Entries From Kilimanjaro 7-13-13

Kilimanjaro: Mark Tucker & Team Arrive in Africa!

Posted by: Mark Tucker | July 15, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Kilimanjaro

The team, as well as our luggage, is here at the Dik Dik Hotel.  We caught up on some jet lag with one member saying, “Best sleep ever.”  After a nice breakfast, we had an orientation meeting then went straight into equipment checks.  So important to take the time to start a climb with what you need for any mountain. The team came well prepared as very little was missing.

Once the team was organized for the climb, we had time to check out the local sights.  Some of the team made a trip to Arusha, a nearby city, while others hiked around our neighborhood visiting shops, schools and an orphanage.  We are all doing well and looking forward to the start of the climb tomorrow.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

Kilimanjaro, The Roof of Africa. Photo: RMI Collection Our rooms at the Dik Dik Hotel, near the foot of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Photo: Jeff Martin

Kilimanjaro: Tucker & Team at Machame Camp

Posted by: Mark Tucker | July 16, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Kilimanjaro
Elevation: 9,800'

Mark Tucker calling from camp number one on Kilimanjaro, Machame Camp, about 10,000 feet. What a great day. Got out of our low lands, slick-slick. Team was already, packed, started our hike at the gate under perfect conditions. A little bit overcast, kind of cool in the canopy of the lower flanks of Kilimanjaro.  What a group. So thrilled with performances today. Everybody did fantastic. And right towards the end of the hike coming into camp, the mountain started to show the upper reaches. That just thrilled one and all and gave us that last little boost to come into camp. Bit chilly right now. It’s 9 or 10 in the evening and we’re all bedded down after real nice meal. Everybody’s got a good appetite. I have quite the international crew: three Norwegians, a Puerto Rican, a guy from Mexico and a few US on the team. Really fun getting to know them; we are all having a gas and will check in tomorrow.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

Team ready for Kilimanjaro! Photo: Mark Tucker Our first night's camp located at 10,000' in the Giant Heather of Kilimanjaro. Photo: Jeff Martin


RMI Guide Mark Tucker calls in from Machame Camp.

On The Map


Kilimanjaro: Tucker & Team from Shira Camp

Posted by: Mark Tucker | July 17, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Kilimanjaro
Elevation: 12,200'

Mark Tucker checking in from Camp 2, the Shira Plateau, about 12,200 feet.  We had a nice breakfast and a leisurely pace. A bit of an ascent from our Machame Camp. But a step at a time, a break at a time, and a traverse through a very mystical-kind of environment in and out of some riverbeds.  A pretty enchanting walk and everybody’s doing very well. I’m very pleased with the performance of the team. We’re all happy and healthy. We just finished a fabulous 3-course meal and people are crawling into the tents. We’re having this moon interrupt a little bit of our star gazing. It’s a little bright because no clouds, clear skies. There was a bit of marine layer type sea of muck below us, but not a cloud in the sky today, perfect conditions. A little bit dusty on the trail but a little handkerchief over the nose at times worked out just fine. We’re having a gas. One of our team members, Alberto, wanted do a shout out to his Pops. So, “Hey to you.” He’s having a good time doing really well. It will be another 6:30 up, and hopefully breakfast at 7:15, hitting the trail by around 8:00. Great day tomorrow, break some altitude records. We are hoping to go just over 15,000 feet and then back down to 12,800’ for the night. Very great opportunity for acclimatization. Climb high, sleep low.  It is just setting us up for success. So all is well. We’ll check in tomorrow.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

Ascending above the forest on the second day of the climb. Photo: Jeff Martin Our second night's camp overlooking neighboring Mt. Meru and the lower slopes of the Kilimanjaro. Photo: Jeff Martin


RMI Guide Mark Tucker checking in from Shira Camp.

On The Map


Kilimanjaro: Tucker and Team Reach New Altitude Record for Many

Posted by: Mark Tucker | July 18, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Kilimanjaro
Elevation: 14,900'

RMI Guide Mark Tucker checking in from Camp 3 Barranco camp on Kilimanjaro. Yet another beautiful day of hiking and climbing for the group, lucky, lucky, us. We are at about 12,800 feet now. We did get up to almost 15,000 feet today and broke a lot of people’s altitude records. Everyone did just fine.  We are staring up at the Barranco Wall which we will tackle in the morning. It’s actually a very fun part of the climb, a little bit of scrambling.  For tactical beat we are going to drag our feet a little bit in the morning.  There are a few other teams up here so we will let them get a head start and hopefully have the wall pretty much to ourselves which will be great photos and just a bit more fun.  It will be a little bit of a shorter day tomorrow getting to our next camp.  Some of the folks on a six day climb will push all the way to high camp tomorrow. But we’ll go ahead and split that into two days.  It really helps out for the success ahead. So, its a beautiful night outside.  I am staring up at the glaciers, what’s left of them - they have been dwindling, but who knows that could change.  I can’t ask for a better group of folks, we are having a fun time and everyone is just doing really well.  So fingers crossed, couple of more days of this and we will be heading for the summit.  Can’t wait.

Looking up toward the summit of Kilimanjaro from Barranco Camp at 12,800 ft.  Photo: RMI Collection


RMI Guide Mark Tucker checks in from Barranco Camp at 12,800 ft on Kilimanjaro,

On The Map


Mt. Kilimanjaro: Tucker & Team Reach High Camp

Posted by: Mark Tucker | July 20, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Kilimanjaro
Elevation: 15,000'

Mark Tucker checking in from Barafu Camp. We are at the lower camp at about 15,000’ just under the southeast edge of the Kilimanjaro Summit.  We have the jungle below and the top of the mountain above and a team that is rip-roaring and ready!

We put on a couple of miles today from the Karanga camp. The upper mountain is a bleak zone, but quite beautiful in its own way.  We’re going to have a quick dinner and crawl into the tents for about five hours of rest to get us ready for an early a.m. departure.  I am happy to report that we are 100% go power with this team. Everybody is getting pretty excited and doing really well.  A couple of minor headaches but the overall health and well-being is very very good. We are ready the weather is cooperating we had to puffy clouds in the afternoon not unusual. Last night was beautiful so we are keeping our fingers crossed that we have one of the same.  We have a pretty bright moon illuminating our trip so we are in pretty good shape.

Talk to you later,

RMI Guide Mark Tucker & Team

Barafu Camp at night - RMI Photo Collection


Mark Tucker Checking in from Barafu Camp


Mt. Kilimanjaro: Tucker & 100% of Team to the Summit!

Posted by: Mark Tucker | July 20, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Kilimanjaro
Elevation: 19,340'

Saturday, July 20, 2013 - 9:20 p.m. PT
RMI Guide Mark Tucker checking in, I guess they call it Uhuru Peak, the tallest point in Africa. Here we are!
Pretty good conditions.  The team did fantastic.  I am happy to report 100% on top!  Yes, everyone is doing well.  A few beautiful clouds above Mt. Kilimanjaro and clouds below, a beautiful sunrise.  We are having a gas, everyone is doing well.  A couple more photos and we are going to start the descent.  We are going to head down into the rain forest.  That will be the goal.
Thanks for everybody’s support back home.  We will check in again soon.

The RMI Kilimanjaro July 13th team on the summit, Uhuru Peak 19,340 ft.  Photo: Havard Haukeberg An RMI Team approaching the summit of Kilimanjaro (19,340 ft).  Photo: RMI Collection


RMI Guide Mark Tucker calls from the summit of Kilimanjaro (19,340 ft) with 100% of the team.

On The Map


Mt. Kilimanjaro: Tucker & Team Arrive at Their Last Camp

Posted by: Mark Tucker | July 21, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Kilimanjaro
Elevation: 10,000'

RMI Guide Mark Tucker checking in from the final camp: down here at the Mweka Camp, 10,000 ft on Kilimanjaro.  It’s all tall, giant heather; it’s beautiful.  It looks like a fabulous night for a summit climb but that’s exactly what we will not be doing.  It’s a done deal.
We will enjoy our last night on this beautiful mountain.  Tomorrow we head to the trail head.

An RMI team trekking in the rain forest near the Mweka Camp on Kilimanjaro.  Photo: RMI Collection

On The Map

3

Great achievement for all specially for those that live at sea level

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Posted by: Alberto Sr. on 7/22/2013 at 4:41 am

Hey I agree with Ana!  You guys rock!!! Especially the Mexican guy!  Hahaha

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Posted by: Jasmin on 7/22/2013 at 1:23 am


Kilimanjaro: Tucker & Team Celebration Time

Posted by: Mark Tucker | July 22, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Kilimanjaro

We were up early, slammed a quick breakfast then had a fun gathering of local staff and rewarded all of them with financial bonuses.This crew took great care of us while on the mountain, it felt really good to show our appreciation. A few hour descent to the park gate, a couple hour drive time watching the daily routine out the window of our monster truck and here we are. Back to hot showers and clean clothes. We just finished a dinner of fondue and topped it off with a bunch of summit certificates handed out to a group of well-deserving mountain climbers.

More excitement ahead as we repack for the game viewing safari we start tomorrow. A great trip just keeps getting better.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

Tucker and team pose for a group photo after their successful climb. Photo: Mark Tucker Team Tucker Connected at the Dik Dik Hotel. Photo: Mark Tucker

Kilimanjaro: Tucker & Team at Lake Manyara National Park

Posted by: Mark Tucker | July 23, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Kilimanjaro

Mark Tucker checking in. All is going as planned. Gotta love it. Had a very nice sleep in a bed with a big, cozy down blanket last night. Tough to miss the tent time high up the hill, but, suffer we must. Another great breakfast for the team. Our safari Landcruisers were readied last night so all we needed was a quick gear adjustment. We left most of our stuff back at the Dik Dik where we will stop by en route to our international flights in a few nights. On the way here to the fabulous Lake Manyara National Park, we stopped at a shop for a few snacks and had a fabulous time. We are located at the base of the Eastern Great Rift Escarpment where we saw all sorts of animals: giraffes, baboon, [lost connection] and birds. We are now at the Plantation Lodge for two nights. Tomorrow we travel to the eighth wonder of the world, the Ngorongoro Crater.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

Giraffes at Lake Manyara National Park. Photo: RMI Collection


RMI Guide Mark Tucker calls in from Day 1 of their Safari.


Mt. Kilimanjaro: Tucker and Team View Wildlife

Posted by: Mark Tucker | July 24, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Kilimanjaro

The day went like clockwork. We had a great breakfast and then hopped in our vehicles for a short drive to the entrance of the Ngorongoro National Park.  The day was cloudy and cool to start, but by the time we descended some two thousand feet, to floor of the largest unbroken and unflooded caldera in the world, the sun was a shining. I would guess that we only saw about 20% of the 30,000 animals that live in the crater.  On our way back to the amazing Plantation Lodge for another night we stopped into a Masai Village for a tour and some special shopping options. Tomorrow brings us to the home of more elephants per square mile than anywhere else in the world, Tarangire National Park. Somebody has to do it, wish you were here.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

Team enjoying breakfast. Photo: Mark Tucker

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