A BLOCKLEY man has fulfilled a lifelong dream after conquering the highest mountain in Africa.

Alan Guthrie and his Ernst & Young colleague Steve Dennis, have just returned from an eight-day trek with Private Expeditions up to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.

The pair decided to take time out of their work commitments and give something back and have so far raised £3,600 between them for the NSPCC.

Mr Guthrie, who is originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota, is no stranger to endurance feats after running 15 marathons including the Great Wall of China marathon last year.

But the 42-year-old said climbing 5,895 metres to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro was something he wanted to tick off his bucket list.

“It’s something unique I wanted to do,” he said. “It was just a fantastic experience.”

Mr Guthrie, who has lived in the UK for the last nine years, said despite preparing for the challenge by walking up the Cotswold hills, the altitude was something different altogether.

“I had trained walking with a pack for hours just walking around the Cotswolds, so the first four or five days wasn’t a problem,” he said. “When you start to get to 4,000 or 5,000 metres and when you see the summit, you kind of have it in your sights.

“Every breath you take is really difficult. It was really cold on top, -20C and windy.”

Anika Patel from the NSPCC said: “We’d like to say a huge thank you to Steve and Alan for taking on this challenge in support of the NSPCC.

“The money they raise will help fund our vital services to protect vulnerable children and prevent abuse here in the UK and so by conquering Mount Kilimanjaro, they will be doing something truly amazing for children.”

To make a donation, visit justgiving.com/Steve-Dennis3.