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Entries By casey grom

Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Enjoy Great Game Viewing in Ngorongoro Crater

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.

RMI Guide Casey Grom

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Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Game Viewing at Lake Manyara 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

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Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Return to Lodge after Successful Summit

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

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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

Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Summit!

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

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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

Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team At High Camp, Ready for Summit Bid

We’ve arrived at High Camp! Summit push tonight.

It was a short and uneventful move from Karanga Camp up to Barafu Camp, which is our launching point for the summit. The team did great and we arrived in just over three hours with sprinkles of snow falling most of the way.
We’ve had our summit talk where we discussed our plan and the teams strategy for tomorrow. Final packing is taking place as I write this and we’ll have dinner shortly, then it’s off to bed for a little sleep before the climb. Weather permitting, we’ll be up at 11 pm, have breakfast, and hopefully hit the trail around midnight. As per usual, I’m expecting the ascent to take around eight hours with breaks to the “Roof of Africa”.
Keep your fingers crossed for us, and there’s a chance, if time allows, some of you back home might receive a satellite phone call from the summit. So keep your phones handy. My best guess is we’ll be on the summit around 8 in the morning, Tanzania time.

RMI Guide Casey Grom

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Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Climb and Celebrate

Jambo from Kilimanjaro
Today the team did a fantastic job climbing the intimidating looking Barranco Wall. It is the technical hurdle of this expedition and everyone did great and almost everyone enjoyed the challenge, of course the porters made it look easy as the climbed the wall with their loads carefully balanced on their heads.
Once above the wall we took a well deserved break to enjoy the views of the valleys below, but unfortunately the upper mountain was obscured by clouds. The team climbed slow and steady as we made our way up and down a few ridges before finally arriving in the Karanga Valley where we’ll camp for the night.
We also got to celebrate Rob Junell’s 70th birthday here with him! And our gracious staff surprised him with a wonderful cake this evening.

Everyone is in good spirits and are looking forward to heading to our high camp tomorrow where we will start our summit bid from.

RMI Guide Casey Grom

On The Map

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Push on…..you all got this!!!

Posted by: Kris on 1/28/2017 at 3:53 pm

You guys rock! You’re almost there! Hope you’re having a blast, can’t wait to hear all about it!! Go Team!

Posted by: Morgan on 1/27/2017 at 10:06 pm

Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Traverse to Barranco Valley

Hello again
We had another nice day here in Africa with a few views of Kilimanjaro this morning, before the clouds closed in and thankfully protected us from the intense sun. We left Shira camp and slowly climbed uphill before we started our traverse over to Barranco Valley across the volcanic plateau and just below the remaining glaciers that cling to Kilimanjaro’s slopes, which sadly we didn’t get to see up close, but there’s always tomorrow!
As we approached camp we were all amazed to the giant Groundsels and famous Senecio trees that look like something out of a Dr. Suess book and were relieved to be at camp after about 5hrs of hiking.
Everyone is doing very well and are looking forward to tomorrow’s climb up the Barranco wall which sits just above camp. 

RMI Guide Casey Grom

On The Map

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What a way to spend your 70th! Happy birthday rocket! Looks amazing over there, wishing you and your team the best on your way to the top!

Posted by: Aaron on 1/27/2017 at 9:35 am

Sounds like all is well for team and climb.  Pay close attention to the Judge today… he’s 70 !!!!!  Happy Birthday !  Jayne, you look great and really add to the ‘team’ pictures !!!  Way to go !

Posted by: Ernie & Victoria on 1/27/2017 at 7:42 am

Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Ascend the Shira Plateau

Hey everybody, this is Casey Grom checking in on Day 2 of the Kilimanjaro Climb. We awoke to a clear morning and enjoyed some nice views of Kilimanjaro from our camp before hitting the trail. The route right out of camp was a bit of a broad ridge that slowly ascends and winds its way up the Shira Plateau, which is about mid level on Kilimanjaro. The team did a fantastic job today. Everybody was pretty amazed as we made our way up the trail in the porters passed us with their loads, easily balance on their heads. It took us about four hours to make it up to our camp today and once again our staff was amazing to have passed us on the trail and have arrive at Camp and have camp fully set up and lunch, in fact a hot lunch, waiting for us when we arrived. Everybody is incredibly grateful for that and big thanks to our outfitter that we work with here in town. We had a duffel bag that got hung up in Amsterdam and arrived late last night down in Arusha and our outfitter was able to get that bag to us today. It was real miracle and our last remaining climber was able to get his his gear up here at 12,300’.  So a big thanks to those guys for making that happen. Now we have everything we need and everybody’s looking good, everyone is feeling great.  We just finished our dinner and everyone is climbing into bed.  It is starting to cool down a little bit up here. Hopefully we’ll have a nice nice day tomorrow to take in as we ascend directly towards Kilimanjaro. That’s all for now. We’ll hopefully be able to update tomorrow with some pictures as well.  Thanks a lot.

RMI Guide Casey Grom

RMI Guide Casey Grom checks in from Shira Camp at 12, 200 ft on Kilimanjaro.

On The Map

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Woohooooo go Uncle Joe! This looks and sounds absolutely incredible! We sure miss you here, but we’re sending lots of love and power your way! So proud!


Posted by: Kaitlyn on 1/25/2017 at 5:34 pm

Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Start on the Trail

Hey, everybody. This is Casey Grom checking in from the Kilimanjaro climb. I wanted to let you know that everything’s going great. Today we left behind the Arumeru Lodge and made a few hour drive to the base of a Kilimanjaro. We drove up the Machame Valley, which is actually lined with quite a few banana plantations. A number of porters are making their way to the gate entrance to find some work. Once we got to the gate, we got organized, and then got the green light from the park service, we slowly started making our way up hill. The team did great today. We climbed for about six hours up through this incredible lower slopes of Kilimanjaro. It was a nice break from the sun to be tucked into the trees. And again the team did great. We pulled into camp about 6 o’clock or so today and everyone just finished dinner. Everyone’s relaxing right now and getting ready for a little bit of sleep. Everybody’s in good spirits. We will check in again tomorrow and hopefully be able to get a picture or two out in the next day or so based on our cellphone service up here. Thanks for following.

RMI Guide Casey Grom

RMI Guide Casey Grom calls in from Machame Camp, Africa.

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Kilimanjaro: Casey Grom & Team Meet & Greet

Our Kilimanjaro trip is underway!

The team arrived late last night after their long flights from the US and after a short drive to our lodge the team had a quick dinner and headed for bed.
Today after a hearty breakfast the team met for RMI’s official orientation where we did a round of introductions and discussed the upcoming plan for the next few day and the gear essentials for our climb.
We spent the remainder of the day packing and relaxing here at this tranquil and private lodge that has numerous wild animals roaming the grounds. There are two different types of monkeys here, the Velvet and the Blue. Several Dik Dik that have been rescued, a few Guinea fowl, and we even managed to see a Genet sneaking around tonight.
We are being well taken care of here at the Arumeru River Lodge by their gracious and kind staff. 

Everyone is doing well and looking forward to a little uphill exercise tomorrow as we head to Kilimanjaro.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and Kili Team

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Hi Rocket   happy   birthday   I     hope   you   have   a   good     birthday!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Rowan Junell on 1/27/2017 at 7:14 pm

Looks amazing Uncle John hope you are enjoying this adventure

Keep safe looking forward to seeing you in Ireland

Posted by: Evan Horgan on 1/27/2017 at 2:27 pm

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