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Entries from Expedition Dispatches

RMI Guides Update from Manaslu


This year, the monsoon has not been kind to the climbers on Manaslu. Snow, rain, and more snow have prevented most climbers from going higher than Camp 3 (22,000’). Fortunately, we were able to fit our second rotation in between two storm fronts and have some beneficial days on the mountain. Though our plan for rotation 2 was to cache gear at Camp 4 (24,000’) in preparation for our summit push, we were happy and fortunate to reach Camp 3 in good weather. 

Two long nights were spent sleeping at 21,000’. We saw every hour come, and every hour go. Getting a good night's rest becomes more difficult as you go up the mountain, but it’s all part of the process. We have to let our bodies adjust to the new altitudes we’re asking it to rest at, which often involves climbing higher than we sleep at night. Climbing without supplemental oxygen takes more time and patience than climbing with. The body is highly stressed; it needs more time to acclimate and more time to recover. We’re trusting the process and our bodies as we prepare for the summit push. 

We’re back down at basecamp resting, playing cards, Backgammon and seeing how much caffeine the human body can handle. We’re hopeful for a weather window opening up towards the end of September/early October. The summit awaits. Wish us luck!

RMI Guides Dominic Cifelli,  Dustin Wittmier, and JT Schmitt

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Mt. Shuksan: Sulphide Glacier Team Summits!

The Mt. Shuksan Sulphide Glacier Team led by RMI Guides Joe Hoch and Dan May reached the summit on Thursday, September 22, 2022. The team had great weather, smoke free skies, and a great climbing route. With incoming rain, the team descended a day early to beat the deteriorating forecast.

Congratulations Team!

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Kilimanjaro: Team Visits Tarangire National Park

Hello everyone,

Today we headed to Tarangire National Park known for its abundant animals and plentiful elephants, and it didn’t disappoint. Not sure how many elephants we saw, probably several hundred at the least. It wouldn’t seem like we could get tired of seeing elephants, but there were so many that eventually we had to keep driving so we could see other animals. There were lots of giraffes, impalas, monkeys, ostriches, and many others. One of the highlights was seeing a male Lion up close, only about 30 feet away. He was just relaxing under a big tree with some shade and a nice breeze, hardly seemed to notice us.

We are spending our last night here in Africa at Lolkisale Camp, which has beautiful, tented rooms with screen windows to allow the sounds of the African night in. Everyone is doing great and hoping to see a few more big cats on our way out tomorrow. Then it will be back to our main lodge near Arusha for a quick shower before catching our evening flights home.

Come join us for an adventure sometime!

RMI Guide Casey Grom and the Safari Crew

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Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Visit Famous Ngorongoro Crater

Hello again everyone,

Today we visited the famous Ngorongoro Crater, one of the 7 natural wonders of the world. The crater is roughly 100 square miles and is home to more than 25,000 animals that reside here year round, as its one of the few places that has natural springs. We started early with hopes of catching a few big cats before the heat of the day sent them in search of shade.

We saw many hyenas, jackles, ostrich, plus countless other huge birds, and even managed to get close to a large pride of lions with very full bellies. There was a Black Rhino spotted not to far off of the road also which was a highlight.

We wrapped up the day with a visit to a Maasai village not far from the crater's rim. The Maasai people are a semi-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 the team is off to bed after a long, but very rewarding day on safari.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and the safari crew

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Mt. Rainier: Francis, Burns & Team Complete Great Week of Training

The Expedition Skills Seminar - Muir September 16 - 21 led by RMI Guides Matias Francis and Seth Burns have wrapped up an excellent week of training at Camp Muir.  The team enjoyed stellar weather and were able to complete their seminar training, ice climbing up to AI6+, alpine bouldering and candy bar snow protection tests (you will have to ask them) and more.  The team will descend from Camp Muir today and return to Rainier BaseCamp for a final celebration.  Nice work everyone!

Photo: Matias Francis

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Mt. Baker: Summit on the Easton Glacier!

RMI Guide Hannah Smith checked from the Summit of Mt. Baker at 12:04 pm PDT today. The team successfully reached the summit via the Easton Glacier Route. Hannah let us know, that the team is stoked and had a beautiful day of climbing. The team will descend to the trailhead tomorrow. 

Congratulations Team!

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Kilimanjaro: First Day of Safari - Lake Manyara

Safari time!

Today was the first day of safari for us and we headed west to visit Lake Manyara, which is known for its tree climbing lions, and vast 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. 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 keep many of the animals hiding in the shade. We did manage to see a few 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.

That's all for now,

RMI Guide Casey Grom and the Safari Crew

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Kilimanjaro: Grom and Team Finish Descent and Prepare for Safari

Our final day on Kilimanjaro!

Today the team got up at 6:30 a.m. refreshed after a much needed night of sleep. We had breakfast then hit the trail one last time. It took just around three hours to reach the Mweka Gate of Kilimanjaro National Park where the team had lunch and said our final goodbyes to our amazing crew that took such great care of us on the mountain. We finished the little celebration by handing out their well deserved tips and then hopped aboard our awaiting bus for the ride back to the lodge. 

Now we are all safe and sound, cleaner and smelling fresh after an exciting seven day journey up and down Kilimanjaro. 

Stayed tuned, safari starts tomorrow!

RMI Guide Casey Grom and Crew

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Kilimanjaro: Team Celebrates on the Roof of Africa

We did it!!!

All team members are safely back to high camp after standing on the “Roof of Africa”. 

The team did a great job climbing and stayed positive, even though it was tough at times. It was slightly chilly, and the route was busier than we would have liked. However, our early departure saved us from the more than 100+ climbers all stuffed together. We even had the summit to ourselves for a little while!

We spent about 30 minutes on the summit celebrating, taking photos and even made a few phone calls to loved ones back home.

We are headed down the mountain to our final camp in the thick warm air at 10,000’ where we’ll have dinner then head off to bed for some well-deserved sleep.

Casey and a happy Kili team!

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Way to Live your dreams!!  We are so proud of you Cory and Team!!
Love Auntie Jugee

Posted by: Julie Anne Hoegger on 9/18/2022 at 11:45 am

You did it! Congrats! See you tomorrow. Love all of us.

Posted by: Tabetha Kallsen on 9/18/2022 at 9:10 am

Mt. Shuksan: Seminar Team Summit in Perfect Style

Our Mt. Shuksan seminar tagged the top of Mt. Shuksan this morning. After many days of training in the rain, the team awoke to clear skies for their climb. The previous five days were spent learning about rope travel, weather patterns, avalanche safety, snow and ice anchors, etc. RMI Guide Alan Davis reported great route conditions and a top out time of 9:30am. 

The team is back at the trailhead and will enjoy some good food and drink before starting their journey home.

Nice work climbers!

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