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RMI Expeditions Blog

Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Visit Masai Village, Enjoy Safari

Another long, but amazing day out on the safari circuit for the Taos team.  We had a relaxed 9 AM departure from the Plantation Lodge.  Adamson and Makubi took us to a Masai village for a brief tour.  We danced a little,  jumped high, and got inside some small, earthen dwellings to understand how this prominent Tanzanian tribe lives without modern conveniences. Then it was on to Tarangire National Park.  Before long we were deep within this immense network of winding dirt roads, baobab trees, twisting river valleys and animals animals animals.  We no longer stopped for individual zebras and wildebeest, since we were seeing thousands of them.  After the hundredth giraffe and the five hundredth elephant, we started reserving our picture snaps for the babies in the bunch.  We covered mile after mile, exploring and watching out for wildcats, water bucks, elan, impalas and gazelles.  Lake Manyara and Ngorongoro Crater were each wonderful, but both were discreet areas with natural borders hemming them in.  That isn’t the case with Tarangire.  We could see wildlife spread out to the horizons in all directions… the Africa we’d dreamed of.  By day’s end, we pulled into Balloon Camp, an excellent “tent” hotel out in the bush with armed guards to escort us from one tent to another.  Those guards stood vigilant as we enjoyed an outdoor campfire and sumptuous barbecue buffet under the stars (and clouds).  No lions, leopards, or cheetahs intruded on our wonderful dinner but we are still hoping they’ll come for breakfast.  It will be our last morning of Safari and we are still excited to see just what might be out there.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

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Mt. Shuksan: Eric Frank & Team Check in from First Camp

Friday, August 11, 2017 - 6:59 pm PT

Hello, this is Eric Frank calling in from the South side of Mt. Shuksan. I just wanted to let everyone know we’re doing well. We had a good day of climbing through the old grow forest and we have settled into our little bivy camp here for the night. So far the team is just getting camp set up and relaxing.  We are going to make some dinner, watch the sun go down and enjoy ourselves a little bit. Thanks for following along. We will check in again tomorrow.

RMI Guide Eric Frank

RMI Guide Eric Frank checks in from their first camp on the Mt. Shuksan Seminar

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Mt.Elbrus: North Side Teams Gets to Work at Base Camp

With little to do today besides organize our gear for the next leg of our adventure, we might have wondered how we would occupy ourselves for a day in Base Camp. The Cunninghams took care of that worry, organizing a barn raising of sorts to build a hut that our outfitter has been meaning to put together. With furring strips, floor boards, and siding located, we went to work, only slightly hampered by dodgy extension cords that didn’t always provide enough power from the generator to run a drill. The activity kept everyone occupied, and just as we put up the last siding on the walls and were considering the roof, the clouds moved over and the rain started falling.

We’ve been resting in tents, staying dry since. Chances are this storm quits soon, as each one has throughout our expedition, and we’ll enjoy a last night in base camp before returning to Kislovodsk early tomorrow. From there it will be in to St. Petersburg and the finale of our trip. We’re looking forwards to showers and Shashlik (the local barbeque) tomorrow.

From Russia with love,

RMI Guides Pete Van Deventer, Mike Uchal, and team

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

These updates have been great!
Good to see that the Cunninghams are doing well. Take care all, and prayers for a safe return.

Posted by: Deb Thummel on 8/13/2017 at 6:18 pm

Congratulations on a great Summit and teamwork in basecamp! Enjoy the rest of your journey and celebrate a great climb.
All good at home but look forward to Lee’s return home!!  Love Ya!

Posted by: Diann on 8/12/2017 at 8:14 pm

Mt. Rainier: Four Day Summit Climb Teams Unable to Summit

The Four Day Summit Climb teams August 9-12, were unable to reach the summit of Mt. Rainier this morning due to route conditions.  The teams will return to Camp Muir and repack before continuing down to Paradise later today.

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Hello Tim,
I am sure it has to be such an amazing adventure!!!
So very proud of you for making the effort. Proud of the leaders and all team members.
There’s always another day!!!
Look forward to hearing all about it!

Mom and dad

Posted by: Pam on 8/13/2017 at 2:26 pm

Congratulations Erika and company!  WOW!  This is an amazing accomplishment.  I know it is not the top but the journey to get where you have gotten is something to be proud of. It is always good to work with mother nature and appreciate her messages. I am glad you all listen to that, to climb another day.

To future journeys.

Posted by: Darcy on 8/12/2017 at 5:49 pm

Kilimanjaro: Tucker & Team Arrive at High Camp

We have just pulled into high camp, Barafu Camp, located at 15,000’ on Kilimanjaro. Our tent sites are on the low side of camp so I’m calling the elevation 14,900’. We have been moving as one cohesive unit which will make the climb tonight go really smooth.
There are a few clouds around making for good pictures and still allowing great views of the upper mountain.
We are up here with plenty of time to rest, fuel up and prepare for the summit push ahead tonight. Repacking our gear and making high calorie lunches in between naps is in store for us. The team is in great shape and we are all fired up and ready for our summit attempt.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Grandma Barbara, so proud of your successful climb. Love you.

Posted by: Meryl on 8/12/2017 at 10:35 am

Yay! We love you! Enjoy the view from the top.

Posted by: Haley on 8/12/2017 at 10:35 am

Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Game View in the Ngorongoro Crater/Caldera

Even on vacation, it was worth getting up early today to get over to Ngorongoro Crater.  We left Plantation Lodge at 7 AM and were up on the crater rim just 90 minutes later.  It was cold, cloudy and windy, but we figured things would be a little more user friendly down in the “crater”.  Technically, it is a caldera… not a crater.  And animals like a good caldera, apparently.
We got down inside and the weather was indeed better, but it never got exactly “good”.  We wore jackets and sweaters (which is par for the course at 7000 ft) but we still opened up the top of our Landcruiser and rolled down the windows.  Immediately, we encountered zebras, and then more zebras.  Wildebeest and then more wildebeest, Cape buffalo by the dozen, Kori bustards and Secretary Birds and ostriches.  And then we saw lions.  Four big fully maned males lounging about and one female who seemed a bit more restless.  We watched hippos doing what hippos do (not much) some more lions, hyenas, jackals, elephants, eagles, vultures and several flavors of gazelle.  We saw tons of animals and kept constant watch out for more.  We came up empty in our rhino search, but that happens.  Not many of them left to see in Tanzania.  Adamson and Makubi, our extremely knowledgeable driver/guides took us all over the crater/caldera.  We climbed back up the steep walls around 4 PM with most everybody a bit sleepy.  Which worked out fine because we were back frolicking in the swimming pool and sipping coldies by 5 at the Plantation Lodge. 
We’ll be well rested and ready for another deluxe safari day tomorrow. 

Best Regards
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

Still enjoying every moment of this marvelous adventure! Thank you for sharing.    BIG HUGS

Posted by: Yolanda Deveaux on 8/11/2017 at 6:34 pm

Mt. Shuksan: Walter & Team on Summit!

RMI Guides Mike Walter & Sean Collon lead their team to the summit of Mt. Shuksan this morning. Skies are smoky in the North Cascades but the climbers were above it all.
They will return to camp for a final night in the mountains before completing their program tomorrow.

Congratulations to today’s climbers!

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Mt. Elbrus: North Side Team Descends to Base Camp

Yesterday’s long day let everyone find some hard sleep through the night. The sun rises early this far north though, and by 7, we were all out of our tents working on breakfast. When we get to cache loads above throughout trips, our descents often get heavy. We took several meals up high in case of weather days, but with our perfect weather, we didn’t use them. That made for some larger loads on the descent, but since we only had to walk downhill for a few hours, everyone doubled down and got the job done. By just after noon, we were in Base Camp, with tents set up, and a fast moving, rapidly darkening cloud approaching. We popped up tents, and then sure of our homes, set about to enjoying the low altitudes and green grass. We started an energetic volley ball game, Russia v. US. in the end we really aren’t sure who won, as each team had bright spots, but the approaching rain forced a draw.

As we understand it right now, it is high tourist season in the Caucasus, and there are not hotel rooms available tomorrow on short notice, so we will spend one more day at Base Camp, and them make our way to Kislovodsk. It’s really not that bad a deal since we are in a beautiful valley with hiking, volley ball, and springs that out forth sparkling water naturally.

For now, we are happy to listen to the sheep baa, the shepherds whistle, and enjoy each other’s company after a very successful climb.

RMI Guides Pete Van Deventer, Mike Uchal, and team

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Kelly and Josh,
You guys are using your carpentry skills, so remember that GMS needs a picture hung!
Love you guys, and so glad the team had such a great mountain top experience.
See you soon.

Posted by: Sandy Cunningham on 8/12/2017 at 10:59 am

Congratulation everyone!.. Enjoyed following each day.

Posted by: Stacy on 8/12/2017 at 7:40 am

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

RMI Guides Geoff Schellens and Mike King lead their teams to the summit of Mt. Rainier this morning. After enjoying some time in the crater they started their descent to Camp Muir.  They will take a short rest and then continue down to Paradise.

Congratulations to today’s Summit Climbers!

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Kilimanjaro: Tucker & Team Climb Barranco Wall, Ascend to Karanga Camp

The group is doing great after a strong showing on the trail today. We are at Karanga Valley which sits at 13,100’ and is our last stop before Kilimanjaro’s High Camp.
We tackled the Barranco Wall this morning and had a very smooth ascent up the steep slopes. When we were about 2/3 of the way up we could look back down on last night’s camp which looked like a camp for ants. The rest of the way felt like it was a dance off with a bunch of ups and downs.
A few clouds made for very comfortable climbing conditions and a picturesque setting. No sooner did we arrive to camp than a two minute rain shower began, luckily we had our tents for shelterr and more big mountain story when we get home.
We’re all relaxing now before dinner and tomorrow we head up to Barafu camp at 15,000’.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Absolutely wonderful to be able to see where your team is. Hello and love to Jen Girard and Geoff Melrose.

Posted by: Brenda on 8/12/2017 at 10:46 am

Very exciting!! Wishing you all a successful climb to the top!

Posted by: Wendy on 8/12/2017 at 3:49 am

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