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Entries By brent okita


Mt. Rainier: Four Day Teams Summit!

The Four-Day teams reached the summit this morning at 5 am! RMI Guides Brent Okita and Christina Dale reported great route conditions and no winds on the summit. They are currently finishing their descent to Camp Muir for a quick break before packing up camp and starting their descent to Paradise in the summer sunshine.

Congrats team!

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

Congratulations to everyone!  Special thank you to Lead Guide Christina, and to Trevor for all his help with me on the descent.  So very proud my son Christian Rainier Culbert summited a 2nd year in a row with RMI.  On an even more beautiful day this time when they got to see the sunrise from the summit.  I’ll always remember (rue?) the unique challenge of Disappointment Cleaver. Pre-dawn on the Ingraham Flats with Gibraltar Rock looming behind us in that early light, a canopy of stars just beginning to fade above us…a moment I will treasure.  Appreciated everything so much; RMI you are a credit to your stewardship of our beloved Mt. Rainier.

Posted by: Geoff Culbert on 8/8/2022 at 7:35 am


Kilimanjaro: Safari at Tarangire National Park

I don't know how the Ngorongoro Crater can be beat but Tarangire National Park may have done just that. What an incredible day! 

Having gotten some much needed souvenir shopping done on the way to the park we arrived before lunch time and decided to put some miles in before stopping to eat. In the first 3 miles we saw so much game that we had to turn back to eat at the designated picnic stop by the entrance. 

With our fill of zebra, wildebeest, impala, giraffes, elephants and more, all at less than a stone's throw away, we went on the search for a lion. Did we ever score, thanks to our safari guides/drivers. Lions hanging in the grass were nothing compared to seeing two hanging out on a tree limb. This was followed up by seeing a young male who was busy digesting his kill from the morning that we passed by earlier. Then, miraculously, we came upon a leopard lounging in a tree, surveilling her area hoping for dinner to walk by. This was a first for me, and we were all quite excited about it. 

Then, it was a long 1 1/2 hr drive to our lodge in the park. When we finally got there, we were amazed at just how incredible this place was. Not only super posh, but as we sipped on drinks on the patio listening to the manager explain about life at his safari lodge in the park, we had elephants. Impala and several other species of game walking past the lodge in plain sight. Then, in our ''rooms' we found 5-star accommodations waiting for us. I think we're all in awe! 

Now, later, I'll just say that dinner was perfect, and I didn't get jumped by a lion on the way back to my quarters

All for now, 

RMI Guide Brent Okita & Team 

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

Oh my goodness, it all sounds amazing!!!

Posted by: Andrea Murphy on 7/28/2022 at 1:26 pm


Kilimanjaro: Team Visits the Ngorongoro Crater

I'm continually amazed with the Ngorongoro Crater each time I visit. The variety and sheer number of animals we see blows my mind. Today might have surpassed what I've seen in prior trips.

It started with a bang as one of the first critters we encountered was a hyena feeding on a carcass with a jackal and vulture looking on. A Nat Geo moment if there ever was. It got better from there on. The animal we all wanted to really see, simba, popped into view not terribly long after the hyena. A big male showed itself for us looking as regal and mighty as only a big cat can look. Later, we got closer looks at a pride of four or five lions, including a young male, resting by a river, content to relax before they go hunting again. Perhaps the coolest thing was just being in the middle of hundreds, if not thousands, of animals like wildebeest, zebra, gazelle, warthog, Cape Buffalo, and more. All just milling around, some just inches from the vehicle and more as far as the eye could see. Things were so active we were delayed in reaching the designated picnic area for lunch because we had to stop and gawk so much. 

Finally, we made it to our lunch site and were treated to a great meal centered around chicken shishkabobs. On our way out we stopped by a Masai bomba, or village, where we were invited to learn about their culture and how they live. Sure, we pay for the privilege, but I think it money well spent as it helps support these people who are caught between keeping to their traditional ways while existing in a world so unlike theirs.

The day ended with another gourmet dinner, the likes of which none of us commonly partake. A nice South African Cabernet seemed an appropriate pairing to the wonderful meal. The great company only made the evening perfect. 

Tomorrow: Tarangire National Park!

Cheers,

RMI Guide Brent Okita & Team

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Kilimanjaro: Proposal at Lake Manyara

With sadness we bid adieu to six of our teammates from the climb as they embarked on their short day safari before flying off tonight. But with much excitement we started our own four day safari with some new folks. The Cognetto's added a couple of family members (wife/mom, son/bro), plus Nick's girlfriend. But first we had to celebrate another birthday, George's, at breakfast. In typical Tanzanian fashion the staff came out to sing the national feel good song Jambo Bwana, plus Happy Birthday. Of course, candles and cake were on hand too.

Our visit to Lake Manyara didn't disappoint as we got into elephants and baboons within five minutes of entering the gates of this cool national park. But, quite frankly, the giraffes, hippo, Buffalo, eagles and other animals, while great, were somewhat eclipsed by the actions of a couple of our team. A marriage proposal was made, knee bent and ring offered, in the middle of this amazing part of Africa, and was accepted! This, to the enthusiastic approval of dozens of on lookers at our lunch spot. Yeah, I must admit to becoming an emotional marshmallow seeing this proposal unfold as I joined in the clapping of support for these two wonderful people. And again, that incredible Tanzanian spirit of celebration and happiness came out as the group of safari guides that happened to be at the lunch site with their clients, broke into the Mambo Bwana song to recognize this special occasion.

​Congratulations Jess and Nick! Cheers to a long and happy life together!

RMI Guide Brent Okita and Team

From the Plantation Lodge near the Ngorogoro Crater, Tanzania 

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

The excitement continues.  Congratulations Jess and Nick! 
All of this the happy reward celebration of a climb accomplished.
Can’t wait to hear all about it all Glen and Thomas.
XOXO Mom/ aka Moma

Posted by: Ginee Philippy on 7/27/2022 at 9:03 am


Kilimanjaro: Okita & Team Complete Climb, Descend to Mweka Gate

Our climb kept pushing us as we descended from our high camp at Barafu (15,200') all the way to Mweka Camp (10,000'). The feet and knees were talking to us and what they were saying would be inappropriate for the ears of young children. 

But we all made it, in part to the fantastic pizza our chef Tosha made us for lunch. Pizza, at 15,200'! On a two burner stove, no less.. Incredible!

At Mweka the gods were smiling down on us, granting a rare sunny day at this place that exists on the edge of the rain forest where clouds always seem to hang. Of course, Tosha beat us to Camp to prepare another wonderful dinner. 

Last night brought everyone a night's sleep they haven't had since they were bouncing about in diapers. 10+ hours of solid sleep was had by all, just the right medicine for our tired bodies. It was amazing to see a bunch of mostly middle aged men bounce back from an intense 13-14 hour day and trot down a slick, slightly muddy trail to the Park gate at 6000'. In fact, they even beat many of our porters down. A first!

At the Mweka gate we were greeted by our outfitter and the busses and enjoyed our last meal 'on the mountain.' This time cold drinks were available, and many bottles of the local brew were consumed. The gift shop was happy to provide some the chance to get something special to bring home. 

The highlight of this time was certainly the singing and dancing our mountain crew did celebrating our week together. The joy and kindness these hard-working individuals shared with us all week was distilled into a few minutes, and really reminded us of how special this trip was. 

Yes, the mountain was fantastic, but it was the people we shared this time with that proved to be the most special part of the climb. These people, who lack so much in material things compared to us Westerners, are so rich in spirit and generosity that we as a team were all moved and reminded of what's really important in life. 

And in the end, there was this team of climbers that came together to climb a mountain and left as friends,  sharing an amazing story that will never be forgotten.

Hope to see you all again! 

RMI Guide Brent Okita

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Happy Birthday, Geo! Congrats on reaching the summit. We’re still standing here for now. See you soon!

- The Sales Pod

Posted by: Kourtni Kesler on 7/26/2022 at 6:53 am

I have tears in my eyes from reading this.  Congratulations to all of you!  So inspiring!

Posted by: Andrea Murphy on 7/25/2022 at 11:53 am


Kilimanjaro: Okita & 100% of Team Reach Summit

Hi! This is Brent Okita from Barranco Camp on Kilimanjaro, we just wanted to let folks know that we are back down from the summit. We reached the summit this morning under really nice conditions, and everyone just crushed the summit.  So, 100% of the team on the summit this morning, we are back at camp taking a little breather now, going to have some lunch and in an hour or so we are going to descend to our lower camp where we will be tonight, before heading back to the hotel tomorrow.

Congratulations to the whole team, they did really well today.


RMI Guide Brent Okita checks in after summit day on Kilimanjaro.

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Outstanding and congratulations!

Posted by: Scott Kenny on 7/25/2022 at 6:47 pm

Congratulations Norm, Nick, and the team!!!

Posted by: Linda Hill on 7/25/2022 at 8:44 am


Kilimanjaro: Okita & Team Arrive At High Camp

Saturday, July 23, 2022 - 4:48 am PT

Excitement is building for all of us on the team. Our summit bid comes in a short 12 hours and the camp crew is hustling to get all ready for our efforts. 

Our climbing team is equally excited as we move into our tents and get organized for the climb tonight. The good weather we've been enjoying has gotten even better the past two days and looks to hold for us tonight. We'll be doing lunch shortly where we'll have time to go over all the details that will help us be successful tonight. Then, some time to organize, an early dinner and bed by 6:00pm.

We're all ready to climb this mountain after an easy day today. Less than three hours of slow walking was a perfect way to get to this camp. We're in the volcanic zone now and have left the shrubs and greenery behind for more. Everyone is in excellent shape and feeling well at our High Camp at 15,200'.

Wish us luck! 

RMI Guide Brent Okita

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Should be summiting right about now! Continued prayers!

Posted by: Caitlin Neal on 7/24/2022 at 6:13 am

Praying for great summit climb.

Posted by: Karen Szczesniak on 7/23/2022 at 4:50 pm


Kilimanjaro: Okita and Team Scale the Barranco Wall

What a day!  At 13,070' it was still rather chilly in the shade as we began our climb of the Barranco Wall. Looking ahead the route was already busy with climbers and porters negotiating the steep terrain. Behind us camp was finally lit up with the early morning sun, looking warm and inviting. But our attention was focused on the steady footwork that would take us safely up this cool wall. 

Much of the climb we snaked through weaknesses in the rock that allowed us to walk upright on the well-trodden path. The fun came dealing with those places that demanded more precise footwork and the use of handholds on the rock. At a couple of places, we'd 'spot' these moves to maximize safety, but the team moved like the savvy climbers they are, or have become. After one and a half hours we were rewarded with a huge flat area at the top of the Wall where we refueled. The scenery here opened up dramatically to the steep cliffs and glaciers leading to the summit. Our route, thankfully, skirts these precipitous faces, traversing east to Karanga Camp, and eventually the route to the summit. 

Getting to Karanga demanded we climb up and down through a couple of valleys, but the views and scenery were so nice that nobody complained of the need to reascend precious altitude gained earlier...

It was nice getting into camp by 1:00 to enjoy the warm, beautiful weather up here. Tosha had an incredible paella whipped up for lunch after we had the chance to settle into our tents and wash up after the dusty trail.

How spoiled we are!

Tomorrow: High Camp - Barafu.

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

George, I pray for your safety and that of the team. I envy the view you are rewarded with for your efforts of climbing!!!

Posted by: Michael Belt on 7/22/2022 at 7:55 pm

Glen and Thomas…We are mentally negotiating these paths with you and can feel the excitement building as you get closer to the goal.  Now to rest up for Saturday’s trek to high camp. Amazing stuff!  Thanks Brent for these updates

Posted by: Ginee Philippy on 7/22/2022 at 10:48 am


Kilimanjaro: Team Climbs to Barranco Camp

Barranco Camp!

Following a lazy afternoon at Shira Camp relaxing, enjoying tent time and playing cards, we were again treated to another incredible dinner by Tosha, our world class chef. This set is up for for today's trek up the Shira Plateau to Lava Tower 15,200' where we enjoyed a leisurely lunch in perfect weather. From here our descent through the giant groundsels, lobelias and senecios of this unique and beautiful valley was easy and fun. Climbing under the steep, western side of this mountain with the remains of its glaciers was impressive, and soon brought us to Camp at 13,070'. With its dramatic beauty and views down valley to the city of Mosha this is surely the most picturesque Camp on the route. Plus, we see our next challenge right in front of us: the Barranco Wall. Our local guides are impressed with the team, commenting on the strength of everyone. An insight I've shared since the first day.

RMI Guide Brent Okita & Team

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Best of luck to eyeryone!  Way to go, George!  We can’t wait to hear about your adventure…. The Luther family in Cincinnati is cheering you on!

Posted by: Phil and Sally Luther on 7/22/2022 at 9:38 am

So fun to follow all of you!  I’m praying for an amazing adventure for you all!!!

Posted by: Andrea Murphy on 7/21/2022 at 1:51 pm


Kilimanjaro: Okita & Team Ascend to Shira Camp

Day 1 -

We're all excited to have finally gotten our climb going. After months, and in some cases years, of anticipation of this adventure, day 1 is almost over. 

Driving through the lush agricultural zone low on the flanks of Kilimanjaro we finally arrived at the start of our climb, the Machame Gate. Light rain was falling as we debarked the bus that brought us here, but stopped by the time we started hiking. Five hours later we arrived, the group showing strong form on this first day. 

Camp had been set up and awaited our arrival, a stark change to what many of us are used to. Following this, tea time and popcorn then a great dinner. 

The highlight so far was the wonderful cake that was so carefully brought to camp to recognize Thomas's 20th birthday, accompanied by the excellent singing of our guides as they presented this special recognition of a special person. Thanks Naiman, Tosha, Alfred and the rest of the crew

We're looking forward to going higher tomorrow. To Shira Camp!!!

Day 2 -

Shira Camp!

We walked out of the light clouds and drizzle of Machame Camp forward to gaining some elevation and rising above the rain forest. Although it took a little while we finally broke out of the clouds and into the sunshine we've been missing since arriving to Tanzania.

Everyone crushed our 5 hour hike to camp. The last hour we were treated to our first view of Kibo, Kilimanjaro’s summit area. The Western Breach was impressive and allowed us to see the general direction we’ll be climbing over the next few days,

We’re looking forward to tomorrow where we’ll reach a high point of 15,000’ before descending down to Barranco Camp at 13,000’. A perfect day for acclimatizing.

We’ll talk soon from Barranco Camp!

RMI Guide Brent Okita

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