Entries By brent okita
August 3, 2023
Posted by: Brent Okita
Our day started in the cloud layer we were hoping to escape, but clear weather seemed imminent. An hour later we finally found sunshine. What was really cool today was that Ken was able to rejoin our team at Shira Camp last night after his health improved following a major GI problem.
The Shira Plateau we were ascending was far gentler on our legs and lungs than yesterday's climb. This was nice since we had a long way to go today. Our destination: Barranco Camp. But first we had to get past Lava Tower, 15,200'. The team climbed well on this terrain and by noon we were feasting on the sack lunches prepared by our kitchen staff. The descent into the Barranco Valley proved just as beautiful as I recall. We're hoping this cold mist at camp goes away with the coming evening so we can enjoy this beautiful camp. This might be my favorite.
Goodnight from Barranco Camp. The dinner bell is about to sound.
RMI Guide Brent Okita and Team
Exciting to hear the group’s progress!
The summit is nearing!
Sending good vibes!
Posted by: Vish Subramanian on 8/3/2023 at 9:54 pm
Thank you, Brent, for your updates with pictures!! It is interesting and helpful to learn about the team’s journey!
Wishing everyone the very best for the rest of the hike!
Posted by: Suganthi Subramanian on 8/3/2023 at 7:17 pm
August 2, 2023
Posted by: Brent Okita
Tuesday, August 1, 2023
The walk thru the rainforest from the Machame Gate was nice with typically cloudy skies, but no rain. Freddy, a local guide who has been working with RMI for over 30 years set a perfect pace so we could all arrive in camp feeling good. The highlight of the evening was the surprise birthday cake the mtn staff carried up to celebrate Mike’s special day. We're hoping to get above these clouds tomorrow, but for now our sleeping bags beckon us to rest our tired bodies. The chatter of camp, and laughter of our staff, slowly ebbs as fatigue overcomes us after a good day.
Loving the updates! Praying for you all to get great rest tonight and have a fantastic day tomorrow!
Posted by: Heidi Tully on 8/2/2023 at 7:15 am
August 1, 2023
Posted by: Brent Okita
A painless 1 1/2 hr drive has brought us to the start of our climb, the Machame Gate. Registration with the Park Service is dealt with before we venture into the rain forest. The lush farms and vegetation here is a result of the clouds of moisture that hang at this elevation. We'll get above this climate zone at our first camp, the Machame Camp, at 10,000'.
We have met some of the mountain staff that will help us get to the top as pleasantly as possible. Many of them are friends from past trips, including Naimen, the head of our local guides staff. Our wait staff - yes, we have waiters - will keep the food chef Benson creates coming our way to keep our energy levels up. Alfred leads this team, and has been with me on every trip I've done.
We've devoured part of the sack lunches our outfitter had provided us and are now ready to rock.
Catch up with you at the next camp!
RMI Guide Brent Okita
Coming off the plane in Arusha, the city in Tanzania where we base from to go to Kilimanjaro, the first thing that strikes the senses is the smell of trees and vegetation we simply don't have in the northern hemisphere. There, too is a subtle, but pervasive smell of the wood and charcoal many people use to cook with. It smells wonderfully of Africa to me.
Our group all arrived at least a day early to take advantage of their time here in this beautiful country, and so we were able to meet one another earlier than usual. This was a good thing because it allowed some lost luggage to be recovered and a GI problem to resolve itself, two problems I rarely see, but that are not unknown when travelling halfway across the globe.
Our team is a nice mix of veteran climbers with Mt. Rainier under their belt and folks who have rarely spent time in a tent. But everyone is engaging and interesting, and conversation is easy. A good sign of things to come.
While half the group opted to get their equipment check done yesterday so they could get in a day safari in the local Arusha National Park, the other half chose to do their check today and enjoy a leisurely afternoon before we begin our expedition up the flanks of Kilimanjaro. Both great options.
Our team breakfast this morning will be followed up with a group dinner tonight, enjoying the amazing food here at the Rivertrees Country Inn. Normally we would lament leaving such fine food during our week of climbing, but not this time. The chef taking care of our food needs this week is amazing! Gourmet dinners and hearty breakfasts await us at every camp, prepared by an incredibly talented chef by the name of Benson. You'll hear more about this guy later, but for now we're doing well and eager to start our climb.
Word has it that upon making the summit, a couple of our climbers are going to reward themselves with some beautiful Tanzanite jewelry. I love the idea!
Wish us luck as we begin our big adventure! We've been waiting for this climb to all come together for a long time, and in a few hours, we will be taking our first steps up towards the summit of this wonderful mountain.
RMI Guide Brent Okita
Wishing you all an enjoyable Day 1 of hiking!
Wishing everyone an incredible experience hiking up to the peak and coming back!
With cheers, good luck, and best wishes,
Posted by: Suganthi Subramanian on 7/31/2023 at 10:50 pm
I am so excited for all who are about to embark on this wonderful journey. Wishing you all a great climb and hope this trip is all you hoped it would be and more.
Good luck to all.
Posted by: Barbara Heck on 7/31/2023 at 1:17 pm
July 26, 2023
The Five Day Climb July 22 - 26 led by RMI Guides Brent Okita & Henry Coppolillo were standing on Columbia Crest just before 7 am today. Brent reported a gorgeous day on the mountain with very light winds. The teams began their descent from the crater rim around 7:20 am. They will return to Camp Muir for a short break to pack up their gear. They will then descend to Paradise and transfer back to Rainier BaseCamp later this afternoon.
Yesterday winds were high so the team did some additional glacier travel skills and explored Ingraham Flats. These photos are from their adventure yesterday courtesy of Brent.
July 21, 2023
The Footprints of Fight team reached the summit of Mt. Rainier early this morning. RMI Guide Brent Okita reported clear skies and a breezy morning on the summit.
These climbers have trained to climb Mt. Rainier for a year while raising funds to support their mission. Footprints of Fight is a organization that is dedicated to providing services for the family and patient of pediatric cancer in Washington while going through the treatment process. The purpose of these services is to reduce the family's stress of everyday life through which increased levels of courage, optimism, strength, and resiliency will form to help the family conquer cancer in present and future.
Congratulations Team for your efforts on and off the mountain!
July 12, 2023
RMI Guides Brent Okita & Dustin Wittmier led their team of climbers to the summit of Mt. Rainier. The Four Day Climb team July 9 - 12 enjoyed a beautiful morning on the mountain with a nice route and 15 mph winds. The teams were on Columbia Crest at 7:30 am and began their descent from the crater rim just after 8 am. The teams will return to Camp Muir for a short break to repack and refuel before descending the remaining 4,500' to Paradise.
If I had one word to describe the RMI team it would be professional. They really took good care of our team and let us enjoy the experience. A top notch crew I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend to anyone considering a Rainier summit in the future. Thank you ALA for all your support as well! Climbing for a purpose (other than bagging a peak) is really special and I’ve been happy to support your cause. Thank you team, you really made it enjoyable and it was a pleasure to be part of this group that is forever connected by this amazing experience!
Posted by: David Lamp on 7/20/2023 at 12:48 pm
Such an awesome experience! Thank you to our guide team and to all of the other climbers who worked hard out there. From the guides to everyone climbing with with ALA, you all made this such a memorable experienced. Climb on y’all!!
Posted by: Jonathan Mack on 7/15/2023 at 9:56 am
July 4, 2023
The Five Day Climb July 1 - 5 went for the summit today led by RMI Guides Brent Okita and Avery Parrinello. The teams radioed from Columbia Crest a little after 7:30 am PT. As of 8:15 they were starting their descent from the crater rim. The teams will return to Camp Muir to rest and likely enjoy many firework displays from their vantage point this evening. Tomorrow the teams will descend the remaining 4.5 miles to Paradise and celebrate their acheivements.
June 25, 2023
The Five-Day climb led by RMI Guides, Brent Okita and Henry Coppolillo, reached the summit of Mt. Rainier this morning. They enjoyed absolutely beautiful day on top this morning with a great route and enjoyable weather.
They will enjoy a casual walk back down to Camp Muir to do some more training this afternoon and tomorrow morning. The team will return to Basecamp tomorrow.
Nice work team!
Great job everyone! Sorry I couldn’t climb with you.
Posted by: David Jesmer on 6/25/2023 at 9:01 pm
June 21, 2023
RMI Guides Brent Okita & Mike Haugen reported a perfect day of climbing on Mt. Rainier today. The Four Day Climb June 18 - 21 reached the summit around 7 am and enjoyed some time in the crater before starting their descent. The teams started their descent from the crater rim just after 8 am and will return to Camp Muir. After a short break the teams will continue the final 4.5 miles to Paradise and be transferred back to Rainier BaseCamp later this afternoon.
Congratulations to today's climbers!