Entries From Kilimanjaro 1-25-14

Kilimanjaro: Team Enjoys Exciting Last Day on Safari

Posted by: Jeff Martin | February 06, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Kilimanjaro

Jambo from Kikoti Camp,

Tarangire National Park did not disappoint us today! There were big herds of elephants all day long, as well as lions, bush bucks, impalas, gazelles, baboons, giraffe, and ostriches. While the park was very active with lots of animals and birds, our time to see a leopard was quickly running out. It was getting pretty late in the day and we almost conceded that it wasn’t meant to be. Fortunately, we decided to take a small detour on the way to our camp, and just before we were going to turn around, we spotted a leopard in a nearby acacia tree. We had an unobstructed view of the leopard, no more than 30 feet away, and took so many pictures that we almost drained our camera batteries.
The real find for the day however, came right before camp when we spotted a pack of wild African dogs. Seeing these dogs is very rare, as they were almost completely wiped out from human pressures in this area, but have been trying to make a small comeback. There were about 15 in total in the pack.
Now we are sitting around the campfire and reminiscing about the animals we saw over the last few days. The stars are out and the sounds of the African night make this the perfect setting for our last night in Tanzania.
Tomorrow we head back to Arusha, pick up our climbing gear and repack for our flights home. Twenty-four hours from now we will be on the plane to Amsterdam and then onto our connecting flights.
It has been a great adventure and everyone will have lots of stories to tell about our climb and safari when they get back home. Thanks again to everyone for following along with our dispatches and for leaving all of your comments.

Best regards,
RMI Guide Jeff Martin

RMI's January 25th Kilimanjaro team enjoying their last night in Tanzania.  Photo: Jeff Martin

Kilimanjaro: Martin & Team enjoy the Ngorongoro Crater

Posted by: Jeff Martin | February 05, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Kilimanjaro

Hello from Plantation Lodge,

We spent the whole day game viewing in Ngorongoro Crater, and it was certainly a highlight for all. The crater itself is massive, and because of the high slopes surrounding the crater and the year round water supply, it is home of about 25,000 resident animals. Needless to say, we added quite a few animals to our list that we started yesterday, including the black rhino. There are only 12 left in this park, and we saw three of them. Hippos, lions, elephants, Cape buffalo, zebras, hyenas, jackals, warthogs, and too many bird species to name, were seen throughout the day.
Once we had our fill of game viewing, we ascending up out of the crater, and went to visit a Maasai village. We were given a tour of the boma and learned all about their simple way of life. It’s pretty amazing that they can continue to live in a traditional way despite all the outside pressures to change into the mainstream culture of Tanzania.

Tomorrow we head out for our last and final park - Tarangire. We still have to see a leopard in order to say that we saw the Big 5. We’ll see what the day has in store for us.

Best regards,

RMI Guide Jeff Martin & Team

The Maasai People. Photo: Jeff Martin
1

Hello fellow climbers!  I am glad to see that you are enjoying the continuation of your trip. Made it back to California without hassle. Helped by red wine and sleeping… read more

Posted by: Robert on 2/6/2014 at 12:24 pm


Kilimanjaro: Martin & Team on Safari at Lake Manyara National Park

Posted by: Jeff Martin | February 04, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Kilimanjaro

Hello from Plantation Lodge,

Today we did not have to break camp or walk anywhere. Instead, we switched out our climbing clothes for cameras and binoculars and started our four-day safari in northern Tanzania. The first stop was Lake Manyara National Park. Created in 1960, and the second designated national park in the country, it is most well known for tree climbing lions. Fortunately, we were not disappointed by the elusive lions. Not too long into our game drive, we spotted four lions who had just finished a big meal and took to the trees to get a little relief from the sun and heat. We were about 15 feet away from one of them, with an unobstructed view of this impressive creature. Just down the road, we came across a big family of elephants that were anything but camera shy. Throughout the day we saw at least 25 different species of animals, which is a real treat for such a small park.

Now we are at the Plantation Lodge, a small luxury lodge, that is located on the highlands above Lake Manyara. It is absolutely beautiful here!

Tomorrow we head to Ngorongoro Crater to see what many call the eighth wonder of the world. We are all excited to see what the day has in store for us.

Best regards,
RMI Guide Jeff Martin

Kilimanjaro Team at Lake Manyara National Park. Photo: Jeff Martin Panoramic view at Lake Manyara National Park. Photo: Jeff Martin
1

Conor has the best hat!

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Posted by: Carlisle on 2/6/2014 at 1:56 pm


Kilimanjaro: Teams Returns to the Dik Dik After Successful Climb

Posted by: Jeff Martin | February 03, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Kilimanjaro

Hello from the Dik Dik Hotel,

We are off the mountain with a very successful climb behind us. We all went to bed pretty early last night after the long day of climbing, and fell asleep immediately. It was the kind of deep sleep that only comes after being up for almost 24 hours,  being active for most of it, and finishing a goal that has been months in the making.
When we woke up, it was time to pack up camp one last time and head to the park gate. The team was ready to go by 7:45 and 2 1/2 hours later we were signing the registration book at the end of the trail.
The entire team made it to Uhuru Peak on Kilimanjaro so each of us received the gold summit certificate from the National Park. After our celebration ceremony with our guides, camp staff, and porters, we loaded up and drove to our hotel. As soon as we got off the bus, it was time for that long awaited shower and clean clothes. The afternoon went by quickly as we unpacked all our mountain gear and shifted our focus on the packing for the next part of our adventure, a 4-day safari. We leave early tomorrow for Lake Manyara, the first stop on our safari.
We had no communications at Mweka camp last night and we were dying to know who won the Super Bowl. It wasn’t until the gate when we found out that the Seahawks won it big. What a great news. Finally Seattle can claim a victory!

Best regards,
RMI Guide Jeff Martin

An RMI team descending from Mweka Camp.  Photo: RMI Collection
3

Conor, congratulations from all your ConMet buddies! Have fun on the next phase of your visit.

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Posted by: John Hodge on 2/4/2014 at 8:07 am

Congratulations to all!!  It’s been exciting to follow your progress through this blog and I’m hoping the updates will continue through the safari segment, too.  Can’t wait to give you… read more

Posted by: Debbie Trainer on 2/3/2014 at 2:15 pm


Kilimanjaro: Martin & Team Summit!

Posted by: Jeff Martin | February 02, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Kilimanjaro
Elevation: 19,340'

Jambo from Mweka Camp,

We had a great summit day and the entire team reached the summit at 7:50 AM. It started about 11:45 PM last night when the alarm went off, and soon after we were dressed and packed for the climb. After a quick breakfast we threw on our backpacks and started up the trail. The team did a great job of climbing the 4,000’+ to the top, and the weather cooperated with us the whole way, with a little wind to start, but was almost calm while we were on the summit. It took us 7 hours total to reach the top, and after spending about 45 minutes on top, we began our descent down to our last camp on the mountain, Mweka Camp.

Everybody did very well today. Now we are settled into our tents and looking forward to a good night’s rest. We’ll get an early start tomorrow and finish the last section of our trek, descending to Mweka Gate.

Best regards,
RMI Guide Jeff Martin

February 2, 2014 - Kilimanjaro Team on the Roof of Africa! Photo: Jeff Martin


RMI Guide Jeff Martin calling in from the Roof of Africa.

On The Map

1

Congratulations Chief!!!  We are all so proud of you!!!  Love and miss you!!!  Jill, Rachel, Caleb, Kiki, Emily, Shane, Eli, Silas, David, Catie, Shena, Jeff, Anthony and Chloe

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Posted by: Jill Crumley on 2/2/2014 at 1:18 pm


Kilimanjaro: Team Arrives at High Camp

Posted by: Jeff Martin | February 01, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Kilimanjaro
Elevation: 15,000'

Hello from Barafu Camp,

We had another gorgeous morning when we woke up. Since it was a fairly short hiking day we took our time packing up camp and had a nice leisurely breakfast. We walked out of camp at 9:00 and made very good use of the trail to continue working on our rest stepping, pacing and breathing so we will be ready for tomorrow. The group did great and we made it to camp in just over two hours.
We took full advantage of our afternoon by talking about all the details of the climb ahead as well as discussing what gear to bring and what gear can stay at camp.
Now we are getting ready for an early dinner so we can be in bed by 7:00. The alarm clock is set for o’dark thirty and the plan is to be walking out of camp at 1:00 am. Hopefully we will be calling in from the summit of Kilimanjaro around 8:00 am.
The entire team is strong and healthy and doing well. We all appreciate the comments that have been posted on the blog, thank you for sending the encouraging words.
Best regards,
RMI Guide Jeff Martin

The views from Kilimanjaro en route to Barafu Camp (High Camp).  Photo: RMI Collection

On The Map

1

Almost there Daddy (Rob)!! I’m so excited for you!

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Posted by: Samantha Golomb on 2/2/2014 at 5:55 am


Kilimanjaro: Martin & Team Continue to Karanga Camp

Posted by: Jeff Martin | January 31, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Kilimanjaro
Elevation: 13,500'

Jambo from Karanga Camp,

The team did great again today and the good weather continues. Right out of camp this morning we started our climb of the Barranco Wall. While viewed by most people as one of the more difficult parts of the trail, it was a breeze for this group. And it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that they actually enjoyed it! We had the usual stopping and starting along the trail as climbers and porters negotiated some of the more tricky sections, but this did not slow us down and we topped out in just 1 hour and 20 minutes.

With the elevation gain behind us, we continued east towards Karanga Valley, traversing below the last of the southern ice fields. We also took advantage of some good terrain along the way to practice some walking techniques that we will use on summit day. By 1:00 we were pulling into camp, just in time to sit down to a spaghetti lunch. Such a treat! Now we are continuing the routine of the past few afternoons and just hanging out in camp enjoying our time on the mountain. The sun has been battling the clouds for most of the day. Lucky for us, the sun is refusing to give up.

Tomorrow is a short climb to Barafu Camp, our high camp. We’ll get into camp by early afternoon with plenty of time to get ready for our summit day.

Best regards,
RMI Guide Jeff Martin

Team Martin at Karanga Camp, Kilimanjaro. Photo: Jeff Martin Camp life at 13,500' on Kilimanjaro.  Photo: Jeff Martin

On The Map

6

Congrats Conor!  Glad you had a great trip.

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Posted by: Dale on 2/6/2014 at 7:23 am

Best of luck to the whole team! Sending love to my dad Tony! Stay Safe!! Chloe and Anthony say hi, They think their Pa is soooo cool!

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Posted by: Shena Rodriguez on 2/1/2014 at 2:09 pm


Kilimanjaro: Martin & Team Enjoy Amazing Views to Barranco Camp

Posted by: Jeff Martin | January 30, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Kilimanjaro
Elevation: 12,800'

Hello from Barranco Camp,

Today was another perfect day for us. We got out of camp early and made great progress to Lava Tower. We were there by lunch time and everyone felt great, despite being at almost 15,000’. While we had a cloudless sky in the morning, the clouds had started to roll in and we decided to begin our descent to Barranco Camp. The highlight of the descent was seeing all the giant groundsels as we approached camp. It is hard to describe their unique appearance, but suffice to say that you could just as easily have been on another planet.

We were in camp by 2:00 and after settling into our new accommodations, we headed to the dining tent for tea and snacks. Now we are just hanging out and enjoying the impressive views around camp and taking advantage of some idle time to write in journals, do some reading, send some texts, or just relax.

The team has been climbing strong everyday and everybody remains healthy. We’ll send the next dispatch from Karanga Camp tomorrow.

Best regards,
RMI Guide Jeff Martin

Far above treeline approaching Lava Tower. Photo: Jeff Martin

On The Map

1

Enjoying following your progress and viewing the photos!! Go, Barrie!!

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Posted by: Debbie on 1/30/2014 at 12:44 pm


Kilimanjaro: Martin & Team Greetings from Shira Camp

Posted by: Jeff Martin | January 29, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Kilimanjaro
Elevation: 12,500'

Hello from Shira Camp,

When we woke up this morning, it was crystal clear and the mountain was completely visible. The group wasted no time packing up camp and we were walking by 8:00. With the early start we completely avoided all the trail traffic and pretty much had it to ourselves for most of the day. We gained about 2,500’ total, reaching our high point at 12,500’. Everyone did extremely well today with both the terrain and the altitude. We stopped en route for a nice lunch before traversing up to the west to gain the Shira Plateau. We were in camp by 1:00 and had the whole afternoon to enjoy our new camp. We mostly sat around the dining tent talking about past adventures and tried our best to keep up with the tea and snacks that were being delivered non-stop.  We’ll head back to the dining tent around 6:00 for dinner and then settle into our tents for the evening.

Tomorrow is going to be a big day for us as we are trekking to almost 15,000’. Lava Tower will be the high point for tomorrow, and then we will begin our descent to Barranco Camp. Even though we are gaining almost 2,500’ in the morning, we will be back to almost the same altitude that we are right now. And this is exactly what our bodies need and is key for proper acclimatization. We are ready for the challenge!

Best regards,
RMI Guide Jeff Martin

Ascending above the forest on the second day of the climb. Photo: Jeff Martin Our second night's camp, Shira Camp, overlooking Mt. Meru. Photo: Jeff Martin

On The Map

2

Keep it up Daddy!

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Posted by: Samantha Golomb on 1/30/2014 at 3:47 pm

Pole Pole Barrie and good luck to the whole team from Team KuWaz.  And best regards to Jeff Martin from all KuWaz’s!

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Posted by: Wheat McDowell on 1/29/2014 at 2:02 pm


Kilimanjaro: Martin & Team Settled in at Machame Camp

Posted by: Jeff Martin | January 28, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Kilimanjaro
Elevation: 9,800'

Greetings from Machame Camp,

We could not have had a better day today! This was the first day on the trail and the group did great. We had the trail to ourselves and perfect weather. We heard some very distant thunder but made it to camp without any rain. It was barely an hour later when some light rain started to fall, but fortunately we were already warm and dry in our dining tent, snacking on some tea and popcorn.

We started the day at 6,000’ and made it up to camp in just under 4 1/2 hours, a solid pace.  We are now settled in at camp and the mountain is teasing us with grand views as the clouds roll in and out. The team is feeling really strong and happy to finally be on the mountain.

Best regards,
RMI Guide Jeff Martin

Jeff Martin & Team ready to begin their trek. Photo: Jeff Martin

On The Map

2

I am so excited to relive my Kilo moments through you and Jeff. Behind every successful team is a very successful woman! Cheers to all the team. Elsie Bemiss

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Posted by: Elsie Bemiss on 1/29/2014 at 6:58 pm

Cheers to Barrie on hanging with what looks to be like a lot of testosterone.  Wish you all the best and enjoy each day of the hike as they are… read more

Posted by: Kathryn LeBey on 1/29/2014 at 5:58 am


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