"It was just the most amazing experience of my life - and quite the hardest thing I think I've ever had to do," confessed the 46-year-old Pickering after conquering the 19,335ft peak. "Many of us were pushed to our absolute limits. It took us five days to get to the top and we went through different climates and terrains.
"All the hard work and pain was worth it, though, for the feeling we all had when we reached the top. It was quite early in the morning and the views were simply breathtaking. But the most important thought in all our minds when we reached the top was that we had done something to help the NSPCC fight cruelty against children. That's why we took on this challenge and the thought of reaching our £100,000 fund raising target was what kept us going."
Welsh rugby legend JPR Williams, Cardiff multi-millionaire Peter Thomas and his wife, Babs, and the chief executive of the Principality Building Society, Peter Griffiths, were among the contingent who reached the top under the guidance of Lt Col Dickie Davis and his Royal Welsh Regiment colleagues.
"We all knew it was going to be a tough challenge, but I don't think any of us realised just how tiring it was going to be both mentally and physically. I'm shattered, but delighted," admitted Pickering. "I don't think I will ever forget the feeling of standing at the summit. The views were breathtaking and the fact we have helped to raise so much money for the NSPCC Full Stop appeal is fantastic.
"Standing on top of Kilimanjaro was one of the greatest thrills of my life - something I will never, ever forget. And the fact we were doing it for such a good cause made it all the better."
Carol Gillanders, FULL STOP campaign manager Wales, was the first to offer her congratulations to Pickering and his team. "NSPCC Cymru/Wales is delighted that David Pickering and his team have been successful in their conquest of Kilimanjaro. Their personal commitment to helping end cruelty to children is personified in this challenge," she said. "The FULL STOP Appeal in Wales aims to raise £3 million by the end of this year - 2006. The Climb4kids hopes to have raised over £100,000 towards this target and will be invaluable to support the services of the NSPCC throughout Wales.
"The climb has also proved an incomparable showcase for the FULL STOP campaign, capturing the imagination and support of the media and public alike. Not only has it raised vital funds but the publicity it has generated has enabled NSPCC to promote its all important message, 'Cruelty to children must stop - FULL STOP."