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Entries By casey grom

Everest Base Camp Trek: Team Flies to Lukla, Treks to Phakding

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.

RMI Guide Christina Dale

On The Map

Everest Base Camp Trek: Grom & Team Tour Kathmandu

Namaste everyone.

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

Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Enjoy Listening to the African Night

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

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

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

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

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

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

On The Map

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

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

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

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