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Entries from Kilimanjaro

Kilimanjaro: Tucker & Team Climb Barranco Wall, Ascend to Karanga Camp

The group is doing great after a strong showing on the trail today. We are at Karanga Valley which sits at 13,100’ and is our last stop before Kilimanjaro’s High Camp.
We tackled the Barranco Wall this morning and had a very smooth ascent up the steep slopes. When we were about 2/3 of the way up we could look back down on last night’s camp which looked like a camp for ants. The rest of the way felt like it was a dance off with a bunch of ups and downs.
A few clouds made for very comfortable climbing conditions and a picturesque setting. No sooner did we arrive to camp than a two minute rain shower began, luckily we had our tents for shelterr and more big mountain story when we get home.
We’re all relaxing now before dinner and tomorrow we head up to Barafu camp at 15,000’.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Absolutely wonderful to be able to see where your team is. Hello and love to Jen Girard and Geoff Melrose.

Posted by: Brenda on 8/12/2017 at 10:46 am

Very exciting!! Wishing you all a successful climb to the top!

Posted by: Wendy on 8/12/2017 at 3:49 am

Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Safari at Lake Manyara National Park

A day after the big and arduous week on Kilimanjaro, nobody in our team had the slightest trouble rallying for the Safari departure this morning.  We were driving westward just before 8 AM in two souped up and modified Toyota Landcruisers.  Rush hour traffic on the outskirts of Arusha fascinated us, but we were plenty happy to leave it behind and break into open country for a couple of hours.  Lake Manyara National Park was today’s destination.  At first, we stopped for every velvet monkey and baboon, but we gradually grew more demanding and Manyara kept delivering.  We were in game viewing heaven by midday with Cape Buffalo, hippos, thousands of storks and pelicans, zebras, warthogs and wildebeest roaming the lake’s edge.  The forest elephants we saw up close and personal delighted us to no end.  In late afternoon, just when eyelids were beginning to droop and the cruisers were pointed toward the park exit… we had an impromptu and unexpected encounter with a leopard.  Our eyes widened, his/her eyes widened, our cameras clicked and the beautiful cat came toward us and crossed the road in full view for just a magical moment.  The big kitty melted into the brush and we went on our way… amazed at our good fortune.  We drove up the escarpment of the Great Rift Valley (which we learned runs 10,000 kilometers from Jordan to Mozambique) and found our way to the Plantation Lodge.  The perfectly tended gardens, luxurious accommodations, and welcoming staff caused more than one Taoseño to contemplate staying indefinitely in East Africa.  We’ll tear ourselves away for a day in Ngorongoro Crater tomorrow though… luxury can wait. 

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

Thank for the continued updates! Sounds like Team Taos is having a great time. Cementing great friendships!! Thinking of you all !! Take care!

Posted by: Sarah's Mom & Dad on 8/11/2017 at 8:22 am

Kilimanjaro: Tucker & Team Ascend to Barranco Camp

The team has moved camp once again and everyone is doing well. It was a big day ,more than six hours and everyone handled it well. We left the Shira Plateau a bit after 8 am and had a steady ascent for 2,500’ right out of camp at a steady grade. Our high point of just below 15,000’ was right about noon then we had a constant descent to our new camp here at Barranco Camp at just under 13,000’. We are looking forward to another great dinner provided by the Barking Zebra staff and then a good night’s rest.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Hi from Seattle - go Jen and Geoff!  All is well with Cisco!

Posted by: Laurie Pike on 8/10/2017 at 2:14 pm

Happy Birthday to Geoff Melrose!  From the Bolton’s

Posted by: Rhonda Bolton on 8/10/2017 at 9:43 am

Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Back to Arumeru River Lodge

The perfect climb continued in similar fashion.  We woke under clear skies at 10,000 ft.  Each climber commented on how nice it had been to sleep on level ground and at low altitude.  We ate one last fine mountain meal and then met, across a clearing in the forest, with our entire 54 man support staff.  Philip spoke for his men, expressing gratitude and satisfaction with a week’s worth of hard work on our behalf.  I spoke for our gang -attempting to express our amazement and gratitude at their efforts.  A few songs were sung and gifts exchanged.  We set out down the forest trail and before too long were in thick cloud and eventually rain.  There was some discussion later though, as to whether it was actually rain or just a particularly wet cloud we were in.  It didn’t really matter though, as it didn’t get us very wet and it didn’t last so long.  We picked our way down 4,000 vertical feet of slippery trail without mishap and hit the Mweka Gate of Kilimanjaro National Park.  After some handshakes, photographs and documentation, we loaded the bus and cruised downhill.  Our staff hosted one last amazing lunch on our return, just above the city of Moshi, and then we hit the highway.  Gasps were heard when we finally could look back and see Kilimanjaro towering over the clouds.  (We hadn’t seen it at all before the climb).  It didn’t seem possible for a mountain to be so big. 
As good as the climb had been, nobody was sad to be back at our comfortable lodge with hot showers and fine food and drink.  We relaxed away the afternoon and celebrated away the evening… within limits of course.  The Safari awaits. 

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Leave a Comment For the Team

Kilimanjaro: Tucker and Team Reach Shira Plateau

We had fantastic weather making for a fantastic day. We are so happy it is silly! Out here in the office we could not have had a better day. This morning we had a steep start right out of the gate but no problem for the “A team”. There are a couple scrambling sections, and the team took it bite for bite, chewed it well.  Thanks to the amazing work of our porter and our Camp and meal were waiting when we arrived. We now sit at Shira Camp, just over 12,000’. We had a great lunch now are relaxing and letting our bodies adjust to our new altitude.

Tomorrow we will head up to over 14,000’. and then down in to camp at just below 13,000’. Stay tuned!

RMI Guide Mark Tucker & Team!

Leave a Comment For the Team

Kilimanjaro: Tucker & Team Hit the Trail

All is well at Kilimanjaro Camp 1; otherwise known as Machame Hut. We are already at 10,000 feet for our first night on the mountain. Interestingly 10,000 feet here is still below tree line, whereas on Mt. Rainier 10,000 feet is way above tree line and glaciated.
The hiking today was great with a little cloud cover, which helped with very pleasant temperatures and not a whole lot of mud to get here. We are still recovering after our team member Barbara’s 75th birthday party last night. We have a real fun group, everyone was chatting away between themselves and with our African guides who will accompany us the whole time up the mountain. We spent a total of about six hours on the trail and combined with jet lag should make for good sleeping tonight.

Until tomorrow,
RMI Guide Mark Tucker

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Happy birthday to Geoff Melrose.  (8/10).  Good climbing to all.

Posted by: Peter melrose on 8/9/2017 at 8:59 pm

Good luck Andrew and Nik!

Posted by: Steve Martin on 8/9/2017 at 8:48 am

Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Summit!

Last night at 9:30 pm PST Dave Hahn called from the Kilimanjaro summit! Please click the audio button below to listen to his update from the Roof of Africa.

7:48 am PST
By any measure, this was a big day.  For one thing, it began yesterday.  At 11:30 PM precisely, we woke at 15,200 ft to begin our summit attempt.  The moon was brilliant, high clouds and wind were non-existent… It was the perfect night for climbing.  Our team assembled in the dining tent at midnight to swill coffee and porridge.  By the time we were walking out of camp at 12:30, we’d already sung a few rounds of happy birthday to the 18 year-old twins, Max and Simon.  Philip Mbise, our lead guide, brought the team skillfully, politely, and steadily through a hundred potential traffic jams.  Everybody was out and on the move, but many were having the normal difficulties with the altitude, the terrain and the cold, so by merely keeping our team at a rock-steady “Pole Pole” pace, Philip passed team after team as we worked higher.  Most of us didn’t turn our headlights on until just before the crater rim, when we tore through a moon shadow.  We hit Stella Point -on the rim- at 5:30 AM, still in darkness, but with an enchanting light show going on between imminent daybreak in the east and moon mania in the west.  One hour later… at exactly 6:30, the sun rose and our entire team arrived together at Uhuru… The true summit of Kilimanjaro and Africa.  It was cold, we’d been wearing down jackets for the last few hours to the top, but it was an absolutely magical and beautiful moment.  There, at 19,340 ft, we celebrated those birthdays, the bonds of family and close friendships, and the wonders of the world.  As we watched, a shadow of Kilimanjaro formed in the atmosphere to the West, exactly coinciding with the only landform breaking the surface of the cloud sea, the 16,000-foot pyramid of Mount Meru.  As if that weren’t enough, the full moon sat just above the twin apexes of ethereal and stone summits in the sky.  We took pictures, hugged one another and wandered about wide-eyed and exhilarated.  We left the summit at 7:00 and two hours and fifteen minutes later, this strong team was back in high camp.  We had a grand feast of a brunch, capped off with a birthday cake which was hand delivered to Barafu from Arusha just yesterday.  And then, at 11 AM we skedaddled and headed for Mweka Camp.  Walking in pleasant weather, we reached camp at about 10,000 feet by 2:15 -earning a restful afternoon lounging in our forest camp. 
The shoutouts today go to our own team… All of whom broke their previous altitude records.  Special mention to 14 year-old Ella Green who absolutely crushed the day.  To 16 year-old Zach Ginn, who would have gone on for another 5,000 feet if the mountain hadn’t abruptly ended at 19,340.  To our three 18 year-old brothers… Tyrone Green, Simon and Max Mount each of whom demonstrated uncommon discipline, maturity and good humor on a long tough day. 
The loudest of shoutouts to Philip, to Freddy Kileo, to Gama Samvel, to Naiman Metil, to Venance Vicent, and Said Mwanja for flawless guidance. 

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

RMI Guide Dave Hahn calls in from the Kilimanjaro summit!

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Congratulations! Happy birthday to the twins! Sounds truly amazing! I can’t wait to hear about the details and see the pictures when you return! What a team! I’m so proud of Ella! You guys rock!!

Posted by: Lisa on 8/9/2017 at 4:56 am

Congratulations team Taos!
Fantastic achievement.
Safe journey back down.

Posted by: Deon on 8/9/2017 at 12:19 am

Kilimanjaro: Tucker’s Team Arrives in Tanzania

Just tracked down the last missing bag so the whole team and gear are here.
We are packed and ready to go to Kilimanjaro tomorrow.
Everyone minus one arrived late last night and after a few hours of sleep, we met up for our first meeting and then a session on packing our gear for the next week on the mountain.
We spent the afternoon finalizing the preparation. Tomorrow we will get up at 6am and depart for the mountain around 8am. We have a five-hour climb to get to camp so a busy day ahead. With not a lot of clouds tonight, we watched the lunar eclipse. The weather looks good for now.
All is well with the team.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Thinking of you all as you get started on this amazing climb!

Posted by: Rhonda Bolton on 8/8/2017 at 7:48 am

Happy Birthday Barbara!! We love you and hope you and Ben have a wonderful trip!

Posted by: Christy Ramineni on 8/8/2017 at 7:15 am

Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team at High Camp Ready for Summit Bid

Karanga Camp was kind to us.  After a calm, full moon night there, we had an easy and pleasant morning above the clouds.  Those that got up in the night even glimpsed the lights of Moshi and other cities shining up from far below.  We left just before 9 AM and made our way up broad and open terrain with the great cliffs and glaciers of Kibo towering overhead.  With little or no vegetation in this alpine zone it was possible to see hundreds of porters, climbers, guides and assorted staff stretching out forever ahead of and behind us. 
We made good time on the relatively easy path and pulled into our 15,200 ft high camp at noon with everybody feeling strong and cheerful.  Barafu Camp is on a rock ridge with grand views of the climb to come and of just about everything else in the universe.  Clouds built up in the afternoon, which we welcomed for giving a little relief from the strong high altitude sunshine.  We ate, and ate, and ate as Tosha Minja, our remarkable chef served up a feast to remember.  We’ll rest a bit now, eat an early supper and turn in early as well.  We’ve got big work to do in the night, a climb to the Roof of Africa... Luckily, we’ve got 11 strong and eager climbers and seven capable and enthusiastic guides to help get the job done. 

Best regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Happy Birthday, Max and Simon. What a memorable way to celebrate your 18th.  Hugs and high 5’s all around.  Grandpa and GrannieAnnie.

Posted by: Grandpa and Annie on 8/8/2017 at 7:54 am

Happy birthday Simon and Max!!!! Miss you guys. Love you lots Simon.

Posted by: Isabelle on 8/7/2017 at 6:05 pm

Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team reach Karanga Camp

Greetings from Karanga Camp. We’ll be spending the night at the same elevation as Wheeler Peak -at 13,161 ft, the highest point in New Mexico (which most of us call home). The day began back in the cold and shady Barranco Valley. We were at the upper edge of the clouds this morning and we got swallowed up by them shortly after our 9 AM departure. There was plenty of anticipation and perhaps a little trepidation at the chance to come to grips with the great Barranco Wall. The team handled the rough and rocky “trail” well, moving safely from ledge to ledge while dodging hundreds of heavily laden, hard charging porters. We spent a fair bit of time simply standing and waiting in line at the various bottlenecks that developed around the dicier moves. But our gang was patient and sure-footed… The perfect mix of traits and talents for getting through the day.  We were cloaked in thick fog for our entire walk beyond the wall. The team never saw the Karanga Valley itself -our last encounter with Lobelias and Senecios. We just knew we were in it by the steep descent and just as steep ascent out the opposite side.  And that put us in a fog shrouded camp at 2 PM where our tents were already up and the table was set for lunch. The afternoon was spent resting.  Some enjoyed the quiet of their tents while others played a laugh-filled Uno tournament with the local guides and waiters. Just before sunset, the clouds dropped away to reveal unreal views of Kibo bathed in golden light. It was one of those magical times when we didn’t know whether to focus on the setting sun, the rising moon or the glowing glaciers above. It all added up to another great day on a mountainside in Africa. 

Today’s shoutouts… TG loves MV… and a long distance happy birthday to my brother Hal. 

Best Regards,
Dave Hahn

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Bravo to the team!  Sounds like my friend Sara is in good hands !  What a fab experience!

Posted by: Andrea Blumberg on 8/7/2017 at 6:57 pm

Hi Lexi girl! This is the best bed time reading.  Even has the whole “can’t wait to see what happens tomorrow” cliffhanger thing going. Pun intended :-)  Sending you positive “you got this” thoughts and lots of sea-level Dallas oxygen :-) Enjoy and be safe Taos Team!! Donia XO

Posted by: Donia on 8/6/2017 at 7:35 pm

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