Next challenge for climber (8)? It’s Kilimanjaro

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COMPLETING the Three Peaks challenge has set an eight-year-old boy firmly on the right path to achieving his next goal – climbing Kilimanjaro when he is ten.

Thomas Dawson, of Roman Road, Moulton Chapel, took on the 40km hike during his school holiday after being inspired by the story of American teenager Jordan Romero, who become the youngest person to climb to the summit of the highest mountains on each of the seven continents.

Thomas’ mum Phillida suggested he take on the hike to test his determination after he suggested the climb in Tanzania.

She said: “I was really impressed with him. After the second peak I said if he wanted to stop, my car was only about two miles away. He said he had come to do the Three Peaks and what was the point in coming if he didn’t do it.

“I was amazed by the level of determination. He blew me away.”

The Moulton Chapel Primary School pupil set off at 5.30am on April 7 and conquered Pen-y-Ghent (691m), Whernside (728m) and Ingleborough (723m) in about 12 hours.

Thomas, Phillida and their climbing partner Chris Weeks celebrated their walk with an ice cream in a pub at the finish.

Phillida is now exploring the possibilities of how to make Thomas’s Kilimanjaro wish to come true.

“You cannot get a licence to do it before you are ten,” she said. “He’s only eight and he still has 18 months to go. At the moment it is looking promising. Whether that will stay with him I have no idea.

“I’m going to put safety first and only go with a reputable company to climb it. It has been done by someone as young as Thomas before so I know it’s possible.”