Some individuals will go to any length for a good cause, even if it means stripping nude on Africa’s highest mountain in subzero conditions.
That’s precisely what Ben Boleyn did when he reached the peak of Mount Kilimanjaro following a nine-day charity hike under dangerous weather.
After a buddy bet him 18 pence to streak at the top in -12C cold, the 18-year-old student hiked the 19,341-foot high mountain wearing full trekking gear, including four layers of thermals, and then bared everything for photographs.
He donated £600 for Acorns Children’s Hospice in Worcester, where he volunteers, before the climb, but he has received hundreds more since sharing his cheeky photos on Facebook.
He posed in just his walking boots for ten minutes, bringing life to the inert volcanic peak.
‘Everyone at the peak enjoyed it, and everyone was taking photographs of me, so I had a bit of an audience,’ the adolescent from Kingswinford, West Midlands, added.
‘At first, my parents were surprised, but it appears that people have contributed more as a result, which is fantastic. It is one of a kind.
‘I’d do it at other locations,’ she says. I’m planning on going to Machu Picchu next, so I might strip there as well.’
What inspired him to strip and pose on the Kilimanjaro summit without clothes?
He got the idea from a fellow Acorns Children’s Hospice volunteer who takes naked photos of himself at every location he visits.
‘I mentioned it in discussion once I was with the climbing group, and it just snowballed from there,’ Ben explained.
‘Everyone was talking about it, and one climber bet me 500 Tanzanian shillings ($18) that I wouldn’t accomplish it.’
‘When we got to the top, I felt compelled to do it, so I said why not? It was a once-in-a-lifetime chance.’
‘It was between -10 and -12 degrees Celsius, but it didn’t seem that cold, possibly because to the adrenaline, and we had just walked for six hours, so I was already warm,’ he continued.
Ben climbed the peak with seven other climbers after working at a hospital in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, for four weeks.
With a team of 31 porters, they hiked an average of nearly six kilometers every day.
‘The peak ascent was the most difficult portion, but trekking for nine days in a row was difficult,’ he added.
‘Some days we’d do a three-hour trip followed by an hour trek to acclimate, and other days we’d do eight-hour hikes.’
He did it all to collect money for Acorns Children’s Hospice and to promote awareness of their “wonderful” work.
‘I volunteer every week at Acorns Children’s Hospice in Worcester, so I’ve witnessed firsthand the incredible job they do caring for terminally sick children, and everyone always has a huge grin on their face.’
Ben is taking a gap year now that the climb is complete, and he plans to study medicine at a university overseas before pursuing his dream of becoming a doctor.
He just completed his A-Levels at Stourbridge’s King Edward VI College, where he received an A in chemistry, an A in human biology, and a B in maths with statistics.