The ice and snow stings your face like a thousand needles. The -15ish conditions chill you to your very soul. Your right ear and most of your fingers no longer exist to your sensory system; long ago having succumbed to the icy jaws which clamped your blood supply from reaching them. Slowly, painfully, you trudge one step after the other. Meanwhile you try in vain to get your limp fingers on your left hand pliable again by moving them with your right. You should have paused long ago, stopped the stupidity, turned back. Yet you don’t. The passion of a GOLDen light which burns in your soul and the knowledge that you are doing this for more than just yourself makes you continue. After all you are doing this for the youth of South Africa, and you will not fail them.
No that scene wasn’t a lucid dream and no it didn’t happen on Denali or the rugged peaks of Patagonia. It was very real and happened just down the road from our world class adventure paradise and metropolis; Cape Town. It happened on the frigid slopes of our very own Matroosberg.
Myself and Girlfriend/Team member, Tarryn, were there (along with a few friends) partly because of the absurdity of finding heavy snow in South Africa and the adventure inherent in this event but that was not the only reason. We were there trying to condition ourselves in the cold and altitude for a purpose bigger than ourselves: for a “Mission to a GOLDen Height.”
Mission to a GOLDen height is an all-South African mountaineering expedition with a bigger purpose. The mission to do more than just climb a mountain was born from the knowledge that through doing the things we as adventurers love, things others often consider slightly loopy, we all hold the potential to make a positive difference. Our mission has simple aims; climb Mt Batian (5,199m), the highest peak of Mt Kenya while assisting the amazing charity GOLD to develop underprivileged youth to become influential leaders in their communities. GOLD achieves this development through providing selected youth with structured training programs and mentoring and has a proven track record of success with this approach. At the heart of GOLD lies the understanding that youth in disadvantaged communities are desperately seeking role models. For the GOLDen Heights Team; Shane, Tarryn and Immo, our mission is an opportunity for us to role model the positive impact that we can all achieve.
Through Mission to a GOLDen Height, the expedition team aims to promote the GOLDen message to South Africa and the world. Moreover the team will be helping GOLD to grow in their graduates the seeds of sustainability, adventure and a love for the environment through education and excursions into the mountains. The mission is powered by clean energy produced by the efforts of the international Wind Energy Developer ‘Windlab.
’Windlab’s efforts to develop world class socially and environmentally sustainable wind farms here in South Africa and around the world mirror what us and GOLD are trying to achieve through Mission to a GOLDen Height.
If you are interested in hearing more you can visit our facebook page athttps://www.facebook.com/mission2agoldenheight and follow us on twitter @M2GOLDenheight. There are lots of exciting stories and photos of our training excursions to places near you. Ultimately we are aiming to reach 1000 FB likes and R100,000 in donations for GOLD (http://www.givengain.com/activist/122258/projects/8502/). We are on the way but need all the help we can get to reach these goals. Remember every like and every rand makes a difference!
GOLDen Height Expedition