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Entries from Kilimanjaro

Kilimanjaro: Tucker & Team Climb to Barranco Camp

It was breezy all night and thru out the climb as we traversed along the west side of the mountain today. Dramatic clouds below on the Shira Plateau stayed around until the wind died down. We were hiking thru the highland desert zone among large volcanic boulders up to well over 14,500’ when we began the big descent into tonight’s camp Barranco at 13,030’. The south side of the mountain begins to unveil the dramatic upper mountain and a scattering of the beautiful giant groundsel tree not found many places on this planet is making an appearance. The team worked hard to get here and are glad to be sitting at the dinner table getting ready to begin another great mountain meal together.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

On The Map


You are almost to the top. Keep up the hard work, Grace and I are rooting for you from RPI. I want to hear those pressure breaths from the other side of the globe!

Posted by: Evan and Grace on 9/23/2016 at 5:16 pm

Sounds like an amazing adventure! Can’t wait to hear about it in person. Also, congrats on the personal altitude record Mom!

Sending lots of love from Somerville :)

Posted by: Alexander and Hoagie on 9/22/2016 at 6:30 pm

Kilimanjaro: Tucker & Team Climb The Shira Plateau

We left Machame Camp 9,890’ in cloudy skies but only for a short stretch. The gnarled trunks of the giant heather disappeared and we entered yet another zone, the moorland. After ascending a wide ridge we gained the broad and sloping Shira Plateau at about 12,570’ and nearly three miles later we gained beautiful views of Kilimanjaro’s upper slopes and Mt. Meru, our near by neighbor, standing at about 15,000’. A fine hot lunch and beautiful camp site greeted us upon arrival at Shira Camp.

The team continues doing well and we are having a good time.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

On The Map

Joe - you got this!  Can’t wait to hear the details!

Posted by: Dana Klein on 9/23/2016 at 9:42 pm

Keep on keepin’ on

Posted by: Tyler Klein on 9/22/2016 at 5:27 pm

Kilimanjaro: Tucker & Team Begin Climb

After a nice breakfast at the Dik Dik Lodge, we sent a few final emails and we were off to climb Kilimanjaro. A couple hours later, after a stop at the market and registering with the National Park it was time to start the climb. We left the cultivation zone behind and traded it in for a lush cloud forest. The team climbed well to our next zone the Heather and Moorland. We are camped here at 10,000’ with an outstanding view of the mountain and incredible weather. It is time to crawl in to the tents and get some rest before the next challenge tomorrow. The team is doing well and we will continue to check in as we ascend Kilimanjaro.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

On The Map

Go Jen Go!

Posted by: Allan on 9/21/2016 at 2:38 pm

Kilimanjaro: Tucker & Team Ready for the Mountain


I had so much fun on the last Kilimanjaro climb, I decided to stick around for one more. The last of the team arrived this afternoon. Equipment is checked, the group gear is in place and our ride in the morning is all set.  Great looking moon on the rise as I make my way to set down for the night.  All is good here, hope there as well.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

Kilimanjaro: Tucker & Team Finish Their Safari

Early adventure through Tarangire as we made our way back to The Dik Dik Lodge. The team put a good dent In the waffle iron before we left the Kikoti property. It’s those little things that really make a difference out in the bush and a good waffle can set the tone for a fine finish to an amazing Safari. How appropriate to see our little mascot, the Dik Dik, just before leaving the park, a touching send off if you ask me. Some gear shuffle, a shower and one last delicious dinner here at the lodge before the team starts making their way home. A few will visit Zanzabar, others a stop in Amsterdam. Overall a feeling of accomplishment rounded out with a nice sense of connection to the basic elements of nature are packaged nicely for the travel abroad. Sad to have it come to a close, excited to start yet another chapter in the book of life soon!

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

Kilimanjaro: Tucker & Team Shop for Souvenirs & Enjoy Tented Camp

We had a few things to accomplish today so we set out early to shop the local markets.  We found masks, bowls, knives, salad forks, necklaces, paintings, carvings made of soapstone, bone, ebony and rosewood.  We also shopped for Tanzanite, the beautiful blue stone found only in this country. We visited a Masai village and took a grand tour of their community.  Then made a stop for treats and drinks to enjoy while we traveled along.  We entered Tarangire National Park and encountered a large herd of wildebeests. We took a break and enjoyed a picnic lunch in the bush followed by a pleasant afternoon of driving the roads of this amazing park looking for more animals.

Tonight is our last night in Africa and we get to spend it at the beautiful Kikoti Tented Camp.  I can hear some animals snorting just off my porch.  There is a bright moon illuminating the night, I think I’ll go check it out.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

Kilimanjaro: Tucker & Team Explore the Ngorongoro Crater

Another good day of African hospitality. We ate so many crepes at breakfast I figured the Land Cruisers were going to have a tough time hauling this load of intrepid bush game viewers in and out of the Ngorongoro Crater. The clouds engulfed the crater rim all morning making for a cool game drive to start. Also creating a surreal atmospheric event of tumbling clouds down the walls and dissipating before reaching the valley floor. It looked so much like Jaws Maui Hawaii breaking on a 200 foot day. I was longing for my what surfers call a “Rhino chaser” surfboard, specially made for large swell waves. I can’t believe I didn’t pack some wax. How ironic, for in fact that was the main focus of today the elusive Black Rhino. During the hunt for the Rhino so many other creatures got in the way that camera batteries were getting drained quick. Thank goodness for the back up battery. We returned to the lovely Plantation Lodge in the early evening to enjoy the fabulous grounds we call home for one more night. No crepes tonight but another four courses of fine dining will have to do. Maybe waffles in the morning to mix it up before we head to our next National Park, Tarangire. All is well with the team. Having a gas, wish you were here.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

Kilimanjaro: Tucker & Team Safari in Lake Manyara National Park

It is safari time!
Starting at about 2:00 a.m., the team went in many directions - Europe, Kenya, the Serengeti, and here to the lovely Plantation Lodge. After a delicious breakfast at the Dik Dik, we traveled to Lake Manyara National Park. What a perfect introduction to the wonderful world of game viewing?! It took a little over an hour from the town of Arusha before we popped the tops on our Land Cruisers and let nature engulf us. We only about 2,000 pictures in our four hours of exploring this magical area. Just before we left the park our mascot, the dik dik (the third smallest of the antelope family), made an appearance and brought us and brought us to our photo quota for the day.
The eighth wonder of the world is top on the list for tomorrow…Ngorongoro Crater. We are positioned just outside of the crater here at Plantation Lodge. I am sure we will have an amazing day of game viewing. It hardly seems that we were standing atop Kilimanjaro a few days go! can’t wait!

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

Kilimanjaro: Tucker & Team Return to the Dik Dik Hotel

Another day of perfect weather on Kilimanjaro. A bit of a tired team to get going this morning but with the finish line in sight, rally we did. After a great breakfast, we had a nice group celebration for the local crew.  We made a quick 4,000-foot descent to the exit gate and then another couple hours to lap of luxury here at the Dik Dik Hotel. Excellent celebration banquet brought us to the late hours and packing for the safari start tomorrow, which is our next adventure. All is well, full bellies, rosy-red cheeks, lots of fond memories, a bed, and a shower, what more could you want.
We are so lucky.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

Kilimanjaro: Tucker & Team Summit and Descend to Mweka Camp

September 11, 2016 - 11:06 am PT

Summit day or I should say night was greeted with clear and breezy weather. It all begins around midnight and as we climbed for a few hours the cold had set in and we were layered in most the clothing we’d brought. When the sun rose, we were at the crater rim looking up to see the high point, Uhuru Peak, across from us and part way around the rim.  Down behind us we could see the monster of a mountain we had just climbed. We made it to the summit and hung out there taking pics and enjoying the scenery. I tell all my climbers, it’s not the summit, but the journey that is the reward. And I believe that to be true. But the feeling of reaching the summit is sure the cherry on top and this one was no exception. It’s a gift and we were all thrilled to have the time to take in the view and our own accomplishments. It was a great effort by all, as we left the crater rim and made the descent to our last mountain camp, Mweka at 10,000’. Sleep tonight was earned. It’s now 24 hours since I last closed my eyes. All is well. Good night.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

On The Map

Congratulations!  What a huge accomplishment Brooke, TRob and everyone on the team!  We are very proud of you both!

Posted by: Margaret on 9/12/2016 at 10:18 am

Brooke and TRob:  Congratulations!! We are all so excited for your ascent and summit!!

Posted by: Marilyn on 9/12/2016 at 7:56 am

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