PEAKING: Four months ago, Kosta Papageorgiou set out on a quest to climb Lion's Head 500 times in a year to raise R500 000 for five charities. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency/ANA
Cape Town - Former soldier and current tour guide Kosta Papageorgiou, 33, started a challenge in September last year to complete 500 summits up and down Lion’s Head to raise R500 000 for five charity organisations.

“The idea came from Lion’s Head being a weekly hike routine which I enjoyed as a way to stay in shape in nature.

“I was doing it so often that I had friends asking me if I’m trying to break some record. I never thought of there being any records but the idea of setting something did interest me.

“After much brainstorming, my friend Eugene Borckenhagen and I came up with the term the Lion 500, which meant doing 500 summits in 475 days and creating awareness among the Cape Town community.”

“I aim to complete the 500 summits by December, 31. I have made 119 summits thus far,” he said.

Papageorgiou sometimes hikes up and down three times in one day as his aim is to go seven to 10 times a week.

“I usually take 35 minutes going up and dash down in 17 minutes.

“For every 10 summits I celebrate with a locally made craft beer to promote local beer as well,” he said.

Once at the top, Papageorgiou said he has to take a photo and upload it on to his Instagram page, @thelion500, within three hours of each completed summit.

The five charities he aims to help are Rape Crisis, Depression SA, Fallen Angels Animal Rescue, Chipembere Rhino Foundation and Wilderness Search And Rescue.

Papageorgiou also forms part of the @safetymountain initiative to help keep hikers safe. Lion 500 has a Backabuddy link where companies and individuals can go to donate.

To follow his journey, visit his Instagram page: @thelion500, Facebook page: Lion 500, and website:

[email protected]

Cape Argus