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RMI Expeditions Blog

Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Arrive at High Camp, Prepare for Summit Attempt

Hello everybody, this is Casey Grom checking in again from Kilimanjaro. We woke up to beautiful clear skies again today, which was very, very nice after a bit of rain and snow showers that we got last night. And, to be honest, that has kind of been the trend the last few nights. We’ve been able to get in to camp generally before any little clouds roll in and we’ve been getting some sprinkles and there were some snow in the evening, but we have been waking up to clear skies thankfully every morning. Today we left Karanga Camp which is about 13,200 feet or so and we hiked up to our High Camp, which is called Barafu and sits up at about 15,000 feet. Everybody did fantastic and again, we had super nice weather getting up here shortly after arriving at camp. same thing as the last couple nights, we had clouds roll in and start spitting a little moisture on this, but thankfully our gracious crew already had camp set up and lunch waiting on us so we able to pull in and stay dry and then fill our bellies full of good food up here. We took a little nap and then had dinner and then we also discussed the upcoming game plan for tonight’s climb.  Finally we’re here and ready to do it. So everybody’s all packed up squared away. They know what they got going on and what they’re going to be wearing and bring with them tomorrow. The plan is going to be for us to wake up at 11 p.m.. It’s a little busy up here so we’re going to try to get out ahead of some some of the groups. So we’re going to get up at 11. We’re going to try and hit the trail about midnight or so after a small light breakfast with some porridge, and some maybe some fresh fruit and some toast and obviously plenty of coffee. Then we’ll hopefully be walking uphill at midnight. If all goes well we should be at the summit somewhere between 6 and 8 hours. I’m guessing we’ll be around 7 or so will be ideal and like the last trip. We can all get to get up there to bring the satellite phone and everyone’s going to give a call to their loved ones back home, so if your following the blog and this makes it to the blog before we get to the summit, keep your phone handy again. We should be near this summit somewhere between 7 and 8 o’clock Tanzanian time. So if your phone rings, and you get a funny number, it’s probably a satellite phone and someone is calling from the summit to say they miss you and wish that they had you there with them. Anyway, that’s all for now time to get some sleep, and we’ll check in hopefully from the summit and certainly when we make our way back down. Have a good night.

RMI Guide Casey Grom

RMI Guide Casey Grom checks in from High Camp on Kilimanjaro.

On The Map

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Congratulations to the team for the successful summit. A special congratulations to my amazing duo, my husband Stan and son Conrad. I’m beyond proud of you two both for your accomplishment and for your special bond. Good job guys. Keep going!  Waiting anxiously for your stories and photos.



Posted by: Elena Golovac on 1/28/2018 at 4:30 am

I want to give a big shout-out to my amazing father Randy DeBoer! While most guys retire and take up golf, my pop casually decided to take up mountain climbing and hasn’t looked back since. He always has been and continues to be an inspiration to his family and friends. We love you dad! Can’t wait to hear all about your amazing trip.

Ty, CC and Margot

Posted by: Ty, CC and Margot on 1/27/2018 at 5:22 pm

Mexico Volcanoes: Hailes & Team Ready for Pico de Orizaba Summit in the Morning

Today we departed from the warm showers and soft beds of our Puebla hotel to rough it one last night up high. After a luxurious breakfast at our host Dr. Reyes’ re-purposed home (from an ancient soap factory) followed by a three-hour stomach-churning ride through local farms and a long windy road up to Pico de Orizaba National Park, we settled straight into our camp site for the night, sitting well above the clouds at 14,900ft. Everybody has been working well, setting up camp and prepping meals, but we’re also very grateful for the efforts and support of our local porters and guide, who have been fantastic resources and friends. Burritos and more laughter on the dinner menu, then an early bedtime for us in order to be fully charged to tackle our final objective tomorrow, the roof of Mexico, the Pico de Orizaba.

RMI Guide Jessie Poquerusse & the crew

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Aconcagua: King & Team Rest Day at Base Camp

The Team took advantage of a quiet camp last night and got some good rest and woke energized. We spent the day packing and sorting gear, eating pizza and laughing at funny stories. All in all a very casual day here at Plaza Argentina. Tomorrow the plan is to carry a load up to Camp 1 and then return to base camp. Thanks for the blog comments, the Team really appreciated hearing from family and friends!

RMI Guide Mike King

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Hola Dawn! It looks so pretty and peaceful where you are! Wow you even get pizza and a shower! I hope you are enjoying every minute of this great adventure! ☻-☻ kim

Posted by: Kim on 1/27/2018 at 4:16 am

Steve- Looks beautiful and exciting so far! Wishing you continuing good weather and success as you continue on. Miss and love you.

Posted by: Tania on 1/26/2018 at 9:06 pm

Aconcagua: Tucker & Team Rest Day at Camp 2

Buenos Dias amigos!

Not a whole lot of news to report today. We rested at Camp 2 and went on a small hike around camp. Everyone is fine tuning their kit for our move to Camp 3 tomorrow. Today is our last chill day. Every day from here on out will be go go go till we are back in Mendoza enjoying warm showers. Next time you hear from us we will be getting ready for our summit push.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker and team

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I can feel the excitement building even in Watertown, WI

Posted by: Geri Kuehn on 1/27/2018 at 6:46 am

Mountaineering Training | A Successful Climber’s Perspective on Training for Mt. Rainier

Ady Peterson

I summited Mt. Rainier a few years ago with RMI. I won’t lie to you: it is to date the HARDEST physical challenge I’ve ever taken on (even as a collegiate athlete, and a yoga, barre, and spin instructor). But, I can also tell you, it was COMPLETELY worth it.

And I can tell you what got me to the top: the right preparation.

First of all: STAIRS, stairs, and more stairs. Whether you find them at a local stadium, in your apartment building, or even the stair climber at the gym, stairs are a must (I lived in Seattle when I summited, but I’m in Texas now. I know that you might have to get creative depending on where). Put some weight in your pack (immediately) and just start climbing. You can increase the weight in your pack as you get stronger.

One thing that I wish I had known as I trained on all those stairs is the “Rest Step”. The Rest Step is exactly what it sounds like: you take a step, rest, take another step, rest. Over and over at a quick tempo—rest, step, rest step, rest, step. If you’re not familiar, do a quick search on YouTube for “Rest Step Climb” for a visual. With just a little practice, you’ll have the Rest Step down—it’s a vital technique for conserving energy, and that’s what an endurance climb is really all about.

Which leads me to my next training tip: YOGA. Yoga helped me develop a greater awareness of my breath and lung capacity. When the air gets thin 14,000 feet up and you feel like your lungs are collapsing, you’ll be grateful for your practice breathing deeply and evenly. I was doing yoga about 3 times a week leading up to my climb, and I had very little trouble with altitude.

Speaking of altitude—that’s what breaks new climbers down the most. It shows up as shortness of breath (see above), but also as fatigue and nausea. For these last two, help yourself: pack REAL FOOD—ideally food that you LOVE, so that you’ll be willing to eat, even when you don’t want to (trust me, at times you WON’T want to).

All those goop packs you can get at REI are great, but they’re not meant for 2-4 day adventures. I’m gluten-free and vegan, so I packed dried fruit, trail mix, LARA bars (or homemade date balls! My favorite!), and pre-made quinoa. I also had some rice tortillas. Remember, this is mountain climbing, not a walk in the park—calories are your friends: get a good balance of sugar, carbs, and protein, however works for you. I’ve done quite a bit of hiking, so I had an idea of what go-to foods I’d want on the climb. If you don’t, I’d recommend taking some test-foods out with you on a few hikes or stair workouts, so you can see how your body reacts to certain foods or proportions in the middle of long workouts.

Stairs, Rest-stepping, breathing, and food prep. If you’ve been preparing with marathon runs and Olympic weightlifting, these training methods might sound like small things. But then…“It’s not the mountain ahead that wears you down, it’s the pebble in your shoe.” – Muhammad Ali

Hi! I’m Adrianne. I’ve been an athlete my whole life, starting as a dancer at age seven. Eventually, I danced at the Olympics in Sydney 2000, but after juggling dance and soccer for years, I eventually chose to focus on soccer. Soccer got me a college scholarship, and I played for four years as I earned my degree.  After college, I desperately sought to maintain my sports brain (and body) and soon I discovered yoga. Before I knew it, I’d completed three yoga teacher trainings—I’ve been teaching yoga since 2010! My love for teaching grew exponentially during this time, so I sought other ways to grow as an instructor. That’s how I discovered FlyBarre—on the first class, I was HOOKED! I then began teaching Indoor Cycling at Flywheel in Austin and cannot imagine my life without a coaching aspect to it. 

I summited Mt. Rainier in the midst of all of this and can honestly say it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done and my 3rd most accomplished (after the Olympics and soccer scholarship).  I love the outdoors and anything to keep me out there is always forefront in my mind. I would love to help you on your journey to summit ANY mountain you have your sights on. You can follow me on Instagram @thirtyish_ and check out my blog thirty-ish.com.

Questions? Comments? Share your thoughts here on the RMI Blog!

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Mexico Volcanoes: Hailes & Team Spend the Day in Puebla

Hola from our well deserved rest day in the historic city, and UNESCO world heritage site, of Puebla. While most folks would spend the day meandering the streets and enjoying the local pleasures, this diligent group was practicing their mountain efficiency skills until the very last minute… effectively pressure breathing and rest stepping their way, single file, the way into our local evening dinner venue (photo attached). What a team.

RMI Guide Jessie Poquerusse & the team

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Aconcagua: King & Team at Plaza Argentina

After an early wake up call the Team enjoyed clear views of Aconcagua on a beautiful day to finish the hike to our base camp, Plaza Argentina. We hiked through the scenic Relinchos River Valley while our bodies continued the acclimatization process. Base camp is situated on a large glacial moraine that is covered in scree. The Team is resting after setting up camp and everyone is looking forward to rest day tomorrow. With all the comforts of home except a comfy bed, we’ll sort some gear and food, knock the dust off with a shower and take in the stellar views this place has to offer…rough life.  Thanks for following along.

RMI Guide Mike King

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Enjoying the pictures! Just beautiful!
Enjoy your rest day everyone!
And who doesn’t love a shower!!?!

Posted by: Bubba and Belle on 1/25/2018 at 9:36 pm

Yay team!  Enjoy the beautiful view & the delicious food on your climb.  Aloha

Posted by: Hikari on 1/25/2018 at 5:28 pm

Aconcagua: Tucker & Team Make Their Carry to Camp 3

Today we went higher up the mountain, carrying gear up to Camp 3 at 19,600’. For a few team members this is their new altitude record. After Camp 3, each step will be their new highest and soon will be the whole team’s highest point. The team arrived strong and made good time walking downhill back to Camp 2. The weather cooperated with only a bit of a breeze and a clear sunny sky. In the next day or two we will move up to Camp 3, positioning ourselves for a shot at the summit. For right now, we patiently wait for the water to boil for hot drinks and dinner. Have a lovely evening everyone.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker and team

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Sounds like this is a great climb. Weather has cooperated for the most part. Stay strong!!! Onward and upward. I’m so proud of each and every one of you.

Posted by: Geri Kuehn on 1/25/2018 at 9:12 pm

Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Arrive at Barranco Camp

Hello from Barranco Camp located at 12,800’ on Kilimanjaro.  We left Shira camp and slowly climbed uphill before we started our traverse over to Barranco Valley across the volcanic plateau and just below the remaining glaciers that cling to Kilimanjaro’s slopes, which sadly we didn’t get to see up close, but there’s always tomorrow!
As we approached camp we were all amazed to the giant Groundsels and famous Senecio trees that look like something out of a Dr. Suess book and were relieved to be at camp after about five hours of hiking.
Everyone is doing very well and are looking forward to tomorrow’s climb up the Barranco wall which sits just above camp. 

RMI Guide Casey Grom

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Hi daddy just wanted to say I’m so beyond proud of you. Miss you terribly tho and can’t wait for you to be home safe!!


Posted by: Maggie on 1/27/2018 at 8:29 pm

Hi Conrad and Stanley! So happy for both of you and am loving following these daily updates. I love and miss you, Conrad! Cannot wait to see the photos.

Posted by: Ali on 1/25/2018 at 4:31 pm

Mexico’s Volcanoes: Hailes & Team Summit Ixtaccihuatl

Wednesday, January 24, 2018
Todos han cumbreado (everybody summited)! The group was a bit apprehensive last night as the clouds were dancing in and around camp, but we woke up at 1am to mostly clear skies and made our bid for the top of Ixtaccihuatl in 6mph, -4C weather - doesn’t get much better than that. The sun rose right as we began our final ascent stretch, shedding dramatic light on the Martian like landscape with Popocateptl puffing volcanic smoke in the background. We all celebrated on top under the sun and above a thick undercast. Upon return to high camp we swiftly packed up and made our way back down in a graupel storm before reaching our van, celebrating (again) over beers and sandwiches, and making the drive to our hot showers and warm food in Puebla.

Tired and happy,
RMI Guides Jessie, Walter & the team

On The Map

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