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Entries By dave hahn

Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Safari at Lake Manyara National Park

A day after the big and arduous week on Kilimanjaro, nobody in our team had the slightest trouble rallying for the Safari departure this morning.  We were driving westward just before 8 AM in two souped up and modified Toyota Landcruisers.  Rush hour traffic on the outskirts of Arusha fascinated us, but we were plenty happy to leave it behind and break into open country for a couple of hours.  Lake Manyara National Park was today’s destination.  At first, we stopped for every velvet monkey and baboon, but we gradually grew more demanding and Manyara kept delivering.  We were in game viewing heaven by midday with Cape Buffalo, hippos, thousands of storks and pelicans, zebras, warthogs and wildebeest roaming the lake’s edge.  The forest elephants we saw up close and personal delighted us to no end.  In late afternoon, just when eyelids were beginning to droop and the cruisers were pointed toward the park exit… we had an impromptu and unexpected encounter with a leopard.  Our eyes widened, his/her eyes widened, our cameras clicked and the beautiful cat came toward us and crossed the road in full view for just a magical moment.  The big kitty melted into the brush and we went on our way… amazed at our good fortune.  We drove up the escarpment of the Great Rift Valley (which we learned runs 10,000 kilometers from Jordan to Mozambique) and found our way to the Plantation Lodge.  The perfectly tended gardens, luxurious accommodations, and welcoming staff caused more than one Taoseño to contemplate staying indefinitely in East Africa.  We’ll tear ourselves away for a day in Ngorongoro Crater tomorrow though… luxury can wait. 

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

Thank for the continued updates! Sounds like Team Taos is having a great time. Cementing great friendships!! Thinking of you all !! Take care!

Posted by: Sarah's Mom & Dad on 8/11/2017 at 8:22 am

Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Back to Arumeru River Lodge

The perfect climb continued in similar fashion.  We woke under clear skies at 10,000 ft.  Each climber commented on how nice it had been to sleep on level ground and at low altitude.  We ate one last fine mountain meal and then met, across a clearing in the forest, with our entire 54 man support staff.  Philip spoke for his men, expressing gratitude and satisfaction with a week’s worth of hard work on our behalf.  I spoke for our gang -attempting to express our amazement and gratitude at their efforts.  A few songs were sung and gifts exchanged.  We set out down the forest trail and before too long were in thick cloud and eventually rain.  There was some discussion later though, as to whether it was actually rain or just a particularly wet cloud we were in.  It didn’t really matter though, as it didn’t get us very wet and it didn’t last so long.  We picked our way down 4,000 vertical feet of slippery trail without mishap and hit the Mweka Gate of Kilimanjaro National Park.  After some handshakes, photographs and documentation, we loaded the bus and cruised downhill.  Our staff hosted one last amazing lunch on our return, just above the city of Moshi, and then we hit the highway.  Gasps were heard when we finally could look back and see Kilimanjaro towering over the clouds.  (We hadn’t seen it at all before the climb).  It didn’t seem possible for a mountain to be so big. 
As good as the climb had been, nobody was sad to be back at our comfortable lodge with hot showers and fine food and drink.  We relaxed away the afternoon and celebrated away the evening… within limits of course.  The Safari awaits. 

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

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Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Summit!

Last night at 9:30 pm PST Dave Hahn called from the Kilimanjaro summit! Please click the audio button below to listen to his update from the Roof of Africa.

7:48 am PST
By any measure, this was a big day.  For one thing, it began yesterday.  At 11:30 PM precisely, we woke at 15,200 ft to begin our summit attempt.  The moon was brilliant, high clouds and wind were non-existent… It was the perfect night for climbing.  Our team assembled in the dining tent at midnight to swill coffee and porridge.  By the time we were walking out of camp at 12:30, we’d already sung a few rounds of happy birthday to the 18 year-old twins, Max and Simon.  Philip Mbise, our lead guide, brought the team skillfully, politely, and steadily through a hundred potential traffic jams.  Everybody was out and on the move, but many were having the normal difficulties with the altitude, the terrain and the cold, so by merely keeping our team at a rock-steady “Pole Pole” pace, Philip passed team after team as we worked higher.  Most of us didn’t turn our headlights on until just before the crater rim, when we tore through a moon shadow.  We hit Stella Point -on the rim- at 5:30 AM, still in darkness, but with an enchanting light show going on between imminent daybreak in the east and moon mania in the west.  One hour later… at exactly 6:30, the sun rose and our entire team arrived together at Uhuru… The true summit of Kilimanjaro and Africa.  It was cold, we’d been wearing down jackets for the last few hours to the top, but it was an absolutely magical and beautiful moment.  There, at 19,340 ft, we celebrated those birthdays, the bonds of family and close friendships, and the wonders of the world.  As we watched, a shadow of Kilimanjaro formed in the atmosphere to the West, exactly coinciding with the only landform breaking the surface of the cloud sea, the 16,000-foot pyramid of Mount Meru.  As if that weren’t enough, the full moon sat just above the twin apexes of ethereal and stone summits in the sky.  We took pictures, hugged one another and wandered about wide-eyed and exhilarated.  We left the summit at 7:00 and two hours and fifteen minutes later, this strong team was back in high camp.  We had a grand feast of a brunch, capped off with a birthday cake which was hand delivered to Barafu from Arusha just yesterday.  And then, at 11 AM we skedaddled and headed for Mweka Camp.  Walking in pleasant weather, we reached camp at about 10,000 feet by 2:15 -earning a restful afternoon lounging in our forest camp. 
The shoutouts today go to our own team… All of whom broke their previous altitude records.  Special mention to 14 year-old Ella Green who absolutely crushed the day.  To 16 year-old Zach Ginn, who would have gone on for another 5,000 feet if the mountain hadn’t abruptly ended at 19,340.  To our three 18 year-old brothers… Tyrone Green, Simon and Max Mount each of whom demonstrated uncommon discipline, maturity and good humor on a long tough day. 
The loudest of shoutouts to Philip, to Freddy Kileo, to Gama Samvel, to Naiman Metil, to Venance Vicent, and Said Mwanja for flawless guidance. 

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

RMI Guide Dave Hahn calls in from the Kilimanjaro summit!

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Congratulations! Happy birthday to the twins! Sounds truly amazing! I can’t wait to hear about the details and see the pictures when you return! What a team! I’m so proud of Ella! You guys rock!!

Posted by: Lisa on 8/9/2017 at 4:56 am

Congratulations team Taos!
Fantastic achievement.
Safe journey back down.

Posted by: Deon on 8/9/2017 at 12:19 am

Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team at High Camp Ready for Summit Bid

Karanga Camp was kind to us.  After a calm, full moon night there, we had an easy and pleasant morning above the clouds.  Those that got up in the night even glimpsed the lights of Moshi and other cities shining up from far below.  We left just before 9 AM and made our way up broad and open terrain with the great cliffs and glaciers of Kibo towering overhead.  With little or no vegetation in this alpine zone it was possible to see hundreds of porters, climbers, guides and assorted staff stretching out forever ahead of and behind us. 
We made good time on the relatively easy path and pulled into our 15,200 ft high camp at noon with everybody feeling strong and cheerful.  Barafu Camp is on a rock ridge with grand views of the climb to come and of just about everything else in the universe.  Clouds built up in the afternoon, which we welcomed for giving a little relief from the strong high altitude sunshine.  We ate, and ate, and ate as Tosha Minja, our remarkable chef served up a feast to remember.  We’ll rest a bit now, eat an early supper and turn in early as well.  We’ve got big work to do in the night, a climb to the Roof of Africa... Luckily, we’ve got 11 strong and eager climbers and seven capable and enthusiastic guides to help get the job done. 

Best regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Happy Birthday, Max and Simon. What a memorable way to celebrate your 18th.  Hugs and high 5’s all around.  Grandpa and GrannieAnnie.

Posted by: Grandpa and Annie on 8/8/2017 at 7:54 am

Happy birthday Simon and Max!!!! Miss you guys. Love you lots Simon.

Posted by: Isabelle on 8/7/2017 at 6:05 pm

Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team reach Karanga Camp

Greetings from Karanga Camp. We’ll be spending the night at the same elevation as Wheeler Peak -at 13,161 ft, the highest point in New Mexico (which most of us call home). The day began back in the cold and shady Barranco Valley. We were at the upper edge of the clouds this morning and we got swallowed up by them shortly after our 9 AM departure. There was plenty of anticipation and perhaps a little trepidation at the chance to come to grips with the great Barranco Wall. The team handled the rough and rocky “trail” well, moving safely from ledge to ledge while dodging hundreds of heavily laden, hard charging porters. We spent a fair bit of time simply standing and waiting in line at the various bottlenecks that developed around the dicier moves. But our gang was patient and sure-footed… The perfect mix of traits and talents for getting through the day.  We were cloaked in thick fog for our entire walk beyond the wall. The team never saw the Karanga Valley itself -our last encounter with Lobelias and Senecios. We just knew we were in it by the steep descent and just as steep ascent out the opposite side.  And that put us in a fog shrouded camp at 2 PM where our tents were already up and the table was set for lunch. The afternoon was spent resting.  Some enjoyed the quiet of their tents while others played a laugh-filled Uno tournament with the local guides and waiters. Just before sunset, the clouds dropped away to reveal unreal views of Kibo bathed in golden light. It was one of those magical times when we didn’t know whether to focus on the setting sun, the rising moon or the glowing glaciers above. It all added up to another great day on a mountainside in Africa. 

Today’s shoutouts… TG loves MV… and a long distance happy birthday to my brother Hal. 

Best Regards,
Dave Hahn

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Bravo to the team!  Sounds like my friend Sara is in good hands !  What a fab experience!

Posted by: Andrea Blumberg on 8/7/2017 at 6:57 pm

Hi Lexi girl! This is the best bed time reading.  Even has the whole “can’t wait to see what happens tomorrow” cliffhanger thing going. Pun intended :-)  Sending you positive “you got this” thoughts and lots of sea-level Dallas oxygen :-) Enjoy and be safe Taos Team!! Donia XO

Posted by: Donia on 8/6/2017 at 7:35 pm

Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Arrive at Barranco Camp

A wind started up in Shira Camp last night, rattling the tents and nerves but not knocking down anything vital in the process.  Once we were up and about in the cool morning air, we knew a little steady breeze wouldn’t stop us from our day’s mission.  We were on the move at 8:20 and before long we’re stripping off hats and gloves and superfluous clothing layers.  The walking was much easier than on the last two days, even if it was at progressively higher elevations.  We all found the rock and vegetation surrounding us to be remarkably similar to the sagebrush mesas of Northern New Mexico -home to the majority of the team.  Once again, we were above a sea of cloud and once again Kibo was free of cloud and shining in the distance.  This time though, the distance was steadily reduced as we walked directly toward Kilimanjaro’s central peak and hanging glaciers.  After just two hours, we’d managed to surpass all altitude records within the group, save one.  Alexis had been higher in Peru.  All others were breaking new ground as we hit 15,200 ft at the Lava Tower.  We had a great lunch in the sun up there, checking out the formidable slopes of the Western Breach and the giant frozen waterfalls below the remnant glaciers.  And then we got cruising downhill toward Barranco Camp and its lush gardens of Lobelias and Senecios.  We dove back into cloud to hit camp at 13,000 ft. but were granted a stupendous evening look at our surroundings as the clouds broke at sunset and a giant moon rose over the fabled Barranco Wall -tomorrow’s first goal. 
A big shout out from the team to Grandma Yoohoo!  All is well in Tanzania tonight. 

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Watching Sunset on the Sandias, remembering Peru, and thinking of you all on this long, challenging and beautiful journey. Savor every moment! Love, Z’s Gramma Jude

Posted by: Judith Roderick on 8/6/2017 at 7:20 pm

Good luck Sarah Sauce on the Barranco wall tomorrow, you can do it!

Posted by: Deon on 8/6/2017 at 11:11 am

Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Ascend to the Shira Plateau

The clouds blanketed Machame Camp for much of the night and we even had brief periods of rain… all of which made it feel wonderful to wake to crystal clear skies in the morning.  We were just on top of thick layers of cloud, but finally we had unobstructed views of Kibo (Kilimanjaro’s main peak) above. 
We ate breakfast and marched out of camp at 8:20, immediately encountering a steep and rocky trail up through a forest of giant heather.  There were large numbers of porters -ours and those of neighboring teams- balancing loads on their heads as they wove through the straight up stream of morning traffic.  The clouds rose up and swallowed us again for several hours as we steadily gained altitude.  Up around 12,000 ft we broke free again and had a better look at the exotic giant scenecios among the heather.  16,000 ft Mount Meru became visible to the west as another island in the cloud sea.  We began a traverse along shelves of lava with the boys keeping a sharp eye out for crystals among the ancient flows.  The gang easily handled a few steeper steps and we reached a high point of 12,800 ft before dropping down into Shira Camp at 12,500 ft.  Then it was an easy and peaceful afternoon of eating napping eating and eating some more.  We were treated to a magical evening as the
  sun dropped into the clouds out beyond the Shira Plateau and the moon and stars took over at entertaining us. 
Everybody is happy and healthy tonight and getting easily into the rhythms of camp and climbing life. 

Best Regards
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Fascinated with your journey through an area that I have long found to be very interesting.  Safe and enjoyable trip to you all!

Posted by: Hal H. on 8/4/2017 at 11:35 pm

Wonderful trekking along with Super Team Taos.

Posted by: Yolanda Deveaux on 8/4/2017 at 4:25 pm

Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team at First Camp

The Taos Team crushed it today, hitting all the targeted times for being up and packed and ready to roll out of the comfy Arumeru River Lodge.  We hit the road at 8:15 and rolled along in our bus under cloudy skies.  We never did catch a glimpse of the well-camouflaged Kilimanjaro, but the cruise through corn fields and villages was interesting none-the-less.  As the road climbed higher we seemed to be passing thousands of banana trees mixed with coffee shrubs.  Finally, at the 5,900 ft park entrance -the end of the road- we were simply in a thick and foggy rain forest.  After a bunch of paperwork, at long last we were properly permitted, in place and ready for walking.  We began shortly after 11 AM.  The gang, accompanied and coached by an all star cast of local guides, gained altitude steadily.  In fact, we came up 4000 feet in six miles, taking just five hours.  The clouds were with us all day but that seemed to keep things comfortably cool.  The trail was a little greasy and muddy from recent rains, but we got through without a slip. 
We arrived to find our camp already built by our capable staff.  After moving in, we got together in the dining dome tent and had an afternoon tea and then a sumptuous dinner while we chatted and laughed. 
Philip, our lead guide, gave a thoughtful talk and laid out plans for tomorrow’s journey. 
All agreed that day one was a great success.  Tyrone, in particular, wanted his pal, Makaela to know he was thinking of her and that the climb was going forward as planned. 

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

There’s Sara always with the best and brightest smile!  Best of all to the whole team❤️!

Posted by: Andrea and Scott on 8/6/2017 at 5:29 am

Good luck everyone, it’s really amazing!
Sarah, I enjoy reading about your climb from my couch with my glass of wine. Miss you :)

Posted by: Fiona on 8/6/2017 at 12:24 am

Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Prep for Climb

Today was the perfect catch-up day.  We had a leisurely breakfast at the Arumeru River Lodge and then got down to business for a little while with a team meeting.  We discussed the climb to come and how to prepare for it.  Those preparations didn’t take very long and equipment checks were easily completed by lunch.  The team took walks through the park-like grounds to see the monkeys, tortoises, exotic birds and dik diks that roamed freely about.  Low clouds kept things pleasantly cool but prevented us from catching a glimpse of Kilimanjaro.  Our gang enjoyed the swimming pool, which made up -somewhat- for the limited views.  By evening, with all in order for the adventure to come, we simply ate, drank and relaxed… laughing over shared memories of our previous adventures.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Go Zach! Can’t wait to hear more and share with Maddy and the rest of the crew here in Italy. All the best!!!!

Posted by: Erin on 8/3/2017 at 9:32 am

So excited to be part of your journey by following this blog! Wishing all of you the most amazing time on this epic adventure!

Posted by: Nedra on 8/3/2017 at 4:45 am

Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Arrive in Tanzania

Everyone and everything made it through.  Through Amsterdam, through immigration, through customs, through the baggage carousels.  We’ve got a climbing team ready to begin the Kilimanjaro odyssey.  These folks all know one another… a good number are related… and absolutely everybody was ready to sleep at midnight when dinner broke up.  Long flights and lots of movies, miles and time zones between Taos, New Mexico, USA and Usa River, Tanzania.  We’ll dive into the details of getting set to climb -tomorrow. 

RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

Lots of eyes on you guys, green with envy and sparkling with vicarious excitement.

Posted by: Ann Blake on 8/2/2017 at 7:11 am

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