The walk to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, one of the highest peaks in the world, is part of David Pickering's effort to raise £100,000 for the NSPCC Full Stop campaign. Already, in conjunction with the WRU, more than £70,000 has been raised. The sponsorship raised through the walk will take the total through the six-figure barrier.
In October the 44-year-old former Wales captain and team manager got his first taste of mountain trekking when he joined former Neath and Wales team mate Jeremy Pugh in climbing to the top of Wales' highest peak, Snowdon.
"It took us five-and-a-half hours to get to the top and another five-and-a-half to get down," admitted father of four Pickering. "I was absolutely exhausted by the time we finished and my hamstrings were killing me. The only consolation was I was in better shape than Jeremy."
Former dynamic front row man Pugh is all set to be part of Pickering's 'Magnificent Seven' to tackle Mount Kilimanjaro and the two men used the Snowdon challenge to test their fitness.
"The highest point in Wales is only 3,559 ft (1,085 metres) and we were able to do it in less than six hours. The ascent to the top of Kilimanjaro will take up to five days because it stands 19,335.6 ft tall (5,895 metres)," said Pickering. "While Jeremy has already confirmed he is going to join me, the rest of the team is set to confirm within the next fortnight. I've already had a fantastic response and we will be doing everything we can to reach the £100,000 mark.
"I haven't done much physical activity in the past three or four years because of the demands of running my business, raising a young family and working for the WRU.
"What this trip will allow me to do is walk off some of my excess weight, support a worthy cause and heighten the awareness of the Health Challenge Wales campaign.
"As a father of four young daughters I want to be able to do anything I can to end cruelty to children in Wales. The goal for the NSPCC 'Full Stop Appeal' is to end cruelty to children by the end of the generation.
"Everyone who joins me on the trip to Tanzania will be parents and we will be urging everyone who backs us to spread the gospel of the appeal as well.
"The WRU raised almost £2m for the Tsunami victims earlier in the year. In the 125th anniversary season of the Union the NSPCC will be our dedicated charity as we try to we try to heighten the awareness of another vital social issue."
Lt Col Dickie Davies, of the Royal Welsh Regiment, will be in charge of arranging the trip and Pickering's team will be put through their paces by the army as well as the Welsh management. Pickering has already accepted an invitation to train with the Welsh team and he also intends to go out to some of the community clubs across Wales to get in some extra training.
The NSPCC campaign starts on Monday, 19 September and will be urging people to 'Talk 'til it Stops'.
• Talk 'til it stops aims to mobilise millions of people to act together against child cruelty.
• FULL STOP Week, which launches on 3 October is the focal point for 'Talk 'til it Stops'. This week of activity offers people a range of opportunities not only to talk, but to take other actions against abuse.
• TTIS calls on everyone to talk to each other if they think a child is being harmed. Trust your judgment and 'Talk 'til it Stops'.
Mount Kilimanjaro is in the north-eastern tip of Tanzania. The climb takes you through the mists of equatorial jungle to reach the snows and breath-taking views from the summit. Not only is Mount Kilimanjaro the highest mountain in Africa, but it is also the highest freestanding peak in the world. It is also the highest 'walkable' mountain in the world.
The upward track wends through forests that vary constantly with the altitude and finally opens out into open moor-land below rocky, snow covered Kibo plateau. It has 3 volcanic centres, Shira, Kibo, and Mawenzi.
The peak is an arctic zone characterized by freezing cold nights and burning sun during the day where the oxygen level is half that of sea level.