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Kaydi (9) to set records by taking on Kilimanjaro

THREE generations of one family are taking on Africa's highest mountain to celebrate a granddad's 60th birthday and make a bit of history.

And should nine-year-old Kaydi Smith succeed, she will become the youngest girl to ever have conquered Kilimanjaro.

The record for the youngest person to complete the feat is an American boy, who was only seven at the time.

But as far as her family knows, she will the youngest European to do it.

MILESTONE

Kaydi, from Killarney, Co Kerry, will be joined in her bid by her mum and dad, Aoife and Alan Smith, and grandad Michael Doherty (59), who will mark the milestone of reaching 60 with the climb.

The family plans to spend eight days climbing and to reward themselves afterwards by enjoying a few days of rest in Tanzania.

Kaydi's mum is confident her little girl is up for the challenge.

"It was her idea and she asked her granddad, who climbed Kilimanjaro before, if he'd do it again and if she could go," Aoife said.

"Very soon, we were all roped in so it has turned into a kind of family holiday.

"We will have to deal with altitude all right and I'm not sure how this will affect us but we have excellent guides and there will be a group of seven of us in total."

Kaydi has been up and down Carrauntwohill several times over the past year and, like the rest of her family, loves the outdoors.

The family owns the Kerry Outdoor Sports store in Killarney.

"Dad used to have us out trekking from the time we were able to walk and it's been the same for Kaydi," she added.

The family's climb starts on Monday.

hnews@herald.ie


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