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Entries By mark tucker

Kilimanjaro: Tucker and Team Hit the Trail

The search for the missing bag ended late last night. The bag finally caught a flight from the Netherlands to Tanzania and was returned to its proper owner.

This morning after a delicious breakfast, the team and all of our gear made the drive from the DikDik Hotel to the Machame Gate of Kilimanjaro National Park at 5,900 ft. After registering with the Park, we spent five hours on the trail enjoying great weather and trail conditions. Thanks to our local staff a fine camp was in place when we arrived at 9,890 ft Machame Camp, our first camp on the mountain. Our team did a nice job by the team getting to our first camp in good time and with fine technique. Everyone is doing well. It is time for dinner. We will check in again tomorrow.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

On The Map

Kilimanjaro: Tucker and Team Gather in Tanzania

After two days and 9,000 miles of travel the team is assembled in Tanzania. We are still waiting for a bag to arrive. The bag missed its connection in the Netherlands due to poor weather but we are hopeful it will arrive tonight. Thankfully the weather is great in here and the team is excited to start climbing Kilimanjaro tomorrow!

We will keep you posted as we continue our adventure.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

Mexico: Tucker & Team Wrap Up Their Trip

As I wrapped up this trip, I couldn’t help but remember the last time I visited Ixta. I was guiding a man in his 70’s up. He was making the trip on his own. The extraordinary thing: he was on a lot of medication, he had a stint placed in his heart and a piece of his lung removed. His effort was impressive. We made four different expeditions, increasing the number of O2 bottles used during the ascent.

When I’m on climbs like the one I just finished, I’m also reminded of my mission to be an ambassador for the sport (and to keep people smiling even when they are hurting). I want people who join me, especially when it’s their first time climbing, to be challenged, but not to be destroyed because it’s too tough. The trip I just finished was with a great group—novices, but an enthusiastic crowd for sure. Everyone checked their egos at the airport when we landed and fully embraced the journey. We also developed a shared responsibility that bonds us on the climb and I think long after it’s over.

In the end, these climbs can change people’s perspective on life and things back home especially when the conditions are extreme. What happens on the mountain, combined with that disconnect from the daily grind, is essentially a recharging through depletion, fed by the beauty and simplicity of nature along the way, as well as the experiencing of different cultures. The once-in-a-lifetime climb is more than just the trip itself. It’s the memories, and the gratitude we develop for being healthy enough to experience something so amazing, yet take on something totally out of our comfort zone. It’s also stepping back when we are home taking nothing for granted.

I remind everyone I work with to remember it’s not about the summit, it’s the entire experience that matters—that’s what will fill their tanks months after they’ve unpacked and settled back into life. This group—they fully embraced that notion. They didn’t grab for just a slice on the mountain—they went for the entire pie. I love introducing newcomers with that kind of get-it-done attitude to this sport. These guys accepted the challenges that came with it and had a laugh doing so.

I’m fortunate to have great clients and work for a great company like RMI. Both remind me, and I hope by reading this reminds you (and my latest team!), to get out there and do something big every day. Mount Rainier is the perfect intro for climbing novices. It allows curious people to stop wondering and get out there and try something—and to share something really cool with family and friends. And remember that guy in his 70’s? He didn’t tackle Mount Everest, but his conquest was equally butt-kicking. Ixta was his Everest. Any mountain, or challenge for that matter, can be an Everest-sized achievement.

Great job team!
RMI Guide Mark Tucker

This is one of the most beautiful pieces I have ever read about the philosophy of alpinism. Thank you Mark!

Posted by: Wolf Riehle on 8/20/2015 at 4:51 am

Mark did an unbelievable job getting us as far up Orizaba as we got, and then letting us make the call on whether we wanted to push for the summit late in the day. We opted not to for safety (and a few other reasons,) but Mark made sure to put the whole thing in context for us, and did so brilliantly. It’s never about the result, but about the climb.

You are EL HOMBRE, Mark.

Spencer Hall
SB Nation

Posted by: Spencer Hall on 8/19/2015 at 5:19 pm

Mexico: Tucker & Team Check In After Orizaba Climb

Hey Mark Tucker checking in. What a 24-hour period we’ve had. Wow. Amazing night up there on Orizaba. Crazy weather, amazing light storm going on and little bit of hail. The team got up early and we put in our work, and we just had a fabulous climb. It was wonderful event that we all participated in and it’s been go time ever since. Back down here all cleaned up and doing well at the Reyes Compound. We’re just having so much fun; we don’t want this trip to end. We’re going to come away from this thing with some happy hearts and lots of experience. So we’re just looking forward to getting back out there when we can. Thanks.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

RMI Guide Mark Tucker checks in from Mexico.

Mexico: Tucker & Team Sightseeing in Puebla

A nice rest day here in Puebla. Beautiful morning to wander around and get the pulse of this historic part of Mexico. We are still at about 7,000 ft, what an nice way to acclimatize. Great food all over here in old town. Add in a bit of sightseeing in some old cathedrals, some more shopping and let’s not forget the siesta. We will be in great shape for our summit bid on Orizaba tomorrow night.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

Mexico: Tucker & Team in Puebla

We are down in the beautiful city of Puebla today. The team and I had a great time on Ixta. What a sight to wake up to the neighbor mountain, Popo, venting a lot of steam from it’s top on a crystal clear morning. No wonder it has been closed to climbing for years now. We spent part of the morning packing up so we would not have to return to the hut after skills training. Fun day getting to practice the nuts and bolts for the climb ahead on Orizaba- crampons, ice axe, and rope training were the featured program for the day. So fun to see the enthusiasm when you pull out and put on this type of hardware. The team did well adapting to some new toys and techniques. I feel that they all performed to a high enough standard that I would be willing to rope up with any one of them. It is a special bond up here in the mountains that can happen very quickly.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

Mexico: Tucker & Team Capture Great Video Footage

Never seen a mountain goat like that!  During our hike today, off in the distance, on a ridge, it was not that animal. It got one of the camera crew to push uphill hard for a bit to get the awesome shot. We had settled for some other great footage in all kinds of tough weather conditions. We continue to go through loads of batteries and will probably get that Emmy in the end. The team continues to do well and with the help of some great local guys, are capturing these beautiful mountains to share with you all on the big screen. That’s a wrap for today; lots more tomorrow.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

Mexico: Tucker & Team at Altzomoni Hut

We had a very nice morning at La Malinche. We were well fed and watered for the couple hour commute to Ixtaccihuatl, also known as “The Sleeping Woman” volcano. A stop on the way at the Italian coffeehouse.. in Mexico, then onto the rural town of Amecameca located at the base of the mountain.  We picked up some fresh food and now just above 12,000 feet at the Altzomoni Hut. Lots of going over gear and more training till the wind and rain came in strong. A big dinner with my California-style guacamole that received a thumbs up from the local staff. Team still needs to catch up on some missed sleep so off to bed for us.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

On The Map

Mexico: Tucker & Team Acclimatize on La Malinche

Early departure from one of the world’s largest cities. Traffic not so bad as we made the three-hour drive to our first big mountain, La Malinche at 14,636 feet. A nice lunch was had near this peak that is surrounded by fields of corn and beautiful stands of pine trees. We made a quick turn of unloading our equipment in the digs for the night, which is a comfortable cabin with fireplace and even a hot shower. It was all uphill from there. Great to get out and hit the trail. The idea was to the top but getting used to the altitude and some new equipment was the priority. We made good time up the lower forested area and found the team on the summit ridge at the same time as a strong weather impulse hit the upper mountain. Hail, rain in the clouds, no visibility and wind a howling gave us great training with the kit that was pulled from our packs to keep us protected from the nasty weather. A number of our team hit new altitude records and a smooth descent has us fed and clean in the digs for the night. All is good wish u were here.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

On The Map

Mexico: Mark Tucker & Team Arrive in Mexico City

Hola from Mexico City!
The team and I did some last minute shopping today in town to support our adventure ahead. It’s a perfect summer day at 7,200 ft, which is a good altitude to start at. It’s not too busy here in the Zona Roza area.  People are enjoying life all around.
We are going after three big hills on this trip and will be filming along the way. This will be a fun!

More news tomorrow,
RMI Guide Mark Tucker

Good luck Adam we love you!!!

Posted by: Alexis on 8/11/2015 at 3:54 pm

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