Friday 3 May 2013

Prelude to Kilimanjaro I - Scafell

Welcome back to adventures with Autism Works! After an interview on Radio Tees and a Quiz Night, preparations for for my attempt to summit Kilimanjaro are getting more serious, as well as physical! This Bank Holiday Weekend, I have my first bit of practice in the build up, which is a trek up England's highest peak, Scafell Pike in the Lake District (978m). Though, altitude and climate-wise, it may seem a long way from Africa's highest peak, but it is a challenge in its own right.

In common with other treks I have completed, Scafell has an interchangeable climate of its own. Coping with and adjusting to interchangeable weather, as well as being good preparation for the bigger challenge to come later in the year, also helps me in relation to coping with stress and anxiety. Like many other people diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, I do still sometimes find change difficult to manage. It was through trekking in interchangeable conditions that I began to realise that it was more helpful to be with and open up to change rather than resist it.

Scafell Pike (978m)

As well as the physical aspect of preparation, the trek up Scafell is also good sensory preparation, not just in getting a feel of the outdoors, but also getting used to outdoor clothing, which during most 'normal days' I tend not to wear. To help get the best experience out of a trek or climb, it helps to have clothing and footwear that one is comfortable in. This is where trekking can also help those who experience sensory difficulties in relation to autism by being with and opening up to them. 

Accompanying me on the trek up Scafell Pike will be Dan Cottrell, one of Autism Works Software Test Analysts, who is originally from nearby St Bees in Cumbria. On a clear day, it is possible to see England, Scotland, Wales, the Isle of Man and Northern Ireland from the summit of Scafell Pike. However, forecasts suggest that it will be cloudy when we intend to go. To donate to my Kilimanjaro trek in aid of Daisy Chain, my sponsorship page is accessible at

To find out how Dan and I fare going up Scafell Pike, stay tuned to Adventures with Autism Works!

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