A Moulton Chapel youngster is counting down the days before he makes history by walking up one of the world’s highest mountains.
Tom Dawson (9) is getting an unusual birthday present from his mum Phillida (39) because they are both flying to Tanzania next weekend for a trek up Mount Kilimanjaro at a height of almost 19,500 feet.
They will be joined by friend and experienced mountaineer Chris Weeks and a 15-strong support team for the two-week trek which will see Tom, a pupil at Moulton Chapel Primary School, reach the summit on his tenth birthday.
He said: “I’m excited but a little nervous at the same time.
“When I was four, I climbed Yorkshire’s Three Peaks with my mum and after that we climbed Mount Snowdon as well.
“But one Christmas, I was watching TV and saw an American boy called Jordan Romero who climbed all seven of the highest mountains on earth.
“So I told my mum that I wanted to climb Kilimanjaro and we’ve spent the last 18 months preparing for it.”
Training for the pair has included a number of five-kilometre runs round Moulton Chapel, an exercise regime of press-ups and sit-ups, high-altitude climbing in the Swiss Alps and vaccinations to prevent typhoid and yellow fever.
Phillida said: “We started climbing because Tom was struggling with his confidence and he expressed an interest in it, so I encouraged it.
“But now I sometimes wonder what I’ve created.”
Tom and Phillida are raising money for the MS (Multiple Sclerosis) Society and to donate, visit www.justgiving.com/Phillida-Dawson