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VSA Trekkers finish on a high at Machu Picchu!

VSA Trekkers finish on a high at Machu Picchu!

A group of trekkers has raised an incredible £25,000 for leading social care charity, VSA. The team’s five members set off from Aberdeen to take on this tough ten-day challenge through Inca ruins to the iconic city at 15,000ft altitude. Aches, pains, endless steps, high mountain passes, meeting the locals, making friends, and rough sleeping; VSA’s Inca Trek team went through it all to reach Machu Picchu.

John Morrison, Managing Director of General & Technical Services, was pushed out of his comfort zone during the challenge. He said, “It was a fantastic challenge for us all. The traveling, change of culture, high altitude, and the tough second day climbing 1200m made completing the trek very difficult. There’s no way to prepare, mentally and physically, for the grueling nature of the challenge but it makes it even more satisfying to overcome this and especially knowing that we were raising funds for VSA’s Changing Lives Campaign.”

The team spent four hard days trekking up the slopes of Machu Picchu, which made it all the more special for the participants. John Mutch, Director of John Mutch Building Services, said:  “The experience was always going to be great, visiting one of the seven wonders of the modern world, however arriving via the original Inca Trail route made it even more rewarding. Many including myself had to dig deep to the challenges faced with hiking long distance at Altitude. Over and above the fabulous views I have gained wonderful friendships, and these memories will remain with me forever.”

“To anyone else considering a trip like this, the most important aspect is that through your efforts, with support from friends and family, you will help VSA to change lives in Aberdeen.”

Gordon Edwards, VSA’s Director of Finance, said: “It was a fantastic experience, learning about the history and culture of the Inca people and Machu Picchu, along with the incredible scenery. The second day of the trek was the hardest, with a very steep climb up to Dead Woman's Pass to 4,200 metres (13,800 feet) and a challenging descent down the other side. It was an unforgettable experience with everyone supporting each other through the highs and lows to finish the challenge together.”

VSA is looking to take things to the next level in 2020, announcing that they will be recruiting for a team of fundraisers to trek Kilimanjaro. VSA’s Director of External Relations, Jennifer Mitchell, said: “We are so proud of our Inca Trek team for their effort, commitment and sheer will to complete the challenge while raising funds for our new £3.2 million mental wellbeing facility. Given the success, we are delighted to offer a once in a lifetime opportunity to trek Kilimanjaro, the highest freestanding mountain in the world. If you want to help VSA to change lives in the north-east and take on a unique challenge, we want to hear from you.”

For more information about the Kilimanjaro trek or VSA’s Changing Lives Campaign, please visit: www.vsa.org.uk

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