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RMI Expeditions Blog


Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Cross the Shira Plateau

Hey, everybody this is Casey Grom checking in again from the Kilimanjaro climb. Wanted to let you know that we had another wonderful day here in Africa. We got up at about 7:00 and had a nice big breakfast of eggs and bacon and porridge and some toast. At 7:30, we washed that down with plenty of coffee and then tried to hit the trail right at 8:00. The camp we were in, the Mweka Camp, was a little bit crowded because it’s sort of a small spot, but we kind of got out ahead of a bunch of the teams. We slowly made our way up one of the ridges that leads up on top of what’s called the Shira Plateau. We gained about 2,500 feet and we took just a little over five hours to get up here. The team did incredible today and once again our our wonderful mountain staff and porters broke camp after we left and then passed us on the trail and then arrived at camp and had it all set up by the time we arrived up here. We just finished dinner and the clouds have just kind of blown off. Now we’ve got a beautiful view of the upper mountain as the sun has gone down. Everybody’s outside taking a look at all the beautiful stars that we can see right now. So that’s all for now. Everybody’s going to head to bed as it’s starting to chill down a little bit up here, and we’ll touch base again tomorrow. Thanks.

RMI Guide Casey Grom


RMI Guide Casey Grom checks in from Shira Camp.

On The Map

Catherine Deb and Kaki— So glad to get the updates via the blog!  You’ve got this!  Get in some more photos!

Posted by: Linda Morrison on 1/12/2017 at 3:42 am

Jeff and Sean, hope you are having a great time. Is anything sore yet?

Posted by: Maureen McCroskey on 1/11/2017 at 7:06 pm


Ecuador Seminar: Knoff & Team Land at Antisana Base Camp

Buenas Noches from Antisana Base Camp.  

It always amazes me how one difficult mountain climb puts the little things back into perspective.  For our climb of Cayambe, we were on the move by midnight and did not stop until twelve hours later.  Even after the climb is finished, exhaustion has set in so thoroughly that the only thing that really matters is one good meal and a warm bed.
The simple joys continued this morning after ten solid hours of sleep with fresh brewed coffee, a delicious smoothie, farm fresh eggs and warm bread.  It’s not every day you wake up and feel so thankful for what you have.  Suffering, if even for a day helps us remember what really matters. 
After our lovely breakfast we packed the bus, said adios to Ecuador’s oldest hacienda and hit the road.  Two hours later we found ourselves back to the busy life shopping for food at a market equal to Fred Meyer, having lunch at KFC and eating pastries from the mall’s bakery.   Two hours after that, we were back in the boonies, driving across a landscape above 12,000 feet with not a house, or other road in sight.
By 3pm we had landed at Antisana Base Camp.  This place is wild with Andean condors flying overhead, wild packs of alpacas coming right into camp and no other people anywhere.  We are in a place of pure natural beauty.
Our elevation is 14,800 feet and the team feels great.  The more time we spend at altitude the easier it gets.  Everyone misses their families and friends but very happy to be in such a unique place.
We will train tomorrow and report before getting ready to climb.

RMI Guide Adam Knoff and Team Ecuador out.


Aconcagua: Tucker & Team One Stop from Base Camp

Today brought our team within striking distance of base camp! We battled strong down valley winds for most of the day, but were rewarded with our first glimpse of Aconcagua just shy of our current camp at Piedra Parada. Our team is growing more and more practiced in the art of alpine resting, and put their skills to use this evening munching on asado and watching our hardworking mules take dust baths. Everyone is strong, happy, and healthy, and looking forward to checking in from 14K!

Hasta manana!

RMI Guides Mark Tucker and Pepper Dee

Walk happily,climb safely and feel lots of support from team NYC!

Posted by: Laura Taft Paulsen on 1/11/2017 at 5:43 pm

What a gorgeous goal!

Posted by: Sandy Bradbury on 1/11/2017 at 3:52 pm


Aconcagua: King & Team Move Into Camp 2

Hello from Camp 2 -
Our team has now ascended to 18000’ and set up camp. We had a slow roll out of camp thanks to a bit of wind gusting overhead.  We decided we might enjoy a little later start to the day, so we hung around until about 10:30 to let the sun warm things up and push those pesky winds farther east.

The Team felt the push to 18k and the gusting winds, grey skies and colder temps didn’t make for a lot of conversation. Now tucked in at 18,000’ the Team is sport eating and resting in their tents. The winds have calmed down and the sun is baking the tent fabric, this creates an optimal napping microclimate.

We miss you all and are jubilant to be in a position for summiting on the 13th.

Warmest of regards,
RMI Guides Mike King, JM Gorum & the team

Excited over your progress.  All our friends are keeping a close watch!  Keep up the good work and good luck. 

Posted by: wendy daverman on 1/11/2017 at 10:31 am

My third grade class is keeping tabs on your journey.  It’s exciting to see your updates.  We wish you well and hope you summit as planned.

Posted by: Dena Bedsole (Kevin's sister-in-law) and Class on 1/11/2017 at 9:09 am


Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Start on the Trail

Jambo everybody! This is Casey Grom checking in from the Kilimanjaro climb. Just wanted to let you know that all is going really well. Today we left behind the comforts of a nice lodge and hopped in our vehicles and made about a two-hour drive up to the base of Kilimanjaro. Once we arrived at the gate, we had to unload all of our gear and then start off uphill. That all went pretty smoothly. After we started walking, we climbed for about six hours to a high point about 10,000’. On the way we were passing through dense and beautiful forests that surround the base of Kilimanjaro. Everyone did fantastic, spirits are high and we are excited to be here. We finally found the camp and just wrapped up dinner. The team is looking forward to a well-earned night of rest. We’ll check in tomorrow. We are hoping that we will have cellphone service up here so we can maybe get a few pictures out to you guys.

RMI Guide Casey Grom

On The Map

Yo yo Catherine! Have you found any chaga on Kili yet?! 

Posted by: Kate & Mary on 1/10/2017 at 7:42 pm


Aconcagua: Tucker & Team Travel Through the Vacas Valley

And just like that, RMI Aconcagua Expedition, led by Mark Tucker and Pepper Dee, is off! We enjoyed our last breakfast in civilization this morning, and then before we knew it we were piling out of the van at the Vacas Valley trailhead and heading uphill under the blazing Argentine sun. We wound our way up the valley for about five hours, taking breaks to hydrate and generously apply sunscreen. Having settled in to our first camp at Las Leñas, tonight we were treated to a mouth watering traditional asado dinner by our support team of mule drivers. The team is adjusting rapidly and successfully to the demands of life on the trail, and look forward to tackling another stretch tomorrow.

Stay tuned for more climbing (and more steak!).

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

Wonderful to get the updates.  Enjoy every moment because the eventual homeward return may be more challenging…the dogs have happily taken over your place in bed, Mr. Monnet.

Happy climbing.  Lots of love, the gang.

Posted by: Carolyn on 1/10/2017 at 12:38 pm

Looks so inviting, that valley!!
“Ah, yes, ‘generously amounts of sunscreen,‘“notes Mom. 

Posted by: Elizabeth Tompkin on 1/10/2017 at 11:35 am


Ecuador Seminar: Cayambe Summit!

Team Ecuador is excited to announce that we reached the summit of Cayambe this morning at 7:30am.  We woke up, or should I say got out of bed at 10:45pm to clear skies and warm temperatures.  We began our ascent at exactly midnight and had great climbing conditions the entire way up.  Having been on this mountain ten times I have never had a summit day this beautiful!  Not a breath of wind, temperatures in the 30s and views that you rarely get to see.
The team climbed strong and performed really well, especially for reaching 19,000 feet six days after arriving in the country. 
We were grateful to be finished early because as soon as we reached camp, the perfect weather that graced us up high took a 180 and began snowing, raining and sleeting on us.  By the time we got to town, the downpour was so intense we couldn’t hear each other at lunch because of the rain hitting the roof.
Now we are settled into the oldest hacienda in Ecuador and ready for a nap.  We are relieved to have gotten the first big climb under our belts and look forward to Antisana in a couple days. 
Stay tuned. 

RMI Guide Adam Knoff

On The Map

Sounds very exciting, not to mention awsome!!!! Congratulations!!!

Posted by: George on 1/11/2017 at 10:44 am

Congratulations, team! Quite an accomplishment!

Posted by: George Nimmo on 1/10/2017 at 10:25 am


Aconcagua: King & Team and Another Rest Day at Camp 1

Weather day here at Camp 1. The team got it’s first experience with the Aconcagua wind last night. The wind builds above us in the Ameghino Col to the point it sounds like a large set of waves hitting shore. You then hear the wind racing down towards our camp, suddenly bracing in your tent, the poles flex and fabric gets bead blasted with little rocks and dust. An eerie calm follows only to hear the wind building up again. Now repeat for 16 hours.
Two down days in a row has the natives getting a little restless. Some will pace, some play cards and some will ask, “So this is mountaineering?”
Tomorrow we will get a late start to allow the wind to dissipate before our move to Camp 2. Despite the restless energy all team members are doing great and the guides couldn’t be more pleased with how everyone is acclimating and working together.  All our best to everyone back home!

“Estamos como queremos”

RMI Guide Mike King

Happy birthday, Dad! (Art)

Posted by: Alice on 1/9/2017 at 8:53 pm

Put up #4 A-sail and surf to Camp 2, boys…sounds spectacular!  Be safe.

Posted by: Jimmy Mac on 1/9/2017 at 4:31 pm


Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Meet at the Arumeru Lodge

Hello Everyone:
This is Casey Grom checking in on RMI’s first 2017 Kilimanjaro Climb and Safari.
All is well here in Tanzania. Most of the team arrived late last night after some very long flights and thankfully so did all of our luggage.
It was a short and uneventful ride to our Lodge that is a little oasis tucked in between Arusha and Moshi and not so far from the base of Kilimanjaro.
The team had a quick but wonderful dinner and called it a night.
Check out our accommodations, the Arumeru Lodge!
Today we had a leisurely morning and had our first official meeting at 10am where we did a round of introductions and then discussed the program for the days ahead.
We spent the remainder of the day getting our gear packed up, exploring the grounds of our Lodge, which is incredibly peaceful and has monkeys and Dik Dik running around.
We wrapped up the evening with another delicious meal and plenty of friendly conversations. Everyone is in good spirits and excited about hitting the trail tomorrow.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and the Kilimanjaro Crew

Great adventure Jeff and Sean! Thank you Maureen for the updates, I will be sure to show Grandma Mac (mom) the photos when I get to the Beach Tomorrow. Truly enjoyable photos all the best Jeff and Sean! Cheers Todd

Posted by: Todd McCroskey on 1/13/2017 at 5:54 pm

Excited for you as we huddle in frigid NYC! Worried that we see no news yet of Tuesday the 10th. Hopefully you are sitting around camp at Machame Camp (9350). Hugs to you all!

Posted by: Sharon Hostler, Fran and Gerry Johnson on 1/10/2017 at 8:14 am


Aconcagua: Tucker & Team Finish Packing, Prepare for Trail

Logistics, logistics logistics! Today was an action packed day in the Andes as our crew assembled and packed gear in preparation for our trek tomorrow. We started the day in Mendoza, gathering our climbing permits and stuffing a van full of duffel bags. In the afternoon we headed for the hills, and unpacked and resorted our loads in the ski town of Penitentes, our launching point for the climb. It’s been a long day, and the team is itching to hit the trail tomorrow. Looking forward to checking in from the Vacas Valley!

RMI Guides Mark Tucker & Pepper Dee

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