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Entries By dave hahn

Kilimanjaro: Hahn and Team Reach Shira Camp

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.

Best Regards,

RMI Guide Dave Hahn & Team

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Kilimanjaro: Hahn and Team Set Out on the Trek

We woke up to low clouds over Rivertrees Inn… but that has been an everyday kind of thing, so it wasn’t much of a concern.  We had our breakfast and did our last-minute packing and gear sorting and then boarded the team bus at 8 AM. 

It took about two hours to get to the Machame Gate of Kilimanjaro National Park.  We did a lot of people watching on the way, seeing how Tanzanians go about day-to-day life.  And we watched the plants and vegetation change as the bus climbed up to the 6000 ft gate.   As expected, there was a little time to kill at the park entrance as the permitting process was completed.  We used the time to review efficient walking strategies and to discuss the terrain that lay ahead.  Finally, at about 10:30, we got walking with our staff of local guides.  Tom, Naiman, Phillibet, and John set the perfect pace, as usual.  We had about four thousand vertical feet to climb in about six miles.  Before long we were climbing in the clouds rather than under them.  It was easy to understand why the thick forest had moss on every surface.  The cool conditions made for the perfect walking temperature. The trail was a little muddy and slimy underfoot, but not to the point that you’d sink into the muck.  We didn’t have much trouble with traction or with maintaining a steady pace.  We took a few breaks for snacks and water, but by mid-afternoon the forest was changing to smaller trees, and it was clear that we were getting somewhere.  We came out above the clouds and the trail dried out.  The last hour or so into camp was in fine, blue sky and sunshine weather.  We rolled in at 3:30. Such a pleasure then to see that our staff already had camp built and ready for us.  We just had to move in and enjoy life at 10,000 ft.  That got easier when the last clouds above fell away and Kibo (Kilimanjaro’s central peak) came out for sunset. 

We spent the time before dinner staring at the giant rock walls and impossibly steep ice fields and glaciers. In our dining tent, we had a great feast and a little story time as John -our lead guide- explained his progression into becoming a full climbing guide, 255 Kili summits ago. The team checked out a few Southern Hemisphere stars before crawling into tents and calling it a day.  A good day. 

Best Regards,

RMI Guide Dave Hahn & Team

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)


Well, you started off smiling, so that’s good.  Be safe!


Posted by: Hutchins, Jacqueline on 8/17/2022 at 12:58 pm

Sounds like an awesome day one! Enjoy getting high above 10,000ft!

Posted by: Missy on 8/17/2022 at 12:55 pm

Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Get Ready for the Mountain

Today was an easy day of getting packed and ready for the mountain.  We began with an after breakfast meeting outside under the big trees while monkeys jumped from branch to branch above us.  We discussed the plan for our climb and talked about how the gear needed to be ordered and arranged for starting out.  Then we conducted equipment checks back in the rooms to help folks decide what to leave in and what to take out.  There was then plenty of time in the afternoon for packing, napping away the jet lag, walking the peaceful grounds of the hotel, and eating.  We got together for a team dinner at 7 PM to cap things off.  Everything is set to go now, we’ll head for Mount Kilimanjaro in the morning. 

Best Regards

RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Yay! Sounds like another great day. That is some giant heather! And I can almost imagine the beauty of the night sky you are seeing. May your next day be smooth and wonderful. Cheering you on, Kim ~ and all you amazing folks!

Posted by: Kathryn Jaliman on 8/17/2022 at 7:07 pm

Wow!  You are all off to a great start! I’m so excited to be reading of this epic adventure. Just know I’m cheering you all on from that US. Best wishes in your first day of climbing. Kim and Bella you’ve got this!!! Hugs!!

Posted by: Pam on 8/16/2022 at 6:24 am

Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Meet in Tanzania

We’re declaring victory right at the start of this Kilimanjaro expedition.  Each climber made each flight with each and every bag.  The gang assembled this evening at the Rivertrees Inn at Usa River, Tanzania.  Eight climbers and one climbing guide.  We introduced ourselves and explained how we’d each come to be on this quest.  For some it was years in the making, pushed back by the pandemic, for others the path to the mountain formed up spontaneously in the preceding months.  But we are all here now and ready to go… with a little inevitable jet lag.  We dined outside under the big trees, and without any interruptions from the monkeys in the neighborhood.  Tomorrow morning, we’ll meet and get down to the actual business of preparing for a Kilimanjaro climb. 

Best Regards

RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

I’m so excited for you all - and for me, too, since I’ve been living vicariously through Kim on her adventures.  :)  Thank you for posting updates. You’ve got this Team!

Posted by: Diana Lowe on 8/15/2022 at 4:44 pm

Bella and Kim…I’m so grateful all has gone well to this point. I’m sure you will both successfully summit and complete this challenge. I’m very impressed with what you’ve shared with me about your guide, Dave Hahn.  He sounds uniquely qualified to lead this expedition. I’m proud of you both for all your dedication and hard work preparing. My prayers go with you.

Posted by: Paul mann on 8/15/2022 at 12:04 pm

Kilimanjaro: Dave Hahn and Team Enjoy Final in Africa

It was pretty incredible to wake up deep within Tarangire National Park just before daylight.  Birds were starting to sing, monkeys were at play a few feet from our tents and lions were about.  Someone heard an elephant.  We drank coffee and watched the light come up.  The team ate breakfast, bid the hotel staff goodbye and hopped into our now familiar Landcruisers.  We set off on our final morning of Safari on a big cat mission… no stopping for zebras and wildebeest… bring on the kitties.  And sure enough, we struck lion gold.  First there was that big, beautiful male hanging out with four females… but wait, wasn’t that another couple of lions over in that tree and still more under it?  All told there were thirteen, big and small in the pride.  We watched them watch us and we watched them wrestle and climb trees.  And then we made slowly but steadily toward the park gate (we did indeed still stop for zebras and wildebeests).   The day got ordinary -though still pleasant- as we commuted back to Usa River and Rivertrees Hotel to repack and prepare for the airport. We recalled our favorite parts of the climb and Safari, we planned out future trips.  Then the team busted up finally… hopping on planes and departing Africa.

I’ll stay on for another climb and Safari that will begin soon.  Thank you for following. 

Best Regards,

RMI Guide Dave Hahn and Team

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

Awesome Dave! Loved following along

Posted by: Dave Kestel on 8/13/2022 at 3:14 am

Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Enjoy Great Day at Ngorongoro Crater

A great day on Safari, according to our Kili climbing team.  We got out early (7:15 AM) on the drive to Ngorongoro Crater.  It takes a bit to drive the rough road up onto the crater rim, to cruise along that rim for miles and miles and then to drop down the steep road into the caldera itself.   Immediately upon hitting the valley floor, we saw two male lions a few hundred feet from the road.  But they might as well have been rocks.  They were sleeping so hard that we never even saw an ear twitch.   We moved on and began to encounter everything from wildebeest to jackals to hippos and Corey bustards.  The abundance of zebra and Cape buffalo and gazelles was stunning.  There were herds beyond herds stretching to the distant crater walls.  We cruised amongst the ostriches and wart hogs for hours, at one point getting great views of a Cerval Cat on the prowl.  Finally we stopped for a picnic lunch and then began our exit of the crater.  We stopped at a Maasai village on the crater rim and spent an hour with the villagers as they danced, sang, made fire, threw spears and generally explained why they choose to hang on to their traditional methods in a modern world.  Then we went back to that modern world, relaxing for the evening at the very comfortable Plantation Lodge. 

Best Regards

RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

Thank you Dave for the colorful and informative blog. We really enjoyed reading it and following you guys ,especially Andrew and Kylie, on this incredible experience.

Posted by: Bruce on 8/11/2022 at 6:09 pm

Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Explore Lake Manyara on First Day of Safari

Jambo from Safari Day One.  We left the Rivertrees Inn just past 7:30 this morning with our safari guides (and drivers) Simon and Nixon.  It took nearly an hour to break free of the big city of Arusha and to get traveling through the arid countryside to the west.  Before long we were seeing herds of cattle tended by Maasai in their distinctive tartan blankets.  We peppered our guides with questions about Tanzanian history, society and life in general.  By the time we reached Lake Manyara at 11 AM we were considerably smarter.  We entered the forest and the National Park all at once and began looking for wildlife.  Monkeys and Baboons were first up.  We began to see some great birds as well.  There weren’t great numbers of animals but eventually we were finding elephants, giraffes and Cape buffalo.  Simon and Nixon were clearly on a mission following our picnic lunch.  They were chasing clues that took us farther and farther into the park, basically a strip of forest between the gigantic lake and a steep escarpment of the Great Rift Valley.  Finally, we hit a small jackpot.   There were a family of elephants on one side of the dirt road we sat on -and three lions lounging amid trees on the other side.  About a hundred feet separated these two factions of the “big five” (and we were directly between them).  The lions (a big male and two females) were napping, but it was the kind of napping where they put their heads up to watch every move the elephants made.   Eventually we bid them goodbye as it was getting a little late and we had some distance to go to reach the town of Karatu and The Plantation Lodge hidden away back in the farmland.  We pulled in just before 7PM and quickly made ourselves at home.  Tomorrow we’ll get an early start on our journey into Ngorongoro Crater. 

Best Regards

RMI Guide Dave Hahn

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Kilimanjaro: Hahn and Team Finish Descent and Prepare for Safari

More than a few of us got up this morning saying we’d slept better than on any other night on the mountain. 

Mweka Camp was calm and quiet… except for the now familiar sounds of our kitchen crew going to work to get breakfast on.  We enjoyed one last meal on the mountain and then threw packs on for the final walk down.  We needed to get rid of four thousand feet of elevation.  Almost immediately, we were into the rain forest and the trail was slick and a little treacherous as a result.  We picked our way carefully down muddy stairs as porters from various expeditions ran at full speed a few inches to one side of our team. We reached the Mweka Gate at 11:15 a.m. and signed out with the Kilimanjaro National Park.  A short bus ride took us to our celebration lunch hosted by our fabulous mountain staff. They sang a few traditional songs and got our gang dancing.  We took the opportunity to distribute tips and thank the entire team of hard working men. 

A two hour bus ride got us back to Rivertrees Inn and showers and fresh clothing.  We relaxed and started the process of shifting gears from climbing to safari-going. 

We’ll head out first thing tomorrow to see what we can see at Lake Manyara. 

Best Regards,

RMI Guide Dave Hahn and team

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Kilimanjaro: Team Stands atop the Highest Volcano in Africa

We reached Mweka Camp at 2:50 PM to finish our 16-hour climbing day. 

The “day” began last night at 11 PM when we woke for our summit bid.  After a little breakfast, at 12:05 AM we hit the trail behind Naiman - our lead guide. 

Our team made rapid progress, passing several other teams on the dirt and rock switchbacks.  It was a fairly cold night, and that was before the winds started up.  By our second rest break, a few hours into the climb we were adding clothing layers and putting on bigger gloves.  By our fourth break, most of the team had all available clothing on.  We hit the crater rim at Stella Point by 5:40 AM and took just a brief pause there for food and water before pushing on toward Uhuru - Kilimanjaro’s summit.  The light of day came slowly and beautifully on as we walked on the rim at 19,000 ft.  Sunrise was most welcome at 6:30 but by then our attention was on the phenomenal shadow cast by Kilimanjaro in the skies to the west… exactly over the summit of 15,000 ft Mt Meru.  

We hit Uhuru at 6:40 AM and shed a few tears, shook hands, hugged, and snapped photos.  It was an amazingly beautiful time of day.  But it was also bitterly cold and windy, so we got out of there at 6:55 and headed back to Stella without delay.  Winds were really picking up at Stella then and putting a lot of dirt and dust in the air, so we cruised right on over the edge and started dropping altitude.  The descent was a combination of careful steps and full-on boot skiing through steep gravel and pumice. 

We were back to camp at a respectable hour 9:40 AM, rubbing our eyes and wiping dirt and dust off our faces.  Our fabulous staff treated the team to a full brunch/lunch of 15,000 ft pizza and coffee, after which we left camp bound for Mweka - 5000 ft lower.  The trail down is direct and rough, we certainly were cautious and ready to be done for much of it. 

Now it is a relief to be camped in the forest for one more night.  The air has moisture again… and oxygen in abundance. 

Best Regards

RMI Guide Dave Hahn & team

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Congratulations! Enjoy the safari!

Posted by: Jeff Tracy on 8/8/2022 at 12:43 pm

Congrats to all! I am in awe…

Posted by: Mnica on 8/7/2022 at 2:39 pm

Kilimanjaro: Hahn and Team Reach Barafu Camp

Yet another perfect weather day, calm and sunny… clear above and cloudy below. We ate breakfast in Karanga Camp and then said a temporary goodbye to two of our climbers.  John Bobbitt aggravated an old knee injury and Erika Bobbitt wanted to make sure he got down safely.  They set off for the Mweka Gate of the park as we set off for high camp at 8:30 AM. In an easy three hours, we had climbed the 2000’ vertical feet up to Barafu and begun to settle in.  From 15,100 ft, we now had unobstructed views of our climbing route to the top.

The afternoon was taken up with resting and getting our gear and clothing ready for our planned alpine start. Chef Benson’s fine spaghetti dinner was served early so that we could get to bed just before sunset. We want as much rest as we can get before our 11:15 PM wake-up time.

Best Regards,

RMI Guide Dave Hahn & Team

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

You’re almost there!  Enjoy every step of the way!

Posted by: Sarah & Ella on 8/7/2022 at 5:44 am

This is an experience of a lifetime.  We can’t imagine natures beauty as you climb tonight, the stars must be spectacular.  Good Luck to all!  Can’t wait to hear the stories and see the pictures!  As I write you must be getting up and ready.  Mom and Dad

Posted by: Bruce Cumback on 8/6/2022 at 1:26 pm

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