Sunderland mountain man takes on Africa climb challenge

Kris doing a trek in New Zealand
Kris doing a trek in New Zealand
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THERE ain’t no mountain high enough for Chris Mitchell.

The charity trekker has set himself the extreme challenge of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.

Chris, 34, is aiming to climb Africa’s highest peak – which stands at 5,896 metres – in October.

In the past Chris, who suffers from Asperger’s syndrome – a form of autism – has climbed to the Base Camp at Mount Everest, completed the Routeburn Trek in New Zealand, and last year completed the Great North Run.

Kilimangaro is set to be his biggest challenge yet.

“After over 10 years of giving training on Asperger’s syndrome, mainly to autism charities, it made sense to give something back,” said Chris, of Seaburn.

The Autism Works operations manager is completing the trek in aid of Daisy Chain, an autism charity.

“Completing the Great North Run made me realise I am physically capable of more than I thought,” he said.

“So I am aiming a little higher this time in taking on Kilimanjaro to raise much-needed funds for Daisy Chain, which supports children and young people on the autistic spectrum as well as their families.

“The most wonderful feeling that I gained from the Great North Run was that not only was it helping me health-wise, physically and mentally, but by doing it I was also helping many families affected by autism.

“Hopefully, I will experience a similar feeling if I can summit Kilimanjaro.”

Chris was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome in 1998 when he was 20. He has since become an advocate for the condition, giving talks and seminars about it.

He has also written two books, Glass Half Empty Glass Half Full and Asperger’s Syndrome and Mindfulness.

Chris’s relationship with Daisy Chain developed after he delivered a talk to parents at their centre.

He said: “I think that the work Daisy Chain does with families is very inspirational.

“After Everest Base Camp I wanted to take on another difficult challenge for a similar purpose.

“As Kilimanjaro is the highest freestanding mountain in the world, I think this should be an amazing experience.

“I just hope that people will support me to raise as much money as possible for Daisy Chain.”

Chris is aiming to raise £3,500 in order to attempt the Mount Kilimanjaro trek and donate money to Daisy Chain.

He has set up a website at Just Giving where he is inviting donations.

To donate to Chris’s cause visit or call 01642 531 248

Twitter: @Monica_Turnbull