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RMI Expeditions Blog

Mt. Elbrus: Northside Team Carries and Acclimatizes to 15K

Another pretty perfect, successful day here in Russia. Sunny, clear skies beckoned us up towards Lenz Rocks, where we will make high camp. The plumes of snow we saw yesterday were still twirling their way our of the col between the east and west summits, but we had only a fresh breeze to face as we made our way up. Everyone climbed really well, hitting their high altitude glacial climbing stride. We left a small cache of food and fuel at Lenz, then opened up our strides and cruised back to camp. We’ll do it again tomorrow if the weather lets us, and move up with our tents and summit gear to get in position for our summit bid. It’s getting close!

Best from the Caucasus,
RMI Guide Pete Van Deventer

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Hope day is your best day yet, oh so close to your goal, prayers continue for the teams safety and good weather.  Josh and Kelly we love you. GMS

Posted by: Sandy Cunningha on 8/9/2017 at 9:40 am

Best of luck everyone in the team!

Sonam, I know how much this means to you and I couldn’t be more prouder of you! Get it done! Can’t wait to celebrate upon your return!

Best regards,


Posted by: Ephrem on 8/8/2017 at 7:00 pm

Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Summit!

Last night at 9:30 pm PST Dave Hahn called from the Kilimanjaro summit! Please click the audio button below to listen to his update from the Roof of Africa.

7:48 am PST
By any measure, this was a big day.  For one thing, it began yesterday.  At 11:30 PM precisely, we woke at 15,200 ft to begin our summit attempt.  The moon was brilliant, high clouds and wind were non-existent… It was the perfect night for climbing.  Our team assembled in the dining tent at midnight to swill coffee and porridge.  By the time we were walking out of camp at 12:30, we’d already sung a few rounds of happy birthday to the 18 year-old twins, Max and Simon.  Philip Mbise, our lead guide, brought the team skillfully, politely, and steadily through a hundred potential traffic jams.  Everybody was out and on the move, but many were having the normal difficulties with the altitude, the terrain and the cold, so by merely keeping our team at a rock-steady “Pole Pole” pace, Philip passed team after team as we worked higher.  Most of us didn’t turn our headlights on until just before the crater rim, when we tore through a moon shadow.  We hit Stella Point -on the rim- at 5:30 AM, still in darkness, but with an enchanting light show going on between imminent daybreak in the east and moon mania in the west.  One hour later… at exactly 6:30, the sun rose and our entire team arrived together at Uhuru… The true summit of Kilimanjaro and Africa.  It was cold, we’d been wearing down jackets for the last few hours to the top, but it was an absolutely magical and beautiful moment.  There, at 19,340 ft, we celebrated those birthdays, the bonds of family and close friendships, and the wonders of the world.  As we watched, a shadow of Kilimanjaro formed in the atmosphere to the West, exactly coinciding with the only landform breaking the surface of the cloud sea, the 16,000-foot pyramid of Mount Meru.  As if that weren’t enough, the full moon sat just above the twin apexes of ethereal and stone summits in the sky.  We took pictures, hugged one another and wandered about wide-eyed and exhilarated.  We left the summit at 7:00 and two hours and fifteen minutes later, this strong team was back in high camp.  We had a grand feast of a brunch, capped off with a birthday cake which was hand delivered to Barafu from Arusha just yesterday.  And then, at 11 AM we skedaddled and headed for Mweka Camp.  Walking in pleasant weather, we reached camp at about 10,000 feet by 2:15 -earning a restful afternoon lounging in our forest camp. 
The shoutouts today go to our own team… All of whom broke their previous altitude records.  Special mention to 14 year-old Ella Green who absolutely crushed the day.  To 16 year-old Zach Ginn, who would have gone on for another 5,000 feet if the mountain hadn’t abruptly ended at 19,340.  To our three 18 year-old brothers… Tyrone Green, Simon and Max Mount each of whom demonstrated uncommon discipline, maturity and good humor on a long tough day. 
The loudest of shoutouts to Philip, to Freddy Kileo, to Gama Samvel, to Naiman Metil, to Venance Vicent, and Said Mwanja for flawless guidance. 

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

RMI Guide Dave Hahn calls in from the Kilimanjaro summit!

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Congratulations! Happy birthday to the twins! Sounds truly amazing! I can’t wait to hear about the details and see the pictures when you return! What a team! I’m so proud of Ella! You guys rock!!

Posted by: Lisa on 8/9/2017 at 4:56 am

Congratulations team Taos!
Fantastic achievement.
Safe journey back down.

Posted by: Deon on 8/9/2017 at 12:19 am

Kilimanjaro: Tucker’s Team Arrives in Tanzania

Just tracked down the last missing bag so the whole team and gear are here.
We are packed and ready to go to Kilimanjaro tomorrow.
Everyone minus one arrived late last night and after a few hours of sleep, we met up for our first meeting and then a session on packing our gear for the next week on the mountain.
We spent the afternoon finalizing the preparation. Tomorrow we will get up at 6am and depart for the mountain around 8am. We have a five-hour climb to get to camp so a busy day ahead. With not a lot of clouds tonight, we watched the lunar eclipse. The weather looks good for now.
All is well with the team.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Thinking of you all as you get started on this amazing climb!

Posted by: Rhonda Bolton on 8/8/2017 at 7:48 am

Happy Birthday Barbara!! We love you and hope you and Ben have a wonderful trip!

Posted by: Christy Ramineni on 8/8/2017 at 7:15 am

Mt. Elbrus: Northside Team Rest Day at Camp 1

It was a rather leisurely day for us here on Elbrus. We slept in until the tents started to approach the right temperature for roasting a Thanksgiving turkey, then dawdled over breakfast. We fixed some blisters, took some naps, and admired our view of the summit above, where plumes of snow spiraled away into the air. Newly made friends of ours pushed for the summit from Camp 1, beginning their push at 12:30 last night, and we felt for them, watching the gusts of wind break over the summit like waves.

At 11:30 it seemed appropriate that we do something before everyone fully embraced the sloth life, so we took our technical gear to the tow of the glacier for a quick climbing skills refresher. The afternoon brought on more napping, a home run derby with a ski pole and rocks, and some playtime with our resident Camp 1 puppy. Our friends came back having successfully reached the easy summit in a long, 14-hour day of climbing. The evening cloud watching had been superb, as large cumulonimbus clouds have blown up in the sky to create fantastical shapes. The evening rain had just started to drum on the tents as I write, but if the pattern we’ve seen means anything, we should wake to clear skies in the morning. We hope to take a trip uphill to Lenz Rocks, putting in a small cache and getting valuable acclimatization time.

All for now,
RMI Guide Pete Van Deventer

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team

Mt. Rainier: Young & Team Summit!

At 6:40 am the Mt. Rainier summit climb team started their descent from the crater rim.  Lead Guide Robby Young reported a smoky haze below the summit but clear skies at the top.  The team is currently working their way back to Camp Muir.

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

Way to go dad !!! (Ryan Swift) You encourage us to do great things. So glad that you and the team made it to the top. Looks like a great view. Congratulations to all.
From William,Nathaniel, Adrina and Heather

Posted by: Heather Swift on 8/7/2017 at 10:02 am

Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team at High Camp Ready for Summit Bid

Karanga Camp was kind to us.  After a calm, full moon night there, we had an easy and pleasant morning above the clouds.  Those that got up in the night even glimpsed the lights of Moshi and other cities shining up from far below.  We left just before 9 AM and made our way up broad and open terrain with the great cliffs and glaciers of Kibo towering overhead.  With little or no vegetation in this alpine zone it was possible to see hundreds of porters, climbers, guides and assorted staff stretching out forever ahead of and behind us. 
We made good time on the relatively easy path and pulled into our 15,200 ft high camp at noon with everybody feeling strong and cheerful.  Barafu Camp is on a rock ridge with grand views of the climb to come and of just about everything else in the universe.  Clouds built up in the afternoon, which we welcomed for giving a little relief from the strong high altitude sunshine.  We ate, and ate, and ate as Tosha Minja, our remarkable chef served up a feast to remember.  We’ll rest a bit now, eat an early supper and turn in early as well.  We’ve got big work to do in the night, a climb to the Roof of Africa... Luckily, we’ve got 11 strong and eager climbers and seven capable and enthusiastic guides to help get the job done. 

Best regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Happy Birthday, Max and Simon. What a memorable way to celebrate your 18th.  Hugs and high 5’s all around.  Grandpa and GrannieAnnie.

Posted by: Grandpa and Annie on 8/8/2017 at 7:54 am

Happy birthday Simon and Max!!!! Miss you guys. Love you lots Simon.

Posted by: Isabelle on 8/7/2017 at 6:05 pm

Mt. Baker: ALA Climb for Clean Air Reaches the Summit!

The American Lung Association’s Climb for Clean Air team reached the summit of Mt. Baker today with 100% success!  RMI Guide Steve Gately reported a great climb and good route conditions. The views were hard to come by to the smoke lingering over Western Washington, but the team had a great time!

Congratulations to today’s team!

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

This was an amazing climb for me and much of it due to the patient, clear instruction, leadership and encouragement from our guides.  They were professional in their teaching and serious about our safety, while maintainig a sense of levity that made the experience unforgettable. And I learned a ton!

Posted by: Alice Alleman on 8/8/2017 at 3:24 am

Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team reach Karanga Camp

Greetings from Karanga Camp. We’ll be spending the night at the same elevation as Wheeler Peak -at 13,161 ft, the highest point in New Mexico (which most of us call home). The day began back in the cold and shady Barranco Valley. We were at the upper edge of the clouds this morning and we got swallowed up by them shortly after our 9 AM departure. There was plenty of anticipation and perhaps a little trepidation at the chance to come to grips with the great Barranco Wall. The team handled the rough and rocky “trail” well, moving safely from ledge to ledge while dodging hundreds of heavily laden, hard charging porters. We spent a fair bit of time simply standing and waiting in line at the various bottlenecks that developed around the dicier moves. But our gang was patient and sure-footed… The perfect mix of traits and talents for getting through the day.  We were cloaked in thick fog for our entire walk beyond the wall. The team never saw the Karanga Valley itself -our last encounter with Lobelias and Senecios. We just knew we were in it by the steep descent and just as steep ascent out the opposite side.  And that put us in a fog shrouded camp at 2 PM where our tents were already up and the table was set for lunch. The afternoon was spent resting.  Some enjoyed the quiet of their tents while others played a laugh-filled Uno tournament with the local guides and waiters. Just before sunset, the clouds dropped away to reveal unreal views of Kibo bathed in golden light. It was one of those magical times when we didn’t know whether to focus on the setting sun, the rising moon or the glowing glaciers above. It all added up to another great day on a mountainside in Africa. 

Today’s shoutouts… TG loves MV… and a long distance happy birthday to my brother Hal. 

Best Regards,
Dave Hahn

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Bravo to the team!  Sounds like my friend Sara is in good hands !  What a fab experience!

Posted by: Andrea Blumberg on 8/7/2017 at 6:57 pm

Hi Lexi girl! This is the best bed time reading.  Even has the whole “can’t wait to see what happens tomorrow” cliffhanger thing going. Pun intended :-)  Sending you positive “you got this” thoughts and lots of sea-level Dallas oxygen :-) Enjoy and be safe Taos Team!! Donia XO

Posted by: Donia on 8/6/2017 at 7:35 pm

Mt. Elbrus: Van Deventer & Team Make the Move to Camp 1

With yesterday’s preview of the terrain between Base Camp and Camp 1, today’s move uphill felt significantly easier to everybody. Everyone commented that it felt like we were walking more slowly, but were covering more ground and trimming time. In short, we were the best looking team on the hill today, in fashion and in climbing style.

Once at Camp 1 we found that available tent sites weren’t as plentiful a we had hoped, with a fair number of climbers here since it is high season. We managed a few spots in our outfitter’s camp, before the guides broke out the rock bar to move a couple big boulders to clear one more. Everyone was excited to see the cook hut and celebrated our successful move with some gluvine. We are psyched to be up above the clouds with some great views. Tomorrow, we will take a rest day after two big days in a row. We’ll refresh some climbing skills and enjoy our new home before focusing on moving higher once again.

RMI Guide Pete Van Deventer & Team

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

It was good to hear you all were the best looking team on the hill; since, it is the first rule of mountain climbing, or so I’ve been told.  Glad the team is feeling strong.  Thanks so much for the updates, the best part of my days!  Keep the father/son team in check, they can be a handful.  Praying for safety, good health, and great weather.

Posted by: Christy Cunningham on 8/6/2017 at 2:41 pm

Mt. Rainier: August 6th Summit!

The Four Day Summit Climb led by RMI Guides Geoff Schellens and JM Gorum were walking onto Columbia Crest, the very top of Mt. Rainier at 6:10am this morning. The team reported warm temperatures, calm winds, and clear skies above the smoke layer that is currently covering the lower elevations of Western Washington. 

Congratulations to today’s team!

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Congratulations team!! Proud of you….

Posted by: Rajan on 8/6/2017 at 8:50 am

Awesome job Ben! Oli and I love you!!

Posted by: Rachel on 8/6/2017 at 7:54 am

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