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Kilmanjaro: Grom and Team Game View in Tarangire National Park

Jambo everyone

We spent today touring Tarangire National Park which is home to many elephants which we saw up close again. There were plenty of other animals too, including a female cheetah and her cub. We’re headed out early tomorrow in hopes of catching a leopard to round out The Big Five.

We ended our day at a remote and off grid camp within the National Park and surrounded by wildlife. The camp has screened in rooms that allow the night sounds of Africa in.

RMI Guide Casey and the Safari crew

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Hope everyone is well.  I will be there at the airport to pick you up Norman tomorrow (Saturday).  Can’t wait to hear about the trip!  All the best to the rest of you and a safe trip home.  Thank you to the guides for taking care of our loved ones.

Posted by: Catherine Symonds on 1/17/2020 at 2:57 pm

Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Visit Maasai Village and Explore Ngorongoro Crater

Today we visited the famous Ngorongoro Crater. The crater is roughly 100 square miles and is known for its abundance of animals that call the crater home.

We hit the road early with hopes of catching a few of the big cats before the heat of the day.

We managed to see several lions, including two young males up close. We also saw seven Black Rhino, which have become very rare due to poaching.

We wrapped up the day with a visit to a Maasai village not far from the craters rim. The Maasai people are a semi-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

RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

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Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team’s First Day on Safari

Jambo everyone!

Today was our first day of safari and we headed west to visit the beautiful Lake Manyara. The lake is known for its many migratory animals and home to more than 300 different birds. Everyone enjoyed the day cruising around in our safari vehicles with cold beverages in hand while seeing the animals up close. 
We managed to see a few wildebeest, zebras, Cape buffalo, lots of baboons, a few impalas, and a few elephants pretty close, but sadly no lions. 

Hopefully tomorrow the big cats come out. 

All in all it was a really nice introduction to the incredible diversity of wildlife that Africa has and the team is looking forward to seeing more tomorrow. 

We wrapped up the evening with a few cocktails and a wonderful meal at our new lodge. Plantation Lodge - See for yourself!

RMI Guide Casey Grom and the Safari crew

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Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team’s Celebration Time

Today we woke at 6:30 feeling good, had breakfast, then enjoyed a goodbye song and dance from our gracious crew of porters, cooks, and local guides. We finished the little celebration by handing out their well-deserved tips and then hit the trail one last time. 
It took a little over three hours to reach the park gate where the team had lunch then hopped aboard our awaiting bus for the ride back to the lodge. 

Finally we are all safe and sound, and a little cleaner after an amazing seven-day journey up and down Kilimanjaro
The team is currently relaxing and looking forward to Safari which starts tomorrow!

RMI Guide Casey Grom and a happy Kilimanjaro crew

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I didn’t see all the photos at first when I went to the blog.  The views are absolutely stunning - so much so that I would love to paint them!  I look forward to more!

Posted by: Catherine Symonds on 1/14/2020 at 11:22 am

Congratulations to all of you.  I hope that the safari is just as exciting as the climb!  I’ll see you on Saturday Norm!

Posted by: Catherine Symonds on 1/14/2020 at 8:24 am

Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Reach Summit!

We did it! Summit success!

The team got up at 11pm as I mentioned yesterday and were all ready by 11:30 for the ascent. We then had a quick midnight breakfast of porridge, tea and coffee before starting our climb under a mostly full moon.
The weather was very calm and the route wasn’t all that busy allowing us to take our time and enjoy the ascent. The climb took just over 7hrs to reach the top, and thankfully the sun rose shortly before reaching the top to help warm us and boost morale after climbing through the night.
On the summit of Kilimanjaro we hugged each other, enjoyed the views and took plenty of pictures and even made a few phone calls to loved ones back home.
It was a true test of endurance for most of the crew, and I'm really proud of everyone.
We descended back to high camp, where we had a quick lunch, repacked and then continued further down the mountain to our final camp in the thick warm air at 10’000ft, where we just finished another fine meal prepared by our gracious staff. Now it’s off to bed for some well deserved sleep.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and a happy Kilimanjaro summit crew

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Kilimanjaro: Grom & Crew Arrive at High Camp, Prepare for Summit

Hello again everyone

We had a good nights rest last night and today just a short hike up to 15,000ft to our High Camp. It was mostly sunny today with great views of Kilimanjaro and our intended route for tomorrow’s climb.
The team has just wrapped up lunch and discussed in great detail the plan for tomorrow’s climb. Everyone knows what what we’ll be wearing, what will be in the pack, as well as the schedule.
Our game plan will be to wake at 11pm and have a quick breakfast at 11:30, then hopefully hit the trail right at midnight. The team has been doing great thus far and I’m expecting us to reach the summit in 7 to 8 hours if things go according to plan.

I’m also going to bring our Satellite phone to hopefully make a few calls from the summit.
So everyone back home please keep your phones handy and if you receive a call from a strange number please answer. We are seven hours ahead of the east coast time zone.

Wish us luck!

RMI Guide Casey Grom and the Kili crew 

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Summit day!  Wish i was there with you guys.  Put the hammer down Rene!  Have a wonderful summit and enjoy the safari everyone.

Posted by: David Aaroe on 1/11/2020 at 10:23 pm

Good luck Norm, enjoy the summit and take a few pictures

Can’t wait to see you and hear about the adventure

Sandra E

Posted by: Sandra E on 1/11/2020 at 6:54 pm

Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Ascend the Barranco Wall

Hello everyone

We had a slower start today to allow the many porters to hit the ever narrowing trail. Right out of camp we were faced with the only significant technical obstacle for this climb. This hurdle is the great Barranco Wall, which rises about 1,000' and looks as intimidating as it sounds. Thankfully there is a nice narrow trail that weaves its way up and through the wall and all the way to the top. Most of it feels more like steep hiking, but there are a few places that require the use of our hands to help us climb up.

The team did a good job of moving steady and allowing a few porters through with their loads precariously balanced on their heads. Which was astonishing to see!

After reaching the top we took a nice break and enjoyed the amazing views of the ice ladened south face and valleys below. The team continued our hike for a few more hours up and down through a few valleys before reaching camp.

All in all, it took only about 4 hours for us to reach our next camp called Karanga, named for the big and beautiful valley which it overlooks.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

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Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Enjoy Views of Lava Tower

Jambo from Kilimanjaro!

Today we awoke to partly cloudy skies and descent views of Kilimanjaro looming above. Amazing to see how much new snow is on the mountain since it’s been a pretty wet winter here.

Our morning routine has been waking around 6:30 and getting everything in our tents packed up before heading into our very spacious dining tent for quite the feast.

We hit the trail once again around 8am and hiked for an hour before taking our usual 15-minute break, then back on the trail for another hour. All total today we hiked for just over seven hours before reaching camp which is set up and ready for us. Eventually the clouds rolled in and obscured the mountain for the final few hours.

Along the way we passed around the famous and beautiful Lava Tower, reaching just over 15,000ft, setting new altitude records for some of the team. Everyone enjoyed the day and there was plenty of good conversations amongst the crew.

Spirits are high!

RMI Guide Casey Grom and the crew

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Thank you. These reports are terrific! After reading many books on Kili, I am following your daily reports with some back knowledge and getting excited for our August 1st trek! The Cascade and Olympic Mtns. give us plenty of opportunity to snowshoe and scramble in knarly conditions. Bring it!

Posted by: Nancy Jordan on 1/11/2020 at 7:10 am

Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Ascend to Camp on the Shira Plateau

Wednesday, January 8, 2020 3:56 AM PT

Hello again everyone

The team had a really nice day here on Kilimanjaro today, waking to mostly clear skies and hiking in just a light cloud layer which help keep us cool.  We started the day waking at 6:30 to start packing up before moving into our dinning tent for a nice breakfast with porridge, fried eggs, toast, avocado and even some fresh fruit, and most importantly plenty of hot coffee.

We hit the trail shortly after 8am and slowly made our way up the rocky trail with good views of Kili above. The trail climbs up a ridge and eventually out of the trees and allows for some truly spectacular views of the valley below. The team hiked for a little more than 4 hours before reaching out next camp that sits on Shira plateau, which is an ancient lava flow.

Everyone is doing very well and we are currently relaxing in our tents.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and the Kili crew

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Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Get Started on the Mountain

Jambo Everyone

Today the team got off to a moderately early start this morning leaving behind our beautiful lodge and have headed to the mountain towards the start of the climb. We left around 8am and drove along the rural country side and small villages for 2 hours before reaching the park entrance.

Most of the area surrounding Kilimanjaro has been cultivated and primarily used for coffee production and for a variety of other agriculture needs, but there are still some areas that have been untouched and resemble more of a savannah that Tanzania is known for. The base of Kilimanjaro is more forested and looks more jungle like and is called a cloud forest.

Once we arrived at the park gate we had all of our gear weighed and divided into loads for our porters and other staff to carry before hitting the trail. Once everything was in order we started our climb slowly making our way up the winding trail that ascends continuously through the thick forest. Thankfully the overhead canopy provided a little cover from the rain that arrive around midday.

The team hiked for a little over 5 1/2 hours and managed to not get too wet before we reached our camp for the night that sits around 10,000ft.

After settling into camp and get situated the team was served a nice warm meal for dinner.

Everyone is doing well and looking forward to a good nights rest.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and Kili crew

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