Entries From Kilimanjaro 8-17-13

Mt. Kilimanjaro: Grom and Team Prepare for the Climb

Posted by: Casey Grom | August 19, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Kilimanjaro

Hello everyone and welcome to RMI Expeditions’ fourth Kilimanjaro Climb and Safari of the 2013 summer! The whole team arrived last night after some very long flights and have been comfortably resting here in Africa just outside of Arusha, Tanzania in the wonderful Dik Dik Hotel.

After catching up on some much needed sleep we started the day with a nice breakfast of fresh juices, fruits, eggs and delicious bread while watching the local monkeys play in the yard. We then had our official team meeting where we had a round of introductions and discussed the intricacies of our upcoming climb. We spent the remainder of the afternoon packing and enjoy the beautiful grounds of our hotel. We wrapped up the night with an amazing five-course meal that finished with everyone favorite: bananas and chocolate ice cream!

Everyone is doing great and we are all very excited about the adventure that lies ahead.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and Crew

RMI's Kilimanjaro team enjoying their five-course dinner.  Photo: Casey Grom
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Jess… Forget Poppy’s idea about bringing the monkey home for Shorty. Look who’s left with Shorty now. I can see it being the three of us next year when your… read more

Posted by: Tom on 8/21/2013 at 8:20 am

Chris. And Jess- what an awesome experience!!  Thinking about you every day. What a way to celebrate a Birthday! Love you both
MB

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Posted by: Marybeth on 8/20/2013 at 4:32 pm


Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team at Machame Camp

Posted by: Casey Grom | August 20, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Kilimanjaro
Elevation: 9,800'

Hello again everyone.

We had a early departure from the Dik Dik Lodge and drove east for about two hours to reach Kilimanjaro National Park. Our drive took us through the rural country side of Tanzania which is full of banana and coffee plantations, markets and plenty of people headed between home and the local water well. It was very surreal to see so many folks who depend on these wells for their water, especially watching them walking with 5 gallon jugs carefully balanced on their heads.

Once at the gate we took a short break to sign in and allow our team to arrange all the loads and hire all of our porters for the seven-day climb. Our team started with 11 climbers and quickly grew as we acquired all the support of cooks, waiters, camp crew and porters and we ended up at a total of 68!

Just before 11 a.m. we set off on the trail that ascended through the forest and slowly climbed all the way up to just shy of 10,000’. It took the team a little over four hours to reach our camp and everyone did fantastic and enjoyed the hike.

The team just finished dinner and are all comfortably resting in our warm sleeping bags- thanks to the hot water bottles our gracious crew prepared for us.

Not quite roughing it yet!
RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

The RMI Kilimanjaro August 17th team at the Machame Gate, entrance to Mt. Kilimanjaro National Park.  Photo: Casey Grom Hiking through the lush rainforest on the lower slopes of Kilimanjaro. Photo: RMI Collection

On The Map

7

Hi Chris and Jess,
Love following the climb and your progress ... I can only imagine how awesome it must be.  Everything is looking up for you guys ):… read more

Posted by: lorraine bocci on 8/22/2013 at 6:16 am

Chris - Jess sending extra energy your way—the next 9,000 feet is a breeze…enjoy… you two rock.

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Posted by: Bocci clan on 8/21/2013 at 9:13 am


Mt. Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Enjoy First Night on the Mountain

Posted by: Casey Grom | August 21, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Kilimanjaro
Elevation: 12,200'

Hello all
Most everyone slept well last night and we started the day with our wonderful support staff bring us hot tea and warm washing water to our tent this morning. We had nice breakfast of fresh fruit, fried eggs and of course plenty of fresh coffee.
We hit the trail today on Mt. Kilimanjaro around 8am and climbed up a moderately narrow ridge that lead all the way up to the Shira Plateau where we traversed into camp. It was mostly cloudy today which didn’t allow for many views but did make for some really nice hiking temperatures. The team made good progress today on the rocky trail pausing only for some porters to pass and of course taking a break every hour for water and snacks.
We are currently resting in camp enjoying the warmth of the sun and taking in our first views of Kilimanjaro.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

The climb from Machame Camp to the Shira Plateau on Kilimanjaro.  Photo: RMI Collection Hiking the Shira Plateau, Kilimanjaro.  Photo: RMI Collection

On The Map

5

Hi Chris… It must be so exciting at this point. How are the legs holding out? Im so happy for all of you. Sleep well you’ll need it for tomorrow.… read more

Posted by: Tom on 8/24/2013 at 2:26 pm

Hey Michael and Bruce,Ttake some good photos so we can enlarge them. Use a tripod and don’t cut off your feet!! Love you and miss you. Stay safe. Love Mom

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Posted by: Joyce on 8/21/2013 at 6:03 pm


Mt. Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Continue Ascent with New Altitude Record for Some

Posted by: Casey Grom | August 22, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Kilimanjaro
Elevation: 12,800'

Hello All,

Today the team was greeted with clear skies and plenty of sunshine above a cloud layer that filled the valleys below Mt. Kilimanjaro. We started the day in similar fashion with fresh fruit, eggs and great coffee, and started our hike in light layers and lots of suncream just after 8 am again. The team made good time climbing up the Shira Plateau which is an old lava flow with sparse vegetation and plenty of boulders. We ascended up to a place called Lava Tower which is around 15,000’ and managed to set a few new altitude records for some of the team. Once our high point was reached we descend down into the Barranco Valley where we marveled at the unique giant groundsels and Senecio trees that litter this area.

We arrived at camp with all our tents set up and ready for us to move into once again. The team is incredibly thankful for the hardworking support that we have here on Kilimanjaro.

Everyone is doing great and looking forward to a much deserved night of rest.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and the Kilimanjaro crew

The Kilimanjaro August 17th team gathered in the dining tent.  Photo: Casey Grom The first views of Barranco Camp when coming down the trail from Lava Tower, Kilimanjaro.  Photo: Casey Grom

On The Map

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Hey Steve and Brian! Been following your progress all week. If I’m getting it straight, tonight is the night! So good luck and enjoy every minute of it! You guys… read more

Posted by: Dave L on 8/24/2013 at 8:17 am

Hey what’s that hat you’re wearing Chambo? WHat a nice bunch of smiles you all have on. Clearly you need more challenge.  : )

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Posted by: jordo on 8/23/2013 at 7:09 am


Mt. Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Ascend the Barranco Wall

Posted by: Casey Grom | August 23, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Kilimanjaro
Elevation: 13,000'

Hello again everyone,

Day 4 started much like yesterday, luckily for us, with clouds below and clear skies above. Looming above camp was our first major obstacle of the climb, the 1,000’ high Barranco wall, the only real technical part of this climb. Looking straight at it one would think its nearly unclimbable but thankfully for us there is a faint climbers trail that bobs and weaves it way via a series of ledges and steps safely to the top. Everyone did fantastic and thoroughly enjoyed the challenge and were amazed watching the porters navigate this terrain with their loads still balanced on their heads.
Once on top of the wall we took a nice break to enjoy the views and snap a few pictures. The rest of the trail was mostly a traverse with spectacular views of the last few glaciers that cover the southern side of Kilimanjaro.
We arrived in camp right around noon and had a quick lunch then retired to our tents for a little rest.
All is well!

RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

A team of climbers ascending the Barranco Wall, Kilimanjaro.  Photo: Seth Waterfall RMI's Karanga Camp at 13,000ft on Mt. Kilimanjaro.  Photo: RMI Collection

On The Map

13

Hey Steve and Brian! Been following your progress all week. If I’m getting it straight, tonight is the night! So good luck and enjoy every minute of it! You guys… read more

Posted by: Dave L on 8/24/2013 at 8:18 am

Chris and Jesse!!
You are almost at the top!!!  You go girls!  What an awesome journey for the two of you to be experiencing together.  Stay strong and… read more

Posted by: Karen on 8/24/2013 at 6:58 am


Mt. Kilimanjaro: Grom and Team at High Camp Ready for Summit Bid

Posted by: Casey Grom | August 24, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Kilimanjaro
Elevation: 15,000'

Hello again everyone.

After 5 days of trekking we have finally arrived at High Camp!

Today we moved up a few thousand feet and are comfortably sitting just shy of 15’000ft. Despite having made good time to camp our amazing support still managed to beat us and have camp ready once again. We are camped on the southeast side of Kilimanjaro and have a great view of the route ahead as well as the valleys below. Our route ascends up a wide ridge and should be relatively easy for this crew that has done such a great job thus far. Our plan is to wake up at midnight and have breakfast then hopefully start our summit bid around 1am. If all goes well I’m expecting us to reach the summit sometime around 8am.Everyone is in good spirits and excited about the climb.

Thanks for all the blog post! It’s wonderful to hear from everyone back home and we appreciate all the support.

Wish us luck!

RMI Guide Casey and Crew

 

High Camp on Kilimanjaro RMI Photo Collection

On The Map

13

Chambos,

Call when you get there!  : )

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Posted by: Jordo on 8/25/2013 at 3:18 am

Hello Bruce, Michael, Katie, Jess and Chris…. and congratulations!!!  We have been following closely knowing there is a 7 hour difference. You’re not missing anything here.  Have a safe trek… read more

Posted by: Joyce on 8/24/2013 at 7:10 pm


Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Live Update!

Posted by: Casey Grom | August 24, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Kilimanjaro
Elevation: 18,000'

August 24th at 8:35 pm PST
18,000ft + and still going strong! A beautiful sunrise graced us this morning.

August 24th at 6:25 pm PST
17,000ft and doing well. It’s a little breezy but not too cold.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

Sunrise at 18,000' on Kilimanjaro. Photo: Casey Grom Team Casey getting ready for summit day! Photo: Casey Grom
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Steve B and Brian S,
CONGRATULATIONS to you both!!! I knew you could do it! The Summit picture is awesome! :-)
Now trek down the mountain just… read more

Posted by: Maggi on 8/26/2013 at 5:57 am

Dear Chris and Jessie…We’re anxiously awaiting news about your reaching the summit!!! Love Dad (papa) & Mama J

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Posted by: joan & dad on 8/25/2013 at 5:21 am


Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team 100% Summit!

Posted by: Casey Grom | August 25, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Kilimanjaro
Elevation: 19,340'

At 2:45 a.m. PST, Casey Grom and team were all standing on the “Roof of Africa!”  As seen in the photo sent below, the weather was bluebird skies and everyone looks extremely happy.  The team has descended from the summit and will continue down to Mweka Camp at 10,000’ today.

Congratulations to the team!

August 25th, 2013 - Grom and team standing on the Roof of Africa! Photo: Casey Grom

On The Map

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Congratulations Jess!! What an AWESOME accomplishment!  We have a bottle of champagne and something from Jay ;) waiting for you in Doylestown to celebrate!!  xxxx Jen, Jay, Jane, Bob, Huck… read more

Posted by: Jen Leventhal on 8/26/2013 at 4:32 pm

Congratulations Steve and Brian! What a huge accomplishment. Can not wait to hear all of the stories.

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Posted by: Scott B on 8/26/2013 at 6:18 am


Mt. Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Return to Dik Dik

Posted by: Casey Grom | August 26, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Kilimanjaro

Hello again everyone,

We have finally made it off of Mt. Kilimanjaro and are safely back at the wonderful Dik Dik Lodge.
After a much needed night of sleep we woke up this morning, packed up all of our stuff and headed down hill one last time. We ended our journey by saying good bye to all of the amazing porters and mountain staff that made this journey possible.
Everyone is now freshly showered and smelling good again, thankfully, and are just sitting down to our celebration dinner.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

The Dik Dik Hotel, Tanzania.  Photo: RMI Collection The RMI Kilimanjaro August 17th Team gathers for their celebration dinner at the Dik Dik Hotel, Tanzania.  Photo: Casey Grom
10

What an accomplishment, Tim!  We’re all really happy for you.  Have shown Mom and Dad everything and they’re really proud and excited for you.  Can’t wait to see all your… read more

Posted by: Margaret Ann on 8/27/2013 at 10:46 am

Way to go!!! Now you get to say, “been there done that”!! haha.  Love your smiling faces at the summit.

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Posted by: Lorraine Bocci on 8/27/2013 at 9:30 am


Mt. Kilimanjaro: Grom and Team enjoy Safari

Posted by: Casey Grom | August 27, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Kilimanjaro

Hello again everyone,

After all the hard work to prepare for this trip we have finally arrived at the time to reward ourselves.Today we set off on our 3 and half days of safari and started off with a stop at Lake Manyara known for its plentiful flamingos and tree climbing lions. Although we didn’t see the tree climbing lions, we did manage to see plenty of wildebeest, zebras, flamingos, giraffe, baboons, and got up close to several elephants. We even had a rare sighting of a green mamba.

We have arrived and are fully enjoying the hospitality of the amazing plantation lodge. See for yourself http://www.plantation-lodge.com Livin.g the good life!

RMI Guide Casey and Crew

Team Dinner  - Photo: Casey Grom Team on safari - Photo: Casey Grom Team enjoying lunch on safari - Photo: Casey Grom
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New York City ladies rule.  Jessie, we’re so looking forward to your visit and triumphant return. Hugs and Kisses (for mom too).

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Posted by: Uncle Jim & Aunt Carol on 8/28/2013 at 8:52 am

Ok, we have to stop reading your updates because Sam and Connor are getting jealous of your safari adventures! Couldn’t you just go climb another mountain?

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Posted by: jordo on 8/28/2013 at 2:28 am


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