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RMI Expeditions Blog


Torres del Paine: Dale & Team Meet in in Sunny Punta Arenas

Everyone arrived from hours of traveling to a sunny Punta Arenas.  We walked around the streets of this once booming port town that was essential for all boats moving across the Americas before the Panama canal.  It is now a sleepy town with a rich history of Magellan and all the boats that have passed through.  We went to the cemetery where all the trees are perfectly pruned and saw the giant bronze statue of Magellan that rumor has it if you rub his toe you’ll be back to Punta Arenas some day.  We all had a great dinner of local seafood and lots of potatoes.  The group is looking forward to spending a week trekking and taking in this remarkable place.

RMI Guide Christina Dale

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

Happy sailing to Magdalena island! Bet ya can’t just take 1 pic of the penguins.i had 1000’s!  Luv ya and happy trekking.

Posted by: Elsie on 2/19/2018 at 6:12 am


Mexico’s Volcanoes: Nelson & Team Arrive in Mexico City, Begin First Hike

Hola from Mexico!

The team met yesterday evening following our flights to Mexico City, and had a nice dinner a short walk from Hotel Geneve. Little did I know that shortly after we sat a mariachi band complete with a singing luchador began to play… what a trip!
This morning we boarded our bus and took the journey to La Malintzi at the foot of a dormant volcano, La Malinche, and spent the day hiking up to nearly 13,500 ft to acclimatize. Our goal today was less summit oriented and more for preparing our bodies for the climbs ahead so we opted out of going all the way to it’s 14,500 ft summit. That being said, the team was strong from start to finish and capped off the hike with a bit of earned relaxation before dinner. Tonight we’ll be sleeping in the cabañas here at La Malintzi at 10,000 feet to keep acclimatizing, all in prep for the next several days on Ixta!

I’ll check in as our climb progresses,

RMI Guide Chase Nelson

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Looking forward to following you on this adventure dad (Richard), can’t wait to hear all about it! Stay safe!

Posted by: Abbie Aspinall on 2/19/2018 at 7:30 pm

Enjoy the climb everyone. What a wonderful experience. Looking forward to hearing all about it Brandon.

Posted by: Terri Travis on 2/19/2018 at 6:45 pm


Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Bid Farewell After Their Climb and Safari

Our final day in Africa started way out in Balloon Camp in Tarangire National Park.  Our “tent cabins” were luxurious and the staff helpful and friendly in getting us out on the dirt road by 7 AM.  We were still deep within the park, and so within a moment or two of saying our goodbyes we were standing in the back of the Landcruisers looking for leopards.  They eluded us.  But an extremely beautiful, quiet morning in the wilderness did not elude us.  We stopped frequently for eagles, vultures, cool tracks, impalas and hartebeest.  We came on a seemingly endless parade of giraffes who stopped long enough for a photo and to nibble the acacia trees in passing.  Families of elephants came by on their grass eating missions, bound for rivers and pools.  We looked up every tree and under every bush for cats and predators, but the best we could scare up were a couple of cute little jackals following a gang of impala. 
By 11 AM we left the park and hit the highway toward Arusha.  We made one stop as we reached town, at the cultural heritage museum and craft shop, then we pressed on toward Usa River and our hotel.  We had time to shower and repack and even rest before an early dinner -our last together- and loading up on one more bus.  Kilimanjaro was out and awesome as we ate and then rode toward the airport in the last of daylight.  It seems hard to believe that two short weeks ago, we hadn’t all known one another.  It also seems hard to believe how many things we’ve since accomplished as a team.  We’ll start going in separate directions again fairly soon -but with a heck of a lot of fine memories to connect us. 
Thanks for coming along for the ride.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

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Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Explore in Tarangire National Park

It was a little tough leaving the Plantation Lodge this morning -it is a very comfortable place and we’d enjoyed our two nights there, but it was time to be moving on.  Tarangire National Park beckoned, and we were excited to see what we could see.  There were a couple of important stops to make on the drive over, one of which was a visit to a Maasai village.  The Maasai are just one of many tribes in Tanzania, but they stand out because they choose to continue living in a traditional style, forgoing modern conveniences.  We witnessed singing and dancing and a demo of how to rub sticks to make fire.  We went into the sleeping dwellings and asked our tour guides a million questions about polygamy, arranged marriages, education and building materials.  The team did a little gift shopping when the women of the village presented their handmade craftwork.  We then headed for the park, excited to see the wildlife.  Tarangire is a series of parallel rivers and shallow valleys separated by rolling hills and broad savanna.  Before too long we were spotting birds and impala, warthogs and waterbucks.  It took a bit before we saw giraffes and elephants, but then things quickly got interesting.  A bull elephant pointed himself directly at a couple of lounging lions and not only disturbed their date, he chased the male lion and stood trumpeting on the ground they surrendered.  A high point for many of us was seeing elephant families that included a number of one month old babies.  One family of 20 took to a pond to cool off and splashed, wrestled, drank and rolled for no other logical reason than that it was just plain old pachyderm fun.  We found big and solitary bull elephants and watched their behavior… all serious and food focused, in contrast to the matriarch ruled families.  Some of the day’s best cruising was done in late afternoon as the sun got low on lush green fields, gigantic baobab and skinny palm trees.  We finished up in friendly Balloon Camp -a rustic hideaway hotel in the bush.  We’ve got one last morning to see leopards and cheetahs. 

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

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Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team See Animals Galore in the Ngorongoro Crater

The pattern finally changed.  It was cloudy and a little cool when we set out this morning.  Which was actually just fine.  The entrance to Ngorongoro Preserve was a short drive from Plantation Lodge.  Juma and Edson drove us up to the rim of the great collapsed caldera and we got out to stare in wonder at the “crater”.  Then it was back in the Landcruisers for the rough dirt road along the rim… Juma said it was time for our “African Massage” as we bounced along the ruts and rocks.  A Jeep track down through umbrella acacia trees took us to the valley floor where we immediately began to spot crater critters by the hundreds.  First were the armor plated Cape buffalo, next a gang of Eland.  We began to spot so many gazelles, zebra and wildebeest that they only merited a stop if they’d been born in the last few hours.  Warthogs came and went.  Bustards and Secretary Birds strutted past.  Then came the lions.  We parked near a beautiful male and female and our guides described -accurately- the process by which they’d get frisky with each other every ten or twenty minutes for an exhausting week.  We watched for a few cycles, fascinated.  The big cats paid no attention whatsoever to spectators.  Next we saw herds of elephants in the distance and a black rhino a couple hundred meters away.  Four of the “big five” before lunch.  (We were missing leopards, which aren’t commonly seen down in the crater).  Lunch happened to be within sight of about 20 hippos and a bunch of waterbucks.  Despite the cloud cover, it was getting pretty hot in the afternoon.  We kept spotting game -ostrich and hyenas… more lions and more elephants as we headed for the rough roads out of the crater.  By 4:30 we were back at the ridiculously comfortable Plantation Lodge, amazed by what we’d seen but also ready to relax.  We looked a little like a gang of teenagers at happy hour, focused intently on our smartphones as we shuffled pictures about.  Tomorrow is another day and another national park. 

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

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Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Visit Lake Manyara National Park

Our safari guides, Juma and Edson, showed up right on schedule this morning with their souped up Toyota Landcruisers.  We climbed in just after 8 AM and left Arumeru River Lodge -our home away from home.  This was a good day to ride around in automobiles after a solid week of walking.  It took some time to get through Arusha’s rush hour, but we were thoroughly entertained watching cargo motorcycles and the like.  Eventually we broke into the open country west of town and rambled along dodging speed bumps and Maasai cattle.  We reached Lake Manyara National Park at midday.  Early on we focused on baboons and monkeys.  Some of the big animals were just plain lazy on this hot and sunny day.  It was around 90 F and so the elephants we spied in the forest were sticking to shady hollows.  We began to see waterbucks and bushbucks, impala and exotic birds aplenty.  As we came into open country along the lake edge, we could see zebra, wildebeest, and Cape buffalo everywhere.  Looking at the nearby escarpment of the Great Rift Valley, it wasn’t too hard to imagine a time when such wildlife dominated its entire 10,000 km length.  We spied giraffes, although not in great numbers.  A hippo got out of the water long enough for us to admire his buff physique.  We saw warthogs with their little warthoglets.  The big cats eluded us today, although we kept sharp eyes peeled for them.  All in all it was a great day out.  Juma and Edson dazzled us with their knowledge of Tanzania, its parks and people… and the fabulous critters we were glimpsing.  At quitting time we were parched and ready for a little relaxation.  Everyone’s eyes opened wide when they saw Plantation Lodge’s perfectly cared for gardens, luxurious rooms and friendly staff.  This place will do just fine, thanks… not missing our tents. 

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

Hi Chris and Darrin!  I’ve been following your entire trip and I am in awe of what you both accomplished! the scenery is beautiful and it appears like you all are having a great time. Congratulations on reaching all your goals on this trip.  Talk soon!

Posted by: Cathy Brandes on 2/9/2018 at 9:23 am


Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Descend and Return to Arumeru River Lodge

Almost as if to make up for rain and sloppy conditions yesterday evening, today we were granted a perfect morning.  We made good use of it.  It was great to wake to birds singing… a reminder that we’d come all the way from the alpine zone to the forest and the land of living things.  Despite the long, hard day yesterday, everybody showed up smiling at breakfast.  After refueling, we stood out in the bright sunshine for a goodbye ceremony with our mountain staff.  We tipped them, which is merely normal practice when forty men have worked their tails off to help you accomplish your dreams, and they sang to entertain us… and themselves.  We knew -and they knew- that we’d done a lot more than just work together for a week, we’d become friends -which was worth commemorating.  The singing and dancing with Kilimanjaro as an enormous and majestic backdrop won’t be forgotten.  We then shouldered packs and dropped down the four thousand vertical feet separating us from the Mweka Gate.  The trail was in surprisingly good condition -suggesting that yesterday’s rains had only fallen on our heads and weren’t widespread.  We got into safari mode on the hike out by spotting a few black and white Colobus Monkeys in the trees.  At trail’s end around noon, we signed out with the National Park, had a fine lunch and got rolling down the highway.  We drove out of the cultivation zone, full of bananas and coffee, and then cruised through the outskirts of Moshi.  It took a couple of hours in the bus to reach our garden sanctuary at the Arumeru River Lodge.  Showers and cold beverages were very much in order.  We each took a stab at reconnecting with the virtual world before meeting for a great dinner and lots of laughs and recollections about the real world of Kilimanjaro. 
Tomorrow our adventure will continue… time for a safari!

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

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Aconcagua: King & Team Return to Base Camp

We packed up after a stormy night at 19,600’. The evening was filled thunder, lightening and lots of snow. The early start had our hands and toes cold, but we were rewarded with a stellar sunrise and a quick descent through the snow and scree. There was gear to pick up at the lower camps and finally we got to Plaza Argentina to enjoy a warm afternoon of packing for the mules and some well deserved rest at lower elevation. Tomorrow we’ll walk to Lenas, our first camp of the trek for the legendary asado and one last night under the stars. This trip has been filled with lots of laughs, better then normal weather and a great team. This will be our last dispatch of the trip, your loved ones will be in reach once we arrive in Mendoza on the evening of the 8th. Thanks for following along on our expedition to the top of South America.

RMI Guide Mike King

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Wow, that was some climb!  Glad you all made it up there & are now safe & sound.  Thanks for letting us follow along on this great adventure.

Posted by: Hikari on 2/7/2018 at 7:44 pm

Concrats to All of You!!!! So Proud of All of You!!!! Enjoy the thick and warm air and the Asada tonight!!! Love you All!!! Awesome Dawn and Tom , (My climbing Sister and Brother, Bless you both)
Dave

Posted by: Dave Kestel on 2/7/2018 at 2:48 am


Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Descend to Mweka Camp, Recap Summit Day

As planned, we were up and getting ready at 11:30 last night.  It was a calm and clear night with just enough moon to see by but not so much that the stars were washed out.  We set out at 12:40 AM.  There were headlights well up the mountainside already, which was a pretty thing to see, but it also made clear just how far and high we had to go.  We took hourly rest breaks, and sure enough, we put more clothing on at almost every pre-dawn break, until we basically had it all on.  Those were cold hours, anticipating a 6:30 sunrise.  It caught us at about 18,000 ft and instantly made life a whole lot easier.  We pulled onto the crater rim at Stella Point after seven hours on the go.  Another hour and ten minutes got us over to Uhuru, the true summit.  It was magical walking along the crater rim and checking out the glaciers and the lay of the land on the roof of Africa.  High fives and handshakes were in order on the top.  There may have been a tear or two, and of course a bunch of pictures.  We started down after thirty minutes.  Our clear day was already going cloudy, but that kept some sun off of us for the descent, which was a good thing.  At 12:10 PM we were back to Barafu.  A great sit down lunch in our dining tent did wonders to restore our strength, we packed up and started down toward Mweka Camp just after 2 PM.  When the rain and hail hit halfway through our 4 hour, 5,000’ descent, it wasn’t totally unexpected.  We couldn’t very well run down the tricky rock trail to escape the showers.  Ultimately it meant that we had to watch every single slippery step on the way to camp at 10,000’.  The rains quit as we got in at 6 PM but life was a little soggy and muddy for our final night on the mountain.  We’re not complaining though… on the contrary, we’re feeling lucky that we got perfect weather exactly when we needed it for climbing. 

Best Regards
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Cheers to all! An awesome accomplishment. Now relax and have even more fun!

Posted by: Your favorite aunt on 2/7/2018 at 11:51 am

You rock! What an experience.

Posted by: Karen Crompton on 2/7/2018 at 2:51 am


Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Reach the Summit, Uhuru Peak

Hey, this is Dave Hahn with the RMI Kilimanjaro team from Utah. We’re on the summit. It’s 9 a.m. and we are on the highest point in Africa, Uhuru (Peak) 19,341 feet. It’s a beautiful day up here, just a little breeze on top. We’re all enjoying ourselves, taking a couple of pictures and will send you a dispatch from camp tonight to let you know that we’ve all got down safe. Everything’s going really well. Thanks for following along. Bye for now.

RMI Guide Dave Hahn


RMI Guide Dave Hahn calls from the summit of Kilimanjaro, Tanzania.

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

19,341…! Congrats to all and cheers! Looking forward to raising a glass of the finest beverage of choice upon your return! You guys “rock”...... get it, “rock” !

Posted by: Lee & Susie on 2/6/2018 at 4:45 pm

Congrats to all!!!  So excited for each of you…such an accomplishment!  Can’t wait to hear all about it.  Continue your safe travels.

Posted by: Brandi Gerdes on 2/6/2018 at 10:15 am

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