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RMI Expeditions Blog

Kilimanjaro: Hahn and Team Visit the Ngorongoro Crater

The safari gets better and better.  Today we were up early -before sunrise- for our visit to the Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area.  It was cloudy and cool as we entered the gates and began the drive up to the crater rim.  That rim was cloudier and colder still at 9000 ft above sea level.  We stopped in to a Masai village where we got to watch (and join in) as the residents performed traditional songs and dances, made fire and showed us into their simple homes (made of sticks, dung and ash).  The Masai are just one of Tanzania’s many distinct tribes, but they are prominent because they’ve held on to so many of their own customs and have largely stayed away from modern conveniences.  We were impressed that the herdsmen protect themselves, their families and cattle herds with nothing more than spears.  We were even more impressed a half hour after leaving the village when we got to see ten big lions down in the crater.  Six females and four males, walking wherever they pleased… apparently without any worries or fears.  The zebras and wildebeests wandering around them reacted sharply and obviously upon discovering so many kings and queens of the crater in one place.  They seemed to be guarding a kill in the shrubs, driving off the odd hyena who came sniffing around.  We were amazed at the vastness of the caldera floor and at the size of the herds of zebra, wildebeest, antelope and Cape buffalo that wandered about.  Before long, we’d seen four of the “big five” (lion, elephant, rhino, Cape buffalo) and were looking hard for leopards to complete the set.  No luck there today, but that didn’t phase anyone.  We were enchanted with the setting for our picnic lunch, on the edge of a lake full of hippos, with a big bull elephant casually walking through without paying any attention to all of the Land Cruisers and tourists in the designated lunch spot.

The clouds cleared completely by mid-afternoon and things finally warmed up.  That made the ride back up to the crater rim all the more memorable as we could then see the entire amazing valley.
We enjoyed an easy evening ride back to the Plantation Lodge.  Cocktails out on the veranda were accompanied by lots of show and tell of the excellent pics taken today.  Then it was time for a fine buffet dinner and some birthday cake in honor of both Tom and Tim.

The team is excited to move on to Tarrangire National Park tomorrow.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn & Team

What an amazing day all of you had!  A combination of generosity from the tribe and generosity from the wildlife - both contributing to what must be (for all of you) great, memorable moments.
All so well deserved…enjoy, take tons of pictures (can’t wait to see/hear) and know how proud we are of you.

Posted by: Kathy and Denny Meyers (Jason's Mom and Dad) on 8/31/2016 at 3:35 pm

WOW!  What a day!  How wonderful to have the opportunity to learn about and appreciate different cultures.  Such a generous invitation from the tribe.  As for the animals, we can’t wait to see your pics!

Posted by: Jen Potter (Jason's Sister) on 8/31/2016 at 2:58 pm

Mt. Rainier: Four Day Summit Climb Teams Top Out!

The Four Day Summit Climb August 28 - 31, 2016 teams led by RMI Guides Jake Beren and Christina Dale were approaching the crater rim at 7:15 am.  Jake reported moderate winds and cold temperatures but overall a very nice day for climbing. We look forward to seeing the groups at Rainier BaseCamp this afternoon.

Congratulations to today’s climbers!

Congratulations. Love you all!!

Posted by: Suzi merz on 8/31/2016 at 8:31 am

Fisher Chimneys: Blais & Team Reach High Camp on Mt. Shuksan

Our team has made it to high camp after a great day of climbing. We’re perched just below the Upper Curtis Glacier with outstanding views of Mt. Baker and the higher reaches of our climbing route, the Fisher Chimneys.
We’re hoping the fair weather lasts long enough to give is a shot at the summit.  Despite the gloomy forecast, the team is upbeat and fired up from an exciting day making our way through the Chimneys and up Winney’s Slide. The Slide is nearly a full pitch of ice at this point and made for a bit of fun right before camp.
We’ll check in soon.  Wish us luck with the weather!

RMI Guides Zeb Blais, Steve Gately and team

Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Visit Lake Manyara

Switching gears… We walked hard every day for the last week.  Today we rode around like royalty.  We pulled out of the Dik Dik hotel by 9 AM and cruised in two modified Toyota Landcruisers through the outskirts of Arusha.  Traffic thinned as we pushed westward toward Lake Manyara National Park.  We spent a great afternoon seeing hippos, baboons, monkeys, flamingos, storks, giraffes, Cape buffalo and elephants… And of course a pair of Dik Diks… The smallest of the antelope family.  Most thought the elephants were the highlight of the day, but they were nearly upstaged by whatever it was that we didn’t see.  At one point, the monkeys were sounding alarms, the elephants were trumpeting and charging and we found fresh big cat tracks in the road.  But we didn’t see the leopard or lion causing all the commotion.  We looked, but were catless for safari day one.  Beautiful day in a Tanzanian National Park though, and a fine evening relaxing at the luxurious Plantation Lodge.  We already seem worlds away from our grubby Kili climbing days. 

Best Regards
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

What an exciting day for you and the animals!  Here’s to seeing a “Big Cat” tomorrow.  Loving the pics and blogs.

Posted by: Jen (Jason's sister) on 8/30/2016 at 6:39 pm

Deborah Beggan and whole team,
Congratulations on your thrilling, bad ass climb!!! I am awed by your adventure!!!!! Enjoy a very Happy Anniversary and Safari with Tom!!
Love, Aunt Ginny

Posted by: Ginny Shaller on 8/30/2016 at 5:49 pm

Mt. Rainier: Four Day Summit Climb Teams on Top!

RMI Guides Leon Davis & Ben Liken led their Four Day Summit Climb Teams for August 27 - 30, 2016 to the summit of Mt. Rainier this morning.  The teams experienced cloudy and windy conditions on their ascent.  Both teams reached the crater rim around 8 am PT and were able to spend some time on top before starting their descent. 

We look forward to seeing them at Rainier BaseCamp later today.

Congratulations to today’s climbers!

Did the Merz brothers all make it.

Posted by: Suzi Merz on 8/30/2016 at 1:15 pm

Congratulations on your achievement Maahi! Can’t wait to see you and all the pics. Miss you…. Susmita

Posted by: Susmita Jasti on 8/30/2016 at 10:13 am

Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Celebrate at the Dik Dik

While it wasn’t a summit day, this one seemed just as valuable for us… Coming to the end of the trail -safe and sound. 

We woke in Mweka Camp under -or perhaps in- the sea of clouds we’d been noticing so far below all week long.  All were impressed with the quality of a 10,000 ft night of sleep.  Breakfast involved a fair bit of laughter… all of the tension and worry over making the top is gone.  We emerged to a couple of great and friendly songs by our 47 man staff, complete with dancing.  We each then shook hands with every porter, cook, tent-builder, guide, and waiter and passed on well-earned gratuities to all.  Then we got packs on again and rambled down the trail.  At first it was easy walking… But eventually it was steep and slick and we went “pole pole” (slow) to avoid getting down in the dirt.  Meanwhile, a constant stream of porters (ours and many from other teams) came screaming down the trail with forty-four pound loads balanced on their heads.  When they hit the slick spots, they just went faster, yelling “jambo” as they passed.  We transitioned quickly from heather to trees, to giant camphor trees to jungle.  By midday we’d reached the Mweka Gate where we happily boarded the truck/bus and got rolling down the road.  Halfway back along the highway, we stopped for a typically wonderful Dik Dik catered lunch.  All were quite relaxed and content by then… But quite filthy.  This was remedied soon after we got back to our hotel.  The team was unrecognizable -in a good way- when we got back together for a victory dinner.  We made toasts to a great climb and to the upcoming safari.  Desert was occasion for celebrating Tom and Deborah’s wedding anniversary.  Onward. 

Best Regards,

RMI Guide Dave Hahn

GROUSE job Brian!! I was following the blog, the photos look so good! Hope you got to play spades with your tent mates haha :)
Enjoy the rest of your trip.
Love from down under. Renee.

Posted by: Renee (Australia) on 8/29/2016 at 3:27 pm

What a well deserved celebration for all staffers, guides, and climbers!  Enjoy your meals, showers, beds, and the upcoming safari.

Posted by: Jen Potter (Jason's Sister) on 8/29/2016 at 2:59 pm

Mt. Rainier: August 29th Summit!

The Four Day Summit Climb led by RMI Guides Brent Okita and Nick Hunt reached the summit of Mt. Rainier early this morning. Brent reported 45 mph winds on the top. The team has started their descent and are en route back to Camp Muir.

Congratulations to today’s team!

Wow Sean!!!  We are so proud of you and your team!  Our view doesn’t sound so fabulous any more!  Dad and I can’t wait to see details and see pictures!!!  We love you!  Mom

Posted by: Carol Payne on 8/29/2016 at 3:47 pm

I am so proud of the whole group!!!!! You should be proud of your hard work!!!  I bet it was easier to go down the mountain.  Brian…words can’t say how proud I am of you!!! God bless this great group, always.

Mom Janz

Posted by: MOM JANZ on 8/29/2016 at 12:52 pm

Mt. Baker: Blais & Team Return to Camp

This is Zeb Blais and team checking in from Mount Baker. We had a pretty tough day today. We started out looking at the North Ridge Route. Due to route difficulties and an impending poor weather forecast, we decided to bail on climbing that route. We shifted our focus to the Coleman-Deming and after a long day of climbing, we got back to camp just a few minutes ago. It was a great climb and we only got rained on for a few minutes. We are back in our tents now waiting out some weather. Our plan is to pack up and head out tomorrow morning. That’s all for now.

RMI Guide Zeb Blais

RMI Guide Zeb Blais calls in from Mt. Baker.

OK, so you adjusted to weather conditions; I like that! Keep on trekking boys (on your nature bird walk!)!

Posted by: Patti on 8/28/2016 at 7:23 pm

Mt. Rainier: Pattison Leads His Team to the Summit

The Five Day Summit Climb, led by RMI Guide Sid Pattison, made a successful ascent to the summit of Mt. Rainier early this morning. As they stood on the crater of this mighty volcano, the climbers found themselves in a cloud cap with strong winds. Around 8:30 AM, they were initiating their descent.

Congratulations to all of the team members!

Congratulations Peter and your climbing team on achieving your goal of summiting Mt. Rainier. !!
Mom and Dad.

Posted by: Mary Beth Torosian on 8/29/2016 at 6:23 pm

Congratulations Ben and Mary Jo!!!  I watched the weather and was worried you wouldn’t make it because of the winds.  So glad you did!  Can’t wait to hear your stories! -Mom

Posted by: Kim Rasmussen on 8/28/2016 at 7:40 pm

Mt. Rainier: Four Day Climb Summits!

RMI Guide Eric Frank and his Four-Day Summit Climb team reached the top of Mt. Rainier this morning.  A cloud cap enveloped the summit bringing some strong winds upon the team but everyone persevered and are well on their way back to Camp Muir.

Congratulations to today’s summit climb team!

Sean! Hope this was your group…  Congratulations!

Posted by: Jeff Vanderver on 8/29/2016 at 8:38 am

Sean, I am not sure which is your climb but, if this is your team, congratulations fro Dad and me!  We are so proud of you and cant wait to see pictures and hear about it!  Love you!  Mom

Posted by: Carol Payne on 8/28/2016 at 8:02 pm

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