Entries From Kilimanjaro 9-15-12

Kilimanjaro: Team Gathers in Arusha, Tanzania

Posted by: Casey Grom | September 17, 2012
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Kilimanjaro

Hello everyone,
RMI’s Kilimanjaro expedition is underway.
The team members arrived late last night after some very long flights, two back to back 9 hour legs to be precise. Needless to say we didn’t do much other than check into our hotel and head to bed.
We started today off with a team meeting/orientation to the program and gear check. After getting to know one another a bit we explored the beautiful grounds of the Dik Dik Hotel, which was teaming with monkeys and exotic birds and some views of the surrounding mountains.
The team had a nice lunch then headed off to visit the nearest town of Arusha, a bustling city of about 1.2 million people. Its a diverse culture made up of Christians, Muslims and local tribes people from the Chagga and Masai.
We had a quick stop off at the local grocery store called Shop Rite to pick up a few last snacks, then visited the local cultural museum. We also picked up a few umbrellas to protect us from any rain that might try and dampen our spirits on tomorrows trek.
Last but not least we finished up the night with a delicious five course meal that left everyone with a smile on their face.
Just a few last minute touches on packing and its off to bed.
Everyone is doing great and we are very excited for tomorrow’s start to this grand adventure.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

Relaxing near the pool at the Dik Dik Hotel. The beautiful bungalows of the Dik Dik Hotel.

Megan & Wes .. Here’s to the best honey moon on record .. Love you both .. Looking forward to hearing all about it .. XOXO Earl & Quata Wolf

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Posted by: Earl Wolf on 9/20/2012 at 4:38 pm

Hope you guys are having a great time and doing well. Be safe and have a blast!  We are thinking of you. Morgan said not to look down!!

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Posted by: Mindy on 9/20/2012 at 3:39 pm

Kilimanjaro: The Climb Begins

Posted by: | September 18, 2012
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Kilimanjaro
Elevation: 9,800'

Time to climb!
We left the Dik Dik hotel early today and headed to Kilimanjaro. We passed many tea, coffee, and banana plantations before we arrived at the southern gate called the Machame gate. Which is also the name of the route we will be climbing. Our team checked in with the local agency that manages the climbs, while our local guides hired porters and split up the 60+ loads that will follow us up the mountain.

We hiked through soaring rainforest and giant heather in route to our camp for the night. It took us just over four hours to reach camp, where we were delighted to find camp already waiting on us.

The staff provided yet another amazing meal for the team and we were even fortunate enough to glimpse a view of the “Roof of Africa” right after dinner.

Everyone is in great spirits and are looking forward to some well earned sleep.
RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

Duffels, gear, food, etc. packed from the Dik Dik Hotel and ready for the trail.  The entrance to Kilimanjaro National Park via the Machame Gate

On The Map

Kilimanjaro: Team Ascends to Shira Plateau

Posted by: Casey Grom | September 19, 2012
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Kilimanjaro
Elevation: 12,200'

We were greeted by crystal clear skies this morning which allowed some amazing views of Kilimanjaro and the route ahead. The team did a great job this morning getting packed up and hitting the trail after a breakfast full of fresh bread, fresh fruits and fried eggs. Not to mention the 10 hours of sleep we had!

The trail out of camp slowly climbed out of the forest and up onto the Shira Plateau. We watched in amazement as the porters moved past us with ease while balancing loads on their heads. Our crew certainly out did themselves by having prepared another feast for lunch about half way up the climb. It was a nice surprise to arrive at lunch with the tables and chairs waiting on us.

It took us about five hours to reach our next camp on the plateau and again camp was set up and our group was happily awaiting our arrival.
Needless to say the team had a wonderful day and everyone is doing great. We will rest here at 12,200’ for the night to help with acclimatization and will head up again tomorrow morning.
RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

An RMI Team hiking towards the Shira Plateau. An RMI Team camped at the Shira Plateau, 12,200 ft on Kilimanjaro.

On The Map


Hi mom & dad! I miss you guys but i am having a great time with Kara! She has shown me your pictures and they look amazing! Kara Has taken… read more

Posted by: Jake Mountain on 9/19/2012 at 6:25 pm

Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Settle in at the Base of Barranco Wall

Posted by: Casey Grom | September 20, 2012
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Kilimanjaro
Elevation: 12,800'

It was another wonderful day here on Kilimanjaro with clear skies to start the day. We hiked for just about six hours all total today starting at 12,200’ and then climbed up to 15,300’ and then descended back down to 12,800’. Everyone did great and thoroughly enjoyed the climb and many of the team members set new altitude records for themselves. The climb took us up across the Shira Plateau, traversed over to Lava Tower and then underneath the Arrow Glacier. We then descended into a valley that sits at the base of the Great Barranco Wall. Along the way we stopped and admired the unique vegetation that is only found in the high altitude of Africa. We saw many giant lobelias, groundsels and hundreds of Senicio trees that look like something out of a Dr. Seuss book.

The team is now resting comfortably in camp and are looking forward to climbing the Barranco Wall tomorrow.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

Far above treeline approaching Lava Tower. Kilimanjaro View from Barranco Camp.

On The Map


Glad everything is going great,Megan & Wes hope yall are having fun love Mom & Dad.

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Posted by: David & Juli Erickson on 9/21/2012 at 1:01 pm

Hi Ken and Leeza - glad to know you and the rest of the team are doing very well on this exciting adventure. Thank you, Casey, for the updates. Best… read more

Posted by: Sabine Calkins on 9/20/2012 at 12:43 pm

Kilimanjaro: Team Ascends to Karanga Camp

Posted by: Casey Grom | September 21, 2012
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Kilimanjaro
Elevation: 14,500'

Hello again from Africa.
All is well here as we continue to have fantastic weather for our climb. Once again the team impressed me with their performance on the 1,500’ high Barranco wall in just over a hour. We were one of the first groups out of camp and had most of the trail to ourselves with only a few porters passing along the way. Those that did impressed us with how they scaled the near vertical wall with 50 lbs balanced on their heads.

We then traversed over to the Karanga Valley and descended a few hundred feet and then climbed back up and are now resting comfortably at camp. Its a beautiful camp with the summit of Kilimanjaro above us and the Karanga Valley below and we can see the forest that surrounds the mountain and the savannah beyond that. Quite a sight to say the least!

The entire team is doing great and I believe everyone is in awe over the fact that we leave camp each morning still standing and yet we always arrive with the new camp set up and waiting on our arrival.
Enjoying the good life and looking forward to moving to high camp tomorrow.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

Hiking through the Karanga Valley. The summit of Kilimanjaro from Karanga Valley Camp.

On The Map

Kilimanjaro: Team Reaches High Camp ready for Summit Bid

Posted by: Casey Grom | September 22, 2012
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Kilimanjaro
Elevation: 15,000'

Hi Everyone,

The team did a great job again on the short hike up to our high camp. It’s been a long journey but everyone is in good spirits and we are all excited about tonight’s climb.Our plan is to wake at midnight, have a quick breakfast and then be walking by 1am. If all goes according to plan then we hope to be on the summit just after sunrise.We will spend the next few hours resting, preparing our gear and hopefully getting a little sleep too.

The climb will break down into one hour stretches with 10-15 min. breaks between each hour. Our pace will be slow but steady with lots of breathing as we ascend to “The Roof of Africa” 19’340ft above sea level. We’ll do our best and will try to call from the summit.

Wish us luck!

RMI Guide Casey Grom and Crew

On The Map


Ken and Leeza! I believe you are at the summit right about now. :-). Thinking of you and best wished to all!  Sabine and Larry

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Posted by: Sabine Calkins on 9/22/2012 at 5:01 pm

We are thinking of you all & sending good vibes for endurance and ease! We love you, Jordan!

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Posted by: Susannah Wally on 9/22/2012 at 2:16 pm

Kilimanjaro: Team Summits with 100%

Posted by: Casey Grom | September 23, 2012
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Kilimanjaro
Elevation: 19,340'

RMI Guide Casey Grom checked in via satellite phone on Saturday night, September 22 at 10:01 p.m. PT from the summit of Kilimanjaro, The Roof of Africa.  Casey was very happy to report that all team members had reached the summit it was a perfect day, sunny and beautiful.  “It is a fantastic day up here” Casey said.

After spending some time enjoying the views the team will descend to the 10,000’ Mweka Camp for their last night on the mountain. 

Congratulations to Casey Grom and all of the Kilimanjaro September 15th team members!

Sunrise over Tanzania on summit day. An RMI Team making their way to the summit of Kilimanjaro. Summit day on Kilimanjaro.

On The Map

Kilimanjaro: Teams Returns to High Camp

Posted by: Casey Grom | September 23, 2012
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Kilimanjaro
Elevation: 15,000'

Hello everyone back home this is Casey Grom checking in from our Kilimanjaro trip. Just wanted to report that we are all safely back at high camp and we had a 100% reach the summit today. Pretty amazing day. Weather was still perfect again for us going up. Little chilly, so we’re having to do a little dancing to keep our fingers and toes warm but all in all the group did fantastic. As I said we returned to high camp, we’re packing up and we’re actually going to be descending a few more thousand feet to our last camp, Mweka Camp.  If I get a chance I’ll try to send in a written dispatch. And if not we’ll certainly check in sometime tomorrow when we get off the mountain. That’s all for now, everyone’s doing great and look forward to trying to share few photos in a couple days with you guys.

RMI Guide Casey Grom

RMI Guide Casey Grom checks in after summit climb.

On The Map


I have been following your progress, looks like you folks are having a great time wish I were there. Keep safe and have a wonderful journey.

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Posted by: Priscilla Neal on 9/24/2012 at 2:43 am

COngrats to you and your team Casey. I have great memories of Kilimanjaro! All the Kili girls spent the weekend together and Lucy and Corell say hey.  High fives from… read more

Posted by: Elsie Bemiss on 9/23/2012 at 6:30 pm

Kilimanjaro: Team Finishes Climb

Posted by: | September 24, 2012
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Kilimanjaro

Back safe and sound!
Today we hiked the last few miles off of the mountain and are all freshly showered (thankfully) and are awaiting the feast that the Dik Dik Hotel is preparing for us. Everyone is happy to be back off the mountain and are looking forward to sleeping in beds, hot showers in the morning, cotton clothes and fresh coffee!

We have had a great last few days with the whole team getting to stand on the summit of Kilimanjaro. It was a wonderful, if maybe just a little exhausting, week full of beautiful views and amazing weather.

We’ll spend the night resting here then we will be off again in the morning to enjoy the rest of this beautiful country on safari.

RMI Guide Casey Grom
and a happy crew.

Descending from Mweka Camp on the last day of the Kilimanjaro Climb.

Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team - Day One of Safari

Posted by: Casey Grom | September 25, 2012
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Kilimanjaro

Day one of our safari brought us to Lake Manyara, known for its famous pink flamingos and tree climbing lions. It took us about two hours to get there from our hotel. The drive took us through the vast open plains of Africa inhabited mostly by the Maasai people. Once in the park we rolled the tops of our land-cruisers back and drove through while standing up. It’s currently the dry season and the lake was mostly gone for now, but we saw many animals- elephants, water bucks, Thompson giselles, impalas, dik diks, zebras, giraffes, wildebeest, and too many birds to name. No big cats today but hopefully tomorrow we’ll see plenty.
Everyone enjoyed the day and we are currently resting at the fabulous Plantation Lodge. See for yourself. We will be headed out early tomorrow to try and beat the heat and catch the animals at breakfast, so to speak.

It’s off to bed for now,
RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

A pair of giraffe at Lake Manyara.

Great going guys, beautiful surroundings!  Lots to see and take pic’s of!!!!  Enjoy the relaxing part of the trip.  Carpe Diem!!!  ;o)

- Cat

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Posted by: Cat on 9/26/2012 at 3:19 am

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