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Entries from Kilimanjaro


Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Reach High Camp, Barafu

Greetings from “Ice” Camp… Barafu in Swahili.  We reached the 15,000 ft high camp on Kilimanjaro a little after 11 this morning.  It took us less than three hours to come the two miles and 2000 vertical feet up from Karanga.  It was a quiet and calm night for us in Karanga and the morning was windless and sunny.  For the first time during our climb, there wasn’t a shred of cloud on Kibo and no sign that the air was moving around up there either.  The ocean of bright white cloud below us stretched from horizon to horizon with only 16,000 ft Mt. Meru standing out like an island to the west.  By the time we’d come into Barafu, puffy cumulus was blocking out the sun and disguising Kilimanjaro’s upper slopes once again.  We settled in, had lunch and then met with Freddy, Tadey, Filbert and Eric… our all star local guide staff.  We talked over the plan for an Alpine start… Up at 11:30 tonight, breakfast at midnight and set out for the top at zero-dark-thirty.  The guides gave helpful advice and encouragement and then we retired to the tents for an afternoon rest.  We’ll do an early dinner and turn in for some final rest.  Big day tomorrow and everything is looking perfect for climbing. 

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map


Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Move into Karanga Camp

All agreed that it was a pleasure to wake this morning in the garden-like Barranco Valley.  The clouds, which had overtaken camp yesterday evening, had dropped far below by daybreak.  When the sun hit, mid-breakfast, and our dining tent began to rain down condensation, our alert and resourceful staff simply picked the whole tent up and moved it as we sat buttering toast.  We were left at our table for an unexpected but quite pleasant picnic in the great outdoors.  The team’s eyeballs kept wandering over to the shadowy Barranco Wall and the stream of several hundred porters working up its ledges and paths.  We joined the snakelike line and got our hands on the rock only to discover that the wall was pretty fun climbing.  We went up about nine hundred vertical feet over a fairly short distance.  At the top of the wall, we celebrated with a rest break, along with about a dozen other teams of happy trekkers.  Then it was back to business as clouds had formed up again.  We traversed a few valleys without great difficulty and then we could see Karanga Camp perched on the opposite side of one last steep-sided gorge.  We dropped down through a forest of heather and rest-stepped right back up the other side, making it into camp in early afternoon with the march having taken just under four hours.  Miraculously, our staff had once again managed to have a perfectly constructed camp up and ready for us.  Within moments they invited us to lunch -spaghetti with red sauce- which all enjoyed.  We spent a pleasant and quiet afternoon reading, napping, eating and drinking as clouds came and went.  We occasionally got full and majestic views of Kibo’s icy flanks hiding up in the cumulus.  It is all starting to seem a bit more familiar and accessible.  We’ll be up there soon.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

Jason & Jasna what a grand adventure. Have fun & b safe!!! Love, Dad & B

Posted by: Lee Pittman on 8/12/2016 at 4:45 pm

Wow. You guys are amazing!!!  Have fun and come home safe!!! Love

Posted by: Jane zielinski on 8/12/2016 at 3:09 pm


Kilimanjaro: Dave Hahn and Team Trek through the Barranco Valley

Things were a little breezy at Shira Camp this morning and it looked like it was nuking up on the crater rim of Kibo, Kilimanjaro’s main peak.  Our team had enjoyed the sunset at Shira, and the stars in the clear night sky, so a little wind didn’t keep anybody from loving the sunrise as well.  Our packs were on and we were walking straight toward Kibo by 8:20.  As compensation for the breezes, we were granted sparkly blue skies above and a bright white sea of clouds below.
 
We gained altitude steadily as today’s walking was much easier than yesterday’s rock hopping.  In just a couple of hours we were up over 14,500 ft and breaking everybody’s previous personal altitude records.  We kept right at it, cresting at 15,200 ft beside the “Lava Tower” at noon.  By this point we were right up under the glaciers and giant walls of Kibo.  We’d climbed right out of the Moorland Zone of vegetation and into the Highland Desert Zone.  The team had no troubles coming down the steep trails beyond the Lava Tower and so we got rid of about two thousand vertical feet on our voyage down into the exotic vegetation of the Barranco Valley.  We checked out the Lobelias and the Giant Senecios as we went.  It seemed the perfect afternoon for taking in a thousand new sights, from waterfalls to dark caves in the Lava and Basalt.  Our new camp was already built and waiting for us just on the edge of the cloud sea and we were again amazed at the strength and speed of our loc al staff.  Now we are settled in at 13,000 ft below the intimidating Barranco Wall… but the wall can wait until tomorrow.  Tonight we’ll watch the light change on Kibo’s glaciers, rock walls, icicles and towers. 

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

I can’t imagine what beauty you are seeing! If the skies are clear I bet the stars are amazing! Look forward to hearing all about it!

Posted by: Pam Bethea on 8/11/2016 at 9:03 pm


Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Crested the Shira Plateau into Camp

At daybreak today, we could finally get a look at our spectacular surroundings.  The clouds were gone from overhead, and it seemed that the ones under us were miles below.  Machame Camp, nestled within the giant heather, seemed a fine place but we were anxious to go higher.  We got on the move a little before nine and quickly found ourselves on a steady and steep hill climb.  There were plenty of big steps through broken volcanic rock but eventually we crested a ridge and followed that toward the majestic upper slopes of Kili itself.  At about 12,500 ft we deviated from the ridge and moved north, traversing toward a new horizon on our left.  We crested that at 12,800 ft and caught our first views of the Shira Plateau stretching out to the West.  We then dropped a few hundred easy feet to our new home… already built and waiting for us at 12,600 ft.  The afternoon was spent resting, eating and drinking.  Each time out of the tents we were a little startled by the gigantic views… of Mt. Meru standing at 16,000 ft to our west and of Kili standing at 19,000 ft immediately to our east.  We’ll head straight toward Kili tomorrow morning.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

Fantastic report. Can’t wait to hear more! Great work, everyone.

Posted by: Susie Lambert on 8/10/2016 at 1:43 pm


Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Start the Trail Through the Machame Gate

After a night of distant thunder and periodic power outages, it was a bit of a surprise to wake to relatively calm weather and clearing skies.  The team was ready for a 6:30 breakfast and had no trouble making our planned 7:30 departure from the Dik Dik.  But more than one person was heard saying how comfortable the place was and what a shame that we actually had to leave such comfort.  These thoughts faded quickly as we loaded into the big green Mercedes Benz expedition truck/bus and started heading East toward our mountain.  The skies kept clearing as we moved down the highway, giving us some great views of Kilimanjaro.  Two hours got us to the Machame Gate of the national park… the end of the road.  We got out and got our permitting chores finished as our local guides figured out staffing and Porter loads.  Then we got to the good part.  We set out walking.  We pushed upward from about 60,00 ft through jungle and tall forest.  We’d found cloud cover again, but that just protected us from the sun and we didn’t mind a little mist and murk.  Six hours of slow, steady work took us from the zone of big trees to the land of giant heather.  At almost 10,000 ft we walked into a perfectly built camp -our staff had carried more than us, walked faster, and had enough time left over to get camp all ready for our arrival.  We were humbled but happy to crawl into tents.  Just in time, as it turned out, since the rain began the moment we did so.  Still, it was comfortable sipping tea before dinner in our dry dining tent.  We had a fine meal and retired to our tents, pleasantly tired and happy to finally be on our mountain. 

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

Can’t imagine what you are able to see! What an experience! Thinking of you Jason and Jasna! Love you both

Posted by: Pam Bethea on 8/10/2016 at 4:30 am

Hey Rick and carol good luck on your expedition. Liv and I are following along! Will see you guys when you get back.
Keith

Posted by: Keith Staley on 8/9/2016 at 8:30 pm


Kilimanjaro: Hahn and Team Prepare for the Mountain

Out here in Arusha today it was a little cloudy and sometimes rainy.  So we didn’t get the high “water tower” view of Kilimanjaro that the Dik Dik hotel is known for, although some of our team ventured about five stories up the steel structure just to check.  We had the garden-like grounds of the hotel pretty much to ourselves as we discussed the Kilimanjaro climb and the steps that needed to be taken before departure.  We went through gear and clothing and made a few key introductions of personnel from our excellent local staff.  Then it was time for getting packed… figuring out what goes on the mountain and what stays at the Dik Dik.  This important chore done, the team had ample time to nap, read and recover from endless airporting and frequent flying.  We ended the day with some heavier rain showers and a sumptuous dinner.  The team was trading laughs and stories as if they’d known each other for years.  After about four courses and a couple of toasts, we started wandering off to send last emails and ultimately to hit the sack. 

Big day tomorrow, time to walk up a volcano. 

Best Regard,

RMI Guide Dave Hahn & Team

What a wonderful opportunity to enjoy such a beautiful place.  Wishing everyone an exciting and eventful climb.  Take lots of pictures.  Love you guys.

Posted by: Janet Armentrout on 8/9/2016 at 7:53 am

Thank You Mister Hahn and all the people of your team ! What chance for us to enjoy this climbing . I remember the movie ” The Snows of Kilimanjaro” with Ava Gardner, Susan Hayward and Gregory Peck by Ernest Hemingway ... What beautiful mountain ...! SRECN0—GOOD LUCK

Posted by: Radmila Radovanovic on 8/9/2016 at 4:07 am


Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Gather in Tanzania

Our Kilimanjaro climbing team has accomplished something truly remarkable…Eight of us managed to travel from America to Africa without a single missed flight or lost bag. Moses, our bus driver from the Dik Dik Hotel, had champagne ready for the occasion when he gathered the team at Tanzania’s Kilimanjaro Airport. He then got us back to our peaceful refuge on the outskirts of Arusha. We ate a late night welcome dinner and started getting to know one another. Realizing that major-league jet-lag was imminent, we retreated to our bungalows and resolved to get a full night of sleep before considering an attempt on a continental high point. Tomorrow we’ll begin with a strategy meeting and a packing session.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Thanks so much for letting Lee and I be a part of this!  WOW can hardly wait!  If you need us “it may be a day’s drive” but I can make it happen ENJOY ENJOY ENJOY!  oxoxox

Posted by: Becky Pittman on 8/8/2016 at 5:49 pm


Kilimanjaro: Tucker & Team Finish Up Their Climb and Safari

Woke up to a coffee on my porch while watching the bush begin its day. Many a crunch, crack, and snap during the night, below, above, and around our stilted tent platforms. Cloudy and cool as we drove through the park on or way back to the Dik Dik. New contender for shot of the trip, Morgan and her leopard is in the running. Guess a cheetah would have been a shoe-in for a race but we are leaving that shot for next time. Some lions, elephants and a thousand other creatures, we share this amazing world with, bid us farewell during or drive out of the park. The rest of the climbing/safari team is either in the air or going through customs as I write this. My flight is tomorrow. Here taking care of details to set up RMI’s next team for yet another safe and successful expedition here in amazing Africa. Thank you back home for allowing these adventurers a hall pass for a visit to this exotic land. It’s been a real pleasure spending time with them all. Sharing some insight to our travels in script has been a pleasure, hope they were well received. Get out there when you can. Take care, Safe travels, Safari on!

RMI Guide Mark Tucker


Kilimanjaro: Tucker & Team Check In from the Kikoti Lodge

Pictures say a thousand words. The team was firing on all cylinders with their cameras. Easy picking today for great shots of all the major food groups. Cats that were close enough to pet. The resident genet cat up in the roof of the amazing Kikoti Lodge where we are for the night. It made an appearance at dinner and Aaron with the quick draw got the shot of the night. Perfect weather and great team work.  That would have Mario Andretti’s pit crew impressed while a tire was changed with a beautiful sunset and some cold libation for yet another chapter in the book. Easy to find some peace in these parts of the bush. Safari on!

RMI Guide Mark Tucker


Kilimanjaro: Tucker & Team Visit the Ngorongoro Crater

Wonderful day of game viewing. Ngorongoro Crater was the place to be. We did fine work of observing and filming all day. Perfect weather had to be dealt with and thousands of animals needed to be filmed. We made you all proud back home with our drive and our drivers. Eric and Joseph maneuvered us around the crater rim to floor with ease and grace. Not to mention Michele presented us with yet another tasty lunch in the bush. A hippo downwind made a move in our direction getting out of the pond to check out the bill o’ fare but please observe do not approach and or feed the wildlife.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

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