Kirk Bouffard and Werner Gruner on Uhuru Peak, Mount Kilimanjaro, during last year's Trek4Mandela. Picture: Supplied
Johannesburg - As if trying to summit Mount Kilimanjaro is not hard enough, three Trek4Mandela climbers are trying to do it twice in less than 24 hours.

Trek4Mandela team leader and mountaineer Sibusiso Vilane, Kirk Bouffard and Werner Gruner will attempt the “double summit”.

The Trek4Mandela expedition started on Friday and will take six days to complete. This is Bouffard’s second climb and Gruner’s third on the Trek4Mandela expedition.

Bouffard lives in Singapore and Werner, who grew up in South Africa, lives in the Bahamas.

“I went to visit Werner in the Bahamas and over sushi he asked me to go with him to Kilimanjaro and I agreed,” says Bouffard.

While on the mountain last year, Vilane convinced them to attempt a double summit for this year's climb.

Vilane, who has scaled all the world's seven summits, was the expedition leader for 40 climbers to Kilimanjaro’s summit last July.

Kirk Bouffard and Werner Gruner on Mount Kilimanjaro during the 2016 Trek4Mandela. Picture: Supplied


The climb turned tragic when rally driver Gugu Zulu died after health complications.

This year, his wife, fitness fanatic Letshego Zulu, is participating in the Trek4Mandela expedition.

For their double attempt, Bouffard and Werner will hike up to Horombo camp and while the rest of the group takes a rest day to acclimatise, the pair will continue to King hut at 4700m.

They will attempt their first summit at midnight on July 17 and summit again with the rest of the group the next day.

Asked why he would attempt a double summit, Bouffard quipped: “Why not? (It) pushes a lot of personal capabilities. If you aren’t growing, you’re dying."

“I’ve done this twice and it gets the same,” said Gruner.

“So, I thought this would be a different experience.”

“This is an important cause. Imagine the number of girls who miss school because they don’t have pads. It’s important that we do this for them,” said Bouffard.

Trek4Mandela raises funds to help schoolgirls not to miss classes when they are having their periods.

SMS Kirk or Werner to 42513 to make a donation.

Saturday Star