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Entries By mark tucker

Kilimanjaro: Tucker & Team Finish Up in Africa

Mark Tucker here at Kilimanjaro International Airport. Wi-Fi is a bit tough to get, as you can imagine out here in the bush, so I’m doing a quick voice call to say we had a great trip. Thanks for checking in. We had a wonderful evening at the Kikoti Lodge. We went for a sunset hike to the rock, about a mile or so with a guide because we are outside of the park. Saw a few tracks and a beautiful sunset. We had the Lodge come pick us up in a four-wheel drive for the ride home and then the scourning… Lo-and-behold 15 feet from the trail that I was on, a large male with his girlfriend- a big, old lion. I was cohabitating with the beasts. I don’t know, ignorance is bliss, I guess. Pretty exciting. Lots of buffalo today, and elephants and everything else you can imagine on the way out of the park. Then a quick snack and a shower before the big journey home. But fear not, we’ve got the infamous Seth Waterfall right behind me. You guys can stay tuned and listen to his action up on the hill. All is well here. Everybody’s making their way back to the homeland, doing just fine. Thanks for watching.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

RMI Guide Mark Tucker checking in.

Kilimanjaro: Tucker & Team Spot a Leopard to Round Out The Big-Five List

Learning from the leopards. The climb part of this trip had so much to do with conserving energy. How to rest at our relatively short breaks en route to Uhuru, the name for the summit of Kilimanjaro, was a learned skill for some. I should make a print of the resting position taken by our leopard sighting today. Although we will not be able to mimic the tail hanging down from the tree limb, which for spotting purposes is a very helpful silhouette for finding this elusive creature in the bush. They are the best at figuring out the most perfect lounge chair that Mother Nature provides in a cranny or a nook of a tree. Such a beautiful solitary cat that made an appearance for the team to round out the infamous big-five list for this safari.  Unfortunately a few too many biting flies were in the mix, guess you have to pay to play. Beautiful sunset here at or home for the night the Kikoti tent camp. Remote and quiet for a final night on safari.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

Kilimanjaro: Tucker & Team Explore the Ngorongoro Crater

We had a fantastic day on safari!  We made a group decision to get up early and get going - it was definitely the right choice. Our new favorite home for now the Plantation lodge, just outside of Karatu, packed us a to go breakfast that was amazing. After the normal registration and fees at the park entrance. We locked in the 4 wheel drive hubs and descended the 1500+ feet into one of the most perfectly formed and probably the most spectacular calderas on the planet, the Ngorongoro Crater. The initial sightings of game woke us right up and prepared us for the adventure ahead. A quick stop at a designated picnic area where we consumed more of the fresh bill of fare until we finally decided we had to continue our duty to “Safari on dude!”

We watched some lions literally napping in the shade of our Land Cruiser. We saw three Rhinos and I must add that we had perfect weather, when normally clouds an cool temperatures are to be expected.

On our way back to the lodge we stopped to visit a local Maasai village, a pastoral people who tend their herds of cattle, sheep and goats and live a peaceful co-existence with the wildlife. All this brought us back for beverages back at the pool of the Plantation Lodge.

We are looking forward to another exciting day on safari tomorrow.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

Kilimanjaro: Tucker & Team Visit Lake Manyara National Park

Tough job today. Had to get up, pack for safari, and game view the day away. What a great contrast from mountain life. Nice banquet last night- summit certificates for all and a special cake to boot. Once again the team excels at any challenge put in front of them. To take on a safari you have to be, let’s say “awake”, well most of the time. Napping is an option, especially after a great lunch in the bush. While dining at lunch in Lake Manyara National Park, we observed a troop of baboons frolicking in close proximity. Always a bit unnerving when no bars separate human from beast. Goes to show we are still living on the edge here in deepest Africa. A bit breezy today, which kept the dust and bugs at bay. Off to Ngorongoro Crater in the morning, the eighth wonder of the world.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

Kilimanjaro: Tucker & Team Finish Trek

Sleep came very easy for the team last night, no surprise right? Hot water bottles were not needed now that we have descended into the thick air of the cloud forest. We had a busy morning with many teams at Mweka Camp, so we were up early and had a quick snack before starting a fun gifting celebration to the local staff. I have to mention a superb job, once again by our local outfitter the Dik Dik.  They provide such a high level of standards and consistency, it is always a pleasure to work with them. A two and a half hour descent brought us to the entrance gate where we bid farewell to the lovely and very friendly (this time) mountain Kilimanjaro. We are about to embark on an eating extravaganza after hot showers and sorting of gear to prepare for the Safari adventure ahead in the morning. The only thing that could make this better is if all of our friends and family were here.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

Kilimanjaro: Tucker & Team Summit!

January 3, 2016 5:25 am PT

All is well here at Mweka Camp at 10,000 ft. Climb went like clock work. Left for the summit just after midnight under clear skies and light wind. Par for the course, a bit chilly. The team did a fine job all day climbing in good style and working well together. Right now we are enjoying peanuts and popcorn awaiting an early dinner, the sooner we can get in our sleeping bags the better. Early hike in the morning to the park gate.

January 2, 2016 10:15 pm PT

Mark Tucker here checking in from the the top of Kilimanjaro! Looks like I’ve got the whole team standing here with me. Great day. Fantastic job coming up the hill and our stellar stand out, Tess, crushed it! We are all doing well. Going to make our way down the hill back to high camp and could sweep on into Mweka Camp. We will check in later. All is good in the hood. Thanks for following.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

RMI Guide Mark Tucker calls from the Kilimanjaro summit.

On The Map

Thank you, Mark, for the GOOD NEWS, about safe arrival AT THE TOP -
and cheers for Tess the Crusher !    love to all - we’re so proud of you -
and thank you, Mark, for all your help.
Sure has been a Happy New Year !  love, T
Please tell the Notre Dame rooters that Muffet McGraw won 800th coaching game
today as the Irish gals won !

Posted by: Terry Seidler (mother of Bob & Tom & grandmothe on 1/3/2016 at 4:50 pm

Way to go Tess, Kristen, Monica, Josie, Robert, Tomas and Tuck!  We love the updates and can’t wait to hear more about your awesome adventure!  Sleep well and steady hike out to the gate tomorrow!
XO The Gates

Posted by: Mary Kay Gates on 1/3/2016 at 4:10 pm

Kilimanjaro: Tucker & Team Ascend to High Camp

Luckily for us the rain stopped about midnight. Clear and cool as we started the day with yet another fine breakfast. Not a long climb today, just a little over two hours to get us here at high camp, Barafu 15,000 ft. After making camp and enjoying lunch we got sorted for the summit climb to night. Lots of lunch/ snacks for the 12 hour climb ahead were a big focus and planing our clothing layers as well. Nice weather for drying boots and lounging about. Going to try and take a break before early dinner and nap till 11:30 wake up. The whole team is in good shape so with a bit of luck some good weather we should be on top soon.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

Thinking of you as your 12-hour Climb has you almost on Cloud 9   :  )
All of us are praying for the HIGH POINT of your amazing adventure !
Mark must be a wonderful leader.  Blessings on all of you,  love,  TH

Posted by: Terry Seidler (mother of Bob & Tom & grandmothe on 1/2/2016 at 6:05 pm

Waiting to hear from you!  You definitely will be closer to God and little Oma. Thinking of you constantly and praying for a safe journey. Paris is doing great and rooting for you all.
Love Bibi and Ross -Dirt & Dani and Jackson -Michelle and Nicole.

Posted by: Bibi Turner on 1/2/2016 at 2:38 pm

Kilimanjaro: Tucker and Team Ascend the Barranco Wall

We had another clear night on Kilimanjaro with cold temperatures. There was just a little noise at midnight, most teams were content to be getting some shut eye instead of celebrating. We had a leisurely morning knowing that our next camp, Karanga,at just over 13,000 ft would take about three hours climbing time. It also allowed the bulk of other groups a head start to give us less traffic on the first part of todays ascent, the Barranco Wall. We had lots of fun and took many photos for the team during the half hour of rock scramble. We all did it with style and grace. A nice hot lunch upon arrival at camp was a welcomed meal. We spent the next hour going over details to prepare us for the upcoming summit push, tomorrow night! It is raining pretty hard right now, let’s get that out of the way right here. The team continues to do well, and is in great shape.


RMI Guide Mark Tucker

On The Map

Kilimanjaro: Tucker and Team Crushing Altitude Records

The stars could not have been brighter last night. It was bit chilly but the hot water bottles helped warm us. The frozen ground of morning gave way as the sun rose.

Our high point today was near the Lava Tower at 14,900 ft which crushed everyone’s altitude records. From our high point we descended to Barranco Camp, our camp for the night at 13,030 ft. It might seem counter intuitive to descend when we are trying to climb a mountain but it is actually very helpful for acclimatization.

It’s New Year’s Eve right now but there’s not much party time tonight as we prepare for our next day climbing on Kilimanjaro. I bet we make up for it on safari…

RMI Guide Mark Tucker and team

On The Map

Hey, Tuck - happy new year from me, Bonny, and the kids!

Posted by: Peter Rogers on 12/31/2015 at 7:59 pm

Thinking of you all and this is definitely your most exciting New Year’s.
Love and prayers. Can’t wait to hear all about your amazing experience.

Posted by: Bibi Turner on 12/31/2015 at 11:05 am

Kilimanjaro: Tucker and Team Reach Shira Camp

Everyone slept well last night; the effects of international travel are rapidly disappearing. We woke up this morning at Machame camp to fine weather. We left camp early this morning and experienced great route conditions on our 4.5 hour climb to Shira Camp. A hot lunch greeted us once we arrived at camp, delicious! Now the team is resting and exploring our camp on the Shira Plateau. At 12,000 plus feet on Kilimanjaro, there isn’t too much in the way of plant life but there are incredible views of the Great Rift Valley and the summit of Kilimanjaro.

The team is in good shape and high spirits. We will keep you posted as we continue to progress up the mountain.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

On The Map

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