Portsmouth dad and daughter conquer Kilimanjaro

Emma and Peter Chandler, from Portsmouth, at the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.
Emma and Peter Chandler, from Portsmouth, at the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.

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When Emma Chandler decided to climb a mountain in memory of her grandmother, her father Peter was the first to rise to the challenge.

The father and daughter, from Portsmouth, scaled Mount Kilimanjaro battling altitude sickness and minus 15-degree temperatures to reach the summit.

Emma, 23, says: ‘My grandma, Cynthia Kane, died last October, aged 80.

‘For the last five years of her life she suffered with vascular dementia, which was the result of a series of strokes.

‘I spent four weeks on a volunteer programme in a primary school in Tanzania and decided to end my trip by climbing Kilimanjaro to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society, which helps dementia sufferers and their families.’

As soon as Emma told her family of her plans to climb the mountain, her dad wanted to get involved.

She adds: ‘My dad jumped straight on the bandwagon and said he wanted to come with me.

‘I was pleased, as I have never done anything remotely like it before, but my dad has climbed several mountains and knew some of what to expect.’

The pair met up in Tanzania and joined three American climbers and guides for the seven-day climb in memory of Cynthia.

Peter, 59, a director at Portsmouth-based chartered surveyors Chandler Hawkins, says: ‘Most days were spent walking for eight hours. It rained a lot and at night the temperature fell to around minus 15. ‘We were sleeping in tents wearing six layers under our coats.

‘But I was impressed and very proud at how Emma coped and stayed cheerful throughout.

‘It was a fantastic adventure to have with my daughter.’

So far, Emma has raised £570.

She adds: ‘It was fabulous to climb a mountain with my dad and I know Grandma would have been very proud of both of us.’