Lancing siblings take on 53km ‘virtual Kilimanjaro’ climb up a hill on Beach Green

Two intrepid mountaineers from Lancing have refused to let the coronavirus thwart their quest for adventure.

Ashleen, seven, and Nicolas Mandrick, 12, scaled Mount Kilimanjaro twice last year and reached Mount Everest’s base camp in December.

Ashleen became the youngest girl in the world to summit Kilimanjaro and the youngest Briton to reach Everest’s base camp.

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This summer the pair were due to climb Mount Elbrus, Europe’s highest peak, but had to put their plans on hold when the pandemic hit.

Ashleen and Nicolas Mandrick SUS-200526-181516001

Not to be deterred, Ashleen and Nicolas have virtually climbed Kilimanjaro for a third time, recreating the 53km trip on a hill in front of their Beach Green home.

Wearing full climbing gear and carrying backpacks, the siblings have completed their challenge over six days, sleeping in a tent to recreate conditions on a real climb.

Due to finish today, their mother Victoria said while the physical demands may not be as difficult as Kilimanjaro, the monotony made it mentally taxing.

“In one day they’ve been covering 15km just up and down this small hill, so it can get boring,” she said. “But they are both so excited and so enthusiastic.”

The pair have chosen to support domestic abuse charity Refuge, after seeing news reports about the rise in domestic violence during the lockdown.

Victoria, who is a doctor who worked with victims of domestic abuse, said she was proud her children had taken the initiative.

“Although this is a very sad matter, I am happy that my children show an interest and compassion for other people’s difficulties and was happy to explain more about domestic violence to them in an age appropriate way,” she said.

“They are so kind-hearted and always want to be the first to help people out who seem in need.”

Nicolas even gave a presentation to his teachers and classmates at Sompting Abbotts Preparatory School, who he said had been very supportive and encouraging of the challenge.

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