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Entries from Kilimanjaro


Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Reach Machame Camp

Jambo from 9,900 ft on Mount Kilimanjaro. We are happily bedded down at Machame Camp after a great day of walking.  The day began with the team shuffling duffle bags back and forth in the dark on the grounds of the Dik Dik. We were eating breakfast at 6:30 AM and then we actually drove out of the hotel compound at 7:28 AM…An unbelievable and unprecedented two minutes ahead of schedule. Our mighty Mercedes truck/bus carried food, gear and a huge number of climbers and staff. It was quite cloudy, so we didn’t get to see the mountain during the two hour drive.  But we saw plenty of interest along the highway, from villages to towns to cornfields, banana and coffee farms.  At the Machame entrance to the National Park, there was the normal hurry up and wait process of getting the team registered and the porter loads sorted. By 11 AM it was all done and we got to start walking. Naturally -in terms of altitude- this was our low point for the day…6000 ft, but all agreed that it was an emotional high point. It just felt so good to start walking uphill through a forest after all the planning, preparing, travel and jet lag. The team did well with Filbert -one of our local guides- setting a perfect “pole pole” pace. (Slow in Swahili).  After a couple of hours, we were out from under the clouds and all were surprised and pleased to see Kibo -Kilimanjaro’s main peak- through a break in the trees.  The forest transformed as we got higher and at 4:30 we pulled into a well built camp in the giant heather.  We moved in -grateful at all the work our staff had put in. We sat for an excellent three course dinner just after sunset and told stories into the darkness.
 
We finished with a round of “lala salamas”. (Sleep well) and turned in for the night. 

Best Regards,

RMI Guide Dave Hahn & Team

It’s so exciting to read about what the team is experiencing.  Thanks for the blog.  I feel that I’m there with you!

Posted by: Sue Rentschler(Jason's aunt) on 8/24/2016 at 6:26 am

Finally - you are all on your way!  While we know each of you is focused on the summit, remember to also focus on your journey.  “Joy is found not in finishing an activity, but in doing it.”.
Countless thanks to you, Dave for the blog and your info. - it’s awesome to follow your trek!

Posted by: Kathy and Denny Meyers (Jason's Mom and Dad) on 8/23/2016 at 2:54 pm


Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team On the Road Again

Daybreak and moonset at Kikoti were just as wonderful as sunset had been yesterday evening.  The team enjoyed a quiet and excellent breakfast before hitting the road at 8 AM.  We were right back onto the rough dirt tracks of Tarangire National Park.  There was plenty of great exploring over the following four hours… Lots more elephants, zebras, giraffes, vultures and eagles.  We scanned gullies and great plains, looked high and low.  No more big cats, but we all figured it was ok to save some things for our next safari.  This one wrapped up at noon as we started eastward on the road back toward Arusha.  We made one stop at the cultural heritage center on Arusha’s outskirts.  Everybody was getting more and more “time conscious” though -as is natural with an international flight looming.  We got back to the quiet grounds of the Dik Dik in time for some repacking and freshening up.  Then we enjoyed a final -excellent- dinner together.  The ride to the airport began just after sunset and the team cheered to see Kilimanjaro’s 19,000 ft heights glowing above a few low clouds.  It has been an exciting couple of weeks in Africa.
By now the gang is on the wing, homeward bound.  I’ll hang out for another round of Kili climbing and looking for cats.  Thanks for keeping tabs on us.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn


Kilimanjaro: Hahn and Team See Hundreds of Elephants!

We tore ourselves away from the luxurious Plantation Lodge this morning in search of more animals.  Tarangire National Park has delivered nicely.  We spent the day looking at hundreds of elephants, thousands of Zebra and wildebeest, eagles, vultures, superb starlings and dik diks.  Certainly the high point was watching seven lions… Including several generations of cubs, turning a wildebeest into an all-you-can-eat buffet.  They were absolutely ruling the waterhole -until a band of thirsty elephants moved in.  The lions dragged their carcass a discreet distance into the shrubs and stayed away from the happy elephants.  We watched it all.  We then went exploring, enjoying the vastness of Tarangire.  We scanned every boabab and acacia tree for leopards but haven’t yet seen them… Same with the cheetahs.  We know they are out there though and we’ll hope to see them tomorrow morning. 

Tonight we are quite comfortable in the tent cabins of Kikoti Lodge out on the beautiful estate boundary of Tarangire.  The team enjoyed the end of their last full day in Africa by watching the sun set over a campfire.  Tomorrow we’ll have that last chance at the cats as we spend the morning going back through the park before hitting the highway for Arusha and Usa River. 

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Jasna and Jason

I haven’t been able to follow your whole trip but I just read/caught up and wow! Can’t wait to hear all about it! Safe travels friends.

~JanieMac

Posted by: JanieMac on 8/18/2016 at 5:59 pm

Kate and Ben,  How exciting to see nature at its finest. We can’t even imagine what it was like to see all those magnificent animals in their element.  Enjoy your last day.  Seems like your adventure had just begun.  Looking forward to seeing all your pictures.  Safe travels.  Love mom and Ted.

Posted by: Janet Armentrout on 8/18/2016 at 4:42 pm


Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Visit Ngorongoro Crater

After a luxurious night at the Plantation Lodge, we were well-rested and ready to charge off for day two of our game-viewing Safari.  A short drive brought us to the entrance of the Ngorongoro conservation area.  Our drivers got us safely up the rugged road to the rim of a great collapsed volcanic caldera.  For a time, as we drove around the cloudy rim, the “crater” was hidden from view, but eventually we started down into the bowl and could see the full extent of the valley.  Joseph and Erik took us on the network of rough dirt roads around the interior of the crater until we’d seen our fill of wildebeest and zebra, hippos and gazelles, warthogs and Cape buffalo.  We spied one of the rare black rhinos from some distance -they are shy- and kept our eyes peeled for more.  We caught ostriches sharing a private moment, and then topped that experience by witnessing a pair of lions getting to know one another.  The day was pretty magical… there were a few stray elephants thrown into the vast mix of wildlife.  Today we were seeing full herds of animals rather than ones and twos of a species and that meant that we were often surrounded in our land cruisers… happily so.

We left the crater and visited a traditional Masai “boma”  This village on the rim housed a nomadic extended family.  We watched traditional dances and toured the simple homes formed of sticks and dung.  It was a view into a vastly different world than our own and we tried to understand how these herdsmen lived in the land of lions and leopards with only spears for protection. We were back at our own nomadic village -The Plantation Lodge, before sundown and enjoying the garden like setting and warm hospitality.

Tomorrow we’ll head for Tarrangire National Park.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn & Team

Perfect. Delighted the big cats did not disappoint.

Posted by: JH on 8/18/2016 at 5:51 am

What chance and pleasure Jasna ! Finally you have seen the TRUE HIPPOS (your hippos) Good return to home and pleasant trip , Jason and Jasna .
With love mama Rada

Posted by: mama Rada on 8/17/2016 at 11:46 pm


Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Visit Lake Manyara National Park

Although our bodies were still a little tired and sore from climbing, we were up early and breakfasting today with excitement and anticipation for our safari start.  The first part was actually through the urban jungle of Arusha at rush hour.  Our drivers skillfully took the two tricked-out Toyota Land Cruisers through a crazy mix of highway construction, cattle and “normal” road congestion to get us out onto the open road, west of town.  We watched several hours of towns, villages and Masai herdsmen drift by before we entered Lake Manyara National Park.  Then the tops were rolled back and we all tried our best to spot the next exotic animal.  We couldn’t beat the guide/drivers, Erik and Joseph… or even our cook, Zach.  Time after time, they’d find the zebra, Cape buffalo, elephant, mongoose, giraffe or baboon first.  We had a wonderful afternoon in the park.  No big cats, but we saw their tracks and knew they were out there -watching us.  With the last of daylight, we rolled up at the Plantation Lodge and were all surprised to find such luxurious and welcoming accommodations in the “outback”.  Tomorrow we’ll head for Ngorongoro Crater. 

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn


Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Mweka Gate to the Dik Dik

Our climb finished with an easy and pleasant trip from 10,000 ft to the 6,000 ft trailhead this morning.  We all counted ourselves lucky to have blue skies over our breakfast table… One more lucky day, it seemed.  After breakfast, the entire staff gathered and sang the Kilimanjaro Jambo song -with feeling and gusto.  The team members then shook hands with each and every man, expressing gratitude for a bunch of jobs well-done.  We knew that our “luck” and success on the climb… and our enjoyment of it, came in large part from the efforts of these dedicated professionals.  We set out down the heavily forested trail at about 8:30 AM and had made it to the Mweka Gate -the finish, in under three hours.
After signing out of the National Park, we crowded into our great expedition truck/bus and started down through the banana and coffee plantations.  We cruised through the outskirts of Moshi and then hit the road west toward Arusha.  Mid-drive, the staff had arranged a picnic for us at a roadside eatery.  We relaxed and sipped a few cool beverages with our lunch and then clambered back into the big green adventure vehicle.  Our homecoming at the Dik Dik Hotel was the occasion for a few more great songs and dances and then we headed off to our rooms for a relaxed afternoon of showers, gear sorting, napping and catching up with communications.
The evening was time for a fine victory dinner.  We ate, we celebrated, we talked about the upcoming safari.  We’ll set out first thing tomorrow for a few more Tanzanian national parks.  Our only trouble is that we are getting very spoiled… our expectations are sky high.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn


Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Descend to Mweka Camp for Their Last Night on the Mountain

This was the perfect day for climbing to the top of Africa.  There wasn’t a puff of wind -from the time we woke (11:30PM) to the time we left high camp (12:45AM) to the time we summited (7:55AM) or came back to high camp (11:15AM).  There wasn’t any high cloud and the low clouds just minded their own business all day.  We did have a little cumulus roll in once we were back at 15,000 ft Barafu Camp, but by then we didn’t so much care about the weather.  The team made steady progress up -it seemed we had a lucky crowd free zone for the most part.  As is normal, there were hundreds of other folks on the route, but through good luck, we didn’t have much “traffic” around us.  Sunrise was spectacular from close to 19,000 ft, but some on the team believed that last night’s sunset at Barafu was even more spectacular.  Our local guides, camp staff and porters helped us in every way possible today -which certainly made our success possible -and fun.  After our return to Barafu, we enjoyed lunch, packed up and hit the trail for Mweka Camp.  It took us just under four hours to drop a vertical mile.  We got stronger as we descended -but we also got tired and were quite pleased to arrive at our camp in the trees.  One last night on the hill… and we each expect to sleep right through it -which hasn’t happened much lately with jet lag, altitude and that alpine start. 

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

Congratulations to everybody!  I know Mom and Cynthia are also excited for
Beth making the Summit - she chose her guide well!  I’m proud of you Beth!

Posted by: Gregg Landolt on 8/14/2016 at 7:24 pm

Hope your last night is peaceful and the hike down is easy! Sounds like an amazing time! Love you-Jason and Jasna! Mom

Posted by: Pam Bethea on 8/14/2016 at 6:18 pm


Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Reach the Summit!

Update: August 14, 2016 - 2:24 am PT
Dave Hahn here on Kilimanjaro.  I just wanted to update you. We got down from the summit just fine actually at about 11:45 am local time. It’s now almost 12:30 in the afternoon we’ve had lunch at our high camp here at Barafu and we’re packing up to go down to Mweka Camp, down in the forest. So we still got an afternoon of work, but everybody is good and all is well. Bye.

August 13, 2016 - 10:16 pm PT
Hey, this is Dave Hahn with the RMI Mt Kilimanjaro climb. We are on the summit! We are on Uhuru Point. We are 19,340 feet above sea level. We are higher than anything else in Africa, and it’s a spectacular day. We got up here the whole team doing just fine at about 7:55 local time in the morning. And just a beautiful day, very calm sunny, no clouds above us and clouds way down at the bottom covering all of Africa. We feel like we’re the king of the world today. We’re really lucking out and I’ll let you know when we’re down at camp safe. And will keep you updated on our progress. Bye now.

RMI Guide Dave Hahn


RMI Guide Dave Hahn calls from the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro.

On The Map

So excited to hear you had beautiful weather and everyone is doing fine. We can’t wait to see the pictures which probably won’t be half as spectacular as the real thing.  Safe travels during your final descend and thank you for the updates and giving our kids such a wonderful adventure.

Posted by: Janet and Ted Armentrout on 8/14/2016 at 12:59 pm

Dave Hahn , thank you so much for your updates . Congratulations Jason and Jasna . Your dreams are done ! Good trip and happy return to Dik Dik.  Mom

Posted by: Mama Radad on 8/14/2016 at 12:35 pm


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

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