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Entries from Expedition Dispatches

Everest Base Camp Trek: Grom & Team Visit Monastery

Hello again everyone back home

It was another great day here in the Khumbu Valley, with the team waking up to bright beautiful clear skies, and mountains in every direction. We had a nice relaxing breakfast and decided to make the most of our scheduled rest day by hiking a little way to visit a Monastery in Thame that is home to wonderful group of female Tibetan refugees. They apparently escaped over the boarder which is only a few miles away and have made this home like the Sherpa community did some 500+ years ago. When we arrived the nuns where in the monastery reading their Tibetan prayers and happily invited us in to listen. It was very special and we all felt lucky to have been able to share the moment with them. After the prayer session we purchased a few prayer flags and prayer beads to help support them and then made our way back to Namche for lunch.
Then evening was spent exploring Namche and doing a little bargaining for a few gifts. We also found a barber shop of all things and a few of us decided to get a fresh shave and hair wash if you can believe that!
If that wasn’t enough, we ran into one of RMI’s great guides Sean Collon here in Namche. He’s currently in medical school and has been in Nepal for a few months doing some volunteer work with the local community.
Finally we wrapped up the evening with another great meal here at our tea house.

All is well and everyone is doing great.
RMI Guide Casey Grom

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Glad to see the trek is experiencing favorable conditions! Great to see my fitness trainer Angel and her husband Dave are on track to check off an item on their bucket list! Onward and upward!

Posted by: Michael Miller on 3/21/2018 at 7:30 pm

Very exciting!  Have the time of your life! Climb every mountain..starting with Everest.

Posted by: Desiree Christensen on 3/21/2018 at 7:54 am

Everest Base Camp Trek: Grom & Team Reach Namche Bazaar

Namaste everyone.

This morning we left our tea house in Phakding and headed up this stunning valley toward Namche Bazaar, which is the largest village in this famous valley. We hit the trail around 8:30 along with quite a few other trekkers.  Everyone did really well on the hike, and no one seemed to mind pausing often for the endless mules and Zokes (cross between a Yak and a cow) carrying loads headed up valley and to basecamp as we made our way down, but mostly up, this rocky trail. It was reasonably busy on the route with trekkers and climbers, but the traffic seem to flow pretty smoothly.
The team crossed a number of high suspension bridges without a problem, but I did notice no one stopped in the middle to take photos. Overall it was a really enjoyable day as we climbed up to just over 11,200’ where Namche sits. It was sunny and beautiful all day and we even managed to spot mighty Everest off in the distance.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

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Everest Base Camp Trek: Grom & Team Fly to Lukla and Begin Trek

Hello from the Khumbu Valley!

We started our day here pretty early, meeting in the hotel lobby at 5am. After checking out of the hotel we had a short ride to the domestic airport where we weighed all of our duffels and backpacks before getting tickets and slipping through a very laid back security check. Normally there’s a little bit of waiting before heading out to the plane, but today things moved along pretty quickly.
The flights to Lukla have a reputation of being a little intimidating and bumpy, but thankfully today’s flight was pretty smooth and uneventful.
It’s about a 30-minute flight in a small 16-passenger twin otter with stunning views of the Himalayas. We landed on the small runway in Lukla that’s only about a quarter mile in length and has a slight uphill angle.
After we touched down, the plane was unloaded and our local Sherpa guides hired a few porters that will be carrying our duffels throughout the trek. We made a brief stop at a local tea house to have breakfast and get situated before hitting the trail.
We hiked for about 4 hours today with few stops to rest and to take in the beautiful scenery. We arrived at our camp for the night in a village called Phakding just in time for a well earned lunch. The team got settled, had naps, or explored a little before walking a short way to one of the many Monastery’s here in the Valley. Luckily for us the Monks were having a prayer session and allowed us to sit in while they chanted and blew their horns. It was very surreal and a wonderful way to start this adventure.

All is well!
RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

WOWZA!! Looks amazing! Have you helped your uncle Yak?

Posted by: Maiers on 3/18/2018 at 10:31 pm

Looking good! One step at a time!
Any cool rocks? Love Emma

Posted by: Cheryl Tomlinson on 3/18/2018 at 6:19 pm

Everest Base Camp Trek: Grom & Team Arrive in Kathmandu


The team has arrived after some very long and tiring flights . Everyone is doing well after a well deserved night of rest here at the peaceful and appropriately named Yak & Yeti Hotel
We started our day with a nice big buffet breakfast, then had a team meeting to discuss all the gear and review the details of the adventure that we are about to head out on.
After our meeting we went on a brief tour of Kathmandu where we visited the beautiful Monkey Temple, and the famous Boudhanath Stupa.
It’s quite the culture shock visiting this busy city packed with nearly four million people. The streets are packed with people, motorcycles, and cars that honk endlessly.

I’m sure everyone is looking forward to peace and quietness of the Khumbu where we head tomorrow.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

On The Map

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Keeping you in our thoughts. Good to see you arrived safely. Live in the moment.
Bill and Nancy

Posted by: Nancy Hicks on 3/17/2018 at 7:49 pm

Mexico’s Volcanoes: King & Team Reach Summit of Orizaba

We are all back safely in town after a successful summit of Pico de Orizaba! The entire team stood on top after a long day climbing up the Jamapa Glacier. We had thunder and lightning last night that turned into snow all the way down to the hut. The skies cleared around 12:45 am and we were out the door at 1 on a warm night. The Team is sorting gear for flights home in the morning and looking forward to a good dinner and restful nights sleep. Thanks for following along.

RMI Guide Mike King

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Mexico Volcanoes: King & Team at Piedra Grande Hut

We spent a casual day off in historic Puebla yesterday looking at murals, eating tacos and checking out the local pottery made in the area. There were bands and peaceful protests in the Square, surrounded by beautiful and ornate cathedrals.
This morning we woke early to meet our transport and head to Tlachichuca where we outfitted for Orizaba. Senior Reyes runs a climber’s hostel that is housed in his family’s historic soap factory. The mountain has been covered in clouds and there is some snow flanking the lower slopes. This has been an extremely dry winter for the area and new snow is a welcome sight.
For the remainder of the day we’ll take a short walk up hill to see the Labyrinth, a scree and rock maze of ledges and chutes that makes up the first two hours on our summit day. 

The Team is excited to be here and out of the 4x4 trucks that crawl their way up the dusty roads through corn fields and beautiful pine forests. Hopefully we will be calling in from the summit tomorrow morning. Keep your fingers crossed for good weather and clear skies!

RMI Guide Mike King

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Mexico’s Volcanoes: King & Team Turn Around on Ixta

Today was not going to be our day, because when it snows on Ixtaccihuatl there is apparently thunder and lightning. We spent a few hours at high camp with electrical storms pulsing through, while we held tight yesterday afternoon.  Around 1 am there were clear skies all around and no wind to speak of. After climbing up the ‘knees’ of Ixta we stared out into a developing storm near La Malinche (our day hike from Day 2). watching the storm continue to spread out among the horizon, the guides decided that descending to camp and packing up would be the best call.
Even though we only had 1,500 vertical feet to climb the linear distance was too long to justify staying on the ridge, should the storm pick up steam.

With a slow descent through the ‘knees’ due to frozen scree and snow we arrived back in camp, packed up and headed to the trail head. As with most decisions, there is a moment of regret and asking yourself if you made the right call. Our walk down hill was sunny and bluebird that is until it wasn’t and the billowing dark clouds overtook the summit ridge.

We are headed to Puebla for the evening and tomorrow we will get to explore the historic city center. After a couple nights sleep in nice beds we’ll head out for our Orizaba climb, the third highest peak in North America. While a little disappointed, everyone is glad to not be in an electrical storm and is doing well.

RMI Guides Mike King & Jenny Konway

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Mexico Volcanoes: King & Team Move Up to Ixta High Camp

The Team packed up at the Altzomoni Hut this morning after a big breakfast and casual start to the day. We hiked up to High Camp, located at 15,500’ over three hours and benefited from cloudy skies and a cool breeze. As we were leaving the Third Portillo, the clouds began climbing past us and soon snow was falling. The group did great today, carrying heavy packs in rocky terrain at high altitude. We’ll spend the day resting and keeping our fingers crossed for clear weather. Tomorrow will be our one shot at Ixta and she can be cruel when conditions are stormy. The climbing itself is straight forward and we’ll hope to be calling in from the top shortly after sunrise. Thanks for following along, we all continue to eat amazing food and are enjoying the beautiful scenery.

RMI Guide Mike King

On The Map

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Mexico’s Volcanoes: King & Team Check In from Altzomoni Hut

After enjoying our last showers for a few days, we packed up our things and headed downhill from the La Malintzi center. We enjoyed a delicious hot breakfast just about 30 minutes from the center, then continued on towards the town of Amecameca for a quick grocery shop and to grab any last minute items the team needed. Two more hours of driving got us to the Welcome Center for Ixtaccihuatl. Mike got us all checked in, then we continued uphill on a dusty dirty road to reach the Altzimoni Hut. After unloading our gear,  we did a quick sort and packed our necessities for tomorrow’s hike into basecamp. Dinner is being cooked up as we write this and the team is excited to dig in. Fresh tortillas, carne asada, rice, beans, guacamole and lots of salsas to choose from! Thanks for following along and we all hope you’re eating as well as we are!

RMI Guide Jenny Konway

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Mexico’s Volcanoes: King & Team Arrive in Mexico, Hike La Malinche

March 4, 2018
Everyone arrived yesterday with all luggage in tow and today we set out for a hike on La Malinche. The three hour drive through the countryside is very scenic and due to how dry the weather has been the haze began to thin as we started driving by Ixta (our first climbing objective in a few days). After arriving at a former Olympic training site we hiked up through a dense pine forest, which gave off pleasant scents reminding people of home. We walked to about 13,900’ before turning around due to heavy traffic above and rock fall hazard. The goal today was to stretch the legs and lungs a bit and dust off the cobwebs of travel days ad all those tacos we ate in Mexico City. Everyone is enjoying the trip so far.  Tonight we will sleep at 10,000’ in little cabanas to continue acclimatizing.  Thanks for following along.

RMI Guides Mike King & Jenny Konway

On The Map

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