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Entries By dave hahn


Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Visit Lake Manyara

Switching gears… We walked hard every day for the last week.  Today we rode around like royalty.  We pulled out of the Dik Dik hotel by 9 AM and cruised in two modified Toyota Landcruisers through the outskirts of Arusha.  Traffic thinned as we pushed westward toward Lake Manyara National Park.  We spent a great afternoon seeing hippos, baboons, monkeys, flamingos, storks, giraffes, Cape buffalo and elephants… And of course a pair of Dik Diks… The smallest of the antelope family.  Most thought the elephants were the highlight of the day, but they were nearly upstaged by whatever it was that we didn’t see.  At one point, the monkeys were sounding alarms, the elephants were trumpeting and charging and we found fresh big cat tracks in the road.  But we didn’t see the leopard or lion causing all the commotion.  We looked, but were catless for safari day one.  Beautiful day in a Tanzanian National Park though, and a fine evening relaxing at the luxurious Plantation Lodge.  We already seem worlds away from our grubby Kili climbing days. 

Best Regards
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

What an exciting day for you and the animals!  Here’s to seeing a “Big Cat” tomorrow.  Loving the pics and blogs.

Posted by: Jen (Jason's sister) on 8/30/2016 at 6:39 pm

Deborah Beggan and whole team,
Congratulations on your thrilling, bad ass climb!!! I am awed by your adventure!!!!! Enjoy a very Happy Anniversary and Safari with Tom!!
Love, Aunt Ginny

Posted by: Ginny Shaller on 8/30/2016 at 5:49 pm


Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Celebrate at the Dik Dik

While it wasn’t a summit day, this one seemed just as valuable for us… Coming to the end of the trail -safe and sound. 

We woke in Mweka Camp under -or perhaps in- the sea of clouds we’d been noticing so far below all week long.  All were impressed with the quality of a 10,000 ft night of sleep.  Breakfast involved a fair bit of laughter… all of the tension and worry over making the top is gone.  We emerged to a couple of great and friendly songs by our 47 man staff, complete with dancing.  We each then shook hands with every porter, cook, tent-builder, guide, and waiter and passed on well-earned gratuities to all.  Then we got packs on again and rambled down the trail.  At first it was easy walking… But eventually it was steep and slick and we went “pole pole” (slow) to avoid getting down in the dirt.  Meanwhile, a constant stream of porters (ours and many from other teams) came screaming down the trail with forty-four pound loads balanced on their heads.  When they hit the slick spots, they just went faster, yelling “jambo” as they passed.  We transitioned quickly from heather to trees, to giant camphor trees to jungle.  By midday we’d reached the Mweka Gate where we happily boarded the truck/bus and got rolling down the road.  Halfway back along the highway, we stopped for a typically wonderful Dik Dik catered lunch.  All were quite relaxed and content by then… But quite filthy.  This was remedied soon after we got back to our hotel.  The team was unrecognizable -in a good way- when we got back together for a victory dinner.  We made toasts to a great climb and to the upcoming safari.  Desert was occasion for celebrating Tom and Deborah’s wedding anniversary.  Onward. 

Best Regards,

RMI Guide Dave Hahn

GROUSE job Brian!! I was following the blog, the photos look so good! Hope you got to play spades with your tent mates haha :)
Enjoy the rest of your trip.
Love from down under. Renee.

Posted by: Renee (Australia) on 8/29/2016 at 3:27 pm

What a well deserved celebration for all staffers, guides, and climbers!  Enjoy your meals, showers, beds, and the upcoming safari.

Posted by: Jen Potter (Jason's Sister) on 8/29/2016 at 2:59 pm


Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Summit!

Summit Day!  We had flat-out perfect weather for it, which is only what we would have expected after the past five splendid days.  The pattern held… Sea of clouds far below, nothing whatsoever up high. 
We were up at 11:30 and on the trail by 12:50 AM.  By about 4 AM, we were wearing nearly everything we had.  Although it was calm and clear, it was also COLD.  Those of the team that looked up saw a snake of headlights working up Kibo, a fair number of shooting stars, the International Space Station, constellations and a crescent moon forming a smile on the horizon.  Those that looked down saw a whole lot of trudging steps for the seven hours and ten minutes it took us to hit Uhuru… the highest point of Kibo, of Kilimanjaro, and of Africa.  Sunrise caught us just before we reached the crater rim and was welcome for its beauty, but even more for its warmth.  We spent about 25 happy minutes on top and got moving downward just before 8:30.  The mountain was busy -as always- but we had no trouble with traffic jams on either the climb or descent.  We were back to Barafu by 11:05 AM and sitting at the lunch table soon afterward.  Then, much as we’d have enjoyed a good nap, it was time to pack and get out of Barafu.  The team made good time on tricky trails and reached Mweka Camp by 4:15PM, having gotten rid of another 5,000 vertical feet in the process.  We are back in tall heather after a couple of days in the alpine zone.  All are figuring they’ve got a good chance of overcoming jet lag and altitude tonight to get a full night of well-earned sleep. 

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

How much time do your clients spend getting used to the altitude, before they can handle 20,000’?

Posted by: harold hahn on 8/29/2016 at 2:10 pm

Bravo pour cette belle expédition, l’atteinte du sommet et le plaisir de le faire. Nous avons bien hâte d’entendre le récit de vive voix

Posted by: Roger Brosseau on 8/29/2016 at 10:19 am


Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Arrive At High Camp

Yet another day of perfect weather.  Morning down at Karanga Camp was easy and pleasant with strong sunshine and no wind.  There is still a sea of cloud down below us, but that has just become the normal way of things.  At breakfast, we talked of the incredible night skies we’ve been experiencing.  The Milky Way, the planets, the Southern Cross and a thousand other constellations have been taking advantage of the moon’s absence.  The bulk of Kibo has been glowing brilliantly just in starlight. 
We got out of Karanga at 8:45 AM and cruised into 15,200 ft Barafu Camp by noon.  The entire group is moving well and strong.  We practiced walking and breathing techniques along the way that ought to save us energy on the climb early tomorrow.  It was a quiet afternoon of eating, drinking, resting and prepping for the ascent.  Freddy, Tadey, Filbert, Wendelin and Ayumi… our guides, stopped in after lunch to make sure everybody was feeling good about the challenges that lie ahead.  We’ll be up at 11:30 PM and eating “breakfast” at midnight.  Big day tomorrow. 

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

The Summit awaits…hope you can sleep!  You must be up there by now…what a triumphant journey for you, Deborah.  Be strong, rest step, drink it all in!  Congrats sister xo

Posted by: Susan Finzel-Aldred on 8/27/2016 at 5:49 pm

Brian, the night sky must be beautiful from up there! Enjoy your awesome climb! Love you!

Posted by: Marilyn Palmer (Brian's mom) on 8/27/2016 at 3:55 pm


Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Ascend the Barranco Wall

Today wasn’t a big day, but it was a scenic one.  Sunrise down in the cool Barranco Valley was welcome, for sure.  We got a leisurely 9AM start at walking, which allowed a couple hundred porters to get onto the narrow ledges of the Barranco Wall before us, just as we’d hoped.  Plenty still needed to pass us as we reached for rock handholds and stemmed from precarious stances, but that all worked out fine.  We marveled that the tricky moves we were making could be made easily by men carrying loads balanced on their heads.  It took us about an hour and a half to get fully up the wall and all agreed it had been the funnest part of the climb, so far.  We had weather nearly identical to yesterday’s for the first half of things…blue skies above and sea of clouds below.  This allowed for uninterrupted views of Kibo’s Southern glaciers and ice fields above us as we traversed eastward.  Finally we had the abrupt gorge of the Karanga Valley to drop into and climb steeply out of in order to reach camp.  We pulled in a little after 1 PM, in time for a hot and wholesome spaghetti lunch and some quality rest as things clouded up for the afternoon.  It seems like time has flown by as we are now talking about being at high camp tomorrow and off on a summit bid quite soon afterward.  One step at a time though… First we’ll make the most of this final night at the civilized altitude of 13,100 ft. 

Best Regards
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

Wow! It looks like u guys r almost at the highest point! Keep going friends!!! We love and miss u!
Warriorrrrrrrs

Posted by: Solmaz & Calli on 8/26/2016 at 9:08 pm

The wall climb sounds like a blast!  Everyday is a great adventure.  Continue to enjoy each moment.

Posted by: Jen (Jason's sister) on 8/26/2016 at 2:14 pm


Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Enjoy Good Weather As They Ascend

Our ridiculously fine weather continues.  The morning in Shira Camp was calm and clear.  There wasn’t so much as a hint of any cloud or wind up on the heights of Kibo and for the first time, the sea of cloud below us wasn’t complete.  We could actually see bits of Africa far below.  We got walking at 8:25.  This was easier terrain than yesterday’s rock-hopping.  Just steady uphill strolling through low desert-style vegetation.  We got closer and closer to Kibo and at 12:30 PM we reached our high point for the day.  Fifteen thousand two hundred feet above sea level shattered altitude records for all but two of our ten person team.  We celebrated with a rest break, some fist bumping and photos.  Then it was time to get rid of altitude as we worked down toward the Barranco Valley.  The scenery was outrageous as we crept under the ice fields, hanging glaciers and giant rock walls of Kibo’s south side.  Eventually we found our way down into the crazy vegetation again -giant Scenecios and Lobelias caught our attention as did the waterfalls and caves in the lava layers.  We were in another perfect camp built at 13,000 ft below the great Barranco Wall.  Afternoon weather was found to be just as perfect as the morning.  All are hoping for a good night of sleep before the morning’s wall climb. 

Best Regards
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

Shattered records, fantastic weather, and amazing views…so envious of your perfect day!  Congrats to everyone and keep going strong.

Posted by: Jen Potter (Jason's Sister) on 8/25/2016 at 11:34 am


Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Ascend to the Shira Plateau

We woke to a calm and clear morning down at Machame Camp.  The sun hit around 7:30 AM, just in time for breakfast.  Before we got on the trail, Freddy -our lead guide, introduced some of the key personnel on his forty five person staff and we had a round of jambos and handshakes. 
We were walking by 8:20 and sweating by about 8:30 as the initial route involved some serious uphill on big rock steps through the heather.  The big hazard in our first few hours was that the views were so spectacular I worried that the team wouldn’t watch their steps.  There was plenty to look at as giant Mount Meru -the 16,000 ft volcano back next to Arusha, was standing tall above a sea of clouds to our west.  That sea of brilliant white clouds extended in every direction, beneath us.  We had great views of Kibo, Kilimanjaro’s main peak, and the rugged heights of Shira, its western satellite.  We got to see our first Lobelias and Scenecios as we reached the upper limits of the heather.  By then we were traversing left and negotiating small steep lava walls on our way out to the Shira Plateau.  We were in our newest camp by 1PM. This one is quite a change from the last as we are now well out of the forest.  Kibo never did cloud up today so we got to look at it all afternoon as we rested at 12,600 ft.  We’ll head straight toward it tomorrow for a closer look at our ultimate goal.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

Way to get after it, Team! Onward and Upward!! Thanks for the map too. Gives a great perspective on the days ahead.
Rest well, Stay Strong, Mary #HarshStrong

Posted by: Bill and Kathy Harshbarger (Mary's Parents) on 8/24/2016 at 4:59 pm

Sounds like you could clearly see your goal and had beautiful views all day long.  Here’s to a peaceful night and another spectacular day tomorrow.

Posted by: Jen Potter (Jason's Sister) on 8/24/2016 at 3:03 pm


Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Reach Machame Camp

Jambo from 9,900 ft on Mount Kilimanjaro. We are happily bedded down at Machame Camp after a great day of walking.  The day began with the team shuffling duffle bags back and forth in the dark on the grounds of the Dik Dik. We were eating breakfast at 6:30 AM and then we actually drove out of the hotel compound at 7:28 AM…An unbelievable and unprecedented two minutes ahead of schedule. Our mighty Mercedes truck/bus carried food, gear and a huge number of climbers and staff. It was quite cloudy, so we didn’t get to see the mountain during the two hour drive.  But we saw plenty of interest along the highway, from villages to towns to cornfields, banana and coffee farms.  At the Machame entrance to the National Park, there was the normal hurry up and wait process of getting the team registered and the porter loads sorted. By 11 AM it was all done and we got to start walking. Naturally -in terms of altitude- this was our low point for the day…6000 ft, but all agreed that it was an emotional high point. It just felt so good to start walking uphill through a forest after all the planning, preparing, travel and jet lag. The team did well with Filbert -one of our local guides- setting a perfect “pole pole” pace. (Slow in Swahili).  After a couple of hours, we were out from under the clouds and all were surprised and pleased to see Kibo -Kilimanjaro’s main peak- through a break in the trees.  The forest transformed as we got higher and at 4:30 we pulled into a well built camp in the giant heather.  We moved in -grateful at all the work our staff had put in. We sat for an excellent three course dinner just after sunset and told stories into the darkness.
 
We finished with a round of “lala salamas”. (Sleep well) and turned in for the night. 

Best Regards,

RMI Guide Dave Hahn & Team

It’s so exciting to read about what the team is experiencing.  Thanks for the blog.  I feel that I’m there with you!

Posted by: Sue Rentschler(Jason's aunt) on 8/24/2016 at 6:26 am

Finally - you are all on your way!  While we know each of you is focused on the summit, remember to also focus on your journey.  “Joy is found not in finishing an activity, but in doing it.”.
Countless thanks to you, Dave for the blog and your info. - it’s awesome to follow your trek!

Posted by: Kathy and Denny Meyers (Jason's Mom and Dad) on 8/23/2016 at 2:54 pm


Kilimanjaro: Dave Hahn and Team Arrive in Tanzania

By three this morning, my team of prospective Kili climbers was all present and accounted for on the fringes of Arusha, Tanzania. Eleven of us spent the day getting ready for a week on the move. As is normal with my groups, the team stifled yawns and feigned great interest as I conducted our introductory meeting after a fine Dik Dik Hotel breakfast. They claimed “jet lag” was the culprit rather than my rambling on. Possibly. We’re a good ten hours removed from some west coast US homes now. 

After the briefing, it was time for personal equipment checks and packing for an early departure. This left a good chunk of the afternoon for the gang to relax, to walk the garden-like grounds of the hotel, and to periodically climb the water tower to see if Kilimanjaro was out.  She was, by evening… faintly… and floating like a cloud in the distance.  As we organized, the local guides and kitchen staff had the much bigger job of packing the food and gear for the trip.  It was impressive as always to see lead guide Freddy Kilewo out there making order of the chaos. He has about fifty people to plan for, between porters, camp staff, clients and guides. He makes it all look easy.

We’ll begin walking the Machame route tomorrow and coming to grips with this challenge that many have been dreaming and scheming about for years. But this evening it is time to enjoy a send-off feast and a last night in a bed… even with jet lag, we all know it is a good deal. 

Best Regards,

Dave Hahn and Team

To the whole team - Congratulations! 

Brian Palmer - Well done my friend.  We’ll grab lunch when you get back!

Posted by: Jim Vas. on 8/28/2016 at 5:09 pm

Amazing!  I’ve been reading each day, and am so proud of my sis and her courage and strength.  There are lots of good wishes and high fives coming from Colorado.  Keep on keepin on-you’re an inspiration.  Ninakupenda xo

Posted by: Susan Finzel-Aldred (Deborah's sister) on 8/25/2016 at 8:48 pm


Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team On the Road Again

Daybreak and moonset at Kikoti were just as wonderful as sunset had been yesterday evening.  The team enjoyed a quiet and excellent breakfast before hitting the road at 8 AM.  We were right back onto the rough dirt tracks of Tarangire National Park.  There was plenty of great exploring over the following four hours… Lots more elephants, zebras, giraffes, vultures and eagles.  We scanned gullies and great plains, looked high and low.  No more big cats, but we all figured it was ok to save some things for our next safari.  This one wrapped up at noon as we started eastward on the road back toward Arusha.  We made one stop at the cultural heritage center on Arusha’s outskirts.  Everybody was getting more and more “time conscious” though -as is natural with an international flight looming.  We got back to the quiet grounds of the Dik Dik in time for some repacking and freshening up.  Then we enjoyed a final -excellent- dinner together.  The ride to the airport began just after sunset and the team cheered to see Kilimanjaro’s 19,000 ft heights glowing above a few low clouds.  It has been an exciting couple of weeks in Africa.
By now the gang is on the wing, homeward bound.  I’ll hang out for another round of Kili climbing and looking for cats.  Thanks for keeping tabs on us.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

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