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RMI Expeditions Blog

Kilimanjaro: Tucker & Team Gather in Arusha, Tanzania

Jambo -
The team is all here.  We arrived throughout the day and are now gathered at the beautiful Arumeru River Lodge.
After our drive from the airport we had a quick dinner then everyone retired to their rooms to recover from the flights and get sleep. 

Today, after a very nice breakfast, we had a great team meeting with personal introductions and discussion of the plan for the next few days followed by a check that everyone has the essential gear for our climb of Kilimanjaro.
We spent the remainder of the day packing and relaxing here at this beautiful lodge.
Some monkeys, lizards, small gazelle roam the property, it’s like being in Africa.

We are being well taken care of here at by this gracious and kind staff.  We even had a birth party to top it off - HAPPY BIRTHDAY KEVIN!

All is well in this part of the world,
RMI Guide Mark Tucker

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Mt. Elbrus: Grom & Team Arrive in the Mountains

Здравствуйте (hello) from Russia!

We had an early start to the day as we left Moscow this morning and have traveled via plane and bus to the beautiful Caucus mountains. Our flight took us to southern Russia not too far from the Black Sea to a place called Mineralnye Vody, which simply translates to Mineral Water.
This part of the country is predominately rural and is responsible for much of the agriculture that the larger cities depends on. We were meet by our trustworthy guide Yuri, whom I’ve climbed with many times. Then hopped in our van for the 3 hour drive up the Baksan Valley to the base Mt. Elbrus.
Things went pretty smooth minus a few little traffic jams with cars, motorcycles and cows all humorously trying to use the road.

The small town we are in is called Cheget, and it doubles as a ski town in winter and converts to climbing town in the summer. We didn’t do a ton of exploring this afternoon due to the adjustment of the time that we are all still feeling and having started so early. However, tomorrow we will do our first acclimatizing hike and do a little exploring too.

All is well here as we are looking forward to a little exercise tomorrow.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

On The Map

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Alpamayo: Schellens & Team Reach Summit!

The team summits Alpamayo!
We had a spectacular climb starting this morning just after midnight. A short walk on the glacier slowly became steeper as we approach the massive wall of ice and snow in front of us. Once we crossed the bergschrund we pointed our headlamps up the runnel but our lights were lost in snow ice and darkness above. We began pitching it out, climbing a full rope length before building an anchor and belaying the second climber up. In this fashion we inch-wormed our way up into the steep snow and ice. The climbing was superb, soft enough to accept the pick of an ice tool but firm enough to support a crampon. We climbed nine of the 12 pitches in the dark, but as we closed in on the summit the sun began rising across the Cordillera Blanca. Truly outstanding views as we celebrated on the summit before making our descent back down the face. Seven full length rappels brought us to the glacier below and then on to our High Camp. Extremely tired but also satisfied the team is eating, drinking, and napping for the rest of the day before making our descent to Base Camp tomorrow.
Thanks for all the support and following along on this incredible expedition.

RMI Guide Geoff Schellens and the Alpamayo Team

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Congratulations to all of you!!!  Spectacular photos.

Be safe.

Posted by: Lisa on 7/24/2017 at 3:01 pm

Kilimanjaro: Okita & Team Ascend to High Camp, Ready for Summit Climb

Snow and sleet greeted us on our arrival to our high camp on the mountain, Barafu Camp, but that didn’t dampen our excitement for getting here. Because we had such a short day today, our camp staff wasn’t quite ready for us as they usually are. But through their tireless efforts we were able to get under shelter in no time.
The sleeping tents were ready shortly thereafter, and we had just enough time to move our packs in when lunch was announced.
So, here we are at 15,200’, on the eve of our climb. The team is excited, but a little nervous too. Pretty understandable emotions to be going through, and ones that most climbers go through before a big climb.
We’ve had our summit talk, a briefing on what to bring and wear, and what to expect. We’re all now preparing our kit for the summit in the time we have before dinner, We’ll try to hit the sack by 6:00pm so we can get some rest before our departure just after midnight, As I write this the skies have cleared again and the ground has dried. Things are looking good for our big day. With any luck we’ll be sending a quick satellite phone brief from the summit.
Wish us luck!

RMI Guide Brent Okita

On The Map

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Go Team Kilimanjaro! You’ve got this!!!

Posted by: Kay Johnson on 7/24/2017 at 3:34 pm

OMG!  I can’t believe the time is here already!  Best of luck to each and every one of you.  Such an amazing accomplishment to date.  So proud of you!!!!

Posted by: Carin Parella on 7/24/2017 at 10:58 am

Mt. Rainier: Dave Hahn and Team Reach Summit

The Four Day Summit Climb July 21 - 24 reached the summit of Mt. Rainier at 6:30 am led by RMI Guide Dave Hahn.  The team enjoyed blue skies and good visibility from the crater rim.  They will descend complete today and return to Rainier BaseCamp this afternoon to complete their program.


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Mt. Rainier: Five Day Summit Climb on Top!

RMI Guide Andy Bond and the Five Day Summit Climb July 20 - 24 reached the summit of Mt. Rainier this morning around 6:30 am.  Andy reported warm temperatures and sunny skies.  The teams will return to Camp Muir and continue their descent to Paradise.

Congratulations to today’s Five Day Summit Climb team!

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So glad to see the team reached the summit today.  Special congrats to son Dave Skofstad.  What a way to celebrate your birthday tomorrow! The kids just left and made something for you.

Posted by: Charlotte Skofstad on 7/24/2017 at 4:27 pm

So proud of my big brother Randy DeBoer. I am over 10 years younger and with my back and knees struggle to hike to the mailbox!  You are a stud big brother!

Posted by: Roger DeBoer on 7/24/2017 at 11:19 am

Alpamayo: Schellens & Team Take a Rest Day At High Camp

After a couple hard days of climbing we took a rest day today to acclimatize and rest up for our summit bid tonight. Everyone is doing very well and as we put the final touches on packing and organizing the excitement is palpable. It has been a calm and sunny day with the beautiful south face of Alpamayo hanging above us.
That’s all for now.
More tomorrow after our summit bid

RMI Guide Geoff Schellens and the Alpamayo Team

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Mt.Elbrus: Grom & Team Meet in Moscow and Explore the Sites

Hello everyone - 
The team arrived yesterday after a tiring day of travel. As most of the team is still adjusting to the nearly 12 hour time change we kept things simple with a little round of introductions and a brief overview of the days ahead. We then took a short walk to get dinner at a nearby restaurant before turning in for the night.
Today we meet with our local tour guide, Victoria, and had a wonderful tour of the nearby Red Square and the Kremlin.  We visited several churches including the iconic St. Basil’s, plus a brief stop at the famous GUM, which is a high end shopping mall that sits across the Red Square from the Kremlin.
We’ve just returned from dinner and are getting packed up for tomorrow’s flight to the south which will get us closer to Mt. Elbrus.
Everyone is doing great and looking forward to heading to the mountains tomorrow.

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

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Have a wonderful time and thanks for letting us enjoy the adventure from afar!

Posted by: Brinkley Pound on 7/24/2017 at 12:16 pm

Mt. Rainier: Van Deventer & Team Reach the Summit!

The Four Day Summit Climb July 20 - 23 led by RMI Guides Pete Van Deventer, Megan Budge and Alex Halliday reached the summit of Mt. Rainier early this morning.  The team reported good climbing conditions and moderate temperatures and a beautiful morning on the mountain.

Congratulations to today’s Summit Climb team!

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Kilimanjaro: Okita & Team Climb Barranco Wall Arrive Karanga Camp

Our assault of the Barranco Wall was relentless and the team finally conquered its mighty face with no loss of limb or life. The same can’t be said for the poor, hapless porter who lost his load a third of the way up, which meant beating a hasty retreat down to the valley floor to retrieve it. Luckily, said porter was below us and not above, which might have been a whole other story.
The climbing up that part of our climb today was fun and exciting, but we were all humbled as we watched the porters scaling the same terrain with forty pound loads balanced on their heads or shoulders, and arriving to camp two plus hours before us.
The rest of the route undulated into and out of valleys, always under the shadow of the steep flanks of the upper mountain. We ended up only a little higher than our previous camp, so everyone’s feeling strong and we’re all becoming well acclimatized.
After arriving to camp and ‘washing up’ another incredible lunch was served: schnitzel with warm German potato salad, followed by apple pancakes and banana fritters. Wow!!!
While in our dining tent the clouds finally unleashed a little rain. We’ve been so fortunate with the weather so far, that this little precipitation has not dampened anyone’s spirits. And now, after thirty minutes of wetness, it has abated.
We’re all comfortably sheltered in either our personal tents or the mess tent playing cards, so not really affected by the vagaries of the weather. Quite nice.
Until tomorrow, we’ll try to suffer on. Wish us luck.

RMI Guide Brent Okita

On The Map

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