Entries from Expedition Dispatches
Greetings from the lovely Plantation Lodge about 75 miles east of the town of Arusha, loocated at the top of the eastern great Rift Valley escarpment. Our morning once again fueled by unlimited quantities of local fruits and anything else your heart desired, gave the team the energy to game view with the pros. That is exactly who we have as our support team. Once again the Dik Dik Lodge has provided us with incredible staff. Our driver Joseph and his side kick Zachery are the best, their ability to see these animals among perfect camouflage is no easy task. So fun to hear the comments of amazement from our team. It’s crazy that after about 300 of these game drives I can still enjoy them so much. The terrain in itself is overwhelming let alone the hundreds of animals, it is pretty darn cool. Tomorrow we move into the 1,000s of animals at the 8th wonder of the world, Ngorongoro Cater. Life is very good here in Africa and all is well.
RMI Guide Mark Tucker
September 27, 2016
Namaste from Depot Camp (ABC) at 6,000m!!!
2,000 to go… we’re on the move! Day 1 of summit push brought us on the late afternoon to a frigid moraine camp which prompted the funny scene of everyone gathering for dinner in down suits over the rocky platforms of our tents… like an army of teletubbies. Much more talented, though, we didn’t let the cold get to us and ventured early to the comfort of our tents, knowing that our move to Camp 1 tomorrow will be a bit more demanding than our hike today, basically a strategic move to shorten the distance between Base Camp and Camp 1 (by the way, these guys are ditching 1.20h from what it was taking on our first trip!) Despite having a strong team of Sherpa support, we decided to endure a one night of alpine style camping…. with our bags at Camp 1, we chose to all sleep in our down suits to avoid carrying our base camp bag, and have lighter move.
At the moment, we’re (at the guides’ tent) listening to Liam Knoff’s playlist, waiting for the early Tibetan night of the fall, to go into full sleepy time. Stay tuned for our progress uphill tomorrow.
RMI Guides Elías, Adam, Robby and the RMI Shishapangma team!!!
Teletubby Galina, how are you? :) 6000 sounds so high! I think it is something unbelievable and I am sure very hard. But you are a tough girl! Believe in you and cheer for you!
Posted by: Zhanar on 9/27/2016 at 7:29 pm
Art, So sorry I missed your call. Such a surprise to hear your voice. Betsy and I were at the Cubs game. They won! You’re a winner too. Take care and be strong. Sending hugs and kisses your way!
Posted by: Leslie Muir on 9/27/2016 at 6:54 pm
September 26, 2016
On to the roofs of the world!!!! This morning we set our sights to the summit of Shishapangma. Spent the morning packing bags and double checking our equipment. #allthewayup. After 26 days of preparation, we’re ready to launch our summit attempt. Excited to reach new heights and goals. Weather forecast says we’re set for the 1st. Ramen will toughen us up! We feel strong with the force, and confident on the climb to come. We thank you all for the blog comments, which strengthen our spirits.
*This blog was written around the breakfast table, one sentence per member. May the force be with us!!!!
The RMI Shishapangma team
Godspeed Elias and crew, be safe and have an amazing time. SWEET!
Posted by: Ben Pucci on 9/27/2016 at 11:55 am
Totally stoked for the team! Can’t wait to read about your progress! Climb safe and stay strong!
Posted by: Mark Leininger on 9/27/2016 at 10:01 am
September 26, 2016
Posted by: Ben Liken
The final Mount Shuksan climb of the year ushered in the autumn season with some winter weather last week. The occasional storm brought us fresh snow and great training conditions. The whole team was able to learn a ton of mountaineering skills and summit the classic peak via the Southeast Ridge. Great team. Great trip.
Our team just finished an amazing feast and celebration at the Dik Dik Lodge after a very special seven-day adventure. Easy hike out of the 10,000ft Mweka Camp this morning under clear skies and nice, dry trail conditions. My team didn’t need me for any coaching or inspiration, these hardened mountaineers were horses heading to the barn. Had to stop at the park gate about 6,000ft, pick up a whole bunch of summit certificates, then sign out to mark the the team as officially down and clear of the mountain. Game viewing of some of the finest parks in all of Africa starts tomorrow. Sleep is sounding pretty good right now.
September 26, 2016
RMI Guides JJ Justman, Mike King with their summit climb teams reached the nose of the Cleaver this morning. Due to route conditions, this was their high point for the climb. Both teams began their descent from Camp Muir at 8:30 a.m.
Greg is such a proud gay man we love him cant wait til hes home
Posted by: Bob on 9/26/2016 at 9:52 am
September 25, 2016
We’ve certainly settled back in to life at our 18,500’ Base Camp with a second consecutive rest day in the books; all in preparation for our upcoming summit push. Naps were taken. Dining tent discussion came and went throughout the day. The Tootsie Roll jar certainly took a hit. And the sun poked through off and on, giving us our first warming by the sun in a few days. With the sun, a few team members took advantage of some creature comforts with our Base Camp shower setup. (Yes you read that right!) Tomorrow we’ll indulge in much of the same as we wait for our weather window to begin our climb to the summit. Until then, thanks for following along, and thank you for all your blog responses and words of encouragement!
As I wait for the presidential debate to begin, I find myself kind of envying you, 18,500 feet up there, breathing like an emphysema patient and mostly cut off from the stupidity of the outside world. Despite my fear of heights, I may have to consider spending the next election in the Himalayas. 1/2 to 1/3 of the oxygen at sea level in exchange for a month with no Drumpf, Hillary, Kardashians or other oxygen thieves? I’d take that deal right about now.
Seriously, though, good luck on the summit push. Remember to wear your crampons on the midnight wee trip at the higher camps, observe your turnaround time and maybe by the time you get home, I’ll have taught Mom and Dad how to pronounce the name of the mountain you climbed. I tried it the other night with Dad after the anniversary party. Big mistake.
See you soon,
Posted by: Jayme on 9/26/2016 at 5:34 pm
Always in my thoughts and prayers. Climb strong.
Posted by: Jane Knoff on 9/26/2016 at 12:59 pm
September 25, 2016
The Mt. Rainier Summit Climbs, led by Casey Grom and Nick Hunt, watched the sunrise from Ingraham Flats this morning before heading back to Camp Muir. The guides assessed unfavorable avalanche conditions, which kept them from the upper mountain. Both teams are back at Rainier Basecamp, safe and sound.
September 25, 2016
Posted by: Mark Tucker
Jambo! Mark Tucker checking in from Uhuru Peak, the top of Africa. Under perfect conditions, we have a group of intrepid mountaineers on the summit. A great climb. I couldn’t keep up with these guys. Everybody on top. We are doing great, having a gas, looking forward to getting down to the low camp. All is well, everybody sends their best. I don’t know how many pictures we can take, but we’re doing it, so we’ll check in later.
RMI Guide Mark Tucker calls from Uhuru Peak, the Roof of Africa.
On The Map
Congratulations from Chicago!
Posted by: Tricia on 9/26/2016 at 4:04 am
Have a safe descent.
Posted by: Evan and Grace on 9/25/2016 at 2:01 pm
September 24, 2016
A well earned day of rest. We have come to the point now in this expedition where things are now earned instead of deserved. Granted we all worked hard on our last rotation. A storm came in and bullied us into coming down a day early. The wind beat us like a naughty pet and kept camp two, our primary objective out of reach. Despite the storm, everyone did great handling themselves and proved they are ready for the final push. Now we must really focus on staying positive and healthy. Our bodies are wearing down even here at Base Camp. The mountain, letting us touch and feel a little bit is hiding no secrets and will demand our strongest effort yet to gain her summit slopes even though our physical selves aren’t as tip top as they were two weeks ago.
So now we earn it. Nothing will come easy. From here until the end we must become more adept and graceful at dealing with the hardships. The want to come home and hug our loved ones and eat fresh food and enjoy a warm shower is growing stronger everyday. All of us must embrace the spirit of climbing this mountain and believe that working hard, suffering well and giving everything we have both physically and emotionally will earn us a chance to stand on top.
These next few rest days will all blend together. Sleep, eat, drink, sleep, cards, read and so on. I personally spiced things up today when I crawled into the Gamov bag just to see what it was like and 15 minutes later had a claustrophobic panic attack and had to be let out before hyperventilating. This provided a touch of humor but all in all we now must rest and wait. We all understand what these next two weeks will bring. We came here to climb Shishapangma and we will give her our finest effort. Even during days of rest.
More on that tomorrow.
RMI Adam Knoff
I hope you are having a nice time resting at base camp for a few days…but really, isn’t every day a rest day for you? It must be nice always being carried up the mountains! You better be keeping everyone in good spirits, but if you need some help, tell Mark that Jack got a B on his chemistry test yahoo!! He must really be scared of what is going to happen when you get home. Remind Mark to take some good pictures, the frames in the living room need an update : )
Be safe and make good choices!
Posted by: Elizabeth Wilkins on 9/25/2016 at 6:22 pm
Nice work up there boys. Stay safe
Posted by: Geoff on 9/25/2016 at 5:16 pm