Entries By casey grom
March 22, 2017
It was another beautiful day here in the Khumbu Valley, and finally we had our first views of Everest. Just above Namche you can see Everest far off in the distance, still about 20-30 miles away. You can also see the 4th highest mountain, Lhotse, and Ama Dablam, which is one of the Himalayan’s most iconic.
We hiked for about 6 hours today up and down, dropping all the way down to the river, which is a stunning turquoise, then climbed slowing up the hill before the famous Tengboche Monastery. You wouldn’t believe how hot it can get hiking in the middle of the Himalayas at 12’000, but let me tell you, it was so hot we had to break in the shade to stay cool. All in all it was a really enjoyable day here in the Khumbu Valley.
We’ve settled in to a nice and warm tea house called Rivendale that’s full of trekkers from all over the world. Cribbage and good conversations have rounded out the evening and now it’s time for bed.
RMI Guide Casey Grom & Crew
March 21, 2017
Today was a special day where our group was fortunate enough to get off the main trail and see an all women’s Buddist monastery in the small village of Thamo. Seven young girls who are new to the monastery greeted us with laughter and sweet tea. On our tour of the beautiful building the girls showed off to us by reading Buddist prayers and performing their pujas. We were all laughing and playing by the end of our visit. The joy and happiness of the Sherpa people is shown in how welcoming they are to everyone. We all felt lucky to see this unique place and meet some of the women there. After group photos and funny face photos they said goodbye by gifting us each a Kata scarf which is a silk scarf that is given as a token of thanks and blessings. Then we walked the two hours back to Namche where we are packing up to move up valley tomorrow.
Hello Christina and the rest of the team. Thanks for posting these great pictures, it is nice to follow along. What a beautiful place and people. Enjoy your trip, hope you have great weather.
Posted by: David Clemmons on 3/22/2017 at 8:47 am
March 20, 2017
Hello from the Khumbu everyone!
This morning we left the tea house in Phakding and headed up this beautiful valley toward Namche Bazaar, which is the largest village in this famous valley. We had a slight rain delay this morning as we woke to some light precip, but hit the trail right around 8:30 as the rain tapered off. Everyone enjoyed the hike, and no one seemed to mind pausing often for the endless mules and yaks carrying loads headed for basecamp as we made our way down, but mostly up this rocky trail. It was reasonably busy on the route with trekkers and climbers, but the traffic seemed to flow pretty smoothly.
The team crossed a number of high suspension bridges without a problem, but I did notice no one stopped in the middle to take photos. Overall it was a really enjoyable day as we climbed up to just over 11,200’ where Namche sits. There was a little snow falling as we pulled in, so we’ll have a few better photos tomorrow.
That is all for now.
On The Map
Good luck Casey!
Posted by: Giulia Graber on 3/21/2017 at 5:00 am
March 19, 2017
Today we headed out while all of Kathmandu was still sleeping and got onto a small Twin Otter plane as the sun was rising. By 6:30 we were airborne and treated to the smoothest flight I’ve ever had to Lukla. After a perfect landing on one of the world’s shortest runways, we finally sat down to breakfast in Lukla. Surrounded by mountains the group had a wonderful day walking to Phakding. Once at our Lodge for the night we played some heated cribbage games (where the ladies won) and went for a walk up to an old monastery. We are all happy to be in this amazing place of rich culture and big mountains. Looking forward to getting to Namche tomorrow and into the heart of the Himalayas.
On The Map
March 18, 2017
The team has arrived after some very long and tiring flights. Everyone is doing well after a well deserved night of rest here at the tranquil Yak & Yeti Hotel.
Today we met for breakfast and a team meeting to discuss all the gear and the adventure that we are about to take. After our meeting we headed out on a tour of Kathmandu where we visited the beautiful Monkey Temple and the famous Boudhanath Stupa.
It’s quite the culture shock visiting this busy city packed with nearly four million people. The streets are packed with people, motorcycles, and cars that honk endlessly.
I’m sure everyone is looking forward to the peace and quietness of the Khumbu where we head tomorrow.
RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew
That’s a good looking team! Enjoy the wonders of the Himalaya with invaluable Casey’s and Christina’s expertise in the area, plus their wonderful personalities!!!!
Posted by: Elias de Andres Martos on 3/19/2017 at 1:01 pm
Everyone at home in Minnesota is excited and thankful for your updates! We love you Gary and Jan and are praying for a great trip for you and your team!!
Posted by: Vicky on 3/19/2017 at 11:17 am
Hello everyone -
We spent yesterday touring Tarangire National Park which is known for its abundant elephants, in fact, it normally has more per square mile than any place on earth. However, with all of the rain Tanzania has been receiving lately, there weren’t nearly as many gathered around the river that flows through Tarangire, but we still saw a few. They have had the luxury of having many watering holes to chose from. There were plenty of other animals as usual, and we got really close to a few big Giraffe, which was amazing. We end our day at a remote and off grid camp called Kikoti. It’s a tented camp that boarders the park with elevated structures that are screened in and allow the night sounds of Africa in.
After yesterday we decided to make an early departure today to increase our chances of seeing Cheetahs and Leopards, they still eluded us.
It’s been a memorable experience for everyone and great friendships forged. But finally it’s time to return home to our families.
Missing all of our family and most of our friends -
RMI Guide Casey Grom
Today we visited the famous Ngorongoro Crater, and considered by many to be the 8th wonder of the world. The crater is what remains of a once massive volcano that erupted and collapsed on itself, leaving behind a giant caldera that’s almost exactly 100 square miles. Every time we’ve visited the crater it’s been excitingly different, and today was the same.
We were able to see many lions, some close enough that they actually stopped to smell the tires of our Safari vehicles. However, we were safely inside our vehicle, yet it was extremely exciting to be so close!
As we made our way around the Ngorongoro crater we saw tons of other wildlife, zebras, Cape buffalo, wildebeest, jackals, Giselle, countless raptors and many other large birds. It was quite a day to say the least, and I’m certain one that won’t be forgotten by anyone.
We wrapped up the day with a visit to a Maasai village just outside the crater rim. The Maasai people are a nomadic tribe that have lived here for more than 500 years among the wildlife, while raising the cattle that sustain them. The team spent time visiting the homes of these kind and gentle people, with tour guides who shared their history and way of life.
We finished the evening here at the plantation lodge and are looking forward to what tomorrow may bring as we head to Tarangire National Park.
Today was the first day of safari for us and we headed east to visit Lake Manyara, which is known for its tree climbing lions, flamingos, and more than 400 different species of birds.
The day started with a slight sprinkle of rain, and slowly increased to nearly a full-on downpour. Thankfully the weather broke and we had a really nice rest of the day viewing the wildlife that hardly seemed to notice us, despite being only feet away at times.
We didn’t manage to see any of those famous lions, but we had a very close encounter with elephants. Nothing dangerous, but they passed close enough that we could have almost touched them.
We did manage to see wildebeest, zebras, Cape buffalo, giraffe, hippos, baboons, impalas and so many birds we lost count. It was a pretty nice introduction to the incredible bio-diversity that Africa has, and everyone enjoyed the day riding around in our safari vehicles.
We finished the day spending a few hours relaxing and exploring the grounds of our amazing lodge, the Plantation Lodge. Clearly, we are no longer “roughing it”.
RMI Guide Casey Grom and the Safari crew
We did it!
Yesterday we had a wonderful albeit long day climbing to the “Roof of Africa”.
The team woke at the enjoyable hour of 11pm to thankfully clear skies after a very cloudy evening that had us wondering the lay ahead.
We had a brief midnight breakfast of porridge, tea and coffee before hitting the trail right around 12am.
We climbed in hour increments with 10-15 breaks in between, which we’ve been doing every day thus far. The weather was very calm allowing us to take our time and not feel too cold which we were very thankful for. The climb took about 7 1/2 hours to reach the top, and thankfully the sun had risen shortly before reaching the top to help warm us and boost morale after climbing through the night. Once there, we hugged each other, enjoyed the view and took plenty of pictures while we waited in line to get our photos of the sign that adorns the summit, as it was a pretty busy day up there.
It was a true test of endurance for most of the crew, and I’m really proud of everyone. We descended back to high camp, had a quick lunch, repacked and continued further down the mountain to our final camp on the mountain, where we had dinner and then headed to bed for some well deserved sleep.
Today we woke at 7am feeling good, had breakfast, then enjoyed a goodbye song and dance from our gracious crew of porters, cooks, and local guides numbering 42. We finished the little celebration by handing out their well deserved tips and then hit the trail one last time.
It took a little over three hours to reach the park gate where the team had lunch then hopped aboard our awaiting bus for the ride back to the lodge.
Finally we are all safe and sound, and a little cleaner after an amazing seven-day journey up and down Kilimanjaro.
The team is currently relaxing and looking forward to Safari which starts tomorrow!
RMI Guide Casey Grom and a happy Kilimanjaro crew too
Judge Junell is an inspiration. 70th at Karanga. Wow!
Nat and John from Kili 2023 say excelsior!
Let’s get the band back together.
Posted by: John Gallen on 1/31/2017 at 2:59 am
January 29, 2017
Posted by: Casey Grom
Casey Grom and team reached the Kilimanjaro summit this morning. The team’s ascent took 7 1/2 hours and are back safe in camp. They will be headed to thicker air soon.
Congratulations Casey and team on your summit!
On The Map
Congratulations to Robert and Jayne. What a way to celebrate 70th birthday ! Looks like this part of the trip is a little more upscale. Continue to have fun and safe travels for all.
Posted by: Marilyn Aboussie on 1/31/2017 at 3:06 pm
Congrats Rob and Jayne ... a very successful climb ! Way to Go !!!!
Posted by: Ernie & Victoria on 1/30/2017 at 3:57 pm