Entries By mark tucker

Kilimanjaro: Tucker & Team Ready in Arusha

Posted by: Mark Tucker | July 23, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Kilimanjaro

Our team has gathered in Arusha, Tanzania and we are sorting our gear, weighing our mountain duffels and getting ready to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro!  We also took a little time for golfing and goofing around.  We need to get away from this lap of luxury we find ourselves in and start climbing, we are eating way to much.

Tomorrow we will wake early, enjoy our last restaurant meal for a while and then take a drive to the Machame Gate.  Here we will register our team with the Kilimanjaro National Park, don our packs and begin our climb toward the Roof of Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

The RMI Kilimanjaro July 21st team at dinner at the Dik Dik Hotel, Tanzania.  Photo: Mark Tucker The July 21st Kilimanjaro team stretching their legs in Tanzania.  Photo: Mark Tucker

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Happy belated birthday, Brian! Enjoy it all!

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Posted by: Karen Easterday on 7/24/2014 at 7:13 pm

Praying for safety. Kids are great

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Posted by: Duane mycroft on 7/24/2014 at 10:10 am


Courage Quilt: What is Courage?

Posted by: Mark Tucker | May 09, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest BC Trek

On March 21, RMI Trekker Susan R left her home in Florida en route to Kathmandu, Nepal.  Susan would be joining RMI Guide Mark Tucker and their team on a 21 day adventure through the Khumbu Valley.  From Kathmandu the team would fly to Lukla and begin their trek to Everest Base Camp at 17,575’.
Along with the jackets, hiking boots, sleeping bags and other items needed along the trail, Susan brought with her a special Courage Quilt.  This quilt was given to her by Mrs. Hixon’s 4th Grade class from Oakton Elementary School in Oakton, Virginia.  Mrs. Hixon and her class did a project on Nepal and the Himalaya.  ” It certainly helped me and I think it helped the other team members as well.” said Susan.

The students were asked the following questions:
What is courage?
What does it look like?
What do you think about when you need to be courageous?

The photo below is of the Courage Quilt given to Susan which she brought with her to Nepal.

The Courage Quilt - From the Fourth Grade Class at Oakton Elementary School in Oakton, Virginia.  Photo: Susan R.

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Have fun with Tuck on the trek. He was a blast on Kilimanjaro 2 years ago.

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Posted by: Dick Davies on 5/10/2014 at 11:32 am


Mt. Everest: Dave Hahn & Team Back to Namche Bazaar

Posted by: Dave Hahn, JJ Justman, Billy Nugent, Mark Tucker | April 26, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest
Elevation: 11,300'

Today was a big walking day, up and down the hills of the Khumbu Valley from Pheriche to Namche.  Right out of Pheriche, where we started hiking at 8 AM, we crossed the river, climbed a hill and turned into the inhabited portions of the Khumbu.  We turned our backs on rocks and ice and walked down into rhododendrons, pine trees and villages.  JJ led the way as we rolled through Shomare, Pangboche, Deboche, Thyangboche, and Phunky Tonga.  We got hot enough to sweat a bit, which was a novelty, we passed a million trekkers and heard about a million helicopter laps as the B2’s and B3’s flew over us on their way back and forth to Everest Base.  Finally, at midday, we got working our way up the giant dusty hill that would put us on level with Namche.  It took us about six hours to reach Namche -still quite familiar to us since we spent three days acclimating in town on the way in.  This time… no acclimatization needed… so fine to be below 12,000 ft for the first time in close to a month.  The team enjoyed a fine evening at comfortable Camp De Base.

One more big day of hiking to go before Lukla International.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Descending views of Everest. Photo:  Casey Grom

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Nicole Lobiondo: Safe travels from Lukla to you all! Nicole H.

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Posted by: Nicole Howard on 4/28/2014 at 5:27 am

Hey Spencer, So sorry you weren’t able to make it this time. You’ll be back under better circumstances and the summit will be that much more sweet. Safe journey home!read more

Posted by: Matt Pietro on 4/27/2014 at 11:40 am


Mt. Everest: Dave Hahn Checks in from Pheriche

Posted by: Dave Hahn, JJ Justman, Billy Nugent, Mark Tucker | April 25, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest
Elevation: 13,950'

Our last night in base was made dramatic by a lightning storm rolling through.  A few inches of snow fell thick and fast, making morning, bright, fresh and beautiful.  At 11:15 AM we filed out of the ghost town that Mount Everest Basecamp has become.  The climbing team, accompanied by Lam Babu, made good time in losing three and a half thousand feet to reach Pheriche in four hours and forty-five minutes.  We each paid Everest’s summit a couple of last longing looks during the march, but then paid more attention to the task at hand; walking an uneven, slippery mountain trail while dodging trekkers, yaks and porters.  The gang stuck together wonderfully, demonstrating what a close knit and fit climbing team we’ve become.  With each village on the descent, through Gorak Shep, Lobuche and Thukla, we each noticed the thicker and easier air.  We coughed less and walked faster.  All enjoyed seeing the baby yaks trying out their legs on our homestretch into Pheriche.  Tonight, we are indoors again… safe, enjoying each other’s company, and quite comfortable.  We hope things are going well for Mark Tucker and the bulk of our Sherpa Team, back at EBC for a last couple of days to button things up properly.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

An RMI team descending past prayer flags. Photo: RMI Collection Views of the Himalayas near Pheriche. Photo: Casey Grom

On The Map

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What a pitiful attitude Bob has!!  Wishing your team a safe journey back home.  That is very admirable for Mark to have stayed back with the Sherpa team!  Again it… read more

Posted by: Tammy Doppenberg on 4/26/2014 at 3:47 pm

Oh Spen,
Tuesday’s not gone.  There’s a lifetime of Tuesdays left for you.  That mountain is not going anywhere.  You’re young and strong and we got your back.  Love… read more

Posted by: jan pipkin on 4/25/2014 at 12:46 pm


Mt. Everest: RMI Expedition Ends

Posted by: Dave Hahn, JJ Justman, Billy Nugent, Mark Tucker | April 23, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest
Elevation: 17,575'

We began the day with hope that we might be getting closer to resuming climbing.  Billy and JJ took the climbers hiking while Mark Tucker and I met with a number of other climb leaders and Sherpa sirdars.  Those meetings convinced us that the right course was to give up on Mount Everest for Spring 2014.  In future dispatches, we’ll try to quantify the reasons for such a decision.  But for now, suffice to say that the risks outweigh the possibility of success.

This week has been a roller coaster of emotion for many of us, from the horror that came with the avalanche of April 18, to the confusion that followed it regarding the right course to take for balancing respect for the dead, concern for team safety and summit ambitions.  Following the accident, our list of serious obstacles to an Everest summit was always significant, but we believed it worthwhile to continue looking for some way forward.  Our climbers, Sherpas, guides, and outfitters had put too much into the planning and execution of this trip to let go of the goal with less than our best effort.  We’ve given that now.

We’ll start heading for home soon.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Mt. Everest, Nepal. Photo: Jake Norton

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RMI guides make great decisions.  Dave, Billy, JJ.  This is why I’ve climbed a number of summits with RMI—you literally are trusting them with your life to make good decisions. … read more

Posted by: Dan on 4/25/2014 at 6:38 am

So sorry for the loss and for the tough situation it put you all.  I’m glad you are safe and coming home.  JJ—you’ll have many, many more climbs….

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Posted by: Randy Christofferson on 4/25/2014 at 4:23 am


Mt. Everest: Mark Tucker Checks in

Posted by: JJ Justman, Billy Nugent, Dave Hahn, Mark Tucker | April 21, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest
Elevation: 17,575'

The skies were sunny with warm temperatures today at Everest Base Camp.  Our climbers took a few short hikes around the lower glacier and then a bit of cards and board games to keep our minds busy.  There is community gathering for a remembrance scheduled for tomorrow.

RMI Guide & Base Camp Manager Mark Tucker

The view from Everest Base Camp, 17,575 ft. Photo: Dave Hahn

On The Map

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Nicole Lobiondo: Hope you are okay during this tough time. My Dad and I took our Walk in Long Branch and drove by your house. All looks good! Mufasa must… read more

Posted by: Nicole Howard on 4/23/2014 at 5:11 am

Nicole,  Be safe with your team.  Love you Sandy

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Posted by: Sandy Murray on 4/22/2014 at 5:13 pm


Mt. Everest: Meetings Attended by Hahn & Tucker While the Climbing Team Hikes to Pumori Camp 1

Posted by: Dave Hahn, JJ Justman, Billy Nugent, Mark Tucker | April 20, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest
Elevation: 17,575'

Still at Everest Base.  Still a very difficult situation for all involved.

JJ and Billy led the climbing team on a hike to Pumori Camp One today, where they enjoyed awesome views of Mount Everest (during our hike to the same point last week we had no views due to an ill-timed and swirling snowstorm).  Mark Tucker and I attended a series of somewhat tense and serious meetings between team leaders, Sherpas, and the few government representatives present in camp.  It is very difficult to say what will happen going forward but one cannot under emphasize the enormity of the tragedy to the Sherpa community.  Each team, if it has not suffered death and loss directly, has lost relatives, close friends and neighbors to the icefall avalanche of April 18.  In too many cases, survivors saw the friends perish before their eyes or else they dealt with the difficult aftermath of body recovery personally.

Our Sherpa partners love their jobs and love to climb, but nobody is climbing now and all are struggling to come to terms with how to proceed in a way that honors those lost and protects those left alive.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Mt. Everest with a wind-swept plume. Photo: RMI Collection

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My thoughts are with all affected by the tragedy. I can only imagine the impact it has had on you all personally. I have no doubt that you, JJ, and… read more

Posted by: Everett Moran on 4/22/2014 at 10:56 am


Mt. Everest: Update 4-18-14

Posted by: Mark Tucker | April 17, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest
Elevation: 17,575'

April 17th - 11:20 pm Pacific Time

RMI Guide and Everest Base Camp Manager Mark Tucker reports that RMI climbers, Sherpa and guides are safe at Everest Base Camp.  Around 7 am local time on April 18th an avalanche occured below the West Shoulder continuing down into the Khumbu Ice Fall.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the teams on Mt. Everest.

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So happy you guys are all safe! Miss ya kare, I am so glad you are safe!!! Praying for the families of the Fallen Sherpa and for your continued safety.

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Posted by: Farah Hedwig on 4/20/2014 at 8:05 am

Hi, Nicole! So relieved to hear you and your team are safe. Our prayers are with you all. Your dad is with me. He says “Be careful, we want you… read more

Posted by: Patti Tebo on 4/18/2014 at 11:48 am


Mt. Everest: Dress Rehearsal through the Khumbu Icefall

Posted by: JJ Justman, Dave Hahn, Billy Nugent, Mark Tucker | April 17, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest
Elevation: 17,575'

Today was an exciting day! The entire team did a “live” rehearsal. What does that mean? Well…the team awoke at 3AM and slid on stiff boots and warm clothing, had a quick but nutritious breakfast and then began climbing the icefall with our headlamps lighting the way.

Climbing in the Khumbu Icefall is impossible to describe. It is impossible to relay what it’s like through photos and videos. However, the best I can say is it is simply spectacular! Giant blocks of ice tower above as you bob and weave, slice and dice your way through the giant maze.

The entire team did absolutely great! This “dry run” of going through half of the icefall inspires confidence so the next time we get up at 3AM we will all be ready and rearing to go through the entire icefall and occupy Camp One at 20,000 feet.

For now however, we are all happy and content after another great lunch with culinary masterpieces allowing us to fully recover. Next, a little tent time to rest these weary bones.

RMI Guide JJ Justman

Night exposure of the Khumbu Icefall. Photo: RMI Collection

On The Map

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Nicole and team. We are so thankful that you and the team are safe and praying for the missing climbers.Your family are all sending you strngth and love. We… read more

Posted by: ginny marasco on 4/18/2014 at 10:59 am

Nicole Lobiondo: Wonderful to hear you are all safe and staying confident. You are in great hands and praying for you all. You got this! Love, Nicole

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Posted by: Nicole Howard on 4/18/2014 at 5:50 am


Mt. Everest: The Team Prepares for the Next Phase of the Expedition

Posted by: Billy Nugent, Dave Hahn, JJ Justman, Mark Tucker | April 16, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest
Elevation: 17,575'

Hello out there. Billy here checking in for the rest of the gang after another day deep in the Khumbu. Not much to report on another rest day here, other than the fact that the NCell tower began sporadically working today after nearly a ten-day outage. Our team was starting to go crazy… I mean it was like camping back in the 90’s where you were in a deep black hole.

Anyway, clear skies this morning meant more helicopters buzzing basecamp as a film production crew has been ferrying tons of equipment up valley. The rumor is that they’ll need more than fifty flights to get all of their gear in, we’re all looking forward to it! Regardless, we’re rested and ready for the next phase of our climb which involves an early wakeup dress rehearsal for tomorrow. It’s the last step before we begin our first true rotation up the mountain.

All for now, will check in again tomorrow after another romp through the icefall…

RMI Guide Billy Nugent

B3 Helicopter Leaving Everest BC Helipad. Photo: Dave Hahn

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Casey Grom - just checking in on you. Just read about the avalanche and of course I immediately thought of you. Be safe.
- Janel
Posted by: Janel… read more

Posted by: Janel Miller on 4/18/2014 at 6:04 am

Nicole & Team sending blessings and prayers up to the top of the world. Thinking of you all, all those who left families and friends behind. Praying you are all… read more

Posted by: Tatiana on 4/18/2014 at 4:08 am


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