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RMI Expeditions Blog

Mt.Elbrus: North Side Teams Gets to Work at Base Camp

With little to do today besides organize our gear for the next leg of our adventure, we might have wondered how we would occupy ourselves for a day in Base Camp. The Cunninghams took care of that worry, organizing a barn raising of sorts to build a hut that our outfitter has been meaning to put together. With furring strips, floor boards, and siding located, we went to work, only slightly hampered by dodgy extension cords that didn’t always provide enough power from the generator to run a drill. The activity kept everyone occupied, and just as we put up the last siding on the walls and were considering the roof, the clouds moved over and the rain started falling.

We’ve been resting in tents, staying dry since. Chances are this storm quits soon, as each one has throughout our expedition, and we’ll enjoy a last night in base camp before returning to Kislovodsk early tomorrow. From there it will be in to St. Petersburg and the finale of our trip. We’re looking forwards to showers and Shashlik (the local barbeque) tomorrow.

From Russia with love,

RMI Guides Pete Van Deventer, Mike Uchal, and team

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

These updates have been great!
Good to see that the Cunninghams are doing well. Take care all, and prayers for a safe return.

Posted by: Deb Thummel on 8/13/2017 at 6:18 pm

Congratulations on a great Summit and teamwork in basecamp! Enjoy the rest of your journey and celebrate a great climb.
All good at home but look forward to Lee’s return home!!  Love Ya!

Posted by: Diann on 8/12/2017 at 8:14 pm

Mt. Rainier: Four Day Summit Climb Teams Unable to Summit

The Four Day Summit Climb teams August 9-12, were unable to reach the summit of Mt. Rainier this morning due to route conditions.  The teams will return to Camp Muir and repack before continuing down to Paradise later today.

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Hello Tim,
I am sure it has to be such an amazing adventure!!!
So very proud of you for making the effort. Proud of the leaders and all team members.
There’s always another day!!!
Look forward to hearing all about it!

Mom and dad

Posted by: Pam on 8/13/2017 at 2:26 pm

Congratulations Erika and company!  WOW!  This is an amazing accomplishment.  I know it is not the top but the journey to get where you have gotten is something to be proud of. It is always good to work with mother nature and appreciate her messages. I am glad you all listen to that, to climb another day.

To future journeys.

Posted by: Darcy on 8/12/2017 at 5:49 pm

Kilimanjaro: Tucker & Team Arrive at High Camp

We have just pulled into high camp, Barafu Camp, located at 15,000’ on Kilimanjaro. Our tent sites are on the low side of camp so I’m calling the elevation 14,900’. We have been moving as one cohesive unit which will make the climb tonight go really smooth.
There are a few clouds around making for good pictures and still allowing great views of the upper mountain.
We are up here with plenty of time to rest, fuel up and prepare for the summit push ahead tonight. Repacking our gear and making high calorie lunches in between naps is in store for us. The team is in great shape and we are all fired up and ready for our summit attempt.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Grandma Barbara, so proud of your successful climb. Love you.

Posted by: Meryl on 8/12/2017 at 10:35 am

Yay! We love you! Enjoy the view from the top.

Posted by: Haley on 8/12/2017 at 10:35 am

Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Game View in the Ngorongoro Crater/Caldera

Even on vacation, it was worth getting up early today to get over to Ngorongoro Crater.  We left Plantation Lodge at 7 AM and were up on the crater rim just 90 minutes later.  It was cold, cloudy and windy, but we figured things would be a little more user friendly down in the “crater”.  Technically, it is a caldera… not a crater.  And animals like a good caldera, apparently.
We got down inside and the weather was indeed better, but it never got exactly “good”.  We wore jackets and sweaters (which is par for the course at 7000 ft) but we still opened up the top of our Landcruiser and rolled down the windows.  Immediately, we encountered zebras, and then more zebras.  Wildebeest and then more wildebeest, Cape buffalo by the dozen, Kori bustards and Secretary Birds and ostriches.  And then we saw lions.  Four big fully maned males lounging about and one female who seemed a bit more restless.  We watched hippos doing what hippos do (not much) some more lions, hyenas, jackals, elephants, eagles, vultures and several flavors of gazelle.  We saw tons of animals and kept constant watch out for more.  We came up empty in our rhino search, but that happens.  Not many of them left to see in Tanzania.  Adamson and Makubi, our extremely knowledgeable driver/guides took us all over the crater/caldera.  We climbed back up the steep walls around 4 PM with most everybody a bit sleepy.  Which worked out fine because we were back frolicking in the swimming pool and sipping coldies by 5 at the Plantation Lodge. 
We’ll be well rested and ready for another deluxe safari day tomorrow. 

Best Regards
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

Still enjoying every moment of this marvelous adventure! Thank you for sharing.    BIG HUGS

Posted by: Yolanda Deveaux on 8/11/2017 at 6:34 pm

Mt. Shuksan: Walter & Team on Summit!

RMI Guides Mike Walter & Sean Collon lead their team to the summit of Mt. Shuksan this morning. Skies are smoky in the North Cascades but the climbers were above it all.
They will return to camp for a final night in the mountains before completing their program tomorrow.

Congratulations to today’s climbers!

Leave a Comment For the Team

Mt. Elbrus: North Side Team Descends to Base Camp

Yesterday’s long day let everyone find some hard sleep through the night. The sun rises early this far north though, and by 7, we were all out of our tents working on breakfast. When we get to cache loads above throughout trips, our descents often get heavy. We took several meals up high in case of weather days, but with our perfect weather, we didn’t use them. That made for some larger loads on the descent, but since we only had to walk downhill for a few hours, everyone doubled down and got the job done. By just after noon, we were in Base Camp, with tents set up, and a fast moving, rapidly darkening cloud approaching. We popped up tents, and then sure of our homes, set about to enjoying the low altitudes and green grass. We started an energetic volley ball game, Russia v. US. in the end we really aren’t sure who won, as each team had bright spots, but the approaching rain forced a draw.

As we understand it right now, it is high tourist season in the Caucasus, and there are not hotel rooms available tomorrow on short notice, so we will spend one more day at Base Camp, and them make our way to Kislovodsk. It’s really not that bad a deal since we are in a beautiful valley with hiking, volley ball, and springs that out forth sparkling water naturally.

For now, we are happy to listen to the sheep baa, the shepherds whistle, and enjoy each other’s company after a very successful climb.

RMI Guides Pete Van Deventer, Mike Uchal, and team

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Kelly and Josh,
You guys are using your carpentry skills, so remember that GMS needs a picture hung!
Love you guys, and so glad the team had such a great mountain top experience.
See you soon.

Posted by: Sandy Cunningham on 8/12/2017 at 10:59 am

Congratulation everyone!.. Enjoyed following each day.

Posted by: Stacy on 8/12/2017 at 7:40 am

Mt. Rainier: Four Day Summit Climbs Reach the Summit!

RMI Guides Geoff Schellens and Mike King lead their teams to the summit of Mt. Rainier this morning. After enjoying some time in the crater they started their descent to Camp Muir.  They will take a short rest and then continue down to Paradise.

Congratulations to today’s Summit Climbers!

Leave a Comment For the Team

Kilimanjaro: Tucker & Team Climb Barranco Wall, Ascend to Karanga Camp

The group is doing great after a strong showing on the trail today. We are at Karanga Valley which sits at 13,100’ and is our last stop before Kilimanjaro’s High Camp.
We tackled the Barranco Wall this morning and had a very smooth ascent up the steep slopes. When we were about 2/3 of the way up we could look back down on last night’s camp which looked like a camp for ants. The rest of the way felt like it was a dance off with a bunch of ups and downs.
A few clouds made for very comfortable climbing conditions and a picturesque setting. No sooner did we arrive to camp than a two minute rain shower began, luckily we had our tents for shelterr and more big mountain story when we get home.
We’re all relaxing now before dinner and tomorrow we head up to Barafu camp at 15,000’.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Absolutely wonderful to be able to see where your team is. Hello and love to Jen Girard and Geoff Melrose.

Posted by: Brenda on 8/12/2017 at 10:46 am

Very exciting!! Wishing you all a successful climb to the top!

Posted by: Wendy on 8/12/2017 at 3:49 am

Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Safari at Lake Manyara National Park

A day after the big and arduous week on Kilimanjaro, nobody in our team had the slightest trouble rallying for the Safari departure this morning.  We were driving westward just before 8 AM in two souped up and modified Toyota Landcruisers.  Rush hour traffic on the outskirts of Arusha fascinated us, but we were plenty happy to leave it behind and break into open country for a couple of hours.  Lake Manyara National Park was today’s destination.  At first, we stopped for every velvet monkey and baboon, but we gradually grew more demanding and Manyara kept delivering.  We were in game viewing heaven by midday with Cape Buffalo, hippos, thousands of storks and pelicans, zebras, warthogs and wildebeest roaming the lake’s edge.  The forest elephants we saw up close and personal delighted us to no end.  In late afternoon, just when eyelids were beginning to droop and the cruisers were pointed toward the park exit… we had an impromptu and unexpected encounter with a leopard.  Our eyes widened, his/her eyes widened, our cameras clicked and the beautiful cat came toward us and crossed the road in full view for just a magical moment.  The big kitty melted into the brush and we went on our way… amazed at our good fortune.  We drove up the escarpment of the Great Rift Valley (which we learned runs 10,000 kilometers from Jordan to Mozambique) and found our way to the Plantation Lodge.  The perfectly tended gardens, luxurious accommodations, and welcoming staff caused more than one Taoseño to contemplate staying indefinitely in East Africa.  We’ll tear ourselves away for a day in Ngorongoro Crater tomorrow though… luxury can wait. 

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

Thank for the continued updates! Sounds like Team Taos is having a great time. Cementing great friendships!! Thinking of you all !! Take care!

Posted by: Sarah's Mom & Dad on 8/11/2017 at 8:22 am

Mt. Rainier: Four Day Climb Reaches the Summit

RMI Guides Casey Grom and JM Gorum led their teams to the Mt. Rainier summit this morning.  It was clear on top with some smoky air, due to the British Columbia wildfires, on the lower flanks of the mountain.  The team is making great progress on their descent back to Camp Muir.

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)


Posted by: LaDawna C on 8/10/2017 at 1:27 pm

Wow!  Am anxious to hear lots more details when you get back
Mama P

Posted by: Betsy Mosser on 8/10/2017 at 11:47 am

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