Backwards Ben! Northampton man to walk up and down Kilimanjaro backwards for charity

A personal trainer is aiming to become the first person to walk backwards up and down the highest mountain in Africa.

Ben Stewart, 32, from Northampton, is also hoping to set a new world record for the fastest time walking up Kilimanjaro.

If successful, he'll be one of three people to walk up the mountain backwards. He'll also be the only person walk down it backwards.

"I will need a little bit of support with the guys and the porters out there employed to help us", he told ITV News Anglia.

"For me there’s not anymore risks going down backwards, different training again, but ultimately we are going to go for the Guinness World Record of being the first and the fastest person up and down this mountain backwards.”

This won't be Ben's first challenge, as last year he completed the Three Peaks of Snowdon, Ben Nevis and Scafell Pike walking backwards.

Ben has previously completed Three Peaks of Snowdon, Ben Nevis and Scafell Pike all walking backwards. Credit: Ben Stewart

Looking forward to his next challenge, Ben said Kilimanjaro appealed because it was “one of the highest you can climb without using mountaineering equipment”

"It’s going to take us six days to summit and two days to walk back down, if it all goes to plan,” he said.  

“And we’ll have a huge team with us – there's six in my team, and with porters and guides we should be a group of about 30.” 

As well as hoping to set a new world record when he sets off in early February, Ben will also be raising money for the British Heart Foundation in memory of his grandfather who died of a heart attack at the age of 65. 

"He was far too young to have a heart attack and pass away from it,” he said.

“But now he’s on my shoulder and in my ear telling me I can do these amazing things, and help raise awareness for heart conditions that are so often overlooked. "

The British Heart Foundation Fundraising Manager for Northampton, Jon Frost said: “Ben's challenge really is incredible – to do the trek up Kilimanjaro forwards it tough enough but to do it backwards really takes someone extraordinary. 

“As well as training for the walk, he’s also busy finding people and local companies to sponsor him which will make the whole thing possible. "