Entries From Kilimanjaro 7-26-14

Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Finish Their Safari at Tarangire National Park

Posted by: Dave Hahn | August 08, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Kilimanjaro

After a peaceful night at the Kikoti Lodge just East of the Tarangire National Park boundary, we had breakfast and ducked back into the park.  As experienced safari aficionados, we no longer stopped the vehicles for common zebras and wildebeest.  But we were happy to pull over to watch a monitor lizard cross the road.  And seeing a lion guarding his fresh kill got our attention.  The king of the savannah also got the attention of about twenty elephants on their way to the water.  They trumpeted and snorted when they sensed his presence and -giving him some space, took a detour to reach the water.  We saw a few thousand other animals and birds, baobab trees and acacias on our way back out to the main park exit.  Then it was Tanzanian highway driving with a few stops for tourism and sightseeing on the way back to Arusha and the Dik Dik Hotel.  All that remains now is a dinner together and a few shuttles to the airport over the next 24 hours as we split up and begin to circle the globe toward home.

It has been a chock full couple of weeks in Africa.  Thank you for keeping track of our team!

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Kikoti Camp, Africa safari. Photo: Jeff Martin Elephant at Tarangire National Park. Photo: Seth Waterfall

Oups, this cool elephant picture was taken by Seth Waterfall, but that’s OK, your great sense of capturing moment in this wilderness is well sufficient to let our imagination understanding… read more

Posted by: Chrystel on 8/9/2014 at 7:59 am

Thank you, Dave Hahn, for the richly detailed journals that you write for each trip. I love following the daily adventures of you and your team.
Safe travels to… read more

Posted by: Andrea Sparks on 8/9/2014 at 3:25 am

Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Have an Extraordinary Day in Tarangire National Park

Posted by: Dave Hahn | August 07, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Kilimanjaro

Another day, another incredible Tanzanian National Park.  Today we visited Tarangire... A system of rivers, swamps and savannas that host a mind-blowing number of elephants, zebras, wildebeest, gazelles, giraffes and just about every other East African animal you can think of.  We were particularly interested in the big cats today.  As luck would have it, we spied a cheetah, a lioness up a tree, and finally a big and beautiful leopard in an Acacia tree at sunset.  The elephants of Tarangire were everywhere and their signs of passage were everywhere else.  We could see where they’d been scraping bark from the giant baobab trees in search of moisture, and flat out destroying smaller trees in other places.  In terms of bird-life, we saw everything from an African Fish Eagle (eerily similar to an American Bald Eagle) to the ubiquitous superb starlings with their incandescent colors.  It was just getting dark when Joseph and Clement brought our Landcruisers in to Kikoti, a hotel of screened in cabins with a luxurious and open-planned center dining room and bar just to one side of the national park.  This will be our last evening together and our last out in the wild, but we look forward to a final day’s journey back through the park and “home” to Arusha.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Tarangire National Park, Africa. Photo: Dave Hahn Baobab tree at Tarangire National Park, Africa. Photo: RMI Collection

Mt. Kilimanjaro: Hahn and Team Visit Ngorongoro Crater

Posted by: Dave Hahn | August 06, 2014
Categories: *Kilimanjaro

A few days back we were on the summit of one of the world’s biggest volcanoes… Today we spent our time happily plumbing the depths of a collapsed volcano.  Ngorongoro Crater is a caldera teeming with the classic wildlife of Eastern Africa.  We went to the crater rim this morning in thick cloud, unable to see more that a hundred feet, but we had hopes that situation would change.  While still on the rim, we visited a Massai Village and were introduced to the customs and traditions of the dominant tribe in this area.  We then piled back into our Land Cruisers and began the 600 meter descent into the crater as the weather rapidly improved.  Within 20 minutes, we were seeing lions, jackals, Cape buffalo, zebras, hippos and ostriches… To say nothing of gazelles, wildebeest, and hyenas.  The constant water supply within the crater keeps the herds from migrating, the presence of the herds makes the predators happy, the addition of roads lets us see it all.  We even saw a couple of the resident (and rare) black rhinos, but they were at a distance and sleeping hard. 

Lunch was on the shores of a lush hippo hangout and then we circled the caldera (about 15 miles across) one final time.  With each sighting of a new species, the driver/guides would cut the engines and let us snap pictures as they described what we were seeing.  Finally, we spiraled up and out of the crater as the sun was getting low in the sky.  By this point we had the big view that had been denied in the misty morning.  Clement and Joseph had us back to the Kirurumu lodge by six thirty PM where we washed off the road dirt and put on clean shirts for some fine dining. 

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn & Team

The Massai people. RMI Photo Collection A herd of Wildebeest in the Ngorongoro Crater. RMI Photo Collection

Mt. Kilimanjaro: Hahn and Team Enjoy Lake Manyara

Posted by: Dave Hahn | August 05, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Kilimanjaro

What a difference a day makes. Yesterday we were climbing down a giant volcano, tired, grimy and hoping our strength would hold out.  Today we were squeaky clean, comfortable, road-tripping, touristing and game-viewing.
And it was great.  We drove out of the Dik Dik and Arusha around 9 this morning and made our way -in two souped-up Toyota Landcruisers- to Lake Manyara National Park.  We enjoyed a tranquil and easy picnic lunch within the park with Zach acting as Chef while zebras and elephants wandered by.  Then we went cruising with both vehicle roofs peeled open to allow standing and scanning for wildlife.  Lake Manyara itself was stunning today, with seemingly a million pink flamingos, storks and pelicans working the water’s surface and shores.  We spied baboons, elephants, giraffes, mongeese (what the plural of mongooses really should be), zebra and wildebeests, along with a few shy hippos and eagles.

Before the sun set, we left the park and drove up on the rim of the great Rift Valley, looking out over the lake and a good chunk of East Africa.  Our destination for the night was the Kirurumu Lodge and an extremely comfortable network of tent-cabins and fine dining.  Tomorrow, we look forward to a full day of safari-life.

Best Regards,

RMI Guide Dave Hahn & Team

Giraffe on Safari. RMI Photo Collection

Mt. Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Finish Their Climb and Return to the Dik Dik Hotel

Posted by: Dave Hahn | August 04, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Kilimanjaro
Elevation: 6,000'

The day started with our local staff serenading the team with the “Jambo” song after breakfast.  It was nice to see the strong and good men who’ve helped us so much this week all in one place, singing, dancing and able to receive our thanks for their great efforts.  We then made an effort to get out of their way by leaving Mweka Camp and descending 4000 vertical feet to the Mweka gate to end our climb of Mt. Kilimanjaro.  The low clouds didn’t hold back for long before dropping light but steady rains on us and the already slippery track.  The trail took us through a lush and seemingly impenetrable forest… I’m sure there was much to see, but mostly we concentrated on making careful steps and avoiding falls for a few hours.  We were relieved to reach easier terrain for the home stretch.  Since it was still raining at the Mweka Gate to the National Park, we didn’t hang around long before loading onto our expedition bus/truck and hitting the road for Moshi.  Halfway back to Arusha, in better weather, we stopped for a great picnic lunch.  Then it was on to our comfortable home at the Dik Dik hotel where we all got a lot cleaner and a little more pleasant as we caught up on sleep and internet.  We’re heading for a celebration dinner now, which will double as a farewell to Brian and Brad who are abandoning us and heading home tomorrow as we set out for our much-anticipated game-viewing safari.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

The RMI July 26th Kilimanjaro Team making their descent from the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro.  Photo: Dave Hahn

Mt. Kilimanjaro: Hahn and Team on the Summit!

Posted by: Dave Hahn | August 03, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Kilimanjaro
Elevation: 19,341'

Hey, this is David Hahn with Kilimanjaro team and we are on the summit! We are at Uhuru which is 19,341 feet above sea level. And we are in spectacularly good conditions. And as an added bonus, we have the summit all to ourselves. The whole team is up here and the wind is blowing about one and a half miles per hour. And it’s extremely pleasant. [Broken] ...happens to be cloaked in clouds right now, but it’s still beautiful. We’re enjoying being up here stepping into the throat of this great volcano. We’ll let you know when we’re down safe but all is going very well now. Thank you.

RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Dave Hahn Recaps the Summit Day:
We left Barafu Camp shortly after one AM and set out for the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.  It was an absolutely splendid night for climbing as there was no wind and no cloud above.  There was also no moon, so the stars and meteors and Milky Way were prominent and mesmerizing.  At first it wasn’t terribly cold, but of course as we gained altitude and got closer to dawn we had to contend with the big chill.  We made steady progress and watched sunrise from about an hour below the crater rim.  There was still no view of Africa, other than the cloud sea far below us.  We reached Stella Point on the crater rim at 8 AM and made our way around the rim to Uhuru -the high point- by just after nine.  It was calm and comfortable up there at 19,340 ft and so we stayed for forty minutes.  Descent to Barafu took until 1 PM.  Once there we packed our gear, ate a fine lunch and at 2:30 continued our descent toward the cloud sea.  All were a little weary (understandably) but we made good progress in any event reaching Mweka Camp at 10,000 ft by 6 PM. It was quite a journey, from the ice and glaciers down through numerous transition zones to the start of the forests and jungles. The team was optimistic about sleeping straight through this night and at last conquering our collective jet lag. 

An RMI team ascending to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. Photo: RMI Collection The RMI July 26th Kilimanjaro Team on the summit of Kilimanjaro, Uhuru Peak, August 3rd.  Photo: Dave Hahn

RMI Guide Dave Hahn checks in from the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania.

On The Map


Brad & Brian, Congrats on the Summit for you and all your team! Can’t wait to see the photos and hear the stories. Can’t think of a better reason to… read more

Posted by: Steve on 8/4/2014 at 8:21 am

Hope it was a great adventure for everyone!  I am sure you are all ready to get a warm shower and a comfy bed!  :)  Have fun on the safari! … read more

Posted by: Heather Davis on 8/4/2014 at 5:36 am

Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Prepare for Summit Bid at Barafu Camp

Posted by: Dave Hahn | August 02, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Kilimanjaro
Elevation: 15,200'

This was a relatively easy day for our team.  We had nice, warm sunshine on the tents when we rolled out for 8 AM breakfast.  As we’d become accustomed to, the world below was hidden beneath a thick blanket of cloud and the Roof of Africa was shining and clear above us.  The cloud sea rose as the day went on, but so did we, staying one jump ahead in the sunshine.  In such nice weather, there seemed to be no hurry, so Eliepende led our crew at a leisurely four-hour pace.  We’d left 13,100 ft Karanga Camp at 9 AM and we cruised into 15,200 ft Barafu Camp at 1 PM.  After a fine lunch and an inspiring discussion of our summit plans and preparations, the gang retired for a couple of quiet hours resting in the tents.  We’re doing a 5 o’clock dinner so as to have plenty of rest before our insanely early departure for the top. 

The evening is still calm and clear and we have high hopes for success.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

An RMI team as they leave Karanga Camp, Kilimanjaro. Photo: Dave Hahn Our high camp on Kilimanjaro, perched at 15,000' on Kilimanjaro's side. Photo: Jeff Martin

On The Map


Dave - wishin u & ur team the best of the best of views from Africa when u summit.  And care on safari, i hear they grow the kitty’s bigger… read more

Posted by: Mary on 8/3/2014 at 5:16 am

I’m Brads sister and have been keeping up with your climb. Very excited for your accomplishment! Good luck at the top!!!! Be careful on the decent. 

read more

Posted by: Caroline on 8/2/2014 at 12:21 pm

Mt. Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Ascend Barranco Wall

Posted by: Dave Hahn | August 01, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Kilimanjaro
Elevation: 13,160'

It was cold in Mt. Kilimanjaro’s Barranco Camp this morning, but very beautiful. We still couldn’t see the world below, due to clouds, but we could sure see the steep Southern walls of Kibo Peak above.  Giant icicles hung down from the glaciers and snowfields in the early morning shadows.  Just as the sun hit our camp at about 8:15 AM, we set off into the cool shadows again.  We didn’t stay cold though, since our first task was to climb the steep lava ledges of the Barranco Wall.  Our local guides, Eric and Charles, along with Eliapende and Vendelin, made sure that all felt confident in reaching up for the rough handholds and stepping from block to block to pass this imposing barrier. 
It took over an hour, as expected, to get up 800 vertical feet of relief, but we did it, earning even better views of Kilimanjaro’s central peak and glaciers hanging thousands of feet above.  Then it was relatively easy walking to reach the Karanga Valley, but by the time we made that combination steep descent and ascent -in and out of the narrow valley, we were in cloud.  We made it to Karanga Camp at 13,160 ft by 1:15 PM and began our now familiar and welcome pattern of resting, recuperating, eating and drinking through the afternoon. 

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

The RMI Kilimanjaro July 26th team on top of the Barranco Wall.  Photo: Dave Hahn

On The Map


Brother Brad & Brother Brian,
I know you guys are wearin’ out the mountain! Looks like a great trek. Enjoy the journey and take lots of pics. Can’t wait… read more

Posted by: Steve on 8/1/2014 at 6:47 pm

Kevin!  Hey babe! Got your vm today!  Missed your call by 5 minutes as I was loading the car.  :( you’re hiking a mountain and b is busy chasing h… read more

Posted by: Heather Davis on 8/1/2014 at 5:18 pm

Mt. Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Tucked in Below Barranco Wall

Posted by: Dave Hahn | July 31, 2014
Elevation: 12,800'

Our morning started with crystal clear views of the peak of Kibo (which contains Kilimanjaro’s central crater).  We were just above a sea of clouds, as we’d gotten used to yesterday afternoon.  Our climb began just before 8 AM up the steady and gradual incline heading directly toward Kibo.  We spent the day above “timberline” getting close up views of smaller desert shrubs and flowers.  The upper sky began to cloud up, particularly as we approached our high point for the day at 15,200 ft.  At this point we came around the castle-like “lava tower” and had to use our imaginations to visualize the steep escarpments above, cloaked in cloud.  Those clouds let loose with snow showers as we began our descent toward the Barranco Valley.  We quickly put on the weatherproof shells and marched downward through a mild blizzard.  The showers let up as we reached the giant Senecios -the doctor Seuss themed trees that make Barranco so interesting.  The team was in camp by about 3:15 PM.  We were lucky enough to get some brief periods of sunshine as the afternoon progressed, allowing a chance to dry damp gear and as well to see the route for tomorrow up the Barranco Wall.  We anticipate a calm night with some good and much needed rest at 13,030 ft above sea level. 

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

The RMI July 26th Kilimanjaro Team enjoying the views en route to Barranco Camp.  Photo: Dave Hahn

On The Map

Kilimanjaro: Hahn and Team Climb Climb Through Rain to Shira Camp

Posted by: Dave Hahn | July 30, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Kilimanjaro
Elevation: 12,570'

The rains came in the wee hours at Machame Camp this morning.  We were all snug in our sleeping bags and dry in our tents, but each of the team heard the showers and wondered how things might be if it all didn’t quit by morning.  Well, it didn’t quit, but things weren’t too bad, as it turned out.  We geared up in waterproof clothing and got out into light showers and persistent mist.  We’d breakfasted and busted out of camp by eight AM, climbing a steep and slippery trail with big lava-block steps.  We climbed for several hours in the cloud, wondering just which grand views we were missing.  It never got unbearably wet and we were spared from the possibility of overheating from too much sun.  Most of our altitude for the day had been gained and we were beginning the leftward traverse which would bring us to the Shira Plateau when we climbed out of the clouds.  It seemed we were in a great garden of wildflowers as we proceeded around the corner to Shira.  And then we could see - for the first time - the upper slopes and glaciers of Kilimanjaro.  It was an exciting moment, made better by the realization that we only had some easy downhill walking left to go in order to reach camp at 12,570 ft above sea level.  We were looking out over an endless sea of cloud and enjoying the sunshine for a time…the clouds washed back over camp in the mid-afternoon.  By then though, we were well-fed and well-sheltered in our new and higher home. 

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map


Hey Dad and Mr. Brad! It looks like you are having fun! It looks beautiful!
Brody - I love you dad, and I like your fun trip, and… read more

Posted by: Becky, Brody, Halle (007) & Champ on 8/1/2014 at 3:43 am

Glad the Team is climbing well. Keep it up! Go Brad-man & Gally-man!

read more

Posted by: Steve Barker on 7/31/2014 at 5:18 pm

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