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RMI Expeditions Blog

Mountaineering Training | Building a Training Community

There are few elite athletes in the world who train alone. They have a community of other athletes and coaches that are there alongside them for much of their training. It’s difficult to quantify the motivational role that that community provides, but needless to say, it is a huge part of athletes’ success. How often after a big event do we hear someone thank their coaches, their partners, and their teammates. Whether it’s a teammate suffering alongside you or a coach challenging you to do one more, we train better when we have a community.

Many of us don’t though. Whether a result of where we live, the hours of the day that are available for us to train, not knowing any like-minded athletes that are working towards similar goals, many of us train in a vacuum relying solely on the motivation that we can conjure up. That motivation for most of us is incredible. Year after year, we climb with thousands of climbers who have performed monumental feats of training with only a voice in the back of their head as motivation and that is inspirational. Could it be easier though, could it be more effective? Absolutely.

The interconnectedness of our lives with the Internet can be a really strong tool. While we might not have a training partner physically there with us, we can see what they’ve done, look at their stats, maps, and efforts, and use that to motivate and challenge ourselves. When we post that back to the community, our effort can serve as someone else’s motivation, and as a group, we all train harder, smarter, better, and show up fitter and ready to climb. 

As an attempt towards creating this sort of community around us as climbers, we’ve created a club on Strava that we invite everyone to join. You can find it at https://www.strava.com/clubs/rmiexpeditions. Post your workouts, peruse those of others to gain inspiration, and have discussions about training plans and ideas. We accomplish some amazing feats, and we also all go through dark days in our training when things don’t seem to be going right. Let’s let this community strengthen us. As such, let’s keep our conversations positive and constructive. For some, it may be intimidating to post their workout in an open environment like this, but realize that inspiration from your workout may be just what someone else needs to take a step up in their training.

Get motivated, have some fun, and enjoy some friendly challenges. We’re excited to see what everyone is up to!
Questions? Comments? Check out the RMIExpeditions Club on Strava and share your thoughts there or here, on the RMI Blog!

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Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Arrive in First Camp

At exactly 8 AM -the targeted departure time- we left the Arumeru River Lodge and drove East.  We did some people watching from our bus as we cruised the 90 minutes to the Machame Gate of Kilimanjaro National Park.  That had to suffice since we had no views of the mountain.  It was a solid carpet of cloud making things a bit gray, but we focused on the close-in views as we drove through a few changing vegetation levels getting to the 6,000foott elevation of the gate.  As usual, it took a bit of time getting checked in and registered with the Park, but we finally got to the good part -the walking- by 10:50 AM.  We set out in a big forest of moss covered trees.  The trail was pleasantly dry and fine for walking -since I’d warned the team that it would be slimy and muddy.  We gained elevation steadily as the hours went by.  The team did admirably and walked well, but all were quite impressed with porters zipping by at twice our speed with heavy loads balanced on their heads.  The gang was also impressed to come into a fully built, comfortable camp in the giant heather at 10,000 ft.  Our local staff of fifty porters, camp builders, cooks and guides had been busy.  We made it up in five hours and twenty minutes, surely a new world’s record, which we celebrated with afternoon tea and then a dinner and story-telling session in our dining tent.  There were many comments of surprise that Tosha, our head cook, could have produced such a great meal, so quickly, so far up a volcano.
Rain sprinkles began intermittently just after we reached camp but of course that didn’t bother anybody.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

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Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Getting Going

Our Kilimanjaro team of ten climbers and one guide showed up ready to get ready this morning.  We met at 9 AM to introduce ourselves, and to review strategies, itineraries, policies.  In short order, we’d completed equipment checks, weigh-ins for loaded bags, and general preparations for hitting the trail.  This left team members with plenty of time for relaxing away the afternoon and chipping away at the evil jet lag.  Most ended up wandering the park-like grounds of our hotel and checking out the wildlife.  There were dik diks aplenty -the smallest of the antelope family.  There were velvet monkeys and small gangs of mongooses.  Occasionally we’d venture up the hotel’s Kilimanjaro observation tower, but the mountain never showed itself on this otherwise cloud free, blue sky day.  Too much haze and smoke toward the horizons.  We had a quiet and fine dinner and turned in excited for the coming day.  We get to walk uphill in a beautiful national park tomorrow. 

Best regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

It’s exciting to see you begin this wonderful journey! We’re looking forward to your progress each day. This is a great adventure!
Jim and Travis

Posted by: Jim Reid on 9/19/2017 at 7:48 pm

We are so excited to be able to follow along on your adventures, Lynn and Patrick! We hope you enjoy the experience to it’s fullest. Safe journey! We love you. Sarah and family xxx

Posted by: Sarah Beatty on 9/19/2017 at 9:10 am

Mt. Rainier: Teams Unable to Summit Due to Stormy Weather

The Mt. Rainier Summit Climb team, led by Brent Okita and Jess Matthews, called from Camp Muir. High winds, blowing snow and poor visibility kept the team at Camp Muir. The team began their descent at 8:45 a.m. and will be back to Rainier Basecamp around 1:00 this afternoon.

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Mt. Rainier: September 17th Summit!

The Four Day Summit Climb led by RMI Guides Casey Grom and Solveig Waterfall reached the summit of Mt. Rainier early this morning. The team climbed into a cap with some light precipitation and winds of about 15 - 20 mph. They spent a short time on top before starting their descent.

Congratulations to today’s team!

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Mt. Rainier: Okita, Bond & Teams Reach the Summit!

Our Four Day Summit Climb September 13 - 16 reached the summit of Mt. Rainier this morning.  RMI Guides Brent Okita and Andy Bond led their teams to the crater on a clear and windless day.  The teams will enjoy the views from the top before returning to Camp Muir and then continuing their descent to Paradise.

Congratulations to today’s climbers!

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Andy, Alan and Joe were great! They worked hard to ensure the safety our group and went above and beyond at every level to make this a memorable experience. Being my first time climbing a mountain I had very high expectations of the experience. Amazingly, the actual event wildly exceeded those expectations. This had a lot to do with the professionalism, experience and competency level of our guide team, led by Andy. They made this an exceptional learning experience and can’t wait to get back up to the mountain with them. Thanks to our guides and RMI!

Posted by: Jesse Hutton on 9/18/2017 at 10:38 am

Andy and Brent…and the entire RMI team were fantastic in bringing a group to the top who came down with great memories and many new friends.  Memories for a lifetime.  Thanks guys.

Posted by: Eric Muller on 9/17/2017 at 11:42 am

Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team End Their Adventure in Tanzania

Our Safari and Kilimanjaro adventure came to an end today.  But not with a whimper… it went out like a lion.  And coincidentally with lions, as it turned out.  We were up for an early start with great help from the friendly staff at Balloon Camp.  Setting off in our Landcruisers, we hadn’t gone more than a few hundred feet before seeing fresh tracks from lions and elephants in the dirt road.  When we got to the actual wildlife: Cape buffalo, (barking) zebras, wildebeest, hartebeest, eland… we were interested to see that their behavior was markedly different in early morning than what we’d seen during midday.  Our excellent naturalist/drivers Edson Kahangi and Juma Msangi explained that all the critters had been up in the hills hiding from predators in the night but were now a little desperate and nervous to get down to the watering holes and streams again.  We eventually saw why… the predators were well represented down there.  We saw a big mom cheetah and a cub having fun with each other and making a game of chasing Impalas.  We saw a big burly male lion striding proudly over for a drink while all other animals sprinted away.  We saw a lioness and her two cubs up in a tree for a snooze… nearby, a hundred vultures were cleaning up whatever the lions had breakfasted on.  And then it was time for us to flee all the predators too.  We had to get on the highway again, back toward Arusha.  We made a final stop at the cultural center to make a few more purchases (Maasai blankets were a big hit) and peruse the great art museum, then it was on to the Arumeru River Lodge.  We showered and repacked and had one last team dinner before most of the gang headed for the airport and ultimately home.  We seem destined for reunions and future trips together… reliving the wild time we had way out in Tanzania.  We made a pretty good team.  Thanks for following along. 
I’m going to snooze for a day and then start it all up again with another group.  Our last Kilimanjaro climb of the season.

Best Regards
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

For Dave Hahn;

I cannot tell you how much we appreciate reading your daily blog. It’s the next best thing to being right there with you.You look like you had the benefit of a fabulous support team. I’m sure that our daughter Naomi will have plenty more to relate when she gets home. Right now she is in Amsterdam for a few days respite. Get some rest! Thanks again.

Howard & Gene Katz

Posted by: Howard Katz on 9/15/2017 at 3:24 pm

Blessings on all of you as you depart home. Dave, thanks for the updates and for taking good care of our loved ones. Nao, have fun on the rest of your journey. Can’t wait to see you. Hugs

Posted by: Claudia on 9/15/2017 at 1:24 pm

Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team tour Maasai Village and Explore Tarangire National Park

We began the day with a “so long” to Cory, who headed off -as planned- to compete in a marathon down in Capetown.  Then we set out from the delightful Plantation Lodge for our next Safari destination: Tarangire National Park.  Along the way, we toured a traditional Maasai village, watching tribe members dance and build fire and asking a lot of questions along the way about how the Maasai are able to hang on to their traditional ways in a modern world.  We entered Tarangire just after noon and within just a few minutes were seeing Impala, Zebra, and Wildebeest in numbers difficult to keep track of.  We saw great elephants and giraffes in the immense park and a few lions here and there, but for certain the highlights came close to the end of the day when we saw seven lion cubs playing and napping together while their mom/babysitter lounged nearby.  And that prepared us for the final sighting -a leopard napping in a tree with a freshly killed Impala stored in the crook of the same tree.  He/she didn’t pay much attention to us, but we payed plenty of attention to such a beautiful and formidable animal.  A few short minutes later we drove into Balloon Camp, our safari hotel.  Tonight we are back in tents, but more correctly they are tent-cabins and quite comfortable ones at that.  The staff put on a fine barbecue for our team, out under the stars near the swimming pool.  While dining, we could still hear nearby elephants trumpeting.  Just one more day to go, hard to imagine though that it will surpass today. 

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

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Mt. Rainier: Expedition Skills Seminar - Muir Summit!

The Expedition Skills Seminar - Muir Team led by RMI Guides Elias deAndres Martos and Christina Dale reached the summit of Mt. Rainier today!  Elias reported great climbing with clear skies, and cool fall temperatures. The team has spent their week on the mountain learning alpine mountaineering skills. They will finish out their week of training before descending tomorrow afternoon.

Congratulations to today’s Team!

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Nice work!!! What an amazing photo!

Posted by: Amy Sherman on 9/15/2017 at 9:13 am

Hi Glo,

I wish the team would acknowledge all the hard working guides.

Love you,

Posted by: Michelle W on 9/14/2017 at 9:31 pm

Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Visit Ngorongoro Crater

We drove up into clouds and fog along the rim of the Ngorongoro caldera.  It was jacket weather, but that didn’t prevent us from popping the tops on our Toyota Landcruisers and going down in to the Crater to see some wildlife.  Immediately, we were right up close to cape buffalo, zebras and wildebeest.  We saw ostriches and kori bustards by the dozens. As we cruised the network of dirt roads, we began to see lions.  We stopped to watch a pregnant female take a drink, and to see a big proud male searching for the perfect shady tree to lounge under.  We saw hippos doing what they are known for doing at midday (darn little) and we watched animals by the hundreds interacting at waterholes.  By our picnic lunch site, we spied a couple of giant, solitary bull elephants roaming the marshland.  By midday, much of the clouds had burned off and we could see the entire layout of the giant volcanic remnant we were exploring.  We eventually climbed back out the steep crater walls as the afternoon progressed and left the wildlife behind.  A few rough roads and then the smoothest of highways took us back to our fine lodge for a restful finish to the day.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

You guys all look great. Can’t wait to see photos of the Safari. 
I hope you enjoy the rest of your trip.
Miss you, Nao.

Posted by: Claudia on 9/13/2017 at 8:17 pm

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