Sarka Naivertova, director of Distinct Estate Agents, climbed to the top of the 5,895 metre tall Mount Kilimanjaro, in Tanzania, to raise money for Banbury Young Homelessness Project (BYHP).
It was also a personal challenge for Miss Naivertova, who wanted to prove to herself she could climb the peak.
Speaking to the Banbury Guardian, Miss Naivertova said she couldn’t believe she’d completed the climb and described the experience as ‘absolutely incredible’.
She said: “It was always something I could never believe I would be able to do.
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“For me, Kilimanjaro is the kind of place to challenge myself. I’m a big believer in conquering fear.”
Miss Naivertova, who was born in Communist Czechoslovakia, now the Czech Republic, used her background of hard work to inspire her to complete the climb.
As well as altitude sickness, Miss Naivertova had to deal with temperatures that ranged from 30-plus degrees at the bottom, to minus 45 degrees at the summit.
She said: “I suffered immensely and I was the first one to fall sick out of the whole group. It just crippled me. The best way I can describe it is it is like the worst hangover you could ever have, one where it is painful to turn your head left or right and you feel so sick, you can’t even walk from the bedroom to the kitchen, but I had to hike.”
Despite the challenging conditions, Miss Naivertova and the rest of her group made it to the summit, often called the ‘roof of Africa’.
She said: “Reaching the top was just exhilarating. We started walking on the Friday night at 11pm and we got to the top around 7am. It was very steep and I couldn’t see. We had to hike really slowly. We reached Stella Point and when you make it there, you know you are going to make it to the top.”
Miss Naivertova is aiming to raise £10,000 for BYHP and has raised around £6,500 so far.
She said she chose BYHP because she liked the ethos of the charity and her firm had provided work experience for some of BYHP’s clients.
People can donate at uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserPage.action?userUrl=SarkaNaivertova&faId=666273&isTeam=false