A FORMER Appleby Grammar School pupil is taking on the world’s tallest free standing mountain.

Joel Castley, of Warcop, has set himself the ultimate challenge of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro to raise money for the Meningitis Research Foundation.

“I want to step out of my comfort zone and try something I’ve never done before, go to a new place, push myself to the limit and at the same time I want to raise money for a great charity,” said Mr Castley.

The 19-year-old, who is studying Civil Engineering at Loughborough University, is one of 42 students preparing to tackle the six day trek in September.

But, Mr Castley is hoping to raise £2,850 before the challenge of reaching Kilimanjaro’s snow-capped peak, in Tanzania, Afica.

He said that since the end of October he has already raised £500, and is planning street collections in the town centres of Kendal, Carlisle, Leicester, Cheltenham and even London.

The trek, run by Student Adventures, is not the first time Mr Castley has challenged himself, having achieved his Duke of Edinburgh by scaling hills in the Brecon Beacons in Wales.

“I’m quite an adventurous person, and do a lot of outdoors stuff,” he said.

“I was in the Appleby Air Cadets for five-and-a-half years during school but had to leave when I went to university.

“We did canoeing, climbing, walking, flying, shooting and went on a residential to German RAF bases” he added.

Although he is excited he also said he was a little nervous about the altitude.

“I think it will be really good, and it’s a great opportunity.”

To sponsor Joel visit www.virginmoneygiving.com/JoelCastley