Michael Vesey has been spending weekends trudging Bong Bong pass, west of Dapto, but next week will start a journey of a more challenging ilk.
Mr Vesey will soon fly to Tanzania to hike Mount Kilimanjaro, as part of the UNICEF Kilimanjaro Climb For Kids. With a five-day hike to the 5895-metre summit, Mr Vesey aims to raise $15,000 to aid health and nutrition programs in Ethiopia.
"I thought it was a chance to have an adventure, see a part of the world I'd never seen, and challenge myself mentally and physically," he said.
Mr Vesey will join a team of 10 hikers - including group leader Simon Dikkenberg , from Stanwell Park - as part of the third Climb For Kids group.
Two other UNICEF groups have already conquered the mountain, raising more than $280,000. Mr Vesey has personally raised more than $11,500, and hopes to hit $15,000.
"The money goes to support mobile health nutrition teams, providing healthcare to remote villages," he said.
Training with long hikes in the escarpment west of his home, the northern Illawarra and the Blue Mountains, Mr Vesey said the Kilimanjaro challenge was more a hike than a climb, but looked forward to testing his limits.
"I've bought a good pair of boots, and have been practising with a big backpack," he laughed.
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