Entries from Kilimanjaro
January 25, 2017
Posted by: Casey Grom
Hey everybody, this is Casey Grom checking in on Day 2 of the Kilimanjaro Climb. We awoke to a clear morning and enjoyed some nice views of Kilimanjaro from our camp before hitting the trail. The route right out of camp was a bit of a broad ridge that slowly ascends and winds its way up the Shira Plateau, which is about mid level on Kilimanjaro. The team did a fantastic job today. Everybody was pretty amazed as we made our way up the trail in the porters passed us with their loads, easily balance on their heads. It took us about four hours to make it up to our camp today and once again our staff was amazing to have passed us on the trail and have arrive at Camp and have camp fully set up and lunch, in fact a hot lunch, waiting for us when we arrived. Everybody is incredibly grateful for that and big thanks to our outfitter that we work with here in town. We had a duffel bag that got hung up in Amsterdam and arrived late last night down in Arusha and our outfitter was able to get that bag to us today. It was real miracle and our last remaining climber was able to get his his gear up here at 12,300’. So a big thanks to those guys for making that happen. Now we have everything we need and everybody’s looking good, everyone is feeling great. We just finished our dinner and everyone is climbing into bed. It is starting to cool down a little bit up here. Hopefully we’ll have a nice nice day tomorrow to take in as we ascend directly towards Kilimanjaro. That’s all for now. We’ll hopefully be able to update tomorrow with some pictures as well. Thanks a lot.
RMI Guide Casey Grom checks in from Shira Camp at 12, 200 ft on Kilimanjaro.
On The Map
Woohooooo go Uncle Joe! This looks and sounds absolutely incredible! We sure miss you here, but we’re sending lots of love and power your way! So proud!
P.S. RISE UP!!!
Posted by: Kaitlyn on 1/25/2017 at 5:34 pm
January 24, 2017
Posted by: Casey Grom
Hey, everybody. This is Casey Grom checking in from the Kilimanjaro climb. I wanted to let you know that everything’s going great. Today we left behind the Arumeru Lodge and made a few hour drive to the base of a Kilimanjaro. We drove up the Machame Valley, which is actually lined with quite a few banana plantations. A number of porters are making their way to the gate entrance to find some work. Once we got to the gate, we got organized, and then got the green light from the park service, we slowly started making our way up hill. The team did great today. We climbed for about six hours up through this incredible lower slopes of Kilimanjaro. It was a nice break from the sun to be tucked into the trees. And again the team did great. We pulled into camp about 6 o’clock or so today and everyone just finished dinner. Everyone’s relaxing right now and getting ready for a little bit of sleep. Everybody’s in good spirits. We will check in again tomorrow and hopefully be able to get a picture or two out in the next day or so based on our cellphone service up here. Thanks for following.
RMI Guide Casey Grom calls in from Machame Camp, Africa.
Our Kilimanjaro trip is underway!
The team arrived late last night after their long flights from the US and after a short drive to our lodge the team had a quick dinner and headed for bed.
Today after a hearty breakfast the team met for RMI’s official orientation where we did a round of introductions and discussed the upcoming plan for the next few day and the gear essentials for our climb.
We spent the remainder of the day packing and relaxing here at this tranquil and private lodge that has numerous wild animals roaming the grounds. There are two different types of monkeys here, the Velvet and the Blue. Several Dik Dik that have been rescued, a few Guinea fowl, and we even managed to see a Genet sneaking around tonight.
We are being well taken care of here at the Arumeru River Lodge by their gracious and kind staff.
Everyone is doing well and looking forward to a little uphill exercise tomorrow as we head to Kilimanjaro.
RMI Guide Casey Grom and Kili Team
Hi Rocket happy birthday I hope you have a good birthday!!!!!!!!!!!
Posted by: Rowan Junell on 1/27/2017 at 7:14 pm
Looks amazing Uncle John hope you are enjoying this adventure
Keep safe looking forward to seeing you in Ireland
Posted by: Evan Horgan on 1/27/2017 at 2:27 pm
Hello once again everyone.
We have arrived back in the digital world after another very enjoyable safari. We spent yesterday touring Tarangire National Park which is known for its elephants, in fact, it has more per square mile than any place on earth. And I can easily say it didn’t disappoint! We saw hundreds if not thousands of elephants and even managed to take a break with a family, while some of them slept. There were plenty of other animals too- giraffe, zebra, hartebeest, bush bucks, Nile monitor, and many others. It was very surreal to be so close to them, and we were simply amazed at the abundance that were near the river, which runs though the park.
We never did see the cheetahs, or leopards, but perhaps that had something to do with all the lions we saw.
It’s been a memorable experience for everyone and it’s going to be sad to part ways with such a great bunch of folks. But now it’s time to head home and share the stories.
RMI Guide Casey Grom and the Kilimanjaro/Safari crew
Thank you Casey for the adventure of a lifetime for your group and sharing for the rest of us as arm chair adventures.
Posted by: Robert Rutter on 1/20/2017 at 9:19 am
Today we are headed off the grid to stay in a remote tented camp. Unfortunately, we most likely won’t have any cell or wifi service.
I will update as soon as we return!
RMI Guide Casey Grom and Safari crew
Day 2 on Safari had us visiting the world famous Ngorongoro Crater, and considered by some to be the 8th wonder of the world. The crater is what remains of a once massive volcano that erupted and collapsed on itself, leaving behind a giant caldera that’s almost exactly 100 square miles. In the 2 million years since then, hundreds of animals have taken up residence and have created one of the best Safari options in Africa.
We hit the road early with hopes of catching a few more animals before the heat sent them in search for shade. Shortly after descending down into the crater we came upon 2 female lions with 6 cubs, it was almost comical as the little ones kept popping out of the bush to follow their moms.
We continued driving around trying not to stop at all the zebra, wildebeest, and Cape buffalo that were nearly in the way.
There were many sightings today of hyenas, jackels, ostrich, and countless other birds.
One of the highlights was seeing not 1, but 3 Black Rhinos which have become very rare.
We wrapped up the day with a visit to a Maasai village not far from the craters rim. The Maasai people are a nomadic tribe that exist almost entirely off of their cattle. The team spent time asking questions and enjoyed being shown around their small and simple village.
We have just finished another wonderful meal here at the plantation lodge and are looking forward to what tomorrow may bring as we head to Tarangire National Park.
RMI Guide Casey Grom and the Safari crew
Today was the first day of safari for us and we headed east to visit Lake Manyara, which is known for its tree climbing lions, flamingos, and more than 400 different species of birds. We didn’t manage to see any of those famous lions, but we had a very close encounter with a few elephants within just minutes of entering the park. Nothing dangerous, but they passed close enough that we could have almost touched them.
It was a pretty hot day here in Africa, so I’m sure that kept many of the animals hiding in the shade. We did manage to see wildebeest, zebras, Cape buffalo, giraffe, hippos, baboons, impalas and so many birds I lost count. It was a pretty nice introduction to the incredible bio-diversity that Africa has, and everyone enjoyed the day riding around in our safari vehicles.
We finished the day spending a few hours relaxing and exploring the grounds of our amazing lodge. Check it out for yourself.
We also celebrated another birthday here in Africa. This time it was for Sean McCroskey.
So a big happy 22nd birthday to him!
That’s all for now.
RMI Guide Casey Grom and the Safari crew
Congrats all!! Maine says send more pictures :)
Posted by: Shannon on 1/18/2017 at 6:58 am
Yesterday we had a wonderful albeit long day climbing to the top of Africa.
We started shortly after midnight beneath a sky full of stars and climbed for a few hours before the moon came out to help light our way. As per usual we climbed in hour increments with 10-15 breaks in between. The weather was very calm allowing us to take our time and not feel too cold which we are thankful for. The climb took about 7 1/2 hrs to reach the crater rim, where we were greeted with a moderate cold wind, but also the warmth of the sun to keep it tolerable. Then came our final stretch over to the top of Kilimanjaro also called Uhuru peak. Once there, we had the place mostly to ourselves and we hugged each other, enjoyed the view and took plenty of pictures.
It was a true test of endurance for most of the crew, and I’m really proud of everyone. We descended back to high camp, had a quick lunch, repacked and continued further down the mountain to our final camp on the mountain, where we had dinner and then headed to bed for some well deserved sleep.
Today we woke at 7am feeling good, had breakfast, then enjoyed a goodbye song and dance from our gracious crew of posters, cooks, and local guides numbering 46. We finished the little celebration by handing out their well deserved tips and then hit the trail one last time.
It took a little over three hours to reach the park gate where the team had lunch then hopped aboard our awaiting bus for the ride back to the lodge.
Finally we are all safe and sound, and a little less odorous, after an amazing seven day journey up and down Kilimanjaro.
The team is currently relaxing and looking forward to Safari which starts tomorrow!
RMI Guide Casey Grom and a happy Kilimanjaro crew
Great blog Casey! Sure enjoyed the updates - - Thanks so much! The smiles in the photo speak volumes. 2 thumbs up for RMI !
Posted by: Janet Rutter on 1/17/2017 at 5:36 pm
Thank you for the blog Casey. It’s been awesome to be able to take the journey with all of you day by day. Congratulations!! Enjoy the second leg of your incredible journey Catherine! Looking forward to seeing you soon! Xo
Posted by: Deborah Nicholson on 1/16/2017 at 6:03 pm
January 15, 2017
Posted by: Casey Grom
RMI Guide Casey Grom and his entire team reached the top of Kilimanjaro this morning! It was a long day and the team is safely back at camp. They will be heading lower on the mountain soon. We look forward to hearing from the team tomorrow.
On The Map
Congratulations team!!! Ryan McLean, your team is super proud of you!
Posted by: Ashley Carson on 1/16/2017 at 9:17 am
Congratulations to the entire team! - especially Elaine, the most backwards-pantsed goofball that the mountain has ever seen!
Posted by: Alfred Cub on 1/15/2017 at 9:19 pm
January 14, 2017
Posted by: Casey Grom
Well we’ve finally arrived at Kilimanjaro’s High Camp!
It was a very short jump from Karanga camp up to Barafu camp, which is our launching point for the summit. The team did great and we arrived in just over three hours and shortly before some light snow started falling. I won’t mention any names, but one climber from Canada accidentally put their pants on backwards, which brought a little laughter this morning.
Everyone is currently relaxing or getting packed up for tonight’s climb to the highest point on the African continent.
This evening we’ll have a summit talk where we discuss the teams strategy for tomorrow and then it will be off to bed right after dinner to get a little sleep before starting to climb around midnight.
The team is celebrating John Ready’s 30th birthday today. Hopefully it’s one he’ll always remember!
Keep your fingers crossed for us, and there’s a chance, weather permitting, some of you back home might receive a satellite phone call from the summit. So keep your phones handy. My best guess is we’ll be on the summit around 8 am our time.
RMI Guide Casey Grom and the Kilimanjaro crew!
On The Map
Congratulations on conquering the summit!!! Where are you now? News, group, we need an update on Catherine, Deborah and Kaki!!! Downhill is difficult, too, I understand. News please!
Posted by: Sharon Hostler on 1/15/2017 at 8:09 am
All the Best on your summit push to reach the top of Africa.
Have been watch your progress every day. Really cool. Right behind you on the next climb.
Posted by: Kim Gibson on 1/15/2017 at 6:16 am