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Entries from Kilimanjaro

Kilimanjaro: Tucker & Team Descend to Mweka Camp

Early up, early down. You would be amazed at what you can accomplish before noon when you have a strong team. We’re all together here at our 10,000ft Camp Mweka. A tired crew for sure but that can’t hide the glow on their sunscreen faces. A bit breezy and temps in the teens couldn’t keep the whole boat from dropping anchor on the summit. Altitude records for all but that is so over shadowed by the bond between climbing partners I witnessed this fine day. The compassion exhibited to one another during this physical and mental challenge to people that you just met gives you hope for all mankind. The support, friendliness and caring by our local outfitter, the Dik Dik Lodge, solidifies its world wide. Up early, a few hours down hill, then it’s lodge time!

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

On The Map

It was so nice to read about the bond that has formed among the group.  Not only will this trip create amazing memories for you, but you all have formed friendships that will last a lifetime.  Congratulations!

Odette, Taylor’s mom

Posted by: Odette Hankins on 7/17/2016 at 6:44 pm

Kilimanjaro: Tucker & Team Summit!

Hey, down there! I have a whole bunch of people on the summit of Kilimanjaro! Beautiful conditions. The team is fantastic. Had a blast; wish you were there. We’re going to go ahead and start making our way the other direction. Port of call: Mweka Camp tonight. Thanks for checking in. We’ll be talking later.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

RMI Guide Mark Tucker calls in from the Kilimanjaro summit!

On The Map

You did it!  Congratulations to the whole team!!  Sending my love to Taylor from down here in Cleveland.  We love you!!!


Posted by: Odette Hankins on 7/17/2016 at 6:58 am

Kilimanjaro: Tucker & Team Ascend to High Camp Ready for Summit Bid

A very nice cup of dark roast Tanzania coffee fresh out of my French press sits next to me as I write this blog. Big climbs like this,when given the option to have a few creature comforts, do wonders for the mental and physical. It has been another perfect weather day with a little breeze here at high camp, Barafu at 15000’. The team had yet another restful and healthy night making the challenge of 2,000 feet of elevation gain no problem, or as we hear about a hundred times a day “Hakuna matata”. If you can envision the 8 man varsity Harvard crew boat rowing for yet another crushing victory, that is pretty much what our team looks like. Perfect rest step in unison just like team strokes, a thing of beauty to watch. Only thing a bit funny is our coxswain (me) not weighing in at that perfect 119 to 123 lbs. The incredible meals that continue coming out of the kitchen tent assures me that the loss of any pounds is impossible. Resting, sorting, packing summit lunches are the duties for the day. Our wake up call at 11:30 pm is going to arrive soon and then the start of our summit push. The entire team is in great shape to safely give it a shot. We hope the next time we check in we will be on the summit of Kilimanjaro.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

On The Map

Kilimanjaro: Tucker & Team Ascend the Barranco Wall

Jambo -
This group of intrepid mountaineers made quick work of the infamous Barranco wall. Working together, climbing with style and grace and a bit of support from are great local staff our team ascended and thirty minutes later we reached the top of the wall with high fives and a good photo opportunity. We were then on our way to our new camp at over 13,000’ at Karanga Camp.  The weather conditions are perfect and thank goodness for kissing the Blarney Stone before the climb.
The whole team is in great shape and feeling strong, boots and equipment are performing well. We are hoping the weather continues to hold to give us the best chances to stand on top of Kilimanjaro!

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

On The Map


Have a great climb!

Steve & Cheryl

Posted by: Steve Burtzel on 7/15/2016 at 2:08 pm

Kilimanjaro: Tucker & Team Crush Altitude Records to Reach Barranco Camp

Can you say cruise into camp? Why? Well, that’s just what the team did. After a clear and cool evening at Shira Camp, we woke up early to hit the trail and crush most of the teams altitude records! We kept a perfect pace (of course) and with impeccable technique by one and all we hardly noticed the thin air. We were able to get in some great views of Kilimanjaro’s main peak, dramatic ice fields, and the steep mountain flanks. A long descent into the Barranco Valley brought us to are next camp for the night. Barranco Camp is nestled among the crazy looking giant senecio trees. These trees have some resemblance to the Joshua tree. Looming above us are glaciers and huge ice runnels. Needless to say it is one heck of a beautiful spot. The weather is perfect, the team is great and we all wish you were here.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

On The Map

Kilimanjaro: Tucker & Team Reach Camp One

Jambo from Kilimanjaro-
We are checking in from Camp One, Machame Camp at 9,800’ and everyone is doing great.
We woke early this morning and had a nice breakfast at the Dik Dik.  We loaded the vehicle and after a quick stop at the open air meat market we reached the Machame Entrance Gate at 6,000’. After some photos and the fun began as we started on the trail. Being a cloud forest it held true for most of the climb but now here at 10,000’ the skies are clear and beautiful. We have clear views of the summit and associated glaciers and life is good here in the very comfortable dinning tent.

Have a nice day,
RMI Guide Mark Tucker

On The Map

Glad to hear things are going well.  I am certain that the views are breathtaking and that the climb is strenuous but exhilarating.  My best to all of you!

Odette Hankins
Taylor’s mom in Cleveland, Ohio

Posted by: Odette Hankins on 7/13/2016 at 7:33 am

Kilimanjaro: Tucker & Team Gather in Tanzania

It’s all coming together now. We made our final preparations today here in the town of Usa River Tanzania, located at the base of the tallest mountain on this continent. Myself and eight hearty souls are taking on the challenge of climbing Kilimanjaro starting tomorrow. It will be tough to leave the luxury of our lodge but the team is fired up for the adventure ahead. A very nice group of folk have started to bond here in the lowlands and and a tight nit team is just a few days and thousands of feet uphill.

Early tomorrow morning we will leave for the trail head and start our climb to the “Roof of Africa”.

Stay tuned,
RMI Guide Mark Tucker

Hi Everyone,

I am Taylor’s mom.  I hope you all have an amazing experience.  I’ll be thinking about all of you, but mostly about Taylor.  Be safe and have fun!


Posted by: Odette Hankins on 7/11/2016 at 3:51 pm

Kilimanjaro: Waterfall & Team Wrap Up Their Tanzanian Adventure

Well, we are closing out another great day on safari. The main difference today is that we are all going home instead of staying in a hotel.

It’s been a marvelous trip made exceptional with a very successful Kilimanjaro Climb and Safari. We had great animal viewing everyday and today we were up close with more elephants, giraffes and two female lions. It’s just been non stop action for almost two weeks.

We will be having one last meal together before leaving for the airport in about an hour and a half. Then it’s a long set of flights for everyone on our way back to the US.

Both of my Kilimanjaro climbs and safaris have been really special which is 100% due to the fun folks that joined RMI, and to the Dik Dik staff that goes way above what you could expect out of an in-country outfitter.

Thanks everyone!
RMI Guide Seth Waterfall

Tallboy @eddiebauer @rmiexpeditions

A video posted by Seth Waterfall (@sethwaterfall) on

Ok last one I promise.

A video posted by Seth Waterfall (@sethwaterfall) on

Kilimanjaro: Seth Waterfall & Team Spend a Beautiful Day in Tarangire National Park

Hey there. This is Seth calling in from Kikoti Camp way on the far side of Tarangire National Park in Tanzania. We are on the last part of our trip here. Today on safari was great with lots of elephants very close to the car and plenty of other stuff to see in Tarangire. Weather was really clear today. No rain insight for us that’s for sure. About 90 degrees in Tarangire and totally clear skies almost all day long. We’re going to all meet up for dinner around 7:00 for our first evening celebration as a team. Tomorrow we’ll get up fairly early to head back into the city of Arusha back to the Dik Dik Hotel. We’ll have one more dinner together tomorrow night before we all head to the airport to be on the same flight out on KLM at about 10:00 tomorrow night. Closing in our last day of the trip. It’s been great. Not sure if everybody wants to leave but we are getting back to the USA. I’ll check in when we are heading out to the airport from the Dik Dik Hotel.

RMI Guide Seth Waterfall

RMI Guide Seth Waterfall calls in from Kikoti Camp, Tarangire National Park.

Kilimanjaro: Waterfall & Team Encounter the Lions of Ngorongoro Crater

We are wrapping up day two of our safari and its been really great! We all got up early and were out the door just after 7 a.m. It was a quick drive to the entrance of Ngorongoro Conservation Area and after checking in with the rangers we made our way up to an overlook on the crater rim. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky so the view was amazing.

Before dropping to the bottom of the crater we stopped at a Maasai village where we were welcomed with a dance and a song and then took a tour of their boma (enclosed group of huts).

Once we got down to the crater floor things started a little slow but after an hour we spotted the first of five Rhinos. They were progressively closer to the road as we encountered them. The rhinos were great but we still hadn’t seen any lions. That changed rather quickly as the day continued. We spotted a lone female who was up and moving within 50 yards of the cars. Then we drive up on four other females lying in the road! As we pulled up one of them even moved under our car to get some shade. That’s about as close as you can get!

Everyone has amazing pictures and videos to take home now and we still have two more days of safari!

What will we see tomorrow? We’ll keep you posted.

RMI Guide Seth Waterfall and team

The lion went under the truck.

A video posted by Seth Waterfall (@sethwaterfall) on


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