Entries By dave hahn
September 4, 2022
The Four Day Climb September 1 - 4 teams led by Dave Hahn and Abby Westling climbed to Ingraham Flats this morning and were able to enjoy the sunrise. The teams were unable to climb higher due to route conditions. As of 7:45 am all climbers had returned to Camp Muir. They plan to begin their descent from Camp Muir to Paradise around 9:30 am. Thus the teams should reach Paradise around noon today. Once back at Rainier BaseCamp they will conclude their program.
Great trip and experience with “Team A.” Thanks to our guides and the positive energy and helping us maximize our time. Will definitely travel with RMI again.
Posted by: Timothy Josephs on 9/6/2022 at 6:45 am
I had a great time spending a few days on Mount Rainier. Sure, the route was cut short, but Dave, Joey and Jenna pulled out all the stops to make this a memorable climb and make me appreciate the many facets of the mountain!
Posted by: Alex Schmidt-Warnecke on 9/5/2022 at 8:20 am
It is always tough to leave the Plantation Lodge. It is just too comfortable and the people are way too kind and friendly. But we tore ourselves away because of Tarangire National Park. It is a worthy motivating force… the chance to see incredible numbers and varieties of wildlife on a seemingly unlimited expanse of beautiful land. We got rolling out of Karatu at 8:30 AM but couldn’t resist a fine shopping opportunity for some Tanzanian keepsakes a short distance out of town. We still made it out to Tarangire by late morning and immediately began seeing animals and then more animals and more animals still. At first it was just the flavors we’d already become familiar with (zebra, wildebeest, impala, waterbuck, eagles, vultures, giraffes) but then we started seeing new things. Family after family of elephants, each with a wee one just a few months old. We saw a python up a tree. We saw lions chewing on a zebra. We saw hartebeest and elan and bushbucks and Dik Dik. We looked up every likely tree for leopards… but they are still hiding from us. Then we finished the day at Lokisale Lodge, deep within the park. The staff gave us a friendly welcome and lit a fire for us to enjoy sunset by. They warned us gently of the wild animals roaming through the grounds of the lodge and then showed us to our deluxe tent cabins. We are about to eat our final dinner together, way out in East Africa.
We spent our day in a collapsed volcano. Ngorongoro Crater didn’t disappoint. It was a clear morning at our hotel but it was cold and there was still a little cloud hanging around the rim of the caldera (which is at around 10,000 ft). We did an hour of the usual rough roads to get to the descent road into the crater. Then we saw two of the “Big Five” species before we’d even made it to the floor of the crater. There was a big bull elephant with enormous tusks and not too far away there was a sleeping male lion. Before long we were seeing thousands of zebra, wildebeest, gazelles, Cape buffalo and warthogs. There were tons of hippos. The highlights were reckoned to be the Caracal we spied (a medium sized cat with big pointy ears… rarely seen in Ngorongoro) and the pack of hyenas ripping up a Cape Buffalo carcass. After another great picnic lunch in the field, we went back up to the crater rim to visit a Maasai village. We watched (and joined in) traditional dances. We saw the men make fire and throw spears, then we got a tour of the homes within a protective brush enclosure.
Then we had another 90 minutes of bouncing over dirt roads before we got back to the ultra comfortable Plantation Lodge for the evening.
RMI Guide Dave Hahn
That sounds like an amazing day! Thank you for posting pics, too.
Posted by: Diana Lowe on 8/24/2022 at 3:38 pm
We hiked from the hotel to the parking lot in approximately 30 seconds this morning. Which was our climbing goal for the day. Then we shifted into Safari mode, driving out of Usa River at 8 AM. Saimon and Izach, our safari guides/drivers, had us through the outskirts of Arusha (population 2 million) and out into the arid countryside in about an hour. We cruised westward, watching Maasai tribesmen and boys moving cattle to water. By late morning we’d reached Lake Manyara National Park. We popped open the tops of our Landcruisers and stood up to search for wildlife. The park was a little sleepy today, but we saw elephants and giraffes, Cape buffalo and eagles. We drove along bumpy dirt roads through forest and occasional clearings to see impala and bushbucks, Dik Dik and vultures. We spied Hirax and banded mongoose, crowned cranes and baboons. There were monkeys galore. During the course of the day, we enjoyed a picnic lunch in the park. We looked up every tree for lions and leopards but came up a little empty on that score. Still it was a fine day of exploring. In the evening we drove out of the great Rift Valley and into the highlands to Karatu where the Plantation Lodge welcomed us with comfortable rooms and a delicious dinner. Tomorrow we’ll venture out for Ngorongoro Crater.
August 22, 2022
Posted by: Dave Hahn
It was a relief to sleep “low down” at 10,000 ft last night. The air had oxygen and humidity and everything we’d been missing up high on Kili. We ate breakfast at 7 AM and got walking downhill through the rainforest at 8 AM. The trail was in better-than-expected condition. It can be slick and muddy, which can make the 4,000 ft descent treacherous, but today we found it pretty easy going. The team flew down the track at a record setting pace, making the Mweka Gate in just two hours and fifteen minutes. Hot showers can be a powerful motivator. A short distance from the National Park, our Barking Zebra staff treated us to one final picnic lunch. We then thanked each of the 46 men who’d put so much effort and kindness into helping us climb the mountain. After tips were passed out, the staff sang a few very fun and traditional songs while pulling us in to dance along. We then said our goodbyes and got on board the bus for the two hour ride back to Usa River. We checked into the Rivertrees Hotel and sprinted for the showers. When we next met to plan our four days of Safari, the team was nearly unrecognizable in fresh clothing and shampooed hair. We enjoyed a dinner outside under the big trees and wished our climbing partner Rob a safe journey homeward since -as planned- he’ll head home and come back for Safari on a future trip.
Safari starts in the morning!
August 21, 2022
Posted by: Dave Hahn
11 PM sure seemed like it came early last night. Some got a little sleep, some got none, but we all got up to go climbing. We had an 11:30 “breakfast” before leaving Barafu High Camp just after midnight. It was magically clear and calm. We could see the lights of Moshi and a thousand other towns. The moon didn’t rise until about three so there were plenty of stars to see as we marched by headlight. Naturally, all the other climbing teams were getting going at the same time, so Naiman -who led the way- had to do some bobbing and weaving to get us free of traffic jams. Eventually we broke free and were able to set our desired pace up the steep, zig zag of pumice and lava steps. We took short breaks every 60 to 90 minutes, generally adding clothing layers as we got higher and colder. It was still dark when we hit the crater rim at Stella Pt at 5:48. We took a short break and the guides broke out thermoses of sweet black tea which the team devoured. Then we walked the rim to Uhuru as daylight slowly came on. There is a lot to look at on a 19,000 ft stroll at sunrise. We hit the tippy top… Uhuru… at 6:47 AM There were a few tears and cheers, then a bunch of happy photographs. We sat to eat and drink and then -after 25 minutes on the top of Africa- we began our descent. The team made good time, boot skiing down thousands of feet of loose pumice. In three and a half hours we were back at High Camp. Our staff welcomed us with cups of fruit juice and joyful songs. Tosha -our chef- prepared a 15,200 ft pizza lunch to fortify us for our continued climb down. The team pulled out of High Camp at 11:40 AM and got down 5000 ft of rocky and dusty trail in three hours. It is clear and sunny still at 10,000 ft Mweka Camp. Our team is tired but happy. We’ll sit down to our final dinner on the hill in a few minutes and we’ll review the highs… and the hard parts of an excellent day. There will certainly be a few mentions of the amazing job our guides and staff did to get us living out a dream.
Well-written recap - Evokes memories of ‘‘09.
Posted by: Waltero Glover on 8/22/2022 at 2:58 am
Wow! Wow! Wow!!!!! Congratulations everyone! So proud of you ALL!!!
Looking forward to hearing all about it Kim!! What a HUGE accomplishment!
Enjoy your last bit of time in Africa! Soak in that earthy smell for me!
Posted by: Alisha Palmer on 8/21/2022 at 6:26 pm
August 20, 2022
Posted by: Dave Hahn
We did not have so far to go today, so we took it easy getting started at Karanga Camp. We got walking at 9 AM in the perfect morning weather we’ve become accustomed to. The team practiced the “rest step” and some “pressure breathing” on the gradual but steady ascent to 15,200 ft. We took two rest breaks along the way and made the move in less than three hours. Our amazing support team had camp well established at Barafu and that made it quite easy for us to just roll in and rest up. We sat down for lunch together and then lingered for a comprehensive talk about our summit bid. Things had clouded up a little, as we’ve found to be normal in midday, but less sun just made it a little easier to lounge in the tents for the afternoon. Early dinner was in order, because we’ve got big plans for the night. Just when the team thought the day was done, our fabulous chefs and waiters surprised Rob with a birthday cake (brought specially and secretly by runner from Arusha yesterday) and a round of singing and dancing. The entire team will remember Rob’s high altitude birthday for a long time. It is 7:30 PM now and all are in bed. We’ll wake at 11 PM and walk at midnight. We’ve got mountains to climb.
Woohoo!! Looking strong everyone! Can’t wait for tomorrow’s post! Good luck!
Posted by: Alisha Palmef on 8/20/2022 at 11:00 pm
Hi to John and Jeanne!
Been thinking of you two! You and the team are getting there! If I read the report right you have reached 15,200! Can’t wait to hear about this trip and see pictures! Wishing you both well!
Gav and I miss you John! The animals too! All is well though!
It has to feel amazing to FINALLY be on this trip!!! You both keep enjoying the climb!!
Posted by: Joleen & Gavin on 8/20/2022 at 9:50 pm
August 19, 2022
Posted by: Dave Hahn
We pushed back our wake-up and starting times this morning in order to let a few of the surrounding teams get out on the trail first. The Barranco Wall has a few tight passages along rock ledges where we’d just as soon miss the traffic jams. That meant a leisurely pace to rolling out of bed and packing up. It was cool in the shadow of the mountain though, and a relief -during breakfast- when the sun hit. We marched toward the base of the wall at 9 AM with perhaps a few butterflies in some stomachs as folks wondered how it would all work out. From below, the Great Barranco Wall looks very much like a Great Wall… intimidating. But as we started winding up the trail and came to grips with the tricky parts, most began to relax. Our local guides -John, Tom, Naiman and Philibet were at every difficult move, pointing out hand and footholds and managing porter traffic. Before long we’d cruised past the narrowest ledges and gotten to easier -though still steep- trail sections in the middle of the wall. There were still a few places requiring both hands on the rock near the top, but then we popped out onto flat ground about 1200 ft higher than where we’d begun. We took a well-deserved break and snapped a few pictures of the spectacular South Face of Kilimanjaro. The rest of the walk to Karanga was easy in comparison to the Wall. Just a few valleys to traverse, and lots of sights to see as much of the lower cloud melted away. We sat down to lunch in our new camp at 13,100 ft. The afternoon was a chance for resting and rehydrating. As the sun set, John -our lead guide- led the team in an impromptu dance session on the concrete heli-pad adjacent to camp. We sat down to dinner in our well lit dining tent and then came out to another beautiful night scene, this time with the lights of Moshi (the city at Kili’s Southeast corner) spread out far below.
Happy Anniversary, my love. I would do it all again. You make everything better.
Our life of Adventures and Oatmeal is perfect.
Blow me a kiss and then go to bed, tomorrow is going come fast!
So proud of and stoked for you.
Posted by: John GILMAN on 8/20/2022 at 7:57 am
You all are amazing!
Posted by: Diana Lowe on 8/19/2022 at 1:01 pm
August 18, 2022
Posted by: Dave Hahn
It was just a little on the cold side this morning at Shira Camp. Kibo -Kilimanjaro’s main peak- was between us and the sun. But we were far above the clouds and it was clear up high, so the views more than made up for the cold temps. The sun was on us by the time breakfast had finished and so things were comfortable when we got walking at 8:30 AM. Our path led directly toward Kibo and the terrain was easier than what we’d dealt with yesterday. We worked up broad, gently angled slopes. Old lava flows. Obsidian chunks were easy to find amongst the sagebrush and wildflowers. By 11 AM we were higher than Mount Rainier and a short while later we were higher than Mt Whitney… thus breaking altitude records for everyone on the team (except Kim who has been to 19,000 ft). We made it to the Lava Tower -at 15,200 ft- just after noon. Clouds had formed up again and so it was cool, but not so bad that we couldn’t enjoy some lunch. We began working downhill at 1 PM. It felt good to drop altitude and to get back into warmer air. We took a break just as we got into a garden-like grove of giant senecios and lobelias… the “Dr Suess plants” of Kilimanjaro. Another careful hour of descent had us walking into 13,000 ft Barranco Camp just after 3 PM. We settled in at the base of tomorrow’s main objective -the great Barranco Wall.
We napped and read and sipped tea through the remaining afternoon hours. Dinner finished up by 8 PM and we marveled at the stars on this moonless night.
Looking string, Kim! It looks like you, Bella and the team are just cruising along. I know better though. The effort is real - so is the joy. Keep on keeping on!
The boys are still wondering were you actually are and are a little concerned that you would go on an adventure without us.
You amaze me everyday. I love you.
Posted by: JOHN GILMAN on 8/19/2022 at 6:48 am
Everyone looks psyched to take on the challenge. You all have got this! Thank you, Dave, for the great daily accounts.
Posted by: Michael Brewer on 8/18/2022 at 8:31 pm
August 17, 2022
Posted by: Dave Hahn
The clouds came back up over us in the night at Machame Camp, but the morning was pleasant enough. We busted out of camp just after 8 AM and started right off with some hard work through a forest of giant Heather. The trail was steeper and rockier than anything we had encountered yesterday… and a bit relentless. We pushed on for a couple of hours, getting above the clouds once more. After the steep hill, we worked more gradually up along a ridge crest through bright and intense sunshine. The team stuck right together as we made a turn to the North and traversed out toward the Shira Plateau. There were a few interesting parts requiring us to use our hands on the rock, and then we popped out on the plateau to the West of Kibo at 12,800 ft. It was a relaxing descent then to get to our new camp at 12,500. We took just over 4 hours to reach Shira and so we had a relaxing afternoon -as planned- in our new home. There were actually a few short rain showers as the day went by, but most of us were napping in the tents by then.
We met for teatime and storytelling in the late afternoon and then, after a beautiful sunset, dinner at 7 PM. By the time we piled out of the dining tent, the stars were brilliant. The Southern Cross and the Milky Way were easy to pick out, as were the distant lights of Arusha.
RMI Guide Dave Hahn & Team