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Entries By brent okita


Kilimanjaro: Okita & Team Descend Through the Mweka Gate

Our long summit day yesterday was rewarded with a deep, well deserved slumber last night. It was good to be back in the thick air of 10,000’, but our return to the rain forest seemed relatively abrupt after having spent the last five days in the arid conditions up high on Kilimanjaro.
Camp was abuzz with activity early this morning as the staff from all the teams awoke on this last day with the anticipation of returning home, taking showers and seeing loved ones overwhelmed any desire to sleep in. As per tradition, we were bid farewell by our mountain staff with song and dance. Amazing voices and an appreciation for each other was obvious as the team went back and forth between chorus and lead singing, performing some traditional Tanzanian songs.
The hike out to the trailhead was quick as this strong cast of climbers grew stronger with every foot of elevation lost. Our last mountain lunch - a traditional Tanzanian meal -  was taken at the trailhead before our 2+ hour drive back to our hotel. Showers were foremost on our minds to wash the seven days of dust, sweat and Kilimanjaro dirt off our selves.
We’ll be celebrating tonight at dinner, enjoying each other’s company before starting off on our next adventure, the safari. Unfortunately,  we’ll be losing Darren from the group as he’ll be flying back to loved ones and life back home.
So… next up we’ll be reporting from the wilds of Africa.  The stuff we’ve marveled at on TV or the National Geographic.

Until then,
RMI Guide Brent Okita

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

Congratulations!!  I can’t imagine what everybody had to go through to Summit. I hope everybody found what they were looking for on that mountain. My heart goes out to everyone ,  And to you Mary,wow you are something else.LU .

Posted by: David Workman on 7/29/2019 at 10:43 am


Kilimanjaro: Okita & Team Reach Summit of Kilimanjaro

What a day and what a team. Our luck held out with an evening that was clear, windless and fairly warm. At 12:30am we were walking after being fed by our great kitchen staff. Our slow pace was key to not overheating the engines when climbing in the rarefied air above 15,000’.
We got to Stella Point just after dawn then on to Uhuru Peak, the summit, shortly thereafter.
Did I mentioned that EVERYONE SUMMITED! Yeah,  the team rocked it today, enjoying sunshine and warm temps while taking summit photos at 19,340’.
Our descent back to camp went smoothly and we were treated to another wonderful meal before packing up and hitting the trail for the thicker air of Mweka Camp at 10,000’. Dropping down from 15,000’ does amazing things for the body, and so worth the effort to get here after a hard summit day.
And now, dinner awaits before a well deserved sleep.
Goodnight from Kilimanjaro on our last night on the mountain.

RMI Guide Brent Okita

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Congrats, Mary!!! I am so proud of you. Way to be amazing!

Posted by: Jen C on 7/28/2019 at 3:59 pm

Mary, You did it congratulations! And congratulations to the team. Mary, I can’t express the joy I have for you right now. I will tell you when I see you. And I can’t wait to hear of your adventures, May I say you are truly a bad ass woman with a purpose!Again team well done ,My hat comes off to all of you and everybody who walked that mountain.

Posted by: David Workman on 7/28/2019 at 9:38 am


Kilimanjaro: Okita & Team at High Camp

Greetings from 15,200’. We were rewarded today with a short three hour hike to Barafu Camp, last stop before the summit.  This is it! Tonight we go for the top.
Everyone is excited, and perhaps a wee bit nervous. Climbing to 19,340’ is no small feat. But with all the preparation and great acclimatization we’ve taken advantage of we’re more than ready.
Our wonderful camp staff has been spoiling us rotten, greeting us with bowls of hot water once we got settled in camp and a lunch that couldn’t be better. It’s amazing what they do here, considering that it takes over two hours for a porter to get a five-gallon bucket of water from the nearest stream.
We’ve discussed the details of the climb tonight and have been preparing our gear so we’re all ready for tonight’s departure. We’ll try to get to bed around 6:00pm and awaken at 11:30pm. Breakfast at midnight and walking shortly thereafter.
Wish us luck!

RMI Guide Brent Okita

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Mary,
Sending you all my love and positive vibes! You are a true inspiration! Iava, iava, iava! The all is in one and the one is in all! Way to go for it! Xoxo

Posted by: Chantel Nielsen on 7/27/2019 at 7:01 pm

Mary,  Poli Poli all the way to the summit tonight!!!  It will be a beautiful sunrise for you.  Martin

Posted by: Martin on 7/27/2019 at 5:49 pm


Kilimanjaro: Okita & Team Scale Barranco Wall & Feast at Karanga Camp

Waking up in Barranco Camp under the massive headwalls and fading glaciers of the upper reaches of Kilimanjaro was just beautiful this morning. We slept in an hour because the hike to Karanga was just 4 hours and it gave time for many of the porters to get ahead of us ascending the Barranco Wall. Our climb up some of the Wall’s scrambling sections went well, with everyone moving competently. Even the most apprehensive of us got stoked climbing this section. Three valleys later we arrive at Karanga Camp. Lots of up and down today to arrive at a camp only 130’ higher than our last, but this is part of the planned magic of acclimatizing for our summit bid that’s coming up pretty quickly.

It’s amazing how well everyone’s doing with the altitude. The fun little tests we do measuring our bodies ability to process oxygen and our pulse reveal that we’re all doing better than expected. Great news with the climb looming on the horizon.

Okay, are you ready to hear about what we had for lunch when we arrived? Wiener schnitzel, German Potatoes, sauteed vegetables, vegetable soup. For dessert, watermelon and a home baked chocolate nutty fudge type thing.

Living larger at Karanga Camp,

RMI Guide Brent Okita and Team

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.”

You have legions of love sending waves of strength and support Mary.

#TeamBadAssWomanWithAPurpose

Posted by: Katie Holland on 7/27/2019 at 8:54 am

You came.  You saw.  You are conquering.  We are awed by your courage and determination.

Posted by: Bill and Cheryl on 7/26/2019 at 1:19 pm


Kilimanjaro: Okita & Team Cruise into Barranco Camp

At 12,500’ you’re above the trees and clouds, in the highland desert zone, and are looking at Kibo, the summit of Kilimanjaro, all day. As we headed east towards our next camp, we enjoyed easy walking on the low angled Shira Plateau. A nice contrast to yesterday’s steeper terrain.
A little over three hours later we arrived at Lava Tower,  a conspicuous landmark at 15,200’. Our staff met us with hot soup, tea, sandwiches and snacks,  all laid out on a blanket for our enjoyment. Imagine,  a picnic in the warm sunshine at 15,000’! Pretty cool.
Following lunch it was all downhill to camp by the Barranco Wall. Easy enough walking to be able to appreciate the change in ecosystems as we began to see dendrosenecios, lobelias and giant groundsels, some of the flora that makes Kilimanjaro so special.
Everyone’s doing great after this big day and we’re all excited about getting on the Barranco Wall tomorrow morning. A later start to allow the porters in camp to get ahead of us on the Wall will be appreciated, even by this early rising crew. 
Oh, and lest I forget. Dinner tonight: butternut squash soup, garlic pepper zucchini, chicken and sausage paella, and pineapple spears drowning in chocolate fondue. Eat your heart out.
Resting well,

RMI Guide Brent Okita

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

Mary , Almost there! Hope you are resting well. My heart is with you . Love you.

Posted by: Autumn Zentz on 7/25/2019 at 1:05 pm


Kilimanjaro: Okita & Team Enjoy Challenges and Luxuries on the Mountain

From the cramped confines of Machame Camp we headed out to our next camp, Shira. Although the rain forest below Machame was cool, the terrain on this stretch was stellar.  Going thru the giant heather and moorlands the climbing became more and more interesting. Some rock outcroppings along the way provided wonderful viewpoints and lunch stops, not to mention some interesting scrambling challenges.
We have only one complaint. The food is just too darned good. Our cook staff works tirelessly on our behalf,  creating prodigious quantities of cuisine that would not be out of place in a fancy restaurant. All made on a couple of two burner stoves.
As a climbing guide I’m the first person encouraging my climbers to eat to replace fuel burned on climbs. But our mountain staff take it to a whole new level. We are so spoiled! For example,  on getting into camp this afternoon we were served an exquisite potato leek soup, followed by fried chicken,  French fries and an avocado, pepper and tomato salad. All prepared fresh and treated to ensure everybody stays healthy. Our friends in the kitchen are magicians.
Liz has expressed interest in learning how the magic happens and has been invited back to the cook tent to watch and maybe pick up a few insights. I’ll be pressing her hard for insights into their culinary genius. Until then,  I guess we’ll just suffer through the fact we’re probably going to gain weight while climbing a 19,000’ mountain.
Such are the challenges we face these days.  Wish us luck.
And tomorrow: climbing to Lava Tower at 15,200’ and Barranco Camp. Our team is more than ready for.

Until then,

RMI Guide Brent Okita

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Go mom!  You got this. So close now. Can’t wait to hear about the escapade!

Posted by: Kaleb Crafts on 7/25/2019 at 7:33 am

Mary Crafts, You’re an Inspiration to me as well as others. I can’t wait to be training for our next adventure together.  Our love has grown so much, It’s a joy Being with you.  Congratulations to all of you.

Posted by: David Workman on 7/24/2019 at 11:41 am


Kilimanjaro: Okita & Team Arrive Kilimanjaro National Park, Ascend to First Camp

Kudos to the team!
The group climbed quite well on this first day of our Kilimanjaro Expedition. The 4,000’ of ascent was accomplished with relative ease, and now we’re enjoying an afternoon that has become warm and sunny.
Our day began with an early breakfast and quick departure for the Machame Gate, where a heavy drizzle kept us company while we waited for our porters to organize our gear for transport uphill. Rain should not be unexpected in a rainforest, but nobody likes starting their day in the wet. Luckily, by the time we started the rain had mostly abated and we were able to shed that Gore tax layer fairly soon after we started.
At camp our mountain staff worked tirelessly getting tents set up and cooking arrangements working. The magic happened quickly and camp life began for us.
As always, dinner was superb, starting with a savory zucchini soup and followed by pan fried steak,  potatoes, rice and a cardoman/ coriander vegetable dish. Though we thought the nutella banana fritters were dessert enough, a special cake was brought in, lit up with candles, for Patti’s birthday celebration.
What a party it was as we were regaled with song and dance in honor of our birthday girl. Such a special night!
A chill is in the air as we prepare for tomorrow’s climb to Shira Camp.
All for now,

RMI Guide Brent Okita

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Go Team! Keep on trekking. Mary so proud of you, you are may champion, my hero!  Can’t wait to have you in my arms!

Posted by: David Workman on 7/24/2019 at 6:56 am

I can’t wait for that bright, bright Mary light to shine from the top of that peak.  Light up the world my Soul Sister!  Sending much love!

Posted by: Katie Hollland on 7/24/2019 at 6:49 am


Kilimanjaro: Okita & Team Ready to Start the Trek

Today we got busy getting ourselves ready for the big climb. Following another great breakfast our thoughts turned towards the mountain.
As members introduced themselves it became even more apparent what an interesting and diverse team we have. We all have special reasons why we climb, and why we chose Kilimanjaro. It was with rapt attention that we listened to the stories behind the individuals on the trip. Inspiration was had by all as we heard these tales of life changes that led to us being here.
It was apparent that everyone had come prepared for this challenge and taken it seriously.  Even more important was the great attitude folks were bringing into the climb.
An in depth review of mountain life and our upcoming time at altitude preceded a thorough review of gear we’ll be bringing with us.
All that hard work was rewarded with another great lunch (curry for me), and some R&R. Some stretched the legs around hotel grounds while most of us got in some quality pool time just as the sun asserted itself enough to bake our bodies for a few hours.
We’re psyched and set and ready to meet the mountain staff tomorrow morning and get underway. Next time, we’ll be dispatching from Machame Camp at almost 10,000’.

Good night from the Arumeru River Lodge,
RMI Guide Brent Okita

Leave a Comment For the Team

Kilimanjaro: Okita & Team Arrive in Tanzania

Hello from Tanzania!

The last two members of our team have arrived in good spirits and with all their luggage. So, it’s all systems go. A late dinner after a long flight was eagerly taken after their 24 hour flight from the States. Any residual stress from the day was completely eased out of the system by the exceptional South African wine Darren generously shared with Bill and me.

The rest of the group got here at different times today, with the Craig, Patti, and Joe arriving on the 4:00 AM flight. Mary, Shavran, and Liz arrivied from a nearby hotel just after lunch, having wisely chosen to arrive earlier to adjust to the time zone and relax a bit before the climb. It was great to catch up with my friend Craig,  along with Joe and Patti today at breakfast and lunch. The later group joined us at the lunch table when they arrived, allowing us to get to know each other better. I think we have an exceptional group of individuals that will become a fun team in the days to come.

Once again I’m exited to be back in Tanzania. Stepping off the plane and breathing in the wonderful smells of this country bring back good memories. I’m constantly reminded that it’s the people, as much as the mountain, that makes this such a special trip.

Tomorrow morning we get busy as we get together to discuss our upcoming climb of Kilimanjaro, including checking and organizing our gear.

Well, I should get some rest too. Good night for now.

RMI Guide Brent Okita

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

Go team go!  Especially Mary!  Watching with great interest from this side of the pond…

Posted by: Dave on 7/22/2019 at 9:10 am


Mt. Rainier: Okita & Team Turned by Weather and Conditions

RMI Guide Brent Okita and Four Day Climb July 14 - 17 climbed to 13,300’ this morning before poor weather and conditions forced them to turn around.  The group will continue their descent to Paradise later this morning.

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

Best Wishes to you My Friend

Posted by: James ( Spud) on 7/27/2019 at 12:22 am

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