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Entries By brent okita


Kilimanjaro: Okita & Team Summit!

Amazingly, most of the team actually got some sleep last night before I made my rounds to wake folks up just past 11:00pm. The night sky was amazingly clear and calm, and though the temps at camp were below freezing it felt a lot warmer than I had expected.
Our 7 1/2 hour ascent covered a variety of terrain from scree to rock, and got colder as we gained altitude. In fact, all the Camelback hydration systems people insisted on bringing froze and became useless until low on our descent.
What a big mountain. Our team couldn’t believe that our summit bid could go on for so long. But, at about 7:30 we finally reached the summit, Uhuru Peak at 19,340’. What was most impressive was that everyone summitted! The team just put their heads down, pressure breathed and got it done. But a big thanks needs to go out to our local guides: James, Freddy, Peter, Patrick, Naiman and Venance. They worked tirelessly to help the team achieve this dream.
Following our summit, we were greeted with a nice lunch upon arriving back at camp, then there was the five-hour hike to our next camp at about 10,000’ Mweka Camp. Sore feet and knees were casualties of the descent, but it sure feels good to be down here now. Especially after another great meal prepared by Tosha, our chef.
The eyelids are growing heavy, so I’ll bid you all good night.

RMI Guide Brent Okita

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Kavine and Rohaan - such an amazing and inspirational accomplishment; rohnu - especially you to have done this at such a young age - what more will you go on to do? This is something you both will cherish forever. Congratulations! Looking forward to fattening the both of you this next week here in london.

Posted by: Haneet vaswani on 7/25/2017 at 10:50 pm

Congratulations to all of you, the whole team.
All of your preparations have paid off obviously.
What an amazing achievement.
An enormous thanks to you Brent for sharing your experience and skills in getting everyone there and back. But most of all my best wishes go to the youngest man in the house, Stephen. I know you had your big bro and the two lads there to help but fair dues Stephen, fair dues.

Love to all.
Des

Posted by: Des on 7/25/2017 at 2:56 pm


Kilimanjaro: Okita & Team Ascend to High Camp, Ready for Summit Climb

Snow and sleet greeted us on our arrival to our high camp on the mountain, Barafu Camp, but that didn’t dampen our excitement for getting here. Because we had such a short day today, our camp staff wasn’t quite ready for us as they usually are. But through their tireless efforts we were able to get under shelter in no time.
The sleeping tents were ready shortly thereafter, and we had just enough time to move our packs in when lunch was announced.
So, here we are at 15,200’, on the eve of our climb. The team is excited, but a little nervous too. Pretty understandable emotions to be going through, and ones that most climbers go through before a big climb.
We’ve had our summit talk, a briefing on what to bring and wear, and what to expect. We’re all now preparing our kit for the summit in the time we have before dinner, We’ll try to hit the sack by 6:00pm so we can get some rest before our departure just after midnight, As I write this the skies have cleared again and the ground has dried. Things are looking good for our big day. With any luck we’ll be sending a quick satellite phone brief from the summit.
Wish us luck!

RMI Guide Brent Okita

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Go Team Kilimanjaro! You’ve got this!!!

Posted by: Kay Johnson on 7/24/2017 at 3:34 pm

OMG!  I can’t believe the time is here already!  Best of luck to each and every one of you.  Such an amazing accomplishment to date.  So proud of you!!!!

Posted by: Carin Parella on 7/24/2017 at 10:58 am


Kilimanjaro: Okita & Team Climb Barranco Wall Arrive Karanga Camp

Our assault of the Barranco Wall was relentless and the team finally conquered its mighty face with no loss of limb or life. The same can’t be said for the poor, hapless porter who lost his load a third of the way up, which meant beating a hasty retreat down to the valley floor to retrieve it. Luckily, said porter was below us and not above, which might have been a whole other story.
The climbing up that part of our climb today was fun and exciting, but we were all humbled as we watched the porters scaling the same terrain with forty pound loads balanced on their heads or shoulders, and arriving to camp two plus hours before us.
The rest of the route undulated into and out of valleys, always under the shadow of the steep flanks of the upper mountain. We ended up only a little higher than our previous camp, so everyone’s feeling strong and we’re all becoming well acclimatized.
After arriving to camp and ‘washing up’ another incredible lunch was served: schnitzel with warm German potato salad, followed by apple pancakes and banana fritters. Wow!!!
While in our dining tent the clouds finally unleashed a little rain. We’ve been so fortunate with the weather so far, that this little precipitation has not dampened anyone’s spirits. And now, after thirty minutes of wetness, it has abated.
We’re all comfortably sheltered in either our personal tents or the mess tent playing cards, so not really affected by the vagaries of the weather. Quite nice.
Until tomorrow, we’ll try to suffer on. Wish us luck.

RMI Guide Brent Okita

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team

Kilimanjaro: Okita & Team Set New Altitude Record for Most

Our longest day yet saw us climbing to a high point of 15,200’, an altitude record for most of us. Thankfully, ours was a gradual ascent of the Shira Plateau until Lava Tower (15,200’), which made our progress a little easier than it could have been.
Dropping 2,000ft to Barranco Camp at 13,000ft is allowing us to feel pretty darned good here at camp and giving us a perfect acclimatization program.
Upon walking into camp our mountain staff greeted us with a couple of wonderful folk songs. Not only are they talented singers, but most notably, everyone is incredibly nice, generous and they all bend over backwards to make us feel welcome.
The challenge for our group, and all climbers here, is to just deal with the altitude and keep from getting a gut bug. So far so good. ‘Pole pole’ is the oft heard refrain in Swahili reminding the world, or at least the folks climbing Kili to ‘go slowly.’ And that we are, to great effect.
To say that this is an outgoing and social group would be an understatement, but perhaps that can be expected since we’re all family. It’s fun hearing the roars of laughter coming from the mess tent as folks play a round of cards before turning in for the night.
Tomorrow, the Barranco Wall, a steep one and a half hour climb that should be fun and exciting for us. Not technical, but the steepest climb we’ve done yet.
It’ll be a shame leaving the Barranco Valley, with its steep walls hanging spectacularly above camp, but on we climb towards the summit.
Next up, the Karanga valley.

Good night,
RMI Guide Brent Okita

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

It’s great to hear from ye each day and delighted ye are doing so well. It wouldn’t be Okita’s et al without riotous card games. Love to all O’Riordan’s hollyhill

Posted by: Ber and des oriordan on 7/23/2017 at 6:18 am

Brian and I are at Mom’s and reading your updates.  Sounds like an amazing climb so far. We love all of you!

Posted by: Carin Parella on 7/22/2017 at 12:00 pm


Kilimanjaro: Okita & Team Ascend to Shira Plateau

Our five hour trek to the Shira Plateau and our beautiful camp here began steeply out of Machame Camp and was quite relentless for a good three or so hours. Along the way we learned some walking and breathing techniques that will be key to our success on this expedition.
While I was busy coaching the team on these skills, one of our local guides, Peter, did a fantastic job with the pace and allowed us to move easily while still getting to camp at a reasonable hour. In this case, that would be at 1:30, just in time to sit down for the incredible lunch spread prepared by our chef Tosha. How does fried chicken, French fries and a refreshing salad, followed by watermelon sound, especially at 12,570’.
Climbing Kilimanjaro is nothing if not over the top luxury, and I’ll take every last bit of it. Our staff on the mountain, the guide, porters, cooks, waiters etc. allow the team to concentrate on the important matter of acclimatizing and just taking care of ourselves. We’ll need that help to be able to climb this 19,000’ behemoth in a week.
Following lunch we’ve all gone into major relax mode, letting the altitude seep into our bodies and the calories just consumed reenergize us in preparation for a big day getting to Barranco Camp. And of course, we need to be rested for ‘tea time’ in a few minutes.
Yeah, life is tough here in Tanzania, but the team is reaping the benefits of our support crew and everyone is doing really well.
All for now from the Shira Plateau.

RMI Guide Brent Okita

On The Map

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Kilimanjaro: Okita & Team Hit the Trail

The team all got to breakfast early this morning allowing us to get a head start on the day. This was nice as we were able to get to the Machame Gate and start our day before a lot of other teams. The National Park Service keeps Kilimanjaro national Park in great shape and it’s been inspiring to see them take a strong stand promoting Leave No Trace policies. Our immaculately maintained trail led us easily thru the rain forests of the lower flanks and to the beginning of the giant heather,which can grow to thirty feet high. All are doing fantastic, especially after fantastic three course dinner our cool Toshi prepared for us.Sleep is tugging at our sleeves pretty hard, so we retired to our tents where this old cowboy is also ready to crash.

Talk with you tomorrow.

RMI Guide Brent Okita & Team

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Brent - I am always so proud of you.  It is always amazing to see how much you enjoy this chosen profession AND how professionally skilled you are.  You are also quite an inspiration to your siblings.  AND Dr. Carey sends his regards.  You certainly impressed him not only with your expertise but for your being such an intelligent caring person.  Love you - take care - be safe.  mom

Posted by: Marjorie Okita-Johnson on 7/21/2017 at 10:50 am

Brent - I can’t believe you’re on Kilimanjaro!  My buddy Billy and I hiked with you a few years ago and Rainier and we’re going to miss you by one week!!  We leave this weekend for Arusha.  Perhaps we’ll cross paths!

Hope your adventure is going well!

Dennis Welsh

Posted by: Dennis Welsh on 7/20/2017 at 5:39 pm


Kilimanjaro: Okita & Team Prepare for Climb

A long day was had as we reviewed our climb to come and covered some important ideas that will make our big adventure as safe, successful and fun as possible.
Kilimanjaro is a great mountain to get ones feet wet on given its non technical nature, but the fact that it’s seven days long does present a bit of a steep learning curve for us in many ways.
We’re all ready now for the climb to begin tomorrow! The hard work of today was nicely softened by massages for all coordinated by brother Brad. Such a great idea!
We’re looking forward to a big day tomorrow and finally getting underway.
All for now from the comforts of the Arumera River Lodge. Next stop, the flanks of Kilimanjaro.

RMI Guide Brent Okita

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

The Parella family wish you all a great climb and a wonderful 50th birthday to Anne!

Posted by: Carin Parella on 7/20/2017 at 4:16 am


Kilimanjaro: Okita & Team Meet in Arusha, Tanzania

July 18, 2017
Most of the team flew in last night, weathering the long flights and time changes admirably. Our hotel, the Arumera River Lodge here in Arusha, Tanzania, is great. They held the restaurant open for us so we could have dinner and decompress from our travels some.
This is unlike any hotel I’ve stayed at. Africa at it’s best, with the diminutive antelope called the Dikdik and Blue monkeys running around the grounds filled with tropical trees and vegetation and insects I’ve never seen before. Kansas it ain’t!
The drive in from the airport earlier was a forty five minute exercise in restraint as I tried to concentrate on my conversation with the manager of our outfitting company here for Kilimanjaro, while still watching the people and goings on around me. Bikes piled high with crops from the fields, women in beautifully colored saris and everything else that makes Tanzania such a wonderful place to visit.
I must confess, this is not my normal expedition. This is a family affair triggered by my sister in laws big birthday and my brother’s pulling the strings to make it all happen. Plus, my wife is part of the team too. Thanks Brad!
Ahead of us is breaks, our official team meeting and orientation and subsequent equipment check readying us to begin our climb tomorrow of one of the ‘Seven Summits,’ family style.
Now if I can just get over my jet lag.

RMI Guide Brent Okita

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Mt. Rainier: Okita & Team on The Summit!

RMI Guides Brent Okita, Bryan Mazaik and Lucas Haaland led their Four Day Summit Climb team to the summit of Mt. Rainier this morning.  The team reached the crater rim shortly after 6:30 with 100% of their crew.  The team enjoyed a beautiful day with clear skies and light wind.  They will descend to Paradise and transfer back to Rainier BaseCamp where they will celebrate their adventure.

Congratulations to today’s climbers!

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Good job!! Can’t wait to see pictures!

Posted by: Dusty Leigh on 7/12/2017 at 5:02 pm

Emily and Phil, you are awesome, congratulations on the summit!  Love you both, I am sure you are enjoying the views!

Posted by: Chris Bolton on 7/12/2017 at 11:52 am


Mt. Rainier: Four Day Summit Climb on the Top!

RMI Guide Brent Okita led the Four Day Summit Climb July 1 - 4, 2017 to the summit of Mt. Rainier today.  Brent reported clear skies with moderate winds and nice climbing conditions. The team spent some time on the summit enjoying the views and celebrating the 520th summit of Mt. Rainier for Brent Okita.  The team will return to Camp Muir and continue their descent to Paradise later this afternoon.

Congratuions to today’s Summit Climb Team and to RMI Guide Brent Okita!

Leave a Comment For the Team
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