A HIGH-FLYING 75-year-old has climbed Kilimanjaro to celebrate his birthday, and raised thousands of euros for charity.

Tony Simmonds, from Surrey in the UK, is a keen walker but hiking in the hills round Malaga province could never have prepared him for the extent of the challenge.

“The day walking to the summit was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life,” Tony , who has lived on and off in Spain for more than 40 years, told the Olive Press.

“I’ve never done anything quite as extreme.”

After climbing to the base camp of Everest for his 65th birthday celebrations, Tony decided to do something even more challenging.

“In the last hour we climbed just 250m because the going was so tough and the air was so thin. We were completely exhausted but we made it,” he said.

Tony, and his children Jeremy and Wendy, 48 and 46 respectively, raised more than €3,000 for Cudeca.

“It was Cudeca and all my sponsors rooting for me that made such a difference when it got really difficult. I just gritted my teeth and thought I’m not going to let them down,” he said.

Tony has already started planning for the next quest, but doesn’t think he will climb so high again.

“I’ve already done parts of the Santiago de Compostela, so I think I’ll do some more of that. I’m not just trying to better myself each time. I’m not crazy.”

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