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Entries By dave hahn

Vinson Massif: Hahn & Team Arrive at Vinson Base Camp

Almost one in the morning now.  It has been a long, but very fine day.  We took off from Punta Arenas just after ten AM.  The flight -in airline seats within the cargo hold of the IL76- was smooth as anything.  It took about 4.5 hours to get down to Union Glacier.  By then we were wearing plenty of clothing in anticipation of setting foot on Antarctica.  Sure enough, it was cold and windy at the ice runway, although it was also brilliant, sunny and beautiful.  We caught a ride over to camp in a modified big wheel van.  As is normal, there wasn’t much wind blowing at all in Union Camp and so it was quite pleasant to sit outside talking.  We peeled off our down coats and mingled with the camp staff and the other climbers and adventurers in camp.  It took a bit of time for all of the cargo to come off the big plane and be transported to camp, but not long after being reunited with our gear, we were loading it into a ski equipped Twin Otter for the ride out to Vinson Base.  The team took plenty of pictures of the ride through the Ellsworth Mountains.  Our second perfect landing of the day put us exactly where we wanted to be… At 7000 ft on the Branscomb Glacier, at the foot of Mount Vinson.  There were no clouds to hide the spectacular peaks and glaciers surrounding us.  We had plenty to do in getting a camp established and gear and food sorted, but of course the sun just kept beaming down after midnight, so we kept at it until all were fed and in bed.  It isn’t going to get dark tonight, but soon the sun will duck behind the mountain and it will get cold.  So we’ll sign off for now and check in again tomorrow… today…. whatever. 

Best Regards
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

Best of Luck to you Dave and your team, hopefully the sun shines bright for the climb

Posted by: Dave on 11/28/2016 at 3:15 am

Vinson Massif: Hahn & Team Hang in Punta Arenas

We were awake early, we put on climbing clothes and climbing boots, we clomped on out of the hotel lobby at 6 in the morning and got on the bus to the airport.  We passed through immigration and through security.  We sat down in the waiting area and received word that wind speeds at Union Glacier were a bit too high for safe landings.  Forty-five knots does sound a little sporty for putting the wheels of a giant four engine jet down on a blue ice surface.  The flight was scrubbed for the day.  Without much conversation, the fifty passengers in big boots walked back through security and onto the bus.  A half hour later we were checking into our rooms once again.
The weather in Punta Arenas today was spectacular.  Each of the team took advantage by going for extended walks and explorations in all directions.  It is rare to have cloudless days in this part of Patagonia.  It seemed a treat to be able to clearly see the glaciers and peaks of Tierra del Fuego well across and down Magellan’s Straights.  Sarmiento, the storied and sought after ice mountain far to our south was out for all to see.
As is our tradition, we gathered for yet another great dinner in yet another fine restaurant with a friendly staff.  As we were finishing up, the call came, alerting us to the plan to try it all again tomorrow morning.  False starts and the need for fresh plans are not uncommon when it comes to launching for Antarctica.  We’ll be ready if it happens and understanding if it doesn’t.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Just got the text that you have arrived at Union Glacier camp. Congratulations! Hope conditions stay favorable for you.

Posted by: Yukiko Loritz on 11/27/2016 at 12:36 pm

Vinson Massif: Hahn & Team Bags Packed, Fingers Crossed

We sent off our Antarctic luggage this morning as planned.  By now our gear should be nestled in with a pile of other gear on board the Illyushin 76 transport, awaiting takeoff.  We spent the day in a variety of ways, napping, walking, running, swimming, eating and watching hotel TV.  Relaxing, in other words.
This evening we gathered at the offices of ALE (Antarctic Logistics and Expeditions) to meet the other fifty or so folks on our flight, to be briefed on procedures, and to be updated on current conditions.  The subject of the current weather and expected weather didn’t take much time at all to review… it is good and is expected to remain good.  The flight is on!  We’ll be ready for pickup at our hotel by ten minutes after six tomorrow morning.  We each enjoyed chatting with the other adventurers on board… climbers for Vinson, folks looking to travel to see Emperor Penguins and people journeying to the South Pole.  As well, there will be a number of ALE staff on board the flight, since this is still the kickoff to their 2016-17 season.   We mingled and lingered for a bit and then my team came out of the office to walk the streets of Punta Arenas once again.  It was quite pleasant out, delightfully cool with clear skies.  We had a last South American dinner in one of the fine and eclectic restaurants of downtown Punta.  And then we made an early evening of it… a little more personal time to finish correspondence and get good rest for the early and exciting start to tomorrow.   Fingers crossed, we’ll make our way down to Union Glacier in the interior of Antarctica.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Vinson Massif: Hahn & Team Getting Down to Business

It may have been a holiday in North America, but down here at the lower end of South America, it was a big work day.  Meeting after breakfast in our hotel, the team got to know one another a little better and then got right into the details and mechanics of how the trip might proceed.  We discussed the protocols for arranging gear for the ride down to the ice… the peculiarities of dressing in summer on one continent to take off, and of then landing in perpetual winter in the middle of another continent.  We talked over how it might just go smoothly and right on schedule from one flight to another culminating in Vinson Basecamp... and of how it might get weird if bad weather delays flights at some point along the way.  We reviewed the necessity for checking our gear and clothing for dirt and vegetation that has no business being transported to Antarctica.  And then the team endured a series of nosy and tedious equipment checks by the leader.  The afternoon then got easier with lunches and strolls about town.  We got together for another fine dinner and then a good walk up the shoreline of Magellan’s Straight, checking out old shipwrecks and even an odd dinosaur or two along the way.  The endless twilight and the Patagonian wind sculpted clouds kept us mesmerized for our return to town..
The gear needs to be packed and ready by tomorrow morning.  It will get stowed in the big plane and things will start to get real.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Vinson Massif: Dave Hahn & Team Arrive in Punta Arenas

Our attempt on the highest mountain in Antarctica is coming together.  We’ve got our entire team -four climbers and one guide- pulled together in Patagonia to kick this thing off.  The “normal” air travel is finished… we even got all of our baggage through the system.  We celebrated by walking about the town of Punta Arenas, Chile in unseasonably warm and comfy weather.  The team fought off jet lag long enough to enjoy a great meal together.  We’ve got to get to work in the morning to prep for a Saturday morning departure for the Ice, but now it is time to sleep hard and recover from overexposure to those evil airline seats.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Love to follow your climb thru your dispatches!
Wishing you great climbing weather .

Posted by: Jayne Edgington on 11/24/2016 at 5:23 am

Mt. Rainier: Expedition Skills Seminar - Muir Reaches the Top of the Cleaver

The Expedition Skills Seminar - Muir led by RMI Guides Dave Hahn and Billy Nugent attempted to summit Mt. Rainier early this morning, but snow instability forced the teams to turn at the top of Disappointment Cleaver today. The is headed back to Camp Muir and will spend their remainder of their time on the mountain training before descending to back to Rainier Basecamp tomorrow afternoon.

Congratulations to today’s team!

We can’t wait to hear all about your adventure! We decided to combine your names (Fred & Jack) and dub you “Team Frack”..Lol. ....Go Team Frack !!! ~ Your Friends @ Toyota

Posted by: Dawn on 9/24/2016 at 10:11 am

Mt. Rainier: Teams Reach the Summit!

The Mt. Rainier Summit Climb, led by RMI Guides Dave Hahn and Nick Hunt, made a successful summit at around 7:30 this morning. Dave reported cold conditions with 10mph winds blowing from the north. With favorable weather, the teams were able to spend an hour on the summit prior to starting their descent. 
This week’s Expedition Skills Seminar - Muir headed up the snowfield this morning. They will spend the week learning many expedition skills and finishing with a summit bid later in the week.

How many climbers in the hut 10,060?

Posted by: Pat on 9/14/2016 at 11:54 pm

So proud of you Jennamarie. You are literally the coolest.

Posted by: Ash on 9/12/2016 at 4:58 pm

Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Homeward Bound

Busy day.  The team had coffee and tea brought around to Kikoti’s tent cabins a little before sunrise.  Fortified with a great breakfast, we got right back into cruising the rough but beautiful roads of Tarangire National Park.  Highlights were the family of head-tossing, trunk-swinging, ear-flapping elephants we encountered.  Curiously, they were more animated and energized than any of the many families we saw.  And we finished our tour on a highlight too, getting to watch up close as five lions followed an alpha female around as she decided what she might be hungry for.  We could see her changing her mind from wildebeest to zebra to Impala to warthog.  It all looked yummy to her.  We left her and the pride undecided and hungry as we hit the road for Arusha and our return to the Dik Dik Hotel. 
We got back through Arusha’s rush hour and road construction traffic at four.  This left time for repacking and freshening up before one final excellent meal in the dining room.  Then we said goodbye to the staff who’d taken exceptional care of us, and to our teammate Kathleen.  She is staying on a week to do good works up by Lake Victoria.  The rest of the gang got on board the bus for a ride out to the airport.  We’re flying now… Dar Es Salaam…. Amsterdam…and onward.  We’re all excited to be moving on, of course, but also a little reluctant to let go of this morning’s vision of a lion cub telling his mom to hurry up with the food shopping.  It has been an incredible few weeks in Africa.  Thanks for following. 

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Dave, thanks so much for making us all a part of this incredible journey. We’re getting Mary back in the states soon and we’re so excited to hear about her journey, and we are so greatfull to you and the guides for getting her here safe and sound. We also thank you for all the pictures you painted with your eloquent words. I’m sure it’s not easy to hike a mountain “hearding cats” so to speak, with all those people in tow, and still have the energy to sit down at the end of the day and find the amazing words to give those of us at home a chance to live vicariously through our family members. A genuine thanks to you and the RMI staff for hosting this site/blog for all of us back home!!
A pleasant journey home to all of the hikers. our daughter, Mary, I’m sure, will take a piece of all of you with her home in the form of memories that will last a lifetime.

With much appreciation and congratulations to all,
Bill and Kathy Harshbarger

Posted by: Bill and Kathy Harshbarger (Mary's Parents) on 9/3/2016 at 5:50 am

What an absolutely amazing journey for all of you.  Thank you for taking care of each other and much appreciation to Dave for posting wonderfully detailed blogs that allowed the rest of us to cheer and follow from afar.

Jason—we’re so thrilled for you and anxious for your return.  Safe travels.  Love you.

Posted by: Jen (Jason's sister) on 9/2/2016 at 9:12 pm

Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Finish the Big Five at Tarangire

Judging by the conversation over our evening campfire at Kikoti Safari Camp, this was a great day.  The team recalled a fine night at the Plantation Lodge and a great start to the day there.  We then drove a couple of hours to reach Tarangire National Park.  We’d only been in the park boundaries for a few minutes when we got to watch a beautiful lioness clear a waterhole of a hundred zebras and wildebeest.  She only had to take a step in their direction to get the herds running frantically and kicking up dust.  She did this in a few directions, seemingly just to buy herself some space.  We left her in charge and then went exploring, over Tarangire’s great savannah expanses, through forests of Boabab trees, across rivers and alongside vast swampland.  We saw herd after herd of wildebeest and zebra.  There were waterbucks and impalas and elan.  There were elephants and giraffes and more lions.  There were Cape buffalo and birds of great variety.  There were Dik Diks and mongoose.  And just when we thought we’d seen everything the park intended to show us for the day, Joseph -our driver and guide- made a typically astounding discovery of a beautiful leopard.  None of us could understand how he’d seen her at the distance that he did.  She was on a red-dirt termite mound next to the road and she permitted us to get fairly close, which was thrilling.  When she moved off the mound, it turned out that she was minding a leopard cub.  This final treat of the day made for a sensational finish.  The “big five” completed at 5:50 PM.  Sunset was at about 6:30 and not at all dull and boring either.  We pulled into friendly and tranquil Kikoti Camp then and discovered yet another place we’d all like to spend more time in.  Such things are on our minds now, of course, because we are running out of time.  Tomorrow evening we’ll be jetting back to the world.  But first, we’ll wake out in this wilderness and see just what we can find in a final morning on Safari.

Best Regards
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Another awesome safari day and I’m thrilled you got to complete the Big 5 goal.  Thank you for sharing your day with us.

Posted by: Jen (Jason's sister) on 9/2/2016 at 12:07 am

Never a dull moment with you, Dave! I have thoroughly enjoyed reading about your adventures on your climb and safari. Glad you got to add the last of the Big 5 to your list before the end of the trip!

Posted by: Susie Lambert on 9/1/2016 at 1:03 pm

Kilimanjaro: Hahn and Team Visit the Ngorongoro Crater

The safari gets better and better.  Today we were up early -before sunrise- for our visit to the Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area.  It was cloudy and cool as we entered the gates and began the drive up to the crater rim.  That rim was cloudier and colder still at 9000 ft above sea level.  We stopped in to a Masai village where we got to watch (and join in) as the residents performed traditional songs and dances, made fire and showed us into their simple homes (made of sticks, dung and ash).  The Masai are just one of Tanzania’s many distinct tribes, but they are prominent because they’ve held on to so many of their own customs and have largely stayed away from modern conveniences.  We were impressed that the herdsmen protect themselves, their families and cattle herds with nothing more than spears.  We were even more impressed a half hour after leaving the village when we got to see ten big lions down in the crater.  Six females and four males, walking wherever they pleased… apparently without any worries or fears.  The zebras and wildebeests wandering around them reacted sharply and obviously upon discovering so many kings and queens of the crater in one place.  They seemed to be guarding a kill in the shrubs, driving off the odd hyena who came sniffing around.  We were amazed at the vastness of the caldera floor and at the size of the herds of zebra, wildebeest, antelope and Cape buffalo that wandered about.  Before long, we’d seen four of the “big five” (lion, elephant, rhino, Cape buffalo) and were looking hard for leopards to complete the set.  No luck there today, but that didn’t phase anyone.  We were enchanted with the setting for our picnic lunch, on the edge of a lake full of hippos, with a big bull elephant casually walking through without paying any attention to all of the Land Cruisers and tourists in the designated lunch spot.

The clouds cleared completely by mid-afternoon and things finally warmed up.  That made the ride back up to the crater rim all the more memorable as we could then see the entire amazing valley.
We enjoyed an easy evening ride back to the Plantation Lodge.  Cocktails out on the veranda were accompanied by lots of show and tell of the excellent pics taken today.  Then it was time for a fine buffet dinner and some birthday cake in honor of both Tom and Tim.

The team is excited to move on to Tarrangire National Park tomorrow.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn & Team

Love hearing about your adventures.  What memories you’ll have!

Posted by: Sue Rentschler(Jason's aunt) on 9/1/2016 at 4:53 am

What an amazing day all of you had!  A combination of generosity from the tribe and generosity from the wildlife - both contributing to what must be (for all of you) great, memorable moments.
All so well deserved…enjoy, take tons of pictures (can’t wait to see/hear) and know how proud we are of you.

Posted by: Kathy and Denny Meyers (Jason's Mom and Dad) on 8/31/2016 at 3:35 pm

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