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Entries from Expedition Dispatches


Machu Picchu: King & Team at Camp 3

Leaving camp this morning to the sounds of sheep being moved into the high pastures we walked along the Inca canal and eventually down a steep valley. The vegetation began to change and soon we started to see several types of wildflowers and a few different species of hummingbirds. After a few hours we arrived at our first Incan ruin, Inkaracay.

At the village Wayllabamba (10,000’), the famed Inca Trail joins our trekking route for the remainder of the trip. We said our good byes to the horseman as our porter team joined since we are now in the National Park and horses would have difficulty with the trail ahead and destroy the trail itself. The Inca used llamas as pack animals, they do not have hooves, instead their feet are soft pads like a dogs feet thus gentle on the stone trail.

The team is adjusting to the ‘Incan steps’ and resting after a long day. We are camped on a scenic mountain bench called Luluchupampa (12,300’) looking at the valley below, Salkantay in the distance, and the cloud forest all around us. Two more full days of walking brings us to Machu Picchu.

RMI Guide Mike King

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Mt. Shuksan: Seminar Reaches the Summit!

The Mt. Shuksan Seminar, led by RMI Guide Geoff Schellens, reached the summit today.  The wildfire smoke obstructed some of the views but the team had a great time on a spectacular route! Some photos from the team above.

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Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Receive a Warm Welcome at Barranco Camp

At some point in the early morning hours, the clouds cleared away, the full moon and stars came out, along with the great volcanic cone of Kibo, Kilimanjaro’s central peak.  First light was our first sighting of the mountain we’ve been climbing.  All were thrilled to see it, but it must be admitted that some were a little intimidated by the steep icy mountain flanks rising into the sky.  We ate our breakfast and got walking toward the peak at about 8 AM. The walking was pretty easy compared to the tricky trails we’d become accustomed to, but it was taking us steadily higher.  Within a few hours of marching through the high desert vegetation, we were breaking altitude records.  In fact, by our high point of the day, the Lava Tower, at 15,200 ft, we’d crushed records for Cory, Jen, Don, Syd, Carol, Naomi and Curt.  Only Sarah and Martha had been to greater altitude.  Cumulus clouds formed up with the heat of the day to rob us of some views, but generally, we were blessed with a fine, calm and dry day for hiking.  We worked our way down into the Barranco Valley-back down into the garden of giant Senecios and Lobelias.  We reached camp at 13,000 ft by three o’clock.  Our staff of porters, cooks, camp boys, waiters and guides seemed pleased with our performance.  A few men began clapping, and within minutes, fifty of our best mountain friends were clapping, dancing and singing.  Eventually, we all joined in -some of the team managing to get down and shake it while still wearing packs.  Not bad after a seven-hour hike and a trip to new heights.
We rested away the afternoon, listening to stories and Swahili at the foot of the Great Barranco Wall. 

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Congratulations to all!  My money is on Carol for dancing.

Posted by: Karen Ford on 9/8/2017 at 6:57 am

Sending positive thoughts to the Tulsa Team - Curt, Syd, and Carol (Karl?). Have a great trip! Enjoying your journey from OK.

Posted by: Brent Johnson on 9/8/2017 at 6:13 am


Mt. Rainier: RMI Guides and Team On Summit of Mt. Raineir

The September 4 - 7 Summit Climb teams reached the summit of Mt. Rainier this morning around 6:30 am PT.  RMI Guides Elias de Andres Martos and Christina Dale led their teams.  After enjoying some time in the crater the teams started their descent.  They will return to Camp Muir and then continue to Paradise this afternoon.

Congratulations to today’s Summit Climb teams!

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Congratulations Tim Zentz!  So happy for you!

Posted by: Tracy Zentz on 9/7/2017 at 8:23 am

YaY! I hope everyone gets back home safely.  So proud of you babe!  Sitting in a hotel room in Oklahoma is not how I had planned on following your progress.  YOU DID IT MR. ZENTZ!  You did it!!!  Congratulations to all of you and thank you for making it happen leaders Andres & Christina and everyone at RMI.  Next trip….?

Posted by: Tari Zentz on 9/7/2017 at 7:58 am


Machu Picchu: King & Team Ascend Incachiriaska Pass

We woke this morning to a snowy camp, after having a wintery mix start around dinner last night. Salkantay was out all day as we hiked through the snow covered trail to Incachiriaska Pass 16,300’. The Team did well despite the altitude and muddy terrain.

We descended down a wide grassy valley and paused often to take in the scenery and soak in the sun after a cold and cloudy day yesterday.

The Team is resting in Pampachuana camp located at 12,800’ among a high rural farming community. Through the valley is an Incan canal that was constructed to straighten out the glacial stream that provides water to the farmers. Tomorrow we join the ‘Inca Trail’ and our horses will leave us as porters join the team for the remainder of the trip.

RMI Guide Mike King

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Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Ascend Steadily to Shira Camp

We spent a quiet night at Machame Camp with clouds above and below.  Those of us lying awake, still wrestling with jet lag, were never able to detect even the faintest of breezes rustling tent fabric.  6:30 was our wake up target and although we were right on the mark, Kilimanjaro itself decided to sleep in.  We were never able to see Kibo, the central peak, due to clouds.  We set out at 8 AM in pleasant walking conditions -never in danger of overheating- with the sun obscured.  The trail led steeply upward through a giant heather forest.  We climbed slowly and steadily, working from time to time on walking and breathing techniques for the days ahead.  Views were limited but still enchanting as we reached and followed a ridge top of old lava formations to well over 12,000 ft.  We finished with an hour of traversing ledges and trails to the north, turning the corner onto the easier Shira Plateau just after noon.  We were in our 12,600 ft new home -Shira Camp- by 12:45.  We lounged away the afternoon with meals, naps, storytelling and exploring.  Sunset into the cloudy peaks of Shira was briefly beautiful.  We finished with a sumptuous alpine dinner in our dining tent, chatted a bit more about legendary climbs and climbers, and then called it a day.  (A good day)

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

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Mt. Rainier: Four Day Summit Climbs Reach the Summit!

RMI Guides Brent Okita and Steve Gately led their Four Day Summit Climb team to the summit of Mt. Rainier this morning.  The air is smoky and the winds are light.  The team will spend a little bit of time in the crater before starting their descent.

Congratulations to today’s Summit Climb Teams!

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Grant and Brian return TOGETHER, in one whole piece?  ;) 
Congrats to the team, SO EXCITED to hear all about it!!!

Posted by: MerBear on 9/7/2017 at 3:51 am

Keep climbing!  Send pictures when you have them.  Air is smoky here too.  .......Mom

Posted by: Kay on 9/6/2017 at 3:22 pm


Machu Picchu: King and Team Leave Cusco and Start on the Trail

We packed up and left Cusco at 6 am and headed for the Salkantay trail head near Soraypampa. The drive took us over some high passes and down a very scenic river valley filled with eucalyptus trees and small subsistence farms.

When you describe to people the quality of food we eat on these Treks you get some doubtful looks, seeing is believing. Our Team feasted on guacamole and bread only to be followed by a pumpkin soup and rounded out with a main course of vegetable and cheese stuffed trout. That was only lunch, who knows what is for dinner.

Bellies full we set out into grey skies with a spectacular view of Cerro Salkantay and Humantay. Gradually the glaciers and snow covered faces disappeared in a light rain as we walked into camp, Ichupata at 14,846’.

Rain is coming down quite heavily now, the team is getting warm in their tents and we will check in tomorrow.

RMI Guide Mike King

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Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Enter Kilimanjaro National Park and Begin Climb

A fairly smooth first day for our climbers today.  We were on the road by 8 AM as planned and heading east.  We made good time rolling down the highway under thick clouds.  There weren’t any views of Kilimanjaro to be had, even as we approached the Machame gate to the National Park at 6000 ft.  As always, the gate was good and busy as a handful of other expeditions were getting underway on our same timetable.  We were among the first to set out walking, at around 10:45.  We never got rain, although the air was quite moist during the hours we spent in the thick forest.  We gained elevation steadily and by mid-afternoon we were leaving the big trees and getting into a forest of giant heather.  We came in to Machame Camp at 4:15 to find that our staff had been working quite hard on our behalf.  A fully built camp was ready and waiting for campers.  We settled in, met for afternoon tea and then dinner in our dining dome tent.  We talked of the plan for the coming day, recalled the funny parts of the day we were ending and headed to bed. 

Best Regards
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Naomi, You are our hero!  You just amaze us with all your accomplishments, but this one is over the hill!

G-d bless U and keep you safe.

Florence & Marty Jesser

Posted by: Florence Jesser on 9/13/2017 at 8:07 pm

Naomi..
Reading the daily blogs as we follow your amazing adventure. Have a great time and stay safe. Luv U a ton.

Posted by: Howard Katz on 9/6/2017 at 7:11 pm


Machu Picchu: King & Team Tour the Urabamba Valley

This Is Mike, the RMI Machu Picchu group has all arrived with luggage in tow. We had a nice dinner on the main square in Cusco last night after a team meeting and briefing about the Salkantay Trek. Today we went on a tour of the Urabamba Valley to visit the Pisac Market and the amazing stone work at Ollantaytambo. The weather has been great, the team is adjusting to the altitude and excited about beginning the trek tomorrow morning. We will check in from our camp tomorrow evening.

RMI Guide Mike King

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

Glad to see you in good spirits!  We hope you have a great trek!  Love & miss you dad!

Love,

Nina & Mom

Posted by: Nina Guenther on 9/5/2017 at 3:43 pm

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