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Entries By mark tucker


Kilimanjaro: Tucker & Team Ascend to Shira Camp

It has been cloudy all day but that made for a very comfortable hike up to the Shira Plateau, 12,200’, and our second camp on Kilimanjaro. The hike out of camp was steep for a couple of hours with a beautiful traverse to top out the day.  En route to camp we encountered a short section of rock scramble which had everyone paying attention and will get us ready for our climb up the Barranco Wall in a couple days. Here at over 12,000’, we were greeted with a camp fully set up and a hot lunch. We are hopeful the skies will clear and we will be able to enjoy the sunset and get a peak at the upper mountain from tonight’s camp. The team is in good shape snacking, exploring and resting and hoping for clear skies tomorrow.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

On The Map

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Kilimanjaro: Tucker & Team Arrive at Machame Camp

All is well here at 10,000ft Machame Camp, Camp 1, on Kilimanjaro
We left the Arumeru Lodge this morning and enjoyed the views of the local community and lots of farms growing bananas, coffee and corn.  The flanks of Kilimanjaro provide very fertile grounds for all of these great crops.  After a couple hour drive we arrived at the Kilimanjaro Nation Park gate.  We registered our team and paid our entrance fee to the Park Staff and with permit in hand, we loaded our packs and began our climb.  We had a steady ascent of 4,000ft and in just less than five hours arrived at our first camp in fine form.  Perfect conditions in the cloud forest made for an enjoyable climb. We all settled in to our tents and discussed camp life and our prperations for tomorrow’s ascent.  Dinner is now complete and we are certain to enjoy many more great meals thanks to our wonderful chef and staff. Everyone is returning to their tents as we are still adjusting to our new time zone and catching up on a bit of jet lag. 

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

On The Map

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Kilimanjaro: Tucker & Team Gather in Arusha, Tanzania

Jambo -
The team is all here.  We arrived throughout the day and are now gathered at the beautiful Arumeru River Lodge.
After our drive from the airport we had a quick dinner then everyone retired to their rooms to recover from the flights and get sleep. 

Today, after a very nice breakfast, we had a great team meeting with personal introductions and discussion of the plan for the next few days followed by a check that everyone has the essential gear for our climb of Kilimanjaro.
We spent the remainder of the day packing and relaxing here at this beautiful lodge.
Some monkeys, lizards, small gazelle roam the property, it’s like being in Africa.

We are being well taken care of here at by this gracious and kind staff.  We even had a birth party to top it off - HAPPY BIRTHDAY KEVIN!

All is well in this part of the world,
RMI Guide Mark Tucker

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Mt. Elbrus: Tucker & Team Enjoy St. Petersburg

Wow!  It has been a whirlwind.  This is the first chance I have had to catch my breath.  We have explored St. Petersburg and it’s beautiful museums and churches.  We took an evening canal tour and ended the evening with a bit of Karaoke (not on the itinerary). Most of us, me included, should keep our day jobs. A few of our team mates will remain to some additional site seeing but the majority of us have left St. Petersburg and are making our way home.  Our bags are filled with local treasures for friends and family members and heads our spinning from our recent experiences and plans for upcoming adventures. It has been a wonderful trip and it’s been my pleasure to spend time abroad with this great team.

Until next time,
RMI Guide Mark Tucker

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Mt. Elbrus: Tucker & Team Return to Cheget

July 8, 2017
Here we are back in Cheget! We had a very interesting climb.  We started looking at the weather around midnight and made our plan to leave at 3 am with the help of a snowcat ride.  It was clear above us with a mild breeze at camp and the forecast was calling for moderate winds.  We woke the team at 1:45 am and got ready for our summit attempt.  The wind increased as we ascended but it didn’t turn us back.  We were prepared for a big climb and that is what we experienced.  We took a few photos on the summit of Mt. Elbrus and then started our descent.  We return to the huts where we spent the last few nights, had lunch, packed our gear and then continued down to the thick are of the Baksan Valley. Tommorow we will enjoy a day of rest and touring in Cheget before we head off to St. Petersburg.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

On The Map

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Mt. Elbrus: Tucker & Team Reach The Summit!

Wow, that’s all I can say! No chance to call from the summit. We are all back down at our base camp and everybody’s doing well.  Toughest climb in my whole history of 20 plus years of climbing here. An Incredible team effort! Unbelievable! We were the first and only team to climb the mountain today, so we are pretty darn proud! I couldn’t be more proud of this group of hard working mountaineers than I am right now. We’ll talk to you later. All is good!


RMI Guide Mark Tucker Calling from Mt. Elbrus 7-8-17

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Glad to hear all is good! Love & Peace from St Louis

Posted by: M Mitan on 7/8/2017 at 7:18 pm


Mt. Elbrus: Tucker & Team Train on the Mountain

Today was our first rest day up on Mt. Elbrus. We managed to sleep in a little bit, usually a rarity in the mountains. After a substantial breakfast, we got a little training in reviewing some essential skills and introducing some techniques specific to the route. In addition to training, a few members of the team got some gambling in during our down time. Playing poker for toothpicks is serious business up here. We just finished dinner, everyone’s gear is organized, and we are ready for an early morning tomorrow! 

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

On The Map

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Go Tuck and Team! Love from a very warm SOCAL

Posted by: Cioci on 7/7/2017 at 8:47 pm


Mt. Elbrus: Tucker & Team Acclimate and Set Personal Altitude Records

Today was a perfect day in big mountains! After yet another tasty breakfast in our dinning hut we set off for a solid 4-hour training climb. It was cold enough last night that we all put on crampons to help with traction. This was great training for the team, they did their homework and are physically prepared. We turned around just below 15,000’. This was a new altitude record for some of the team. Then we were back to camp for lunch a bit of a rest. Right now, we are waiting for dinner, and watching the colorful sunset on the dramatic huge mountains in all directions. This evening we meet to go over climbing equipment and tactics.

Team is in fine shape and glad to be here!

RMI Guide Mark Tucker & Team

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Mt. Elbrus: Tucker & Team Nestled in at the Garabashi Hut

How was your 4th of July?  We had a great light show last night.  Lots and lots of lightning, raining hard all night but no issues. We stayed warm and dry in the wonderful lodge.
Our day started off with another four-course breakfast. The best news of the day was the lost bag from Poland has arrived.  With all our bags accounted for, a quick transfer to a different set of lift systems put us at the base of Elbrus.  Three gondola lift sections had us here at our basecamp nestled at 12,500ft in some rustic but comfortable huts. A very nice local cook is taking great care of us and life is good.  We did a couple hours of training and climbing after lunch, then more food, more resting, and our team meeting on mountain life and information about plans for tomorrow.  Clouds in and out showed the Elbrus summit every so often; its a great life up here on the big hill.
The team is doing great and we are having a blast.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

On The Map

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Mount Elbrus Expedition: Tucker & Team Acclimatize in Cheget

July 4, 2017

Happy Independence Day to all of our readers back home in the USA! We couldn’t find any fireworks, so we celebrated with a nice walk around the hills of Cheget instead. Beautiful weather and warm temperatures allowed for a leisurely tone today. We spent around an hour above 10,000 feet, snacking, trading factoids, and testing out some thinner air. Passerby might have called it lounging, but we’re going to call it hard work. Whatever you want to call it, today was a success.

We headed back down toward tree line for lunch in Cheget. The team considered purchasing matching headwear as a sign of solidarity and unity. Ultimately, the potential headpieces proved to be far too itchy. A good idea nonetheless. Now, gear has been sorted, packing has begun, and we are just about ready to move up to the mountain tomorrow morning.

RMI Guides JM Gorum and Mark Tucker, and the Elbrus Crew


July 3, 2017

Dobryy vecher!!! That’s good evening, to all of you at home. We are writing from the wonderful hamlet of Cheget after another full travel day. We left our hotel this morning at 5:40, packed our 24 duffels and 12 bodies into a van, shuffled through airport security, and departed for Mineralnye Vody. We all made it, and so did our bags. Excellent news!

The sun and heat of our more southerly locale had people changing into shorts and flip flops as soon as possible. After checking in to the hotel, the team enjoyed a walk around town, some locale cuisine, wonderful views of Elbrus, and maybe even a nap or two. More relaxing is on the schedule before our first acclimatization hike tomorrow. We will check in again tomorrow.

Thanks for following along-
RMI Guides Mark Tucker and JM Gorum, and the Elbrus Crew.

On The Map

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Thanks for the updates Mark and JM!

Go Dori Go!

Good luck to everyone on the way up… hope the wind blows away that Cardinals hat though :)

Posted by: Rhina on 7/5/2017 at 9:27 am

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