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Entries By casey grom

Kilimanjaro: Grom and Team at Barafu Camp Ready to Go for the Top!

Saturday, January 27, 2024, 7:26 am PST

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 3hrs with amazing views 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 10:30pm, have breakfast, and hopefully hit the trail around 11:30pm. As per usual, I'm expecting the ascent to take around7-8 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 7-7:30 in the morning, Tanzania time.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and the Kilimanjaro Crew

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Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Ascend the Great Barranco Wall

Hello everyone 

Right out of camp we were faced with the only significant technical obstacle for this climb. This hurdle is the great Barranco Wall, which rises about 1,000 feet and looks as intimidating as it sounds. Thankfully, there is a narrow trail that weaves its way up the wall and all the way to the top. Most of it feels like steep hiking, but there are a few places that require the use of our hands to help us climb up.

The team made incredible time and we were rewarded with tea and cookies on top. We took an extra long break to take in the amazing views of the ice laden south face of Kilimanjaro above and green valleys below. 

The team continued our hike for a few more hours up and down before reaching our end point. 

All in all, it took only about four hours for us to get to our next camp called Karanga, named for the big and beautiful valley which it overlooks. 

We enjoyed a restful afternoon - taking naps and playing cards to the sound of rain on our tents, made more sweet by the fact that we were inside and staying dry.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Your gripping account of the Kilimanjaro ascent is inspiring. Thank you for sharing this remarkable adventure with us!

Posted by: Right Angle Developers on 4/23/2024 at 3:42 am

You are all amazing! Great work! My pals Ian and Erin look strong so far!

Posted by: Kim Clark on 1/26/2024 at 5:42 pm

Kilimanjaro: Grom and Team Reaches New Heights

Jambo Everyone

All is well here on Kilimanjaro!
Today we woke to beautifully clear skies with even better views of Kilimanjaro and clouds obscuring the valleys below. Our morning ritual has been waking around 6:30 and getting everything in our tents packed up before heading into our very spacious dinning tent for quite the feast.

We hit the trail once again around 8 am and hiked for an hour before taking our usual 15 minute break, then back on the trail for another hour. All total today we hiked for just over six hours before reaching camp which is set up and ready for us. 

Along the way we passed around the famous and beautiful Lava Tower reaching just over 15,000', setting new altitude records for some and we also chatted with a few other climbers who are on the same schedule with us. All in all it was a really nice day with clouds gathering in the afternoon to help keep the temperature comfortable for hiking. 

That’s all for now. 

RMI Guides Casey Grom, Jess Wedel and the Kili crew

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Hi Crigler Family!

Love seeing these updates (jealous) and can see your having an amazing adventure.

Keep up the great work!  Rooting for you all the way from Chatham, NJ.


Posted by: Francine Leff on 1/25/2024 at 1:04 pm

Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Move Steady Up Hill to Shira Camp

Hi family and friends!

We woke up rested this morning finally starting to leave that jet lag behind.

After a delicious breakfast complete with fresh avocado, eggs, local yams and of course, pitchers of coffee, we hit the trail up a rocky ridge. The sun was shining but we watched the clouds build behind us all morning, crossing our fingers we’d make it to camp before the rains.

We walked above the trees, seeing our first views of the lush rainforest below and the snowy upper slopes of Kilimanjaro above. Everyone moved steady and fluid. We saw wild flowers and the first of many senecios trees. Making sure to take all the photos.

Just before arriving to camp, we stopped to put on our shell jackets and pants as the rain came. It was our lucky day because by the time we arrived at camp - the clouds had passed and the sun was peaking through. After a wonderful lunch at Shira Camp, we worked to dry out all our wet gear in preparation for a big day tomorrow.

This team is special and we know this experience is as well. We can’t wait to see what tomorrow holds!

RMI Guides Jess Wedel, Casey Grom and the crew

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Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Depart Arusha, Ready to Start Climb

We awoke early today and left behind the comforts of our beautiful lodge and have headed to the mountain towards the start of the climb. Starting shortly before 8am we drove along the rural country side for about an hour and half to reach the park entrance. Most of the area surrounding Kilimanjaro has been cultivated and primarily used for coffee production and for a variety of other agriculture needs, but there are still some areas that have been untouched and resemble more of a savannah that Tanzania is known for. The base of Kilimanjaro is more forested and resembles a jungle or cloud forest. Traditionally it supports a large part of the banana production for this area.

Once at the gate we had all of our gear weighed and divided into loads for our porters to carry before hitting the trail. Once everything was in order we started our climb slowly making our way up the winding trail. The team hiked for a little over five hours to reach our camp for the night. Everyone did great and enjoyed finally getting some much needed exercise.

Unfortunately there was some more rain, but thankfully not as much as last weeks climb had to deal with. 

After settling in the team was served a nice warm meal and then headed off to bed for a nice full night of rest.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and the # 2 Kili crew.

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Ian and Erin,
We are obsessively stalking your updates, locations and photos and everything looks so cool. Keep it up!!!! You’re doing amazing! We love you.
Jackie and Kate

Posted by: Kathryn R Smith on 1/24/2024 at 2:19 pm

Thinking of you all and cheering you on from the other side of the world! Hope you’re having fun and enjoying yourselves. It takes a special kind of person to be able to do what you are doing and you are all so very special! Especially to me! ❤️

Posted by: Suzanne Jaeger on 1/24/2024 at 7:43 am

Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Relax in Arusha after Arrival

Casey Grom here checking in with RMI's Kilimanjaro Climb # 2 of 2024!

All is well here in Tanzania and most of the team arrived yesterday morning after some very long flights. It was a short and uneventful ride to our Lodge that is nestled in between Arusha and Moshi and not so far from the base of Kilimanjaro. The team spent the day relaxing and getting adjusted to the nearly 12hr time change.

We had a leisurely morning today and had our first official meeting at 8:30 where we did a round of introductions and then discussed the program for the coming days ahead. We spent the remainder of the day getting our gear packed up, exploring the grounds of our Lodge, which is incredibly peaceful and has monkeys running around keeping us entertained.

We wrapped up the evening with another delicious meal and plenty of friendly conversations. Everyone is doing well and excited to hit the trail tomorrow and get a little bit of exercise.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and the Kili crew # 2

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Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Enjoy Another Day on Safari in Tarangire National Park

Hello everyone!
After a bit of 4 wheeling and stellar driving we made our way through Tarangire National Park, which is known for its abundant elephants. In fact, it has more per square mile than any place on earth. However, with all 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. 
There were plenty of other animals to see though. We saw a few Giraffes, lots of Impalas, 7 lions, and a ton of birds, including a pair of the rare Verreaux's Eagle Owl. We ended our day at a beautiful and remote off grid camp. It's a tented camp that lies inside the park with medium size screened in rooms that allow the night sounds of Africa in. 
Tomorrow we’ll have an early departure to increase our chances of seeing Cheetahs and Leopards, as they have still eluded us. 
Casey and the Safari crew!

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Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team visit the Eighth Wonder of the World

Today, we visited the famous Ngorongoro Crater, considered by some to be the 8th wonder of the world. The crater is roughly 100 square miles and is home for more than 25’000 animals that have taken up residence. We hit the road early with hopes of catching a few more animals before the heat of the day sent them in search of shade.

There were many sightings today of hyenas, jackals, ostrich, and countless other birds. We manage to see a ton of Lions including one large female up close.

The team also managed to see quite a few Black Rhinos, although not as close as we would have hoped for.

We have just finished another wonderful meal here at the plantation lodge and the team is off to bed after a long, but very rewarding day on safari.

Casey and the safari crew

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Kilimanjaro: Grom and Team Enjoy First Day of Safari

Safari time!

Today was the first day of safari for us and we headed east to visit Lake Manyara, which is know for its tree climbing lions, flamingos, and more than 400 different species of birds.

We had a nice 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 zebras, Cape buffalo, giraffe, 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 wrapped up the evening here at the beautiful Plantation Lodge with a wonderful meal and great conversations.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and the safari team

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Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Descend to Mweka Gate, Complete the Climb

Our final day on the mountain!

Today the gang got up at 6am refreshed after a much needed nights sleep, we had breakfast, then hit the trail one last time. It took about four hours to reach the park gate where the team had lunch and said our final goodbyes to our amazing crew of 44 that took such great care of us on the mountain. 

We finished the little celebration by handing out their well deserved tips and then hopped aboard our awaiting bus for the ride back to the lodge. 

Finally we are all safe and sound, cleaner, and smelling fresh after an exciting seven day journey up and down Kilimanjaro. 

Stayed tuned, Safari starts tomorrow!

RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

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