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15 November 2010, 12:14
A grandfather from Olney has become to oldest person in the world to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.
George Solt completed the climb in July with three of his grandchildren (the youngest of whom was just 12-years-old) and his daughter-in-law. He was 82 at the time and has now been verified as the oldest person to make it to the top. On Friday Mr Solt collected his certificate from the Guinness Book of Records - and celebrated with a pub lunch.
The Cranfield University academic - who's now 83 - took on the challenge in memory of his wife Jen, and has so far raised more than £6,000 for his chosen charity Willen Hospice.
Despite being proud of his achievement Mr Solt told Heart he wasn't too impressed by what he saw on the way to the summit:
"I'm an old mountaineer and I've climbed some very interesting mountains in my day, and I can tell you none of them is as boring as Kilimanjaro! You don't even get a view. The base of it is always in cloud, so when you get past the cloud on the second day, you get out of this cloud and now you're in an aeroplane for all you can see. There's simply no view at all apart from the tops of the clouds."
And when asked how he felt on reaching the top:
"I felt of absolutely nothing else but getting down again - I felt so ill and so tired!"
Mr Solt trained for five months with a local personal trainer to get fit enough for the climb and puts much of his success down to good genes and enjoying all things healthy. But he says he's not looking for another challenge:
"I'm 83 now - have a heart! No more mountaineering, but I'm still skiing and still hill walking and so on. I'll go on for as long as I can."
If you want to donate towards Mr Solt's fundraising visit www.justgiving.com/George-Solt