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RMI Expeditions Blog


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


Mt. Rainier: Justman, King & Teams on the Summit!

The Four Day Summit Climb teams August 23 - 26 led by RMI Guides JJ Justman and Mike King were approaching the crater rim just before 7 am.  All of the climbers on Mike King’s team were able to reach the summit!.  Nice work team! JJ reported 10 mph winds and cold temps with climbers wearing their parkas.  It’s a beautiful day and a great climb.  The teams will return to Camp Muir and then continue their descent to Paradise.

Congratulations to today’s Summit Climb teams!

Congratulations Kara!!! I’m so proud of you. You prove that you can do anything you set your mind to.

Posted by: Jan Jeffreys on 8/27/2016 at 3:54 am

Kara! So proud of you! Head back home so we can celebrate!!!!!

Posted by: Kim Holbrook on 8/26/2016 at 9:27 pm


Mt. Rainier: August 25th SUMMIT!

The Four Day Summit Climb led by RMI Guides Elias deAndres Martos and Leon Davis reached the Summit of Mt. Rainier early this morning.  Elias reported beautiful clear skies, but very cold temperatures.

Congratulations to today’s team!

Yay!!! Stephen Roberts!!!  I’m pretty sure this is YOUR team….so YAY…..YOU DID IT!
Congratulations to all of you!  So proud of this achievement!

Posted by: Diane Roberts on 8/25/2016 at 12:04 pm

Wonderful achievement, Andrew Williams! I’m sure it was a memorable, but exhausting, experience.

Posted by: David on 8/25/2016 at 8:20 am


Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Enjoy Good Weather As They Ascend

Our ridiculously fine weather continues.  The morning in Shira Camp was calm and clear.  There wasn’t so much as a hint of any cloud or wind up on the heights of Kibo and for the first time, the sea of cloud below us wasn’t complete.  We could actually see bits of Africa far below.  We got walking at 8:25.  This was easier terrain than yesterday’s rock-hopping.  Just steady uphill strolling through low desert-style vegetation.  We got closer and closer to Kibo and at 12:30 PM we reached our high point for the day.  Fifteen thousand two hundred feet above sea level shattered altitude records for all but two of our ten person team.  We celebrated with a rest break, some fist bumping and photos.  Then it was time to get rid of altitude as we worked down toward the Barranco Valley.  The scenery was outrageous as we crept under the ice fields, hanging glaciers and giant rock walls of Kibo’s south side.  Eventually we found our way down into the crazy vegetation again -giant Scenecios and Lobelias caught our attention as did the waterfalls and caves in the lava layers.  We were in another perfect camp built at 13,000 ft below the great Barranco Wall.  Afternoon weather was found to be just as perfect as the morning.  All are hoping for a good night of sleep before the morning’s wall climb. 

Best Regards
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

Shattered records, fantastic weather, and amazing views…so envious of your perfect day!  Congrats to everyone and keep going strong.

Posted by: Jen Potter (Jason's Sister) on 8/25/2016 at 11:34 am


Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Ascend to the Shira Plateau

We woke to a calm and clear morning down at Machame Camp.  The sun hit around 7:30 AM, just in time for breakfast.  Before we got on the trail, Freddy -our lead guide, introduced some of the key personnel on his forty five person staff and we had a round of jambos and handshakes. 
We were walking by 8:20 and sweating by about 8:30 as the initial route involved some serious uphill on big rock steps through the heather.  The big hazard in our first few hours was that the views were so spectacular I worried that the team wouldn’t watch their steps.  There was plenty to look at as giant Mount Meru -the 16,000 ft volcano back next to Arusha, was standing tall above a sea of clouds to our west.  That sea of brilliant white clouds extended in every direction, beneath us.  We had great views of Kibo, Kilimanjaro’s main peak, and the rugged heights of Shira, its western satellite.  We got to see our first Lobelias and Scenecios as we reached the upper limits of the heather.  By then we were traversing left and negotiating small steep lava walls on our way out to the Shira Plateau.  We were in our newest camp by 1PM. This one is quite a change from the last as we are now well out of the forest.  Kibo never did cloud up today so we got to look at it all afternoon as we rested at 12,600 ft.  We’ll head straight toward it tomorrow for a closer look at our ultimate goal.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

Way to get after it, Team! Onward and Upward!! Thanks for the map too. Gives a great perspective on the days ahead.
Rest well, Stay Strong, Mary #HarshStrong

Posted by: Bill and Kathy Harshbarger (Mary's Parents) on 8/24/2016 at 4:59 pm

Sounds like you could clearly see your goal and had beautiful views all day long.  Here’s to a peaceful night and another spectacular day tomorrow.

Posted by: Jen Potter (Jason's Sister) on 8/24/2016 at 3:03 pm


Mt. Rainier: Four Day Summit Climbs Reach Summit!

RMI Guides Billy Nugent and Ben Like led their Four Day Summit Climb teams to the summit of Mt. Rainier this morning.  Billy radioed at 7:30 am as the teams were approaching the crater rim.  The report was clear skies and winds 15 mph from the North.

Congratulations to today’s Summit Climb teams!

Awsome Climb!

Posted by: Ron on 8/24/2016 at 4:56 pm


Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Reach Machame Camp

Jambo from 9,900 ft on Mount Kilimanjaro. We are happily bedded down at Machame Camp after a great day of walking.  The day began with the team shuffling duffle bags back and forth in the dark on the grounds of the Dik Dik. We were eating breakfast at 6:30 AM and then we actually drove out of the hotel compound at 7:28 AM…An unbelievable and unprecedented two minutes ahead of schedule. Our mighty Mercedes truck/bus carried food, gear and a huge number of climbers and staff. It was quite cloudy, so we didn’t get to see the mountain during the two hour drive.  But we saw plenty of interest along the highway, from villages to towns to cornfields, banana and coffee farms.  At the Machame entrance to the National Park, there was the normal hurry up and wait process of getting the team registered and the porter loads sorted. By 11 AM it was all done and we got to start walking. Naturally -in terms of altitude- this was our low point for the day…6000 ft, but all agreed that it was an emotional high point. It just felt so good to start walking uphill through a forest after all the planning, preparing, travel and jet lag. The team did well with Filbert -one of our local guides- setting a perfect “pole pole” pace. (Slow in Swahili).  After a couple of hours, we were out from under the clouds and all were surprised and pleased to see Kibo -Kilimanjaro’s main peak- through a break in the trees.  The forest transformed as we got higher and at 4:30 we pulled into a well built camp in the giant heather.  We moved in -grateful at all the work our staff had put in. We sat for an excellent three course dinner just after sunset and told stories into the darkness.
 
We finished with a round of “lala salamas”. (Sleep well) and turned in for the night. 

Best Regards,

RMI Guide Dave Hahn & Team

It’s so exciting to read about what the team is experiencing.  Thanks for the blog.  I feel that I’m there with you!

Posted by: Sue Rentschler(Jason's aunt) on 8/24/2016 at 6:26 am

Finally - you are all on your way!  While we know each of you is focused on the summit, remember to also focus on your journey.  “Joy is found not in finishing an activity, but in doing it.”.
Countless thanks to you, Dave for the blog and your info. - it’s awesome to follow your trek!

Posted by: Kathy and Denny Meyers (Jason's Mom and Dad) on 8/23/2016 at 2:54 pm


Mt. Rainier: Four Day Summit Climbs Summit!

The Four Day Summit Climb August 20 - 23, 2016 led by RMI Guides Brent Okita and Pete Van Deventer were approaching the summit of Mt. Rainier just before 7 am.  Pete reported that it is a gorgeous day with 10 mph winds and chilly temperatures.  The teams will enjoy the views and take some photos before starting their descent.
Congratulations to today’s Summit Climb teams!


Kilimanjaro: Dave Hahn and Team Arrive in Tanzania

By three this morning, my team of prospective Kili climbers was all present and accounted for on the fringes of Arusha, Tanzania. Eleven of us spent the day getting ready for a week on the move. As is normal with my groups, the team stifled yawns and feigned great interest as I conducted our introductory meeting after a fine Dik Dik Hotel breakfast. They claimed “jet lag” was the culprit rather than my rambling on. Possibly. We’re a good ten hours removed from some west coast US homes now. 

After the briefing, it was time for personal equipment checks and packing for an early departure. This left a good chunk of the afternoon for the gang to relax, to walk the garden-like grounds of the hotel, and to periodically climb the water tower to see if Kilimanjaro was out.  She was, by evening… faintly… and floating like a cloud in the distance.  As we organized, the local guides and kitchen staff had the much bigger job of packing the food and gear for the trip.  It was impressive as always to see lead guide Freddy Kilewo out there making order of the chaos. He has about fifty people to plan for, between porters, camp staff, clients and guides. He makes it all look easy.

We’ll begin walking the Machame route tomorrow and coming to grips with this challenge that many have been dreaming and scheming about for years. But this evening it is time to enjoy a send-off feast and a last night in a bed… even with jet lag, we all know it is a good deal. 

Best Regards,

Dave Hahn and Team

Amazing!  I’ve been reading each day, and am so proud of my sis and her courage and strength.  There are lots of good wishes and high fives coming from Colorado.  Keep on keepin on-you’re an inspiration.  Ninakupenda xo

Posted by: Susan Finzel-Aldred (Deborah's sister) on 8/25/2016 at 8:48 pm

Love you so much Mary!  You are incredible and I hope you and all of your team have a great and safe trip.

Posted by: Shawnee on 8/24/2016 at 4:27 pm


Mt. Rainier: August 22nd Update

The Four Day Summit Climb led by RMI Guide Casey Grom and Robby Young  turned at 13,800’ due to high winds and route conditions.  The team has has started their descent and are en route back to Camp Muir.

Congratulations to today’s team!

What an effort to reach top! Casey, Robby and all others are true heroes to attempt summit under very incremental weather. Hats off!!

Posted by: Ujjal B on 8/24/2016 at 4:24 pm

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