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Entries from Expedition Dispatches


Everest Base Camp Trek: Grom & Team’s Rest Day in Pheriche

Namaste everyone.

All is well here at Pheriche.
Today was a scheduled rest day, which doesn’t mean we lay around, it usually means we have a little exercise to help our bodies continue to acclimatize. So today we climbed up the local hill, outside of Pheriche, that rises over 16,000ft, higher than Mt. Rainier, and set a few altitude records for some of the team.
We’ve been spending our time relaxing in the dining room of this tea house where it’s the warmest. We are more than a thousand feet above tree line, so burning wood isn’t much of an option. As per Tibetan tradition, the local Sherpa people collect the dung from Yaks and dry it.
Although this may seem like it could lead to an odiferous situation, the stove actually burns very clean and keeps us quite warm.

Everyone is in good spirits and looking forward to making our way slightly further uphill.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew


Everest Base Camp Trek: Grom & Team Receive Blessing from Lama Geshe

Today our group had an audience with Lama Geshe, one of the highest ranking Lamas in the Khumbu Valley.  We all felt a little nervous going into his small dark house because we didn’t know what to expect.  As we ducked low to enter the old wooden Sherpa house we had our Katas (silk scarves) in hand as well as something to be blessed by the Lama.  Being in the presence of greatness made us all fall silent with smiles fixed on our faces.  Lama Geshe led us through mantras that would remind us to send love and peace out to all sentient beings.  Then he blessed our small possessions such as gifts for loved ones back home or something special to us.  He finished by blessing our Katas and tying a protective string around our necks.  After a head butt and a warm smile he sent us our our way.  We all feel fortunate to have met this spiritual figure.  Now we just ate a great dinner in Pheriche and are preparing for some cards before tucking in for the night.

RMI Guide Casey Grom

On The Map


Everest Base Camp Trek: Grom and Team Visit Tengboche Monastery

It was another beautiful day here in the Khumbu Valley, and finally we had our first views of Everest. Just above Namche you can see Everest far off in the distance, still about 20-30 miles away. You can also see the 4th highest mountain, Lhotse, and Ama Dablam, which is one of the Himalayan’s most iconic.

We hiked for about 6 hours today up and down, dropping all the way down to the river, which is a stunning turquoise, then climbed slowing up the hill before the famous Tengboche Monastery. You wouldn’t believe how hot it can get hiking in the middle of the Himalayas at 12’000, but let me tell you, it was so hot we had to break in the shade to stay cool. All in all it was a really enjoyable day here in the Khumbu Valley.

We’ve settled in to a nice and warm tea house called Rivendale that’s full of trekkers from all over the world. Cribbage and good conversations have rounded out the evening and now it’s time for bed.

RMI Guide Casey Grom & Crew


Everest Base Camp Trek: Grom & Team Acclimatization Day in Namche

Today was a special day where our group was fortunate enough to get off the main trail and see an all women’s Buddist monastery in the small village of Thamo.  Seven young girls who are new to the monastery greeted us with laughter and sweet tea.  On our tour of the beautiful building the girls showed off to us by reading Buddist prayers and performing their pujas.  We were all laughing and playing by the end of our visit.  The joy and happiness of the Sherpa people is shown in how welcoming they are to everyone.  We all felt lucky to see this unique place and meet some of the women there.  After group photos and funny face photos they said goodbye by gifting us each a Kata scarf which is a silk scarf that is given as a token of thanks and blessings.  Then we walked the two hours back to Namche where we are packing up to move up valley tomorrow.

RMI Guide Christina Dale

Hello Christina and the rest of the team. Thanks for posting these great pictures, it is nice to follow along. What a beautiful place and people. Enjoy your trip, hope you have great weather.

Posted by: David Clemmons on 3/22/2017 at 8:47 am


Everest Base Camp Trek: Grom & Team Trek to Namche Bazaar

Hello from the Khumbu everyone!

This morning we left the tea house in Phakding and headed up this beautiful valley toward Namche Bazaar, which is the largest village in this famous valley. We had a slight rain delay this morning as we woke to some light precip, but hit the trail right around 8:30 as the rain tapered off. Everyone enjoyed the hike, and no one seemed to mind pausing often for the endless mules and yaks carrying loads headed for 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 seemed 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. There was a little snow falling as we pulled in, so we’ll have a few better photos tomorrow.
That is all for now.

RMI Guide Casey Grom

On The Map

Good luck Casey!

Posted by: Giulia Graber on 3/21/2017 at 5:00 am


Everest Base Camp Trek: Team Flies to Lukla, Treks to Phakding

Today we headed out while all of Kathmandu was still sleeping and got onto a small Twin Otter plane as the sun was rising.  By 6:30 we were airborne and treated to the smoothest flight I’ve ever had to Lukla.  After a perfect landing on one of the world’s shortest runways, we finally sat down to breakfast in Lukla.  Surrounded by mountains the group had a wonderful day walking to Phakding.  Once at our Lodge for the night we played some heated cribbage games (where the ladies won) and went for a walk up to an old monastery.  We are all happy to be in this amazing place of rich culture and big mountains.  Looking forward to getting to Namche tomorrow and into the heart of the Himalayas.

RMI Guide Christina Dale

On The Map


Everest Base Camp Trek: Grom & Team Tour Kathmandu

Namaste everyone.

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 tranquil Yak & Yeti Hotel.
Today we met for breakfast and a team meeting to discuss all the gear and the adventure that we are about to take. After our meeting we headed out on a 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 the peace and quietness of the Khumbu where we head tomorrow.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

That’s a good looking team! Enjoy the wonders of the Himalaya with invaluable Casey’s and Christina’s expertise in the area, plus their wonderful personalities!!!!

Posted by: Elias de Andres Martos on 3/19/2017 at 1:01 pm

Everyone at home in Minnesota is excited and thankful for your updates! We love you Gary and Jan and are praying for a great trip for you and your team!!

Posted by: Vicky on 3/19/2017 at 11:17 am


Mexico’s Volcanoes: RMI Guides Frank, Konway & Team Summit Orizaba!

Summit! All team members with RMI Guides Eric Frank and Jenny Konway reached el Pico de Orizaba’s summit today.  Unfortunately the team was not able to call from the summit but they are back in Tlachichuca safe and sound.

Congratulations team!

On The Map

congratulations Andrew!!!

Posted by: Duncan Mckinnon on 3/12/2017 at 4:56 am


Mexico’s Volcanoes: Frank & Team Prepare for Orizaba Summit

Hello, this is Eric Frank and the Mexican Volcanoes team. We are at the Refugio at the base of Orizaba. We left Puebla this morning and make a quick stop at Tlachichuca, the small town next to Orizaba, where we had enchiladas for lunch. Got packed up, and then got in the back of some big 4x4 trucks and road up here to the Refugio.  The weather is clearing up and hopefully things will turn out for us in the morning. Everyone’s in good spirits. We just had a big dinner of spaghetti and getting ready to bed down so that we can get up in just a few hours to launch for our climb in the middle of the night. Wish us luck on our last big objective, and we’ll be back in the states with family before too long.

RMi Guide Eric Frank


RMI Guide Eric Frank calls in from Orizaba's high camp.


Mexico’s Volcanoes: Frank & Team Rest in Puebla

Hello, this is Eric. I’m checking-in from the comforts of Hotel Colonial in Puebla. Today the team is resting after our major effort to get to the summit of Ixtaccihuatl yesterday. It is a very abrupt change to go from the challenge of a grueling descent straight to the luxuries of a major city. After a lazy morning, we met to explore a local market, eat gelato and soak in the stunning architecture of the city.
Tonight the team will have a group dinner and then get in bed to rest before we launch early tomorrow for our next major objective, Orizaba.

Here are a few shots from our climb of Ixta.

RMI Guide Eric Frank

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