Not many people celebrate reaching the summit of Kilimanjaro by doing the splits, but Lance Smith did exactly that after trekking the Lemosho Route with Action Challenge. Lance was climbing in memory of his brother in law, Rob, who sadly passed away earlier in the year. Lance says “He was everything to me and I was extremely close to him. He died at 60 but was diagnosed with dementia at 48”.
What makes Lance’s climb even more remarkable is he is an amputee, and completed the climb with a prosthetic leg. In 2004, Lance was involved in an accident with a 10-ton digger on a building site where he was working. It was a tough time, and he nearly died.
In 2006 and 2008, Lance’s sons were born, something he says “literally saved my life as all the negative focus turned to positive”. He says he climbed Kili for his sons “to teach them not to be afraid, and they can do anything they want in life – to grab it!”
How did he find climbing Kilimanjaro? “I fell many, many times on Kili, and got battered and bruised… Even taking the skin off the bottom of my stump. I didn’t think I could make certain climbs but I did it. I dug deep and did it, with help from Action Challenge’s Mountain Leader, Oliver, plus the medic and team of guides and porters…. I will never forget all of them.”
Mountain weather can be unpredictable, and Lance gets extra bragging rights as they faced some interesting conditions: “We were hit with some of the worst weather you could have on the mountain…. Rain and freezing conditions. Wet clothes!”
Has this put Lance off doing more challenges? Nope! “I’m still buzzing. I am going to raise more money for more charities… And do many more challenges. I’m even considering rowing the Atlantic in 2 or 3 yrs from now with a partner.”
If you feel inspired by Lance’s story, why take a look at our dates for 2022 and 2023 and start you own adventure.