Page last updated at 08:06 GMT, Saturday, 7 March 2009

Celebrity climbers reach summit

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The celebrities reach the final camp before setting out for the summit of Kilimanjaro

Comic Relief's nine celebrity climbers have reached the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's tallest mountain.

The first members of the group, including Girls Aloud's Cheryl Cole and presenter Fearne Cotton, scaled the 19,300ft (5,900m) peak as dawn broke.

The Comic Relief blog said: "At the summit, God knows how."

The remainder of the group, including Radio 1 DJ Chris Moyles and pop star Alesha Dixon reached the summit later. The stars have raised nearly 1.4m.

GMTV host Ben Shephard and performer Denise Van Outen, along with Cole and Cotton, formed the first group to conquer the mountain.

The blog said: "Ben, Fearne, Denise and Cheryl make it just as the sun comes up. Amazing."

And they were followed by Cole's band mate Kimberley Walsh, singer Ronan Keating and Take That star Gary Barlow - all three of whom were said to be "in agony".

Moyles also made it up the mountain in Tanzania, as did Dixon who "went through the pain barrier", according to the blog, which added: "Cheryl for one has already said she's never done anything so mentally and physically demanding and I doubt anyone in the team will disagree.

"A temperature of minus 15 and air so thin your lungs positively burn with disappointment every time you take a breath means you can't stop long."

Several members of the celebrity group suffered from altitude sickness during the five-day ascent.

They all endured sleepless nights, as well as aches and pains due to the lack of oxygen.



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