK and Ireland director, Clia

Why are you climbing Kilimanjaro?
I am a great believer in testing and pushing yourself, and seeing what you can achieve.

Have you ever done anything like this before?
I’ve hiked the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. That was extraordinary.

What preparation have you done?
I have given up alcohol, tried to make my diet healthier and added lots of leg work and swimming.

What aspect are you most nervous about?
The camping

What are you most excited about?
The whole thing – it’s so different to anything I do in normal life.

Who on the team will be the most competitive? 
No question – Brian Young.

Who on the team will be the most annoying and why?
I’m fairly sure Lisa McAuley will be annoyingly cheerful and upbeat throughout.

What one luxury item are you taking up the mountain?
Cadbury Freddos.


Jacqueline Dobson, president, Barrhead Travel

Why are you climbing Kilimanjaro?
I like to challenge myself every year and raise money for charity. Kilimanjaro has always been on my bucket list and Planterra is an amazing charity.

Have you done anything like this before?
No and I have never camped before. I did run the London marathon two years ago.

How much training have you done?
I joined a boot camp back in August and in recent months have climbed Conic Hill and the Cobbler in Scotland.

What aspect are you most nervous about?
Being left behind, and the camping.

What aspect are you most excited about?
Getting to the top.

Who on the team will be the most competitive?
Brian and Lucy, 100%

Who on the team will be the most annoying and why?
Can I answer that after the event?

What one luxury item are you taking up the mountain?
Salt ‘n vinegar crisps.


Brian Young, managing director EMEA, G Adventures

Why are you climbing Kilimanjaro? 
To raise more funding for Planeterra.

Have you ever done anything like this before?
I used to be in the Territorial Army so I’ve pushed myself to limits!

How much training/what preparation have you done?
As much as my schedule permits. I have also dragged my poor dog on 15km hikes on the weekends.

What aspect are you most nervous about?
I have a severe fear of heights which is really playing on my mind.

What aspect are you most excited about?
The challenge, the people and the results that come from our fundraising.

Who on the team will be the most competitive?
Huxley can be so competitive. I have spent my career in competition on the ski slopes with her.

Who on the team will be the most annoying?
Sam as the young pup of the group will be both fit and youthful.

What one luxury item are you taking up the mountain?
Jelly babies and Snickers bars


Chris Mottershead, consultant, Barrhead Travel

Why are you climbing Kilimanjaro?
To raise funds for Planeterra and the ABTA Lifeline.

Have you ever done anything like this before?
Never. I normally prefer something more luxurious.

How much training have you done?
I am reasonably fit but have stepped up the intensity and regularity.

What aspect are you most nervous about?
The altitude.

What aspect are you most excited about?
The challenge itself and walking with a great set of people.

Who on the team will be the most competitive?
I am quite competitive myself!

Who on the team will be the most annoying and why?
I don’t think anyone will be annoying. However, if someone starts to moan, well…

What one luxury item are you taking up the mountain?
I’m taking a solar charger so I will be able to keep my phone charged for taking photos. Oh, and some Tangfastic sweets!


Lucy Huxley, editor-in-chief, Travel Weekly

Why are you climbing Kilimanjaro?
Because Brian made me! I like walking but I am not a fan of camping.

Have you ever done anything like this before?
I had to buy a pair of walking boots, which should tell you everything.

How much preparation have you done?
I run 5k every week at Park Run and have been focusing on my legs and bum in pilates.

What aspect are you most nervous about?
I would hate to not reach the summit. Oh, and not being able to shower for a week!

What aspect are you most excited about?
Watching the sun rise as we (hopefully) reach the top, all together.

Who on the team will be the most competitive?
Brian. He will be unbearable if he makes it and I don’t!

Who on the team will be the most annoying and why?
Harmer. Have you heard him snore?

What one luxury item are you taking up the mountain?
Moisturiser and chocolate. Lots of it.

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