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RMI Expeditions Blog

Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team in Awe at Tarangire National Park

Tarangire delivers!  Hard not to finish this day by pronouncing ourselves lucky in the extreme.  We saw things today… and then we saw more things… and more and more things.  At first, we just did a little touristing when we left the Plantation Lodge, hitting a souvenir/art shop and then visiting a Maasai Village.  This definitely interested us and is not to be minimized, but then we got into Tarangire National Park and began being mesmerized and amazed.  Things built up slowly.  First there was the watering hole with a flood of zebra and wildebeest charging in for a drink.  Then there were the dozens upon dozens of elephants we watched digging for water.  (The proclamation was made -prematurely- that it was the day of the elephant) then there was a landscape where every single tree had a giraffe, eland, waterbuck, impala or warthog under it… for miles.  But then there were the cheetahs.  Mom and cub, majestic and regal in their fur coats.  And then there were the lions.  At first there were a handful from a distance… then more of them, walking away.  Then a meeting of male and females and cubs in the distance.  Then we investigated to find thirteen cats of all sizes going to work on a freshly killed zebra.  The sights and sounds were stunning.  Better than any TV documentary.  Our cameras kept clicking and clicking as the sunlight got golden.  But we’d each put the electronics down to just stare in awe as well.
A short time later, we were sipping pre-dinner cocktails at beautiful Balloon Camp when our driver/naturalists walked in.  Juma and Edson got spontaneous and sustained round of applause. 
The day couldn’t be topped… but it could be savored.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

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Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team See an Abundance of Animals at Ngorongoro Crater

We were up early for this big day of the Safari, leaving our comfy hotel at 7 AM to get over to Ngorongoro Crater.  Our Landcruisers clawed their way up the rough dirt road to the crater rim and then we bounced our way around the circle until another dirt track took us down into the collapsed caldera.  Right off, we began seeing wildlife in great numbers and in close proximity.  Before long we were quite used to ostriches and great herds of wildebeest and Cape Buffalo.  We saw a pack of perhaps 20 hyena, barking eerily and crunching the bones of some freshly departed big animal.  We got way closer than we ever imagined was possible to a couple of lionesses and a big male who decided the road would do just fine for napping.  We saw (and got a whiff of) several dozen hippos, wallowing in various ponds.  There were secretary birds and kori bustards, fish eagles and vultures.  Gazelles and zebra were everywhere.  We didn’t manage to spot rhinos, but we did see a few great bull elephants.  The day was fairly hot and sunny until a system of thunderstorms rolled by, cooling things for our afternoon tour.  Then Edson and Juma skillfully brought the cruisers back down the rough roads to our hotel for a relaxing evening at the Plantation Lodge.  Suffice to say that we were blown away by our day inside a volcano.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

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Mt. Rainier: Muir Seminar on the Summit!

RMI Guide Brent Okita just called in from the Mt. Rainier summit!  The last of the teams are coiling in at the crater rim and enjoying magnificent views with just a breath of wind.  They will be on the summit for about an hour and radio us when they begin their descent back to Camp Muir.

Congratulations seminar team!

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)


Enjoy the beauty and wonder of the world. Take in every precious moment. Even though we are not there, we are always with you in heart, supporting every step of your journey.

Love Always,
Jane & Zorba

Posted by: Jane Ccaihuari and Zorba on 9/28/2017 at 8:19 am

Enjoy the adventure Layton!! Proud of you, be safe, can’t wait to hear the stories and see pictures.
Love you

Posted by: Sondra and Harry on 9/28/2017 at 7:57 am

Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Switch from Trail to Bush

We switched gears today… waking up -not to hiking/climbing- but to a day of being entertained and educated in the back of a Safari vehicle.  We piled into two modified Toyota Land Cruisers just after 8 AM and left Usa River heading west.  First there was the hustle and bustle of traffic on the outskirts of Arusha.  The city has nearly 2 million inhabitants, so our guide/drivers: Juma and Edson had their work cut out for them getting us out to the wide open countryside beyond the city.  We cruised dusty roads between herds of Maasai tended cattle as we made our way out to Lake Manyara.  This National Park purports to be the home of the tree climbing lions… who weren’t actually home today.  We didn’t see lions, but we saw baboons, blue monkeys, hippos, Cape buffalo, zebras and wildebeest.  The elephants we got to see munching on trees were a highlight, as were about a thousand new species of bird, each accurately identified and described by our amazing guides.  At the end of a fine day out in the bush, we headed for the Plantation Lodge and an evening of relaxation and dinner conversation in an extremely comfortable setting. 
Tomorrow we’ll get up early to see what we can see in Ngorongoro Crater. 

Best Regards
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

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Dad you are amazing-shane Fountaine

Posted by: Shane Fountaine on 9/26/2017 at 4:51 pm

Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Return to Arumeru River Lodge

Our last morning on the mountain was an easy and enjoyable one.  Everyone reported getting some real sleep for a change -a great thing about 10,000 feet as opposed to 15,000 feet- and when we woke, the weather was perfect.  After a relaxed breakfast, we gathered outside to meet with our entire staff.  They gave us a wonderful send off, singing and dancing with much laughter as “Bongo” -a porter and talented performer- came out in costume and led the team through a few favorite ballads.  We then distributed tips and tried to verbalize just how grateful we were to the entire staff.  We began walking downhill at 8:30 and soon went from a forest of heather to a jungle of giant trees.  Trail conditions were nice and dry and the walking went well.  We caught sight of velvet monkeys and even a family of colobus monkeys playing in branches overhead.  Making fine progress, we left the park at 11:30.  Our staff hosted a last picnic lunch for the team at a venue just a few minutes down the road from the Mweka Gate, and then our bus took us on the long road back to the Arumeru River Lodge.  We were hoisting “welcome” drinks at 2:30 and heading for showers soon after. The gang that showed up at dinner bore little resemblance to the mob that had checked in.  Hair was clean and beards were gone… clothes were free of dust and grime.  But the team was still recognizable by their smiles.  Earlier we’d been smiling because the hard work had been completed, now we were smiling because of indoor plumbing and electricity and internet and the way things feel so easy after you’ve gone without for a time.  We aren’t done adventuring though… safari begins tomorrow, but we’ll miss Joe, who is flying out tomorrow as planned. 

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

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It’s pure joy to see that look of sweet success on everyone’s face!

Posted by: Steph on 9/25/2017 at 8:07 pm

Mt. Rainier: September 25th Update

The Mt. Rainier Summit Climb teams, led by RMI Guides Casey Grom and Robby Young, turned due to snow and route conditions.  The team was back to Camp Muir at 7:55 a.m.  They will spend about an hour there and then begin their descent to Paradise.

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Is Cory Prykull part of this expedition?  Of so, good luck Cory!  We are all hoping you make it to the summit!

Posted by: Karen Prykull on 9/26/2017 at 8:37 am

Checking if this is the group that Layton Petersen is a part of to follow his progress and experience

Posted by: harry petersen on 9/26/2017 at 8:17 am

Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Summit!

Hey, this is Dave Hahn calling from Barafu Camp. We got back here to Barafu at 10:45 this morning. We were on the summit on Uhuru the highest point in Africa. The highest point on Kilimanjaro at 7:35 this morning. It was a little too busy up there this morning to give a call, but now we are catching up. We are back down at high camp. We’re going to finish the day down at Mweka. I will send you a full dispatch then, but everybody is happy and healthy and we got 10 out of 11 to the summit this morning!  So it was a good day with lots of great help from our local staff here.

Thanks. I’ll catch you up later.

Sunday, September 24, 2017 10:12am PST

As promised, a dispatch from Mweka Camp -near 10,000 ft- at the end of our summit day. We set out for the top at 12:35 AM under clear and starry skies. It was a windless night, which is always a plus when climbing in the cold.  Initially we encountered a few other teams starting out of camp, but within an hour or so, we’d put a fair bit of distance between the teams and so had the route pretty much to ourselves. As we gained altitude and got closer to dawn, things got plenty cold -as expected. We kept our rest breaks short and business like and tried to move steadily.  Most reached the point of having all of their cold weather clothing on at once. It was just getting light enough to see as we reached Stella Point on the crater rim.  The sunrise was eagerly anticipated and hit us as we made the walk along the rim to Uhuru -Kilimanjaro’s highest point. By the time we hit the summit at 7:35, things had warmed up nicely.  We spent a half hour on top, checking out the glaciers and the immensity of the crater.  We didn’t have big views as an upper level layer of cloud had formed just below the mountain top.  Descent to Barafu Camp took us just under 3 hours.  A great mid morning meal in the mess tent helped fortify the team for the continued three hour descent to Mweka Camp, which we reached at 3:45 PM. 

All in all, it was a pretty exciting day.  We discovered just what it takes to climb above 19,000 feet and to the highest point in Africa. We were pleased to be both capable and lucky…and to have the friendship and help of six amazing Kilimanjaro guides; Patric, Freddy, Naiman, John, Fillbrit, and Happyson made our climb memorable and successful in a hundred positive ways. 

Best Regards
RMI Guide Dave Hahn


Dave Hahn calling to Report a Successful Summit of Kilimanjaro.

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Congratulations! How wonderful. The sights must have been fantastic. Best of luck on descent.
Sheila and Jim

Posted by: Sheila and Jim on 9/25/2017 at 7:35 am

Congratulations to all!  Loved following along with the expedition dispatches!

Posted by: Steph on 9/24/2017 at 4:01 pm

Mt. Rainier: September 24th Team Reaches 12,300’

The Four Day Summit Climb led by RMI Guides Pete Van Deventer and Christina Dale reached the top of Disappointment Cleaver at 12,300’. The team turned due to unstable snow conditions. Pete reported mostly clear skies with a thin cap over the summit, and winds of about 20 mph from the north. The team has started their descent and are en route to Camp Muir.

Congratulations to today’s team!

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Congratulations!  Just watch those big steps on the way down!  It’s 90 degrees in Green Bay—so that snow looks pretty good!

Posted by: Nana and Gramps. on 9/24/2017 at 11:52 am

We always knew the sky was the limit for our beautiful God daughters!! Safe down kiddos. Congrats

Posted by: Marcy and Mick OMalley on 9/24/2017 at 11:00 am

Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Prepare for Summit Bid from Barafu Camp

We had another morning of perfect weather.  The haze layer was still out there at around 12,000 ft, but from Karanga Camp we could see down through it to pick out the town of Moshi.  We marched out of Karanga at 8:45 AM bound for high camp.  There were unobstructed views of the Kersten and Decken Glaciers above, and gradually the Rebmann Glacier came into view as we turned the Southeast corner of the mountain.  In just three hours, we walked into the alpine zone above all vegetation and reached Barafu -or “Ice” Camp.  Afternoon was spent eating, drinking and resting- familiar activities to all of us by now- but we added in planning and preparing for our summit bid on this afternoon.  Dinner was early -at just 5:30- to allow for getting the maximum amount of downtime before our alpine start.  Sunsets at this 15,000-foot camp are wonderful, but we won’t linger over this one.  Tomorrow is a big day and we need our rest.  The entire team completed the approach in the absolute best style possible, we’re hoping to all be lucky and strong tomorrow.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

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Good luck on your summit bid.How exciting.

Posted by: Robert Kilroy on 9/24/2017 at 7:04 am

Congratulations on one more great accomplishment !!!

Posted by: Dad on 9/23/2017 at 8:54 pm

Mt. Rainier: Okita, Matthews & Team Turn Due to Weather and Conditions

The Mt. Rainier Summit Climb, led by Brent Okita and Jess Matthews, turned at 12,300’ this morning.  Weather conditions kept them from going higher as they ascended into a cloud cap and increasing winds.  The teams are currently headed back to Camp Muir where they will pack up and continue their descent down the mountain.

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