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RMI Expeditions Blog

Everest Base Camp Trek: Grom & Team Acclimating Day above Pheriche

Hello everyone,

All is well here in the beautiful Khumbu Valley. Today was a scheduled rest/acclimatization day, so we did just that. After breakfast we made a long slow climb up the big hill that’s just behind our tea house. We climbed just up over 16,000ft to help our bodies adjust to the upcoming altitude of BC (base camp). The team did great and thoroughly enjoyed the amazing views in nearly all directions. We could see Makalu in the far off distance which is the world’s seventh highest mountain, as well as countless other huge mountains. It’s very surreal to be higher than anyplace in the continental US and be surrounded by so many big mountains.

We spent the remainder of the afternoon relaxing at the tea house chatting with other trekkers and recovering from our day’s outing.
Most of us took showers again and rewarmed ourselves by the big wood stove that burns dried Yak dung, just as the Sherpa people have done for centuries. We are a little ways above tree line and firewood is scarce, but Yak dung is plentiful.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and a warm crew

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Everest Base Camp Trek: Grom & Team Settle Into Routine, Arrive Pheriche


The team woke to beautifully clear skies and views of Mt. Everest right out our dining room window. We’ve settled into our daily routine of getting up and packing our duffel bags before meeting in the dining room for breakfast and Starbucks coffee thanks to RMI sending it with us. After breakfast we step outside to get a better sense of the temperature before adjusting our layers for the hike. Once on the trail we do our best to maintain a steady pace, with stops every hour or so to stay hydrated and take in the views. There’s plenty of other hikers and yak trains headed in both directions to negotiate as well.

Today we hiked for about 5-6 hrs including breaks and a light lunch to get to our next tea house in Pheriche, which sits at about 14’000ft.
Everyone did great and enjoyed the stunning views of Ama Dablam, one of the iconic peaks along the route to Everest Base Camp.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

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Everest Base Camp Trek: Grom & Team Receive Blessing at the Tengboche Monastery

It was another beautiful day here in the Khumbu Valley, and we had some nice views of Everest. Just above Namche you can see Everest far off in the distance, still about 20-30 miles away. You can also see the fourth highest mountain, Lhotse, and Ama Dablam, which is one of the Himalayan’s most iconic peak.

We hiked for about six hours today up and down, dropping all the way down to a river, which is a stunning turquoise, then climbed slowing up the hill before the famous Tengboche Monastery.

Traditionally we have gotten a blessing from a famous lama in Pangboche, but sadly that lama has moved on to a higher calling. So today we were able to request a private Puja with another lama at Tengboche and each receive a blessing. The Puja is a Buddhist ceremony where the lama ask Buddha to protect and keep us healthy and safe. 

We’ve settled in to a nice and warm tea house called Rivendale that’s full of trekkers from all over the world. Cribbage and good conversations have rounded out the evening and now it’s time for a little rest.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and the blessed crew

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Everest Base Camp Trek: Grom & Team Visit Monastery

Hello again everyone back home

It was another great day here in the Khumbu Valley, with the team waking up to bright beautiful clear skies, and mountains in every direction. We had a nice relaxing breakfast and decided to make the most of our scheduled rest day by hiking a little way to visit a Monastery in Thame that is home to wonderful group of female Tibetan refugees. They apparently escaped over the boarder which is only a few miles away and have made this home like the Sherpa community did some 500+ years ago. When we arrived the nuns where in the monastery reading their Tibetan prayers and happily invited us in to listen. It was very special and we all felt lucky to have been able to share the moment with them. After the prayer session we purchased a few prayer flags and prayer beads to help support them and then made our way back to Namche for lunch.
Then evening was spent exploring Namche and doing a little bargaining for a few gifts. We also found a barber shop of all things and a few of us decided to get a fresh shave and hair wash if you can believe that!
If that wasn’t enough, we ran into one of RMI’s great guides Sean Collon here in Namche. He’s currently in medical school and has been in Nepal for a few months doing some volunteer work with the local community.
Finally we wrapped up the evening with another great meal here at our tea house.

All is well and everyone is doing great.
RMI Guide Casey Grom

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Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Glad to see the trek is experiencing favorable conditions! Great to see my fitness trainer Angel and her husband Dave are on track to check off an item on their bucket list! Onward and upward!

Posted by: Michael Miller on 3/21/2018 at 7:30 pm

Very exciting!  Have the time of your life! Climb every mountain..starting with Everest.

Posted by: Desiree Christensen on 3/21/2018 at 7:54 am

Everest Base Camp Trek: Grom & Team Reach Namche Bazaar

Namaste everyone.

This morning we left our tea house in Phakding and headed up this stunning valley toward Namche Bazaar, which is the largest village in this famous valley. We hit the trail around 8:30 along with quite a few other trekkers.  Everyone did really well on the hike, and no one seemed to mind pausing often for the endless mules and Zokes (cross between a Yak and a cow) carrying loads headed up valley and to basecamp as we made our way down, but mostly up, this rocky trail. It was reasonably busy on the route with trekkers and climbers, but the traffic seem to flow pretty smoothly.
The team crossed a number of high suspension bridges without a problem, but I did notice no one stopped in the middle to take photos. Overall it was a really enjoyable day as we climbed up to just over 11,200’ where Namche sits. It was sunny and beautiful all day and we even managed to spot mighty Everest off in the distance.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

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Everest Base Camp Trek: Grom & Team Fly to Lukla and Begin Trek

Hello from the Khumbu Valley!

We started our day here pretty early, meeting in the hotel lobby at 5am. After checking out of the hotel we had a short ride to the domestic airport where we weighed all of our duffels and backpacks before getting tickets and slipping through a very laid back security check. Normally there’s a little bit of waiting before heading out to the plane, but today things moved along pretty quickly.
The flights to Lukla have a reputation of being a little intimidating and bumpy, but thankfully today’s flight was pretty smooth and uneventful.
It’s about a 30-minute flight in a small 16-passenger twin otter with stunning views of the Himalayas. We landed on the small runway in Lukla that’s only about a quarter mile in length and has a slight uphill angle.
After we touched down, the plane was unloaded and our local Sherpa guides hired a few porters that will be carrying our duffels throughout the trek. We made a brief stop at a local tea house to have breakfast and get situated before hitting the trail.
We hiked for about 4 hours today with few stops to rest and to take in the beautiful scenery. We arrived at our camp for the night in a village called Phakding just in time for a well earned lunch. The team got settled, had naps, or explored a little before walking a short way to one of the many Monastery’s here in the Valley. Luckily for us the Monks were having a prayer session and allowed us to sit in while they chanted and blew their horns. It was very surreal and a wonderful way to start this adventure.

All is well!
RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

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WOWZA!! Looks amazing! Have you helped your uncle Yak?

Posted by: Maiers on 3/18/2018 at 10:31 pm

Looking good! One step at a time!
Any cool rocks? Love Emma

Posted by: Cheryl Tomlinson on 3/18/2018 at 6:19 pm

Everest Base Camp Trek: Grom & Team Arrive in Kathmandu


The team has arrived after some very long and tiring flights . Everyone is doing well after a well deserved night of rest here at the peaceful and appropriately named Yak & Yeti Hotel
We started our day with a nice big buffet breakfast, then had a team meeting to discuss all the gear and review the details of the adventure that we are about to head out on.
After our meeting we went on a brief tour of Kathmandu where we visited the beautiful Monkey Temple, and the famous Boudhanath Stupa.
It’s quite the culture shock visiting this busy city packed with nearly four million people. The streets are packed with people, motorcycles, and cars that honk endlessly.

I’m sure everyone is looking forward to peace and quietness of the Khumbu where we head tomorrow.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

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Keeping you in our thoughts. Good to see you arrived safely. Live in the moment.
Bill and Nancy

Posted by: Nancy Hicks on 3/17/2018 at 7:49 pm

Mexico’s Volcanoes: King & Team Reach Summit of Orizaba

We are all back safely in town after a successful summit of Pico de Orizaba! The entire team stood on top after a long day climbing up the Jamapa Glacier. We had thunder and lightning last night that turned into snow all the way down to the hut. The skies cleared around 12:45 am and we were out the door at 1 on a warm night. The Team is sorting gear for flights home in the morning and looking forward to a good dinner and restful nights sleep. Thanks for following along.

RMI Guide Mike King

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Mexico Volcanoes: King & Team at Piedra Grande Hut

We spent a casual day off in historic Puebla yesterday looking at murals, eating tacos and checking out the local pottery made in the area. There were bands and peaceful protests in the Square, surrounded by beautiful and ornate cathedrals.
This morning we woke early to meet our transport and head to Tlachichuca where we outfitted for Orizaba. Senior Reyes runs a climber’s hostel that is housed in his family’s historic soap factory. The mountain has been covered in clouds and there is some snow flanking the lower slopes. This has been an extremely dry winter for the area and new snow is a welcome sight.
For the remainder of the day we’ll take a short walk up hill to see the Labyrinth, a scree and rock maze of ledges and chutes that makes up the first two hours on our summit day. 

The Team is excited to be here and out of the 4x4 trucks that crawl their way up the dusty roads through corn fields and beautiful pine forests. Hopefully we will be calling in from the summit tomorrow morning. Keep your fingers crossed for good weather and clear skies!

RMI Guide Mike King

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Mexico’s Volcanoes: King & Team Turn Around on Ixta

Today was not going to be our day, because when it snows on Ixtaccihuatl there is apparently thunder and lightning. We spent a few hours at high camp with electrical storms pulsing through, while we held tight yesterday afternoon.  Around 1 am there were clear skies all around and no wind to speak of. After climbing up the ‘knees’ of Ixta we stared out into a developing storm near La Malinche (our day hike from Day 2). watching the storm continue to spread out among the horizon, the guides decided that descending to camp and packing up would be the best call.
Even though we only had 1,500 vertical feet to climb the linear distance was too long to justify staying on the ridge, should the storm pick up steam.

With a slow descent through the ‘knees’ due to frozen scree and snow we arrived back in camp, packed up and headed to the trail head. As with most decisions, there is a moment of regret and asking yourself if you made the right call. Our walk down hill was sunny and bluebird that is until it wasn’t and the billowing dark clouds overtook the summit ridge.

We are headed to Puebla for the evening and tomorrow we will get to explore the historic city center. After a couple nights sleep in nice beds we’ll head out for our Orizaba climb, the third highest peak in North America. While a little disappointed, everyone is glad to not be in an electrical storm and is doing well.

RMI Guides Mike King & Jenny Konway

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