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Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Tour Tarangire National Park

Hello everyone

We spent yesterday touring Tarangire National Park which is home to many elephants, in fact, it has more per square kilometer than any place on earth and it didn’t disappoint.
There were plenty of other animals as usual, and we got close to a few big giraffe, which was amazing plus a leopard sighting too.

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 big thunderstorm.
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 Explore Ngorongoro Crater & Visit Maasai Village

Hello again everyone

After a good nights rest and rain all night, we were not sure what to expect after all the rain from the famous Ngorongoro Crater. The crater is roughly 100 square miles and is home to roughly 30,000 mammals that reside here year round, as its one of the few places that has natural springs and water year round. We started early with hopes of catching the big cats as they are more nocturnal animals.
We saw many hyenas, jackles, ostrich, plus countless other huge birds, and even manage to get close to a pride of 12 lions with very full bellies. There were 3 Black Rhino spotted also which was a highlight.

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 and the team is off to bed after a long, but very rewarding day on safari.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and the safari crew

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Thanks so much for your regular blogs.  They were wonderful for those of us who had a loved one in your group.  You did a great job of reporting!

Posted by: Peggy Phipps on 1/18/2019 at 1:52 pm

Kilimanjaro:Grom & Team Enjoy Great First Day on Safari

Today was our first day of safari and we headed West to visit the beautiful Lake Manyara. The lake is a brief stopping ground for many migratory animals and home to many unique birds.
Everyone enjoyed the day cruising around in our safari vehicles with cold beverages in hand while seeing the animals up close and personal.
We saw wildebeest, zebras, Cape buffalo, lots of baboons, a few impalas, hippos, and several elephants so close we could have touched them.
It was a pretty nice introduction to the incredible diversity of wildlife that Africa has and the team is looking forward to seeing more tomorrow.

We spent the remainder of the day relaxing at our new lodge and finished the evening with a wonderful meal at our new lodge.

RMI Guide Casey Grom
and the Safari crew

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Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Ready for Safari

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 numbering 52. 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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Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Reach Summit, Return Safely to High Camp

Hey everybody, this is Casey Grom checking in from the Kilimanjaro climb.  We are calling to let you know that we’re all safely back at High Camp after a very successful summit climb. We were able to get nine of our ten climbers to the summit. It was a little bit of a busy day up on top trying to get photos and let people make satellite phone calls and I wasn’t able to get one out to the dispatch until we just got back to camp and it’s a good time. We’re all safe. Everyone’s doing well. We will take a little break here and have some lunch and then we’re actually going to pack up and descend a couple more thousand feet to some warmer temperatures and some thicker air. And it’ll shorten are descent out of the park tomorrow. So everyone’s doing well. Everyone’s in great spirits and we’ll do our best to get a dispatch out tonight. But if I remember right in the past, I haven’t been able to get one out of the trees there. So if you don’t get a dispatch tonight then Monday morning as soon as we’re making our way out of the park, I’ll update and give maybe a little play-by-play of the summit climb. And as well as we’ll get some photos to you guys. Obviously, we haven’t had cell service or Wi-Fi service up here so that we could really send that much data. I think a few of the team members said they were able to send some texts. But anyway looking forward to getting those to you and kind of fill you in on how everything went. That’s all for now and hope you guys have enjoyed following along.  Talk to you soon.

RMI Guide Casey Grom

On The Map

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Just wanted to tell Chris we are all fascinated with this way of keeping us aware
of your climbs. Keep it up

Posted by: John Condon on 1/14/2019 at 8:22 am

Yea Catherine!  Was such an unexpected blessing to hear your voice from the summit!  So glad weather cleared up some the last of the trip so that you had that beautiful view. Eager to hear all about it when you get back.

Posted by: Peggy P on 1/14/2019 at 6:02 am

Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Arrive At High Camp, Prepare for Summit Climb

Hello again everyone

After a good nights rest and a short hike up to 15,000’ we’ve finally arrived at our High Camp. Thankfully the weather broke and today was sunny 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 11 pm 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.

Also to note!
There have been several rounds of trivia with the winners getting a chance to make a satellite phone call 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 7 hours ahead of the east coast time zone.
So a 7 am arrival at the summit will mean a midnight phone call and 9 pm for pacific time.

Wish us luck! And thanks for sending the good weather just in time!

RMI Guide Casey Grom and the sunshine Kili crew!

On The Map

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Catherine, I just heard from Mom, you did it! I am so thankful you have had this experience. Take care of those knees on the way down. I love you and am praying for your safe return.

Posted by: Carol Lyn on 1/13/2019 at 6:53 am

Cat and Kris, I can only imagine the magnificent views you’re seeing! I’m so happy you’re getting to have such an amazing experience. It’s certain to be a taxing endeavor, but it has to be worth it!! Am so proud of you both!

Posted by: Melinda on 1/13/2019 at 1:22 am

Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Conquer the Great Barranco Wall

Jambo family and friends.

Today was slightly better than the last few, briefly sunny this morning, then clouds and a little more rain as the day continued. Thankfully it was a shorter hike today and the team did fantastic.

We left camp a little later today to allow the many porters to hit the trail before us as we had our only major obstacle right out of camp. This obstacle is the great Barranco Wall, which rises about 1,000ft and looks as intimidating as it sounds. Thankfully there is a nice narrow goat 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 our hands to help us climb up. The team did great and thoroughly enjoyed the challenge.

After reaching the top we took a nice break but were unable to enjoy the amazing views due to the clouds. Nonetheless we continued our hike for a few more hours before reaching camp.

We spent the remainder of the day relaxing in our tents and playing a few games of cards with plenty of good old mountain stories.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and the Kili crew

On The Map

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Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Take in the Views of Lava Tower

Hello folks back home.

We’re still here on Kilimanjaro.
Day 3 for us was pretty similar to yesterday. Cloudy and rainy for almost the entire hike. This team is in good spirits though despite the weather being less than ideal. We haven’t completely ruled out descending and making a run to the beaches in Zanzibar!

Our morning ritual has been waking around 6:30 and getting everything in our tents packed up before heading into our very spacious dinning tent for quite the feast. Normally there is fresh fruit, fried eggs, bacon, and plenty of hot coffee awaiting us, obviously we’re being spoiled up here by our wonderful staff!

We hit the trail usually around 8am and hike for an hour before taking our 15-minute break, then back on the trail for another hour. All total today we hiked for just over six hours before reaching camp which was set up and ready for us thankfully.

Along the way we passed around the famous and beautiful Lava Tower reaching just over 15,000 feet setting new altitude records for some.

Please send us some sunshine for tomorrow.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and the Kili crew

On The Map

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I’m so proud of both of you, Cat and Kris! Enjoy ever amazing moment of this incredible experience! We’re sending vibes of encouragement your way.

Posted by: Melinda on 1/10/2019 at 10:09 pm

Sending Houston sunshine to Ted, Pierce and the whole gang. You’re all making memory treasures! Keep it up! Paula & Steve

Posted by: Paula Strong on 1/10/2019 at 8:24 pm

Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Ascend to Shira Plateau

Jambo everyone back home -

The team woke feeling well rested after about 10 hours in our tent last night. We had a pretty good day on Kilimanjaro today, I only say pretty good because we hiked in light sprinkles to full on rain all day. Thankfully everyone’s gore-tex jackets kept us dry.

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 8 am and slowly made our way up the rocky trail that leads out of camp. The trail climbs up a ridge and eventually out of the trees and normally allows for some truly spectacular views of the valley below, but today it was a bit limited. The team hiked for about 4.5 hours before reaching our next camp that sits on the Shira plateau, which is an ancient lava flow just above tree-line. Once at camp we were treated to a wonderful warm meal and then hopped into our tents to relax.

The evening was full of great stories and another amazing meal prepared by our gracious staff.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and the Kili crew

On The Map

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Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Enter Kilimanjaro National Park, Hike to First Camp

Hello Everyone -

Today the team left behind the comforts of our beautiful lodge and have made our way to the mountain towards the start of the climb. Starting shortly before 8am we drove along the rural country side for two hours to reach 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 heavily forested and resembles more of a jungle or cloud forest. Traditionally it has supported a large part of the banana production for this area.

Once we arrived at the gate we had all of our gear weighed and divided into loads for our porters to carry before hitting the trail. Once everything was in order we started our climb slowly making our way up the winding trail. The team hiked for a little over 6 hours to reach our camp for the night. Everyone did great and enjoyed finally getting some much needed exercise.

After settling into camp the team was served a nice warm meal and then headed off to bed for a nice full night of rest.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and the Kili crew

On The Map

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