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RMI Expeditions Blog


Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Celebrate at the Dik Dik

While it wasn’t a summit day, this one seemed just as valuable for us… Coming to the end of the trail -safe and sound. 

We woke in Mweka Camp under -or perhaps in- the sea of clouds we’d been noticing so far below all week long.  All were impressed with the quality of a 10,000 ft night of sleep.  Breakfast involved a fair bit of laughter… all of the tension and worry over making the top is gone.  We emerged to a couple of great and friendly songs by our 47 man staff, complete with dancing.  We each then shook hands with every porter, cook, tent-builder, guide, and waiter and passed on well-earned gratuities to all.  Then we got packs on again and rambled down the trail.  At first it was easy walking… But eventually it was steep and slick and we went “pole pole” (slow) to avoid getting down in the dirt.  Meanwhile, a constant stream of porters (ours and many from other teams) came screaming down the trail with forty-four pound loads balanced on their heads.  When they hit the slick spots, they just went faster, yelling “jambo” as they passed.  We transitioned quickly from heather to trees, to giant camphor trees to jungle.  By midday we’d reached the Mweka Gate where we happily boarded the truck/bus and got rolling down the road.  Halfway back along the highway, we stopped for a typically wonderful Dik Dik catered lunch.  All were quite relaxed and content by then… But quite filthy.  This was remedied soon after we got back to our hotel.  The team was unrecognizable -in a good way- when we got back together for a victory dinner.  We made toasts to a great climb and to the upcoming safari.  Desert was occasion for celebrating Tom and Deborah’s wedding anniversary.  Onward. 

Best Regards,

RMI Guide Dave Hahn

GROUSE job Brian!! I was following the blog, the photos look so good! Hope you got to play spades with your tent mates haha :)
Enjoy the rest of your trip.
Love from down under. Renee.

Posted by: Renee (Australia) on 8/29/2016 at 3:27 pm

What a well deserved celebration for all staffers, guides, and climbers!  Enjoy your meals, showers, beds, and the upcoming safari.

Posted by: Jen Potter (Jason's Sister) on 8/29/2016 at 2:59 pm


Mt. Rainier: August 29th Summit!

The Four Day Summit Climb led by RMI Guides Brent Okita and Nick Hunt reached the summit of Mt. Rainier early this morning. Brent reported 45 mph winds on the top. The team has started their descent and are en route back to Camp Muir.

Congratulations to today’s team!

Wow Sean!!!  We are so proud of you and your team!  Our view doesn’t sound so fabulous any more!  Dad and I can’t wait to see details and see pictures!!!  We love you!  Mom

Posted by: Carol Payne on 8/29/2016 at 3:47 pm

I am so proud of the whole group!!!!! You should be proud of your hard work!!!  I bet it was easier to go down the mountain.  Brian…words can’t say how proud I am of you!!! God bless this great group, always.

Mom Janz

Posted by: MOM JANZ on 8/29/2016 at 12:52 pm


Mt. Baker: Blais & Team Return to Camp

This is Zeb Blais and team checking in from Mount Baker. We had a pretty tough day today. We started out looking at the North Ridge Route. Due to route difficulties and an impending poor weather forecast, we decided to bail on climbing that route. We shifted our focus to the Coleman-Deming and after a long day of climbing, we got back to camp just a few minutes ago. It was a great climb and we only got rained on for a few minutes. We are back in our tents now waiting out some weather. Our plan is to pack up and head out tomorrow morning. That’s all for now.

RMI Guide Zeb Blais


RMI Guide Zeb Blais calls in from Mt. Baker.

OK, so you adjusted to weather conditions; I like that! Keep on trekking boys (on your nature bird walk!)!

Posted by: Patti on 8/28/2016 at 7:23 pm


Mt. Rainier: Pattison Leads His Team to the Summit

The Five Day Summit Climb, led by RMI Guide Sid Pattison, made a successful ascent to the summit of Mt. Rainier early this morning. As they stood on the crater of this mighty volcano, the climbers found themselves in a cloud cap with strong winds. Around 8:30 AM, they were initiating their descent.

Congratulations to all of the team members!

Congratulations Peter and your climbing team on achieving your goal of summiting Mt. Rainier. !!
Mom and Dad.

Posted by: Mary Beth Torosian on 8/29/2016 at 6:23 pm

Congratulations Ben and Mary Jo!!!  I watched the weather and was worried you wouldn’t make it because of the winds.  So glad you did!  Can’t wait to hear your stories! -Mom

Posted by: Kim Rasmussen on 8/28/2016 at 7:40 pm


Mt. Rainier: Four Day Climb Summits!

RMI Guide Eric Frank and his Four-Day Summit Climb team reached the top of Mt. Rainier this morning.  A cloud cap enveloped the summit bringing some strong winds upon the team but everyone persevered and are well on their way back to Camp Muir.

Congratulations to today’s summit climb team!

Sean! Hope this was your group…  Congratulations!

Posted by: Jeff Vanderver on 8/29/2016 at 8:38 am

Sean, I am not sure which is your climb but, if this is your team, congratulations fro Dad and me!  We are so proud of you and cant wait to see pictures and hear about it!  Love you!  Mom

Posted by: Carol Payne on 8/28/2016 at 8:02 pm


Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Summit!

Summit Day!  We had flat-out perfect weather for it, which is only what we would have expected after the past five splendid days.  The pattern held… Sea of clouds far below, nothing whatsoever up high. 
We were up at 11:30 and on the trail by 12:50 AM.  By about 4 AM, we were wearing nearly everything we had.  Although it was calm and clear, it was also COLD.  Those of the team that looked up saw a snake of headlights working up Kibo, a fair number of shooting stars, the International Space Station, constellations and a crescent moon forming a smile on the horizon.  Those that looked down saw a whole lot of trudging steps for the seven hours and ten minutes it took us to hit Uhuru… the highest point of Kibo, of Kilimanjaro, and of Africa.  Sunrise caught us just before we reached the crater rim and was welcome for its beauty, but even more for its warmth.  We spent about 25 happy minutes on top and got moving downward just before 8:30.  The mountain was busy -as always- but we had no trouble with traffic jams on either the climb or descent.  We were back to Barafu by 11:05 AM and sitting at the lunch table soon afterward.  Then, much as we’d have enjoyed a good nap, it was time to pack and get out of Barafu.  The team made good time on tricky trails and reached Mweka Camp by 4:15PM, having gotten rid of another 5,000 vertical feet in the process.  We are back in tall heather after a couple of days in the alpine zone.  All are figuring they’ve got a good chance of overcoming jet lag and altitude tonight to get a full night of well-earned sleep. 

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

How much time do your clients spend getting used to the altitude, before they can handle 20,000’?

Posted by: harold hahn on 8/29/2016 at 2:10 pm

Bravo pour cette belle expédition, l’atteinte du sommet et le plaisir de le faire. Nous avons bien hâte d’entendre le récit de vive voix

Posted by: Roger Brosseau on 8/29/2016 at 10:19 am


Mt. Baker: Blais & Team Check In from Hogsback Camp

This is Zeb Blais and team checking in from our first camp on Mount Baker. We’re gearing up to do a little training this afternoon, and then tuck in early to get to bed. We will make our summit push on the North Ridge tomorrow. We’re crossing our fingers, hoping that the weather is going to hold out for us. If not, we have some great fall back plans, but until then we’re doing some training and resting up.

RMI Guide Zeb Blais


RMI Guide Zeb Blais calls in from Hogsback Camp, Mt. Baker.

Hope you all had an amazing adventure!

Posted by: Lilli and John on 8/28/2016 at 10:55 am

So excited for you guys… hit that summit and BANG! (In the words of Jay Wright!)

Posted by: Megan on 8/28/2016 at 10:52 am


Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Arrive At High Camp

Yet another day of perfect weather.  Morning down at Karanga Camp was easy and pleasant with strong sunshine and no wind.  There is still a sea of cloud down below us, but that has just become the normal way of things.  At breakfast, we talked of the incredible night skies we’ve been experiencing.  The Milky Way, the planets, the Southern Cross and a thousand other constellations have been taking advantage of the moon’s absence.  The bulk of Kibo has been glowing brilliantly just in starlight. 
We got out of Karanga at 8:45 AM and cruised into 15,200 ft Barafu Camp by noon.  The entire group is moving well and strong.  We practiced walking and breathing techniques along the way that ought to save us energy on the climb early tomorrow.  It was a quiet afternoon of eating, drinking, resting and prepping for the ascent.  Freddy, Tadey, Filbert, Wendelin and Ayumi… our guides, stopped in after lunch to make sure everybody was feeling good about the challenges that lie ahead.  We’ll be up at 11:30 PM and eating “breakfast” at midnight.  Big day tomorrow. 

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

The Summit awaits…hope you can sleep!  You must be up there by now…what a triumphant journey for you, Deborah.  Be strong, rest step, drink it all in!  Congrats sister xo

Posted by: Susan Finzel-Aldred on 8/27/2016 at 5:49 pm

Brian, the night sky must be beautiful from up there! Enjoy your awesome climb! Love you!

Posted by: Marilyn Palmer (Brian's mom) on 8/27/2016 at 3:55 pm


Mt. Rainier: Four Day Summit Climb Team on Top!

The Four Day Summit Climb August 24 - 27, 2016 led by RMI Guides Casey Grom, Jess Matthews and Blake Votilla reached the crater rim of Mt. Rainier just before 7 am this morning.  They reported nice climbing and sunshine with winds and chilly temperatures. 

Way to go!

Way to go, Joe!

Posted by: Rick on 8/27/2016 at 8:52 am

OMG!!  On top of the World, Stephen!  Congratulations to you AND the team!

Posted by: Diane Roberts on 8/27/2016 at 7:24 am


Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Ascend the Barranco Wall

Today wasn’t a big day, but it was a scenic one.  Sunrise down in the cool Barranco Valley was welcome, for sure.  We got a leisurely 9AM start at walking, which allowed a couple hundred porters to get onto the narrow ledges of the Barranco Wall before us, just as we’d hoped.  Plenty still needed to pass us as we reached for rock handholds and stemmed from precarious stances, but that all worked out fine.  We marveled that the tricky moves we were making could be made easily by men carrying loads balanced on their heads.  It took us about an hour and a half to get fully up the wall and all agreed it had been the funnest part of the climb, so far.  We had weather nearly identical to yesterday’s for the first half of things…blue skies above and sea of clouds below.  This allowed for uninterrupted views of Kibo’s Southern glaciers and ice fields above us as we traversed eastward.  Finally we had the abrupt gorge of the Karanga Valley to drop into and climb steeply out of in order to reach camp.  We pulled in a little after 1 PM, in time for a hot and wholesome spaghetti lunch and some quality rest as things clouded up for the afternoon.  It seems like time has flown by as we are now talking about being at high camp tomorrow and off on a summit bid quite soon afterward.  One step at a time though… First we’ll make the most of this final night at the civilized altitude of 13,100 ft. 

Best Regards
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

Wow! It looks like u guys r almost at the highest point! Keep going friends!!! We love and miss u!
Warriorrrrrrrs

Posted by: Solmaz & Calli on 8/26/2016 at 9:08 pm

The wall climb sounds like a blast!  Everyday is a great adventure.  Continue to enjoy each moment.

Posted by: Jen (Jason's sister) on 8/26/2016 at 2:14 pm

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