Kettle Home’s Stuart Caddy and Tom Bayliss complete Mount Kilimanjaro

Cabinet furniture supplier Kettle Home has seen two of its director’s take on the challenge of making it to the top of Africa’s highest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro.

Kettle Home’s Stuart Caddy, MD, and Tom Bayliss, UK Sales Director, decided to attempt the challenge for Cancer Research UK, a charity close to home for both, with the team fundraising in memory of company founder John Kettle and Tom’s parents Andrew and Jennifer Bayliss.

The aim, alongside completing the climb, is to raise £5,000 for the charity. At the time of writing, the duo has reached 70% of that goal, so far raising over £3,500.

Reflecting on the experience, as both made it to the top after four gruelling days, Stuart said: “Tom and I can safely say that it was the hardest physical challenge that we’ve ever done!”

The pair arrived in Tanzania on 22 February 2024 and met with the guides ready to set off the following morning for the first leg of the trek, which saw them hike over six and a half hours, covering 12 miles through the rain forest and continuing on an ascending path, crossing the valley along a steep rocky ridge.

The final part of the route was west onto a river gorge until they arrived at the Shira campsite. The second day saw the team trek up a further 147m, which is important for acclimatisation, as they made it to the Lava Tower and climbed to the top before back down and arriving at Barranco Camp for the night.

“The day’s hike was tough on the knees along a ridge and saw us trek over four hours and 22,000 steps,” Stuart revealed.

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Day three began with a trek along a steep ridge up to the adventurous Barranco Wall and on to the Karanga Valley and junction, which connects with the Mweka Trail, then stopping at Barafu Camp.

Stuart said: “This was an eight-mile trek, clocking up over 23,000 steps and we hit an altitude of 4,700m. An early night was in store, as we would be heading for the summit at around 1.30am!”

The final day of climb saw Stuart and Tom head for the summit, which was the most “mentally and physically challenging” portion of the trek.

“Making our way between the Rebmann and Ratzel glaciers, we had to contend with a steep 1,200m climb alongside plummeting temperatures, but the sunrise at the highest point in Africa was worth every step,” Stuart said.

After a short break at the top, they started the descent back to the base and made it back down the mountain in one go, navigating loose rocky and volcanic ash terrain.

“We had such an amazing experience and to do this for a charity close to our hearts made it even more worthwhile. Please donate and help our cause if you can. Thank you.”

To donate, click here.

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