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Entries By brent okita

Mt. Rainier: August 10th Update

The Four Day Climb led by RMI guides Brent Okita and Alex Halliday attempted to climb Mt. Rainier today, but turned at Cathedral Gap due to pouring rain. The teams got a late start out of Muir this morning due to the rain and lightning overnight. They plan to leave Muir shortly after 9 am for their descent to Paradise.
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Thinking of you all!


Posted by: Amie Oberg on 8/10/2019 at 8:27 am

Kilimanjaro: Okita and Team Say Goodbye to Africa

Awaiting to board our planes that will eventually bring us home and to the loved ones we've been away from for two weeks we're all excited yet sad to see our big adventure come to an end. That our team is breaking apart is even sadder. We've come to know and appreciate one another to no small degree. Sharing life as closely as we have, and with such warm, generous souls, is a special experience. Plans to climb together again are thrown up and we'll see if they stick. I know right now we'd all like to get back together. As I reflect back on this trip I'm reminded why I've chosen this career and am thankful for the opportunities that have come my way. This trip has been extra special because of the people on it. They are the reason I continue pursuing my craft and livelihood. Thanks team, and thanks to everyone following us on the blog. Until next time! RMI Guide Brent Okita PS As for our last safari, our morning revealed only a few hundred animals, not the thousands we saw yesterday. But, it was a short day to allow some shopping and relaxing before our flights. A nice way to end
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Kilimanjaro: Okita & Team Visit Ngorongoro Crater

It just never let up today. Huge herds of zebras, wildebeest, gazelle and other critters surrounded us throughout the day. Ostriches, hyenas, jackals, hippos, birds and other animals also showed up. However, the lions are what really took the cake. Fifteen individual lions graced our day, some just a few feet away from our rigs. It was just crazy how many we saw. We saw some big males following a female in heat. The biggest male actually walked around and in front of our Landcruiser in slow pursuit of the girl of his dreams. We observed an older female, said to be the best hunter in the pack, sizing up her opportunities for a kill as the herd of hundreds nervously milled around her in the 'safe zone' just out of reach. We also witnessed three females as they cautiously sized up their opportunity for a kill while following a small group of unaware zebras. And on the road towards the park entrance, when we thought the day done, two exciting events took place. First, we encountered a pride of four cats walking down the road. Although we made them a little nervous, they didn't bolt until our excitement got the best of us and they slipped away into the thick brush off the side of the road. The last lion actually hung in the brush just 6-7' away watching us watch her. And to top off the day was a call to action when our group came upon a safari vehicle that had rolled off the side of the road and down a steep, 45-55 degree embankment. Caught with just my flip flops on I quickly donned my shoes, but not before our drivers and four of the team hopped out to the rescue. Normally I'd keep well intended but untrained folks away from a scene like this until we came up with a plan, but three of the four were medical professionals and one just darned strong. By the time I scrambled down the brushy, vine covered slope the 'walking wounded' were climbing up to safety and the first people on scene had extricated a young boy trapped under the vehicle and were starting the process of hauling him up this very steep slope. Following that difficult extrication a quick assessment found no life threatening injuries and we transported him in another tour vehicle to a hospital 20 kilometers away. Huge kudos go out to Shavran, Liz, Craig and Joe for their selfless and heroic actions. A doctor, nurse, ski patroller and hard man, respectively. This kid was in good hands. Even our driver was instrumental in lifting the vehicle enough to pull the young boy from beneath the wreckage. Shavran and Liz didn't think twice about jumping into the Landcruiser with our patient to maintain C- spine precautions and monitor his airway during transport. I later found out that both Shavran and Liz did this in their sandals and flip flops. Wow! Good news, we think the kid is going to be OK, thanks to the efforts of some incredible individuals. (By the way, in general, let the medical and rescue professionals handle this kind of situation. If you want to be prepared to help in an emergency, get training). Now, on to our last full day of our safari. Tarangire National Park. What are we going to encounter next ... RMI Guide Brent Okita
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My heart goes out to the families and people who were involved. I’m so glad to hear everybody’s going to be OK. Life and love is precious Hold it dearly to our hearts. Mary and everybody have a great safari on your last day.

Posted by: David Workman on 8/1/2019 at 3:58 am

Kilimanjaro: Okita & Team Enjoy Visit to Lake Manyara National Park

Waking up early this morning after our celebratory dinner last night could have been harder had we not had our safari to look forward to. Day one had us visiting Lake Manyara National Park, home of the elusive tree climbing lion. Well, no lion was seen ready to pounce upon our Landcruiser, but we enjoyed a spectacular first day. Even before getting off the highway we had giraffes and zebras run across the road right in front of us, miles from the park. Once in the park our drivers, Godson and Fabian, proved to be inexhaustible sources of information on everything from the flora and fauna of the region to the culture of the Maasai. And they have such sharp eyes! We were treated to wildlife sightings around every bend in the road, it seemed. The cute, curious, intelligent baboons were everywhere and some of the first animals encountered, but shortly after that we saw elephants, water buck, wildebeest, zebras, water buffalo, hippopotamus, impala, monkeys, and probably a dozen varieties of birds. Liz jokingly commented that she only climbed the mountain to do the safari, and that she really wanted to see an elephant. Well, her wishes came true as we saw perhaps a dozen elephants, some quite close up! Watching a hippo snap its monstrous jaw down (with a reportedly 6 ton force) was another highlight. But perhaps the ever present baboons provided the most amusement as they seemed to like to hang right by the roadside, so up close and personal sightings were common and way too entertaining. And now we're settled in to the Plantation Lodge, an over the top lodge converted from an old coffee plantation that is luxury and swankiness redefined. At least in my eyes. Dinner can best be described as 'haute cuisine' and a wine cellar and bar lie in a subterranean set of rooms one can peer into from a circular window set in the floor of the dining room above. Crazy! Ok, after our 'kick ass' day summiting Kili, we deserve this! Bon appetite. RMI Guide Brent Okita
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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
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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
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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

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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

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“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.


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

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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

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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

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