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Kilimanjaro: Team Arrives in Tanzania

Greetings from Arusha Tanzania,

Our adventure has begun! The team arrived last night at Kilimanjaro International Airport and we headed directly to the Dik Dik Hotel. It’s a welcome relief to go from our long flights to a delicious meal and a soft bed.

No early risers in this crew, so it was a nice relaxing start to our day. After breakfast we started talking about the details of the days ahead and to sort through our gear to get ready for our departure. With our gear packed and weighed, we took a nice walk down to a nearby town to stretch our legs and to check out the area.

Tomorrow we have an early departure for the Machame Gate where we will begin our trek. With our travel days behind us, it is time to start walking! We’ll check in tomorrow from the mountain.

Till then ....

RMI Guide Jeff Martin
and The Simba Sita (The Simba Six)

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Great job! Knew u could do it even with the old geezer Bob. Just kidding. We are proud of both you.

Posted by: M and K on 2/16/2012 at 3:10 pm

Hi Hegmans!!!  We are so proud of you!!!  Glad to see ODU representing in the picture:)  Good luck and make it to the top so you can bore us with stories about it for years to come!!  We love you! Jodi, Jackson, and Max

Posted by: Jodi, Jackson, and Max on 2/16/2012 at 6:53 am

Kilimanjaro: The Climb Begins

Happy Valentine’s Day from Machame camp.

When we woke up this morning, it was sunny and warm and the perfect day to start our climb.
After a quick breakfast, we loaded up in the vehicle and drove to the park gate, about an 1 1/2 drive from our hotel. With our park registration complete and the porter loads weigh, we were all more than ready to start walking.
With not a cloud in the sky, shorts and t-shirts were all that were needed today. As soon as we started on the trail, we began a steady climb up through the forest zone, the most dense section of forest on the mountain. After we climbed several thousand feet, the forest started to thin and the flanks of Kilimanjaro came into full view. A short stretch later, we were walking into our first night’s camp at 10,000. With our tents already set up and a snack waiting for us, it was a nice ending to our first day on the trail.

The team did great today on the hike and everybody is feeling strong and healthy. Tomorrow we will be checking in from Shira Camp.

Team Sima Sita

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team

Kilimanjaro: New Altitude Record for most team members

Hello from Shira Camp,

Today the team moved from Machame Camp to Shira Camp for our second night on the mountain. The morning started out with clear blue skies as we continued the climb up and out of the giant heather zone. Within a few hours, most of the climbing for the day was done and we started a long traverse. At the end of the traverse the trail cuts through several sections of lava rock and we finally crested out on the Shira Plateau. This is at almost 12,500 feet, an altitude record for most of the group. We descended a couple hundred feet and walked right into camp. The clouds rolled in shortly after lunch and have been with us since. We are all hanging out in our tents now, resting a bit and working on our appetites for a big dinner.
Tomorrow will be the biggest day of the climb so far and we will be adding another 2,500 feet to those altitude records.
The group remains strong and are all up for the challenge tomorrow.

RMI Guide Jeff Martin & Team Simba Sita

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

What a great experience! Good hard work with rewards of delicious meals, good company, and awesome vistas.  Enjoy!  Mom Wick

Posted by: Elaine Wick on 2/15/2012 at 2:38 pm

Mexico’s Volcanoes: Team Returns from Ixta

Now our team is safely in Puebla, getting cleaned up and reorganized after a valiant effort on Ixta. 

As we pulled into our high camp yesterday afternoon our fingers were crossed tightly for a break in the weather. By the time we sat up to fire stoves, a ferocious snow storm pelted the tents and kept us at bay. It came down hard for a few hours, then the wind started. Camp remained in a wet windy cloud and still we waited, hoping for a spell in the storm. It never came. After a mostly sleepless night, the sun finally turned our cloud light and we started packing up. The team handled the sub-ideal conditions like true climbers, realistic that safety trumps all and hunkering down in this case was by far the most prudent choice. Now we rest in Puebla and get ready to head to Orizaba for the next climb, just a little hungrier.

RMI Guides Jake Beren & J.J. Justman

Leave a Comment For the Team

Kilimanjaro: Team Checks in from Barranco Camp

Jambo from Barranco Camp,

Everybody did extremely well today on our move to Barranco Camp. It was the longest and hardest day so far of the trek, but the team was more than up for the challenge.  We started at 12,500’ this morning, with clear skies and a magnificent view of the mountain. But this was short lived as the clouds soon took over and stuck with us for the rest of the day. We even had a little rain as we approached Lava Tower Camp, our high point for the day at 15,200’. The clouds parted briefly so we could see Lava Tower and a glimpse of the Western Breach Wall. But more important than the view, was the fact the team was strong and handled the altitude well. It was downhill from here and we made great time descending down almost 2,500’, the entire amount of elevation we had spent the better part of our morning climbing up. But that is why today is so important for our acclimatization, and will pay big rewards on our summit day.
Tomorrow we tackle the Barranco Wall, and will check in from Karanga Camp.

A few comments from the Team -

Cal and Grayson - We will not fail.
Pam, Jaiden, and Carson - Miss you and love you.
Susan, Jennifer, and Craig - Still standing

RMI Guide Jeff Martin & Team Simba Sita

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Jeff is the best!Love those hot water bottles. Guvu coma Simba!

Posted by: The Honey Badger on 2/17/2012 at 7:24 am

Way to go Hegmans, but don’t forget to mark your territory before bedtime!

Posted by: Bradley Hegman on 2/16/2012 at 9:32 pm

Kilimanjaro: Team Ascends the Barranco Wall

Hello from Karanga Camp,

The team is doing great and we are happily nestled in at Karanga Camp. The weather has been having a hard time making up it’s mind the last few days, and today was no different. The mornings start out clear, but by mid-afternoon, the clouds roll in and stay around until dinner, and then it clears out again. Fortunately, there has not been much rain and the trail conditions have been great.
This morning when we got up, every trekker in camp was looking up at the Barranco Wall. It would be hard to miss this almost 1,000’ wall rising up towards the sky, but it is when you see the first few porters working their way up the trail is when you really take notice. You can hear the nearby groups talking about the Wall followed by “we have to climb up that”. The vantage point from camp makes the trail appear to be near vertical, but once you start the climb, it is very straightforward trail. In fact, most find it a lot fun and our group cruised right up it.
With most of the elevation gain for the day done while climbing the Barranco Wall, it was easy hiking the rest of the way to camp. We had a spaghetti lunch waiting for us when we arrived and then spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing. Now it’s time for popcorn and tea.
We are all excited to be moving up to our high camp tomorrow and will check in from there.

RMI Guide Jeff Martin & Team Simba Sita

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

David and Heidi, 
We are following your trek each day. Congratulations
on your progress this far.

Best wishes,


Posted by: Craig Berkman on 2/17/2012 at 6:49 pm

I think I can, I think I can,  Your almost there.  Awesome pictures!

Posted by: Bradley Hegman on 2/17/2012 at 12:58 pm

Kilimanjaro: Preparing for Summit Day

Jambo from Barafu Camp,

The team did great today on our move up to high camp. The hard work over the last five days has paid off and we are now ready for our summit attempt. Today was our shortest day of hiking so far, and we made it to Barafu Camp in just under 3 hours. Now we have the whole afternoon to rest up and sort through our gear one last time, just to make sure we have everything we need for tomorrow.

You would not be able guess we are at 15,000’ right now. The sun is finally winning out over the clouds and it is warm, especially inside the tents. It won’t last long, but we’ll take it while it does.

An early dinner is the plan for tonight and hopefully we will be horizontal by 6:30 pm. The alarm is already set for 11:45 pm, and hope to be walking by 1:00 am. We should be arriving at the crater rim around sunrise and then one final stretch up to Uhuru Peak, the Roof of Africa.

Our group is really strong and up for the challenge of tomorrow. Thanks the positive comments on the blog.

Will try and check-in from the summit tomorrow, or when we get down to Mweka Camp.

RMI Guide Jeff Martin and Team Simba Sita

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Heidi and David. Excited to follow your daily progress.
Look forward to hearing that you have reached the summit
and accomplished your objective! All the best! Stay safe and
be strong. XOXO Dad

Posted by: Craig Berkman on 2/18/2012 at 8:53 pm

Great to follow your amazing advendure through the blog and photos!  Hope today’s ascent exceeds your expectations and that the Roof Of Africa was as phenomenal as it sounds.  See you when you return home.  Safe travels and have fun!

Posted by: Romy Mortensen on 2/18/2012 at 2:33 pm

Kilimanjaro: 100% of Team Reaches Summit

RMI Guide Jeff Martin called from Mweka Camp (10,000’) after the team’s summit day.
The entire team reached the summit of Kilimanjaro today in great style.  They left Barafu Camp after midnight with their headlamps lighting the way and reached the “Roof of Africa” as the day broke over Tanzania.  After a quick celebration on top the team began their descent back to high camp where they were greeted with drinks and breakfast.  They continued down to Mweka Camp and the thick air of 10,000’ tired but in great spirits.

Congratulations to the team!

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

240Z I have an awesome nephew!  Congrats!  So proud of you. 240Z

Posted by: Bev Trauba on 2/21/2012 at 2:21 am

I know this was your dream (a crazy one at that) I am so proud of you KIM AND BOB HEGMAN. Excited to hear all about it.
Safe trip home-
Love, Susan

Posted by: Susan on 2/20/2012 at 11:38 am

Kilimanjaro: Team Returns to Arusha

Hello from Arusha,

We are safely off the mountain and back at the Dik Dik hotel. The team did great yesterday and everybody in the group made it to 19,340’, Uhuru Peak. The day started at 11:45 pm and we were walking out of camp by 1:00 am. It was a solid six hours of climbing to reach Stella Point, and at 8:15 am we were standing on the Roof of Africa. Our timing was perfect and we pretty much had the summit to ourselves, a rarity on Kilimanjaro. The Park Service recently replaced the old summit sign with a new larger green and yellow sign. Consensus amongst most climbers is that they like the old sign better, but either way, it marks the spot of the highest free-standing mountain in the world. We took a bunch of summit photos, and then we started our descent back to high camp.

This summit day was a little tougher than the usual. What started out as some light winds, soon turned into a solid 30 mph wind by the time we reached 17,000’. As the eastern horizon turned orange as the sun began to rise, the winds picked up to 40 mph. We slowly climbed onward, but it was soon becoming apparent that we might not even make the summit today. We added our shells, covered up our faces, and decided to keep going for another stretch. An hour passed and without any relief from the wind. Without stopping, we climbed for another hour and fortunately, the winds lessened as we approached the crater rim. By now it was looking a little more optimistic that we would reach the top despite the winds. We were cold and tired, but with the summit in view, we added our down parkas, and made it the last hour to Uhuru peak.

We quickly descended back to HighCamp and were greeted by congratulations and a table loaded with fresh fruit and french toast. Re-fueled and re-packed, we headed down to Mweka Camp for the night. This morning we completed the trek down to the Mweka gate and then back to the Dik Dik Hotel.

Now we get to put our climbing gear away and focus on the next part of our adventure - 4 days on safari. First up, Lake Manyara National Park.

RMI Guide Jeff Martin & Team Simba Sita

Leave a Comment For the Team

Kilimanjaro: Tree Climbing Lions on Safari!

Hello from Plantation Lodge,

Today we had to say good bye again to the wonderful Dik Dik Hotel and headed out on our safari. First stop on the safari circuit was Lake Manyara National Park. It’s not talked about as much as some other parks in Tanzania, but it has a lot of game viewing and is the perfect introduction to safari. I have heard for many years that this park is most well known for the tree climbing lions, and after many trips without ever seeing one, I was beginning to think that this was all made up. To my surprise, this would be the day that we saw not just one, but six tree climbing lions. The lions will climb the trees to seek refuge from the hot afternoon sun and they are really hard to spot because only a leg or a tail will be hanging down from the tree branch. It had been over two years since our driver had seen one, so we were definitely lucky.

The entire park sits right below the Great Rift Wall, and as we continued to tour around the park, we saw lots of elephants, impalas, hippos, zebras, wildebeest, and giraffes. We left the park feeling very good about the day’s sightings.

Tomorrow is Ngorongoro Crater with its 25,000 resident animals. It going to be a big day and people are excited to see this natural wonder.

RMI Guide Jeff Martin & Team Simba Sita

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Wow!  I can’t believe I saw Kims white legs on the last picture.  It is good that Kim is letting her hair down.  Way to go Bob and Kim.. Can’t wait to hear and see more when you get back!!

Posted by: Bradley Hegman on 2/23/2012 at 9:42 am

Lucky!  I had stopped believing in them.  Nice one team.

Posted by: Seth on 2/21/2012 at 1:58 pm

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