Entries By jeff martin

Kilimanjaro: Martin & Team Spend the Day Preparing for the Climb

Posted by: Jeff Martin | February 10, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Kilimanjaro

Jambo from the Dik Dik,

We are still one bag down, but otherwise this group is ready to leave early tomorrow morning. We did spend the day going through all the details about our climb and what we might expect along the way as ascend the mountain over the next seven days. Next we focused on gear and equipment, discussing the difference between nice to have and need to have, as well as what to pack in our mountain duffel and what is carried in our day packs. This group did an excellent job in bringing all the right gear so we did not have to spend too much time doing the equipment checks and weighing our mountain duffels.

It was raining most of the day, so rather than go out for an afternoon hike, we stayed indoors, with time well spent recovering from the eleven hour time zone difference, and sending out those last few emails before leaving behind the last of the wi-fi connectivity that we will have for the next week.

We sat down for our four-course dinner, and had a special treat tonight. Two of our climbers are celebrating birthdays. The staff prepared a wonderful cake for this occasion and rolled it in on a cart after dinner with all the candles lit up and everybody singing. Our two climbers were definitely surprised.

We have set our alarms for an early wake up, and hope to be driving towards Kilimanjaro National Park by 7:30 am. Tomorrow, we’ll check in from our first camp on the mountain, Machame Camp.

Best regards,
RMI Guide Jeff Martin

Two team members receiving birthday wishes in Africa. Photo: Jeff Martin

Sign Up For Kilimanjaro 2014 Email Alerts

2

Kilimanjaro: Martin & Team Arrive in Tanzania

Posted by: Jeff Martin | February 09, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Kilimanjaro

Hello from Usa River, Tanzania,

The daily KLM flight from Amsterdam arrived right on time tonight, and fortunately our entire team made the flight. Not so lucky with all the bags. We have one bag that is still in Amsterdam and will come down on tomorrow’s flight, just in time for us before we leave for the mountain. We are now at the hotel and just finished the best meal that has been served in the last 9,000 + miles of travel.

Tomorrow we’ll start with a full orientation about our Kilimanjaro climb and safari and then work on getting our gear ready and weighed for the mountain. Everyone is excited to finally be here in Africa and beginning this incredible adventure. More to follow tomorrow.

Best regards,
RMI Guide Jeff Martin

Our rooms at the Dik Dik Hotel, near the foot of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Photo: Jeff Martin The Dik Dik Hotel pool area. Photo: Jeff Martin

Sign Up For Kilimanjaro 2014 Email Alerts

7

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

Sign Up For Kilimanjaro 2014 Email Alerts


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

Sign Up For Kilimanjaro 2014 Email Alerts

1

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

Sign Up For Kilimanjaro 2014 Email Alerts

1

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

Sign Up For Kilimanjaro 2014 Email Alerts

3

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

Sign Up For Kilimanjaro 2014 Email Alerts

1

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

Sign Up For Kilimanjaro 2014 Email Alerts

1

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

Sign Up For Kilimanjaro 2014 Email Alerts

6

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

Sign Up For Kilimanjaro 2014 Email Alerts

1

Previous Page More Entries