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Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Bid Farewell to Tanzania

Hello everyone.

We spent yesterday touring Tarangire National Park which is home to many elephants, and a huge diversity of other animals. It’s still a bit rainy here, so the normal numbers of animals was down a bit, but we’re headed out early today in hopes of seeing more.

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 and also last night's rain storm.

It's been a memorable experience for everyone and great friendships forged. But finally it's time to return home to our families.

Jambo from RMI Guide Casey Grom and the Safari crew!

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Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Enjoy Time in Ngorongoro Crater

Today we visited the famous Ngorongoro Crater, and considered by many 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. Every time we've visited the crater it's been excitingly different, and today was the same.

We were able to see several lions and it was exciting to be close to those big cats! As we made our way around the crater we saw tons of other wildlife, zebras, Cape buffalo, wildebeest, jackals, Giselles, countless raptors and many other large birds. It was quite a day to say the least, and I'm certain one that won't be forgotten by anyone.

We finished the evening 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

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Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Begin Their Safari

Safari time!

Today was our first day of safari and we headed a  few hours west to visit the beautiful Lake Manyara. Lake Manyara is a brief stopping ground for many migratory animals and home to more than 300 different birds, not to mention the famous tree climbing lions. 

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, giraffes off in the distance, tons of baboons, a few impalas and many elephants up close. And wouldn’t you know it, we even saw those tree climbing lions!

It was an amazing introduction to the incredible diversity of wildlife that Tanzania has and the team is very excited to see more animals tomorrow. We wrapped up the evening with a wonderful meal at our new lodge, The Plantation Lodge.
RMI Guide Casey Grom and the Safari crew

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Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Say Good Bye to their Mountain Crew

Today we started our day at 6:30 feeling good and refreshed after a much needed night's sleep. We had breakfast, then enjoyed some goodbye songs and dance from our amazing African crew of porters, cooks, and local guides numbering 37 to our team of seven. We finished the little celebration by handing out their well deserved tips and then hit the trail one last time.

It took just under 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, cleaner, and smelling fresh after an exciting seven-day journey up and down Kilimanjaro.

Stayed tuned, Safari starts tomorrow!

RMI Guide Casey Grom and the Kilimanjaro crew

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Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Summit!

100% on top in 100% humidity!

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 hitting the trail.

It was pretty cloudy when we left camp and soon enough there was light snow falling which continued with us all the way to the summit. The snow keep the breaks to a minimum and the pace steady. The team did an amazing job staying dry and positive despite the less than ideal climbing conditions and I’m very proud of them.
We did get just a slight reprieve from the snow at the summit, just enough to allow summit photos and a few phone calls to loved ones back home.

The team safely 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

On The Map

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Kilimanjaro: Grom and Team Prepare for Summit Bid

Hello again everyone

The team had a good nights rest last night and today just a short 2.5hr hike up to 15’000ft to our high camp. It started out looking like we might have some sun, then luickly clouded up. Thankfully we arrived at camp right before a little squall blew through bring snow/hail.

The team has just wrapped up lunch and discussed in great detail the plan for tomorrow’s climb. Everyone knows 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 8hrs if things go according to plan.

I’m also going to bring our Satellite phone to hopefully make a few calls from the summit. One lucky trivia winner will get 2. This winner is a big fan of gymnastics!
So everyone back home please keep your phones handy and if you receive a call from a strange number please answer. We are 8+hrs ahead of the east coast time zone.

Wish us luck!

RMI Guide Casey Grom and the Kili Crew

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Hey Team. Conrad and I were there 2 yrs ago!! My birthday!!!
Casey and Crew!!! The absolute best!!!!!

God speed   See all 5 on safari!!!!
We saw 4!!! Ouch.  Missed the leopard!!!

Go get him/her!!

Enjoy.  Monumental!!!

Posted by: Stanley Golovac on 1/28/2020 at 3:41 pm

I cannot even believe my own, amazing mother just called me from the summit of Kilimanjaro to tell me that they made it and that she loves me. I teared up a little bit just realizing that they set this goal so long ago and now they’re finally accomplishing it.

I am so proud of you mom and you too Sheldon. I love you both very much.

Love, Sienna :)

Posted by: Sienna Brane on 1/25/2020 at 7:58 pm

Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Scale Great Barranco Wall

Jambo everyone back home!

We had a slower start today to allow the many porters to get a jump start on the route and ever narrowing trail.

Right out of Barranco Camp we were faced with the only significant technical obstacle for this climb of Kilimanjaro. 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, especially since everyone did it in the rain which has been with us for two days now.

After reaching the top we took a nice break hoping to see the mountain, but the clouds only teased us. 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 and revealed itself only when we were headed to bed.

Spirits are high and there have been no complaints from this tough and fit crew!

RMI Guide Casey Grom and team!

On The Map

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Looks amazing!! Hi Brad, I hope you are having the time of your life!! “See” you back at work soon!

Posted by: Jane Iannucci on 1/25/2020 at 10:44 am

Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Pass Below the Lava Tower to Barranco Camp

Today we woke to sound of rain on our tents and hoped it would fade before hitting the trail. Sadly it didn’t, and we left camp clad in waterproof clothing. We hiked for a few hours before we got our break in the weather.

We hit the trail once again around 8:30am and hiked for an hour before taking our usual 15-minute break, then back on the trail for another hour and so on. All total today we hiked for just over 6 hours before reaching camp which is set up and ready for us.

Along the way we passed around the famous Lava Tower reaching just over 15,000ft setting new altitude records for most of the team. Everyone had a great attitude and managed staying dry thankfully.

Hopefully tomorrow brings some sunshine!

RMI Guide Casey Grom and the Kili crew

On The Map

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Jambo Jambo - Poli Poli ...drink lots fluids & enjoy!!
Big 5:)

Posted by: M Turley on 1/23/2020 at 10:18 pm

It is nice to read the updates and follow your progress on the map!  Best of luck to all and a special shout out to Liz and Sheldon!!

Posted by: Jerry Burau on 1/23/2020 at 4:27 pm

Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Enjoy the Views as they Ascend to Shira Camp

Hello again everyone

The team had a really nice day here on Kilimanjaro today, waking to mostly clear skies with a nice view of the upper mountain 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 chocolate and coffee. 

We hit the trail shortly after 7:30am to get a jump on some of the traffic and slowly made our way up the rocky trail with good views of Kilimanjaro 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 littered with obsidian.

The afternoon was spent relaxing around camp and enjoying nice conversation with the team.

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

RMI Guide Casey Grom and the Kili crew

On The Map

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Shout out to Timothy Yazzie!

Posted by: Lenora on 1/23/2020 at 9:14 am

Casey!  Good luck, from Kaki, Catherine and myself who so fondly remember 2017!

Posted by: Deborah Rutter on 1/23/2020 at 5:08 am

Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Head for the Mountain

Jambo Everyone

Today the team left behind our beautiful and comfortable river 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 two hours before reaching the Kilimanjaro National 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 intense sun and we were happy it didn’t rain either. It took our team around 5hr to reach our camp for the night that sits around  10’000ft.

Once we were settled into camp and got everybody situated the team was served a nice warm meal for dinner before retiring for the night. Everyone is still feeling the jet lag, and I’m sure the team will sleep well tonight.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and Kili crew

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