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RMI Expeditions Blog

Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Wrap Up Their African Safari

Hello once again everyone.
We have arrived back in the digital world after another very enjoyable safari. We spent yesterday touring Tarangire National Park which is known for its elephants, in fact, it has more per square mile than any place on earth. And I can easily say it didn’t disappoint! We saw hundreds if not thousands of elephants and even managed to take a break with a family, while some of them slept. There were plenty of other animals too- giraffe, zebra, hartebeest, bush bucks, Nile monitor, and many others. It was very surreal to be so close to them, and we were simply amazed at the abundance that were near the river, which runs though the park.
We never did see the cheetahs, or leopards, but perhaps that had something to do with all the lions we saw.

It’s been a memorable experience for everyone and it’s going to be sad to part ways with such a great bunch of folks. But now it’s time to head home and share the stories.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and the Kilimanjaro/Safari crew

Thank you Casey for the adventure of a lifetime for your group and sharing for the rest of us as arm chair adventures.

Posted by: Robert Rutter on 1/20/2017 at 9:19 am

Ecuador Volcanoes: Liken & Team Acclimatize Near Quito


Today, after a lot of travel and food the team finally got out into the mountains.  We set off for a gondola ride on the outskirts of town that takes us all the way up to well over 13,000 feet.  We were pleased to find fair skies and moderate temps with sweeping views of the city at the top.
From there it took us 2.5 hours to reach the summit at 15,700 feet with the whole team!  This is a great team and everyone did excellent.  After some time on top breathing thin air, we descended back to Quito grabbing some tasty carne empanadas on the way.
After an afternoon nap we all got some pizzas and ice cream to soothe the soul before bed.  Tomorrow we will venture further outside Quito for another highland hike.

Stay tuned,
RMI Guide Ben Liken

Good luck over the next three days as the team moves towards the climbers hut in anticipation of summiting Cayambe on Monday! Let’s hope the weather cooperates better than today!

Posted by: Susan Brashear on 1/20/2017 at 5:27 pm

good luck on your climbing/eating adventure! if this is a race, my money is on Owen. nobody can eat faster than Owen.

Posted by: catherine's sister on 1/20/2017 at 10:15 am

Aconcagua: Tucker & Team Carry Gear to High Camp

Turned out to be a great day to carry group and personal equipment to our high camp of Aconcagua at 19,600ft. We made good time up and down and round tripped it in about five hours. At one point I was down to just a thin poly-pro top. Not bad for being exposed to the elements at 19,000ft.
Big decision time tonight. Weather reports are calling for some unsettled pattern ahead. Need to put all the factors in the hopper and come up with a plan. Excitement is rising and a major buzz going on around camp. My team continues to be a solid unit and so proud of what we have accomplished so far. All is well up on the hill.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

On The Map

Safe summit to all. A fine accomplishment for all. Enjoy

Posted by: Mike Albrecht on 1/19/2017 at 5:11 pm

Aconcagua: Nugent & Team at Plaza Argentina

January 19, 2017
Checking in from Plaza Argentina at 4,200m on another beautiful day here in the central Andes. Our team enjoyed some tasty breakfast burritos this morning and then passed our checkup with the basecamp doctors. We are settled in nicely and the team is feeling strong and even slept well despite yesterday’s sharp increase in altitude. We’ll spend this afternoon arranging our group and personal gear for tomorrow’s carry up to Aconcagua Camp 1. Not much else to report for now… We’ll check in again tomorrow after our first foray onto the upper mountain.

RMI Guide Billy Nugent

January 18, 2017
We’ve arrived! After an early a.m. and brisk river crossing on the back of a mule our team made our way up the Relinchos Valley smoothly and steadily. We climbed the 3,000’ into Plaza Argentina (Basecamp) with a little hard breathing but were otherwise unhindered by any real difficulties. Clear skies and amazing views of the mountain were a treat and a hearty welcome from the Griselda, Anita, and Juan, the Grajales Basecamp staff, was icing on the cake. After some refreshments and setting up of camp we are settling in for a tasty dinner tonight and a well deserved rest day tomorrow. Sleeping our first night at nearly 14,000’ might not be the most comfortable but with time our bodies will adjust to the new altitude and hopefully start in to building our foundation of acclimatization for our climb.

All for now,

January 17, 2017
Hola from Casa de Piedra! Last night we enjoyed an amazing asado prepared by our herrieros complete with salad plenty of steak and of course wine at our first trekking camp. After a beautiful night out under the stars our team woke to the rustling of mules and crawled out of our sleeping bags in the early dawn light. A quick trail breakfast and some coffee or tea warmed us up and we hit the trail. We moved extremely well and made short time on our move up through the Vacas Valley and were even treated to our first views of the peak. Tonight’s dinner wasn’t quite as grand as last night’s but it’ll do. Early to bed tonight in preparation for tomorrow’s very early rise… We we all looking forward to making into Basecamp tomorrow afternoon but one more day on the trail and about 3,000’ of vertical gain remain in our way. I’ll check in tomorrow and let you know how it went.


Best of Luck to you Billy and the team!

Posted by: Dave Kestel on 1/20/2017 at 3:42 am

Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Head Into the Tarangire National Park

Today we are headed off the grid to stay in a remote tented camp. Unfortunately, we most likely won’t have any cell or wifi service.
I will update as soon as we return!

RMI Guide Casey Grom and Safari crew

Ecuador Volcanoes: Ben Liken & Team Arrive in Quito

Howdy folks,

We have just kicked off our next Ecuador Volcanoes program here in Quito.  With most of our team arriving late last night, we spent day one casually around town. After a large buffet breakfast we went on a four-hour city tour where we visited the equator along with some key landmarks throughout the old city of Quito.  Even though this wasn’t quite as relaxing as laying by a pool all day, it is important that we keep some blood flowing for acclimatization. Just by being in this city we are starting this process because it sits at 9000’.  

Once we returned to our hotel and did a gear check the team was ready for a little fun, so we checked out one of Quito’s new micro breweries.  The pale ale was on par and the chili cheese fries were among the best I ever had.

Finally we will go to dinner tonight so we can pack on a few more calories before we start burning them tomorrow on our first acclimatization hike up Rucu Pichincha.  A small 15,700-foot hill right outside town.

Stay tuned to follow the rest of our journey through the Andean high country!

RMI Guide Ben Liken

Aconcagua: Tucker & Team Settling in at Camp 2

Today our team bid farewell to the thick air and running water of Aconcagua Camp 1 and headed uphill to Camp 2. We spent the majority of the afternoon digging in solid tent platforms, making sure to securely fasten our tents to the mountain with the biggest rocks we could find. We were treated to a beautiful day during the move-in process; the views of neighboring Andean peaks have kept many team members busy with photo opportunities. We’re just getting ready to crawl into our tents before the sun dips below the horizon and it gets COLD.

More tomorrow!

RMI Guides Mark Tucker and Pepper Dee

On The Map

Go team, go.  While we in Washington DC go low you go high keeping our focus where it should be!

Posted by: Charlie Thomas on 1/19/2017 at 3:20 am

Looks amazing, simply amazing, & we are loving the blog updates!

Posted by: Chicago Dees on 1/18/2017 at 9:37 pm

Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Explore the Ngorongoro Crater

Day 2 on Safari had us visiting the world famous Ngorongoro Crater, and considered by some to be the 8th wonder of the world. The crater is what remains of a once massive volcano that erupted and collapsed on itself, leaving behind a giant caldera that’s almost exactly 100 square miles. In the 2 million years since then, hundreds of animals have taken up residence and have created one of the best Safari options in Africa.

We hit the road early with hopes of catching a few more animals before the heat sent them in search for shade. Shortly after descending down into the crater we came upon 2 female lions with 6 cubs, it was almost comical as the little ones kept popping out of the bush to follow their moms.
We continued driving around trying not to stop at all the zebra, wildebeest, and Cape buffalo that were nearly in the way.
There were many sightings today of hyenas, jackels, ostrich, and countless other birds.
One of the highlights was seeing not 1, but 3 Black Rhinos which have become very rare.

We wrapped up the day with a visit to a Maasai village not far from the craters rim. The Maasai people are a nomadic tribe that exist almost entirely off of their cattle. The team spent time asking questions and enjoyed being shown around their small and simple village.

We have just finished another wonderful meal here at the plantation lodge and are looking forward to what tomorrow may bring as we head to Tarangire National Park.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and the Safari crew

Aconcagua: Tucker & Team Enjoy Rest Day at Camp 1

Today our team enjoyed a day of rest and recovery at Camp 1 on Aconcagua. Some team members read, others listened to music, others cat napped. As a group we took a light stroll in the afternoon to keep ourselves breathing well and acclimating. We were fortunate enough to enjoy beautiful weather the whole day, and made sure to heckle groups heading up and down the mountain as we lounged by our outdoor kitchen. Everyone is excited to move up to Camp 2 tomorrow, and keep our momentum going.

Hasta manana ~

RMI Guides Mark Tucker & Pepper Dee

On The Map

Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Visit Lake Manyara on Safari

Safari time!

Today was the first day of safari for us and we headed east to visit Lake Manyara, which is known for its tree climbing lions, flamingos, and more than 400 different species of birds. We didn’t manage to see any of those famous lions, but we had a very close encounter with a few elephants within just minutes of entering the park. Nothing dangerous, but they passed close enough that we could have almost touched them.
It was a pretty hot day here in Africa, so I’m sure that kept many of the animals hiding in the shade. We did manage to see wildebeest, zebras, Cape buffalo, giraffe, hippos, baboons, impalas and so many birds I lost count. It was a pretty nice introduction to the incredible bio-diversity that Africa has, and everyone enjoyed the day riding around in our safari vehicles.
We finished the day spending a few hours relaxing and exploring the grounds of our amazing lodge. Check it out for yourself.

We also celebrated another birthday here in Africa. This time it was for Sean McCroskey.
So a big happy 22nd birthday to him!

That’s all for now.
RMI Guide Casey Grom and the Safari crew

Congrats all!! Maine says send more pictures :)

Posted by: Shannon on 1/18/2017 at 6:58 am

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