Introducing Ian Champion- Our resident mountaineer

Kilimanjaro tales

 

The eagerly awaited second instalment of our member interviews is here!

We sat down and chatted to our resident mountaineer Ian Champion to have a chat about his maiden summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.

About Ian:

Ian is 31 years old and works in the coding and design of emails for companies, as well as advertising for them. He has played a lot of sports, including cricket, boxing & golf. The sport of trekking & climbing has only recently surfaced for Ian as he began asking himself…

What’s the next big thing to do?”

As a keen photographer, and videographer, the challenge of Kilimanjaro was particularly enticing due to the incredible landscapes, people and cultures that he was about to experience.

If you are a budding photographer, Ian has entered a competition called “The Photographic Angle”, where his black and white depiction of his climb up Kilimanjaro will come up against some strong opposition.

 

Unfortunately, we cannot vote, but if you want to check his stuff out, see his Instagram page: @champion_vlogs.

 

What made you climb Kilimanjaro, and have you done any climbing/trekking before?

“I had never climbed a mountain prior to Kilimanjaro so I considered all 6, bar Everest (Base Camp was the option instead). I was really drawn to Africa as I am fascinated by their culture and have never been to the continent.

Tanzania is an amazing place, so being on top of the highest free standing mountain in the world was a great incentive. I climbed with my partner and we loved escaping reality, and…

Loved being separated from society.”

 Ian is not in any way anti-social, which is ever too easy today with technology and life’s distractions. It is crucial to get out there and experience something new, and we feel that Ian certainly epitomises this!

 

What training did you do in preparation for the climb, and did training at Locker help with that? 

“I spent the bulk of my training shared between gruelling sessions at Locker, and on Boxhill.

At Locker my sessions mainly revolved around the infamous prowler. The feeling of dragging your legs in latter prowler sets mimicked how I felt when fatigue started to get the better of me on the mountain. In more ways than one, you really have to take both the prowler, and climbing a mountain, step-by-step!

Walks up Boxhill were implemented to get used to walking at an incline, and to help with walking volume in general. You can never walk in your walking boots enough prior to long treks. Don’t let something as small as a blister ruin an amazing experience!

I cannot stress enough, how ‘random’ the effects of altitude were. I am a fit male, and experienced sickness a lot more than other walkers in the group that were relatively untrained. Hard work prior to the climb allowed me to push through these tough phases, so I cannot stress enough how important it is to be prepared for these challenges.”

 

What were your biggest take-away thoughts, and what were the best & worst things about the climb?

“I, like many others absolutely loved the culture within the group. I can only describe it as a…

brotherhood, where everyone is working toward the same goal.

 I would rank this as one of the best things about the trip, but making new friends that I’m still in contact with was up there as well. I also have an undying appreciation for the porters who would literally carry you up the mountain if you asked!

In terms of the worst aspects, I had a sinking feeling that…

I was leaving the mountain behind, as I was returning to reality.

 Nobody likes Monday’s.”

 

And finally, what tips would you offer for anyone about to climb/trek a mountain?

“Pack light, and when you think you are done, you always have more in the tank.”

 This resonates with us at Locker, where all of our members work so hard. Ian is a perfect example of that, and we are proud to have him on board!

 

NOTE:

Don’t forget that if you would like to see more of Ian’s stuff, refer to his Instagram page:

 

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