Entries From Kilimanjaro 9-2-13

Mt. Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Enjoy Last Day on Safari

Posted by: Casey Grom | September 15, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Kilimanjaro

We spent all of yesterday in Tarangire National Park. It’s home to more elephants per square mile than any place on earth, and we weren’t disappointed at all. If I had to guess I’d say we saw somewhere close to a thousand elephants between yesterday and on our short drive back through today.
We spent the night just outside of the park boundaries in another tented camp. And enjoyed an amazing meal provided by the kind staff at the Kikoti Camp.
It’s been an incredible adventure and everyone has had a wonderful time here in Africa, but our trip has come to an end and its time to return to our homes.
Thanks for following.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

Game viewing in Tarangire National Park, Tanzania.  Photo: RMI Collection Lodging at the Kikoti Camp, Tanzania.  Photo: RMI Collection

WOW!  Looking forward to your return and the narration of these pictures!
Safe travels home!

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Posted by: Tracy O. on 9/15/2013 at 8:23 am

Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Visit Ngorongoro Crater

Posted by: Casey Grom | September 13, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Kilimanjaro

Today we visited the famous Ngorongoro Crater, believed by many to be the 8th wonder of the world. It is a two million year old collapsed caldera that is home to more than 25,000 large mammals, and has a dense population of lions.

We spent nearly the entire day driving around looking at all the animals and waiting at times for either the wildebeest, or zebras to get out of our way. We saw about a dozen lions, a far off black rhino, thousands of pink flamingos and many others. I’m pretty sure everyone had a great day.
We finished off the day with a quick visit to a working Maasai Village to see how this semi-nomadic group of people still live the way they have for thousands of years.

Hopefully tomorrow we’ll catch a glimpse of a cheetah and leopard to round out the safari.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew  

A herd of Wildebeests at Ngorngoro Crater. Photo: RMI Collection An RMI team visiting the Maasai Village. Photo: Casey Grom

Words cannot describe my envy, but so happy at the same time for these experiences for you.  Love and miss you (and Gig ‘Em)!

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Posted by: Tasha on 9/14/2013 at 6:34 am

WOW. Just like on Wild Kingdom.  “Jim,  jump down and get that lion”.  ( showing my age here).  Waiting on giraffe pictures.

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Posted by: Tracy O. on 9/13/2013 at 7:44 pm

Mt. Kilimanjaro: The team visits Lake Manyara

Posted by: Casey Grom | September 12, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Kilimanjaro

On our first day of safari we headed south to Lake Manyara, which is know for its colorful flamingos and tree climbing lions. It wasn’t long before we spotted our first of many elephants to come. In fact we stopped just short of a mother and her baby and watched them cross between our two safari vehicles. It was surreal to see them so close and feel as if we could almost touch them, while they barely noticed us. We then headed off to our normal lunch spot but had to find another place as several lions had beaten us there. We think we counted 5 all together, two young males and a few females, but it was a little tough to tell as they were trying to stay cool in the bush.

After a nice hot meal provide by our traveling chef Michael, we headed off to see other animals and a quick visit to the hippo pond. Along the way we spotted a huge Monitor (giant lizard) in a creek and spotted many zebras, giraffes, wildebeest, bush bucks, and a few warthogs too.

All in all it was a pretty rewarding first day on safari.

We are spending the night overlooking the lake in a nice tented camp called Kirurumu. Everyone is doing great and excited for what tomorrow might bring.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and Crew

Mom & baby elephant - Photo: Casey Grom Hiding lions - Photo: Casey Grom Safari Lunch - Photo: Casey Grom Dinner at the Kirurumu - Photo: Casey Grom

Incredible. What an experience…but come home now. Can’t wait to see pictures.

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Posted by: Tiff on 9/12/2013 at 3:07 pm

WOW!!  What an awesome day!  Thanks for putting up the pictures. Can’t wait for the stories..

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Posted by: Tracy O. on 9/12/2013 at 2:34 pm

Mt. Kilimanjaro: Climb Ends Safari is About to Begin

Posted by: Casey Grom | September 11, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Kilimanjaro

After a short hike today we finally arrived at the exit gate of Kilimanjaro National Park and meet up with more of the Dik Dik staff who had prepared a wonderful lunch for us. It took about two hours to reach the Lodge where we greeted by all of the lodge staff outside awaiting our arrival singing and dancing. It was a very warm welcome and left everyone with big smiles.
As you can guess there were hot showers for all and a few naps too. We finished the evening with a celebration dinner and handed out summit certificates to everyone.
Now it’s time to enjoy the success and do a little animal watching!
Safari starts tomorrow!

RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

The RMI September 2nd Kilimanjaro Team celebrating their success at the Dik Dik Hotel.  Photo: Casey Grom

On The Map


That certificate will be framed and hung in a place of honor! 
So proud!  Have fun on your safari!  Love you!

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Posted by: Tracy O. on 9/12/2013 at 6:52 am


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Posted by: randy on 9/12/2013 at 4:29 am

Mt. Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Summit!

Posted by: Casey Grom | September 10, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Kilimanjaro
Elevation: 10,000'

9/10/13 6:49 am PT
Hello all -

The team has finally made it all the way down to Mweka camp situated around 10,000’ and are resting after such a big day.
We had a wonderful day for climbing today with clear skies, moderate temps and very little wind. Everyone did a great job of taking care of themselves the entire day and really impressed me by making the summit in a little over 6 hours. We spent about a half hour taking in the spectacular views and getting the obligatory summit photos, then headed back down to high camp. After a brief rest we packed up and headed further down valley to tonight’s camp.
Everyone is doing well and I’m sure will sleep well tonight.
Looking forward to hot showers and clean clothes tomorrow.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

9/10/13 3:10 am PT - Success!
Our entire team reached the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro today.
We have safely returned to high camp and are getting packed up for our descent.
We’ll try to update this evening.

The view en route to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro at sunrise.  Photo: RMI Collection The RMI September 2nd Kilimanjaro Team on the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro September 10th.  Photo: Casey Grom

On The Map


Congrats Fatima, another fine accomplishment with great memories. Impressive girl! Casey rocks.

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Posted by: Greg Barber on 9/11/2013 at 8:47 am

WOOO HOO!!! you made it…never doubted it.
Be safe!
Love and hot cocoa to all!!!

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Posted by: Marilyn on 9/11/2013 at 8:34 am

Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Preparing for Summit Bid

Posted by: Casey Grom | September 09, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Kilimanjaro
Elevation: 15,000'

Hello again everyone.

Day 5 and we have arrived at Kilimanjaro’s high camp, 15,000ft!

The team once again did a great job of getting to camp in just under our 3-hour target time. It was another nice day here this morning and now we are sitting in the clouds, which will make for perfect napping temperatures.

We have just finished another enjoyable lunch and have discussed the plans for our upcoming climb. Everyone seems excited and as usual, a little nervous too.

Our plan is to wake up at midnight, have breakfast at 12:30 p.m., and hopefully start our climb around 1 a.m. If all goes according to plan, we should reach the summit somewhere around 7 - 9 a.m. EAT (5 - 7 a.m. PST).

Wish us luck!
RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

The trail leading to High Camp on Kilimanjaro. Photo: Jeff Martin Team Grom excited for summit day in the morning! Photo: Casey Grom

On The Map


Jami & Heidi. We got your message. Congratulations! We have been watching your progress. Love you both, Mom, Dad and kids.

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Posted by: Carrie Whitney on 9/10/2013 at 4:13 am

My Heidi Looks COLD…..Keep warm Girl!  Miss You!!

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Posted by: Mary Jo Sabo on 9/10/2013 at 2:51 am

Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Climb the Barranco Wall

Posted by: Casey Grom | September 08, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Kilimanjaro
Elevation: 14,500'

Hello all.

It was a beautiful day here on Kilimanjaro today. Clear skies and relatively warm weather made for an enjoyable day.

The team easily climbed the 1,000-foot high and intimidating Barranco Wall on our way to camp today. We made our way via a series of broken ledges and small steps and we were in awe of how easily the porters climbed this wall while still balancing their loads on their heads.

We are currently resting at Karanga Camp, which sits above the great Karanga Valley and has views of the towns far below.

Everyone is doing well and we are in good spirits!
RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

Team Grom at Karanga Camp, Kilimanjaro. Photo: Casey Grom

On The Map

Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team at Barranco Camp

Posted by: Casey Grom | September 07, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Kilimanjaro
Elevation: 15,000'

Jambo everyone!

Day three here on Kilimanjaro was a little windy and cloudy. But those conditions allowed us to make good time on our hike by keeping us cool but not cold. We hiked up the Shira Plateau for a few hours and reached our high point around 15,000’ (new heights for some) at a place called Lava Tower. We stopped and took a nice break and enjoyed the limited view then easily descended down into the Barranco Valley to camp. Along the way we saw some of the unique vegetation that only grows in this part of the world. The giant Senecio trees that look like something out of a Dr. Seuss book, groundsels,and lobelias.

We are all currently relaxing in camp either taking naps or playing cards. Everyone is doing great and having a good time!

RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

Far above treeline approaching Lava Tower. Photo: Jeff Martin Our camp at the foot of the Barranco Wall, right below Kilimanjaro's southern face. Photo: RMI Collection

On The Map


Fatima and Pete..You are heading to Summit day. Savor every moment….Say HI to Casey.  Deb

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Posted by: Debbi on 9/8/2013 at 3:41 am

You’re doing a Wicked Good Job!!!

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Posted by: John Ehntholt on 9/8/2013 at 3:14 am

Kilimanjaro: Casey and Team move to 12,500’

Posted by: Casey Grom | September 06, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Kilimanjaro
Elevation: 12,500'

Once more into the breach, dear friends.  Today was a shorter hiking day, but I thought much more technically challenging.  We ascended 2500 feet, ending up at tonight’s camp sitting at 12,500’. The road to the camp was dusty and narrow.  I personally found it difficult to maintain the pace of the group due to some stomach issues, but Eric, one of our 40 porters helped me out by carrying my sack for a spell.  I’m happy to report that I feeling much better.  The group is working very well together.  Peter and Fatima brought a high end camera and are on charge of high end shots.  Heidi and Jami are heading up the bunch and in charge of the “walking” photos.  Heidi has dual duties, in that she has to give distance and altitude reports.  Rosa is in charge of local PR with the porters.  Rick, who wanted me to give a special shout out to his two girls at home, is in charge of culinary spicing.  Kendyl and Dan are in charge of fact verification and chocolate supplies.  Me, I’m comic relief.  And Casey, he keeps us all in line and moving toward our goal.  In short, all parties are necessary and I’m glad they are here.

Looking forward to tomorrow,
Dawn & The RMI Team

Dawn Team on the Trail - Photo: Casey Grom Team Enjoying Rick's culinary Spicing - Photo: Casey Grom

We sure are missing you but it’s great to be able to get updates while you’re gone and to see pictures.  Little One is loving her daily letters (and also… read more

Posted by: Tasha on 9/7/2013 at 6:42 am

So glad you are feeling better. You ever get sick so we did not prepare for sickness! Sounds like a great group. What a laugh Kendyl taking care of chocolate…we… read more

Posted by: Marilyn on 9/6/2013 at 6:54 pm

Mt. Kilimanjaro: Casey Grom and team arrive in Africa!

Posted by: Casey Grom | September 04, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Kilimanjaro

Hello everyone or as they say here in Africa, Jambo,

The gang is finally all here after their long flights. Today we had our official team meeting where we did a round of introductions and had an overview of the Kilimanjaro program, shared a few stories and discussed all the gear needed for this adventure. Most of us spent the rest of the day relaxing here at the peaceful Dik Dik Lodge or snuck off for a quick nap to help adjust the nearly 12hr time difference. And just so everyone back home knows, we are about a 1/2 day ahead of you. Everyone seems excited and ready to go and we finished the evening off with another delicious 5 course meal.

Stay tuned,
RMI Guide Casey Grom and Crew


HEY!!! You guys look awesome. Missing you. Have fun and be safe.

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Posted by: Tiff on 9/6/2013 at 7:36 am

great to see all of you GOOD LUCK LOVE DAD

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Posted by: randy on 9/6/2013 at 6:01 am

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