Mountaineering Moments #10 . . . Charlene Milner
Last year I assisted with Saray Khumalo’s Summits with a Purpose initiative. In February 2019 the team hosted a celebration of high-altitude mountaineering in Johannesburg. As the event started to gain traction, we were so grateful when the audience grew beyond the Gauteng province. But I know that Saray and I both never expected that someone in Zambia (two countries to the north of South Africa) would hear about the event and simply know that this is where she was meant to be. So, Charlene hopped on a plane, flew south and joined the 150 strong audience. It was a massive privilege to meet Charlene during this event and continue a friendship and provide mountaineering advice via our various online channels and communities.
Charlene is the owner of Busy Bodies Gym in Ndola, Zambia. After climbing Kilimanjaro in 2017 she progressed to Everest Base Camp (2018) and Elbrus (2019). During her mountains trips she continues to raise much needed funds for various organisations and charities around Ndola, Zambia. One of her next exciting adventures pre-Covid times was to be trekking the Camino de Santiago! Her positive, supportive nature is infectious and super inspiring!
Favourite mountain expedition: This is a hard one as each trip has been so different and new discoveries and exploring of countries, cultures and people. I have loved them all for different reasons. It has been such a wonderful enlightening path for me, so I try hard not to allow anything to spoil it.
Top 2 gear must haves: Good boots and good socks, there is no sleeping if the feet are cold.
Hardest Lesson: You must have good eyewear to protect your eyes. On Kilimanjaro I just had my regular sunglasses which were polarized but I got an allergic reaction to the suns UV rays when we were above the clouds, as they came in through the sides of my sunglasses. My eyes were burning. I thought I was going to go blind. Quite frightening. The guides were so kind to loan me the darkest pair of wrap around glasses. Thank God I haven’t had that experience or allergic reaction again.
Music or audiobooks: Music, still haven’t tried an audiobook - love the feel of paper.
Shewee or squat: Squat as I have no idea of what a shewee is!
First post-Covid project: I still have my mind set on Mt Aconcagua for 2020 or 2021 as I would like to continue with my goal of climbing the 7 Summits