Entries By mark tucker

Mt.Kilimanjaro: Tucker & Team Reach New Heights

Posted by: Mark Tucker | July 26, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Kilimanjaro
Elevation: 12,800'

Another very nice day on Mt. Kilimanjaro. We set out at 8 am after yet another delicious breakfast we are definitely not losing any weight on this trip. We left the moorland zone of vegetation and moved into the alpine zone meaning not much living up there. A couple of white necked ravens would visit us at our breaks thinking they may get a hand out but doing our best at the leave no trace policy they would have to rummage else where for a snack. Right at high noon we hit the high mark of just under 15,000’ which was a new altitude record for most of the team. We then descend down to 13,000’ where the Baranco camp is and home for the night. The whole team is feeling good and climbing with great style.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

Looking down on Barranco Camp from Lava Tower.  Photo: Casey Grom

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Kilimanjaro: Tucker & Team Reach Shira Camp

Posted by: Mark Tucker | July 25, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Kilimanjaro
Elevation: 12,500'

The gnarled trunks of giant heather disappeared as we entered the area of the mountain called the Moorlands. We enjoyed nice weather conditions during our 5 hour climb to the Shira Camp at 12,500 ft. Situated on a plateau we are enjoying a great 360 view as we snack on peanuts and popcorn. Once again the team did fine and pulled into camp in great shape.

Our local staff continues to assist us in a seamless manor and we appreciate it very much.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker & Team

Shira Camp on Kilimanjaro.  RMI Photo Collection

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Kilimanjaro: Tucker & Team Ready in Arusha

Posted by: Mark Tucker | July 23, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Kilimanjaro

Our team has gathered in Arusha, Tanzania and we are sorting our gear, weighing our mountain duffels and getting ready to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro!  We also took a little time for golfing and goofing around.  We need to get away from this lap of luxury we find ourselves in and start climbing, we are eating way to much.

Tomorrow we will wake early, enjoy our last restaurant meal for a while and then take a drive to the Machame Gate.  Here we will register our team with the Kilimanjaro National Park, don our packs and begin our climb toward the Roof of Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

The RMI Kilimanjaro July 21st team at dinner at the Dik Dik Hotel, Tanzania.  Photo: Mark Tucker The July 21st Kilimanjaro team stretching their legs in Tanzania.  Photo: Mark Tucker

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Courage Quilt: What is Courage?

Posted by: Mark Tucker | May 09, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest BC Trek

On March 21, RMI Trekker Susan R left her home in Florida en route to Kathmandu, Nepal.  Susan would be joining RMI Guide Mark Tucker and their team on a 21 day adventure through the Khumbu Valley.  From Kathmandu the team would fly to Lukla and begin their trek to Everest Base Camp at 17,575’.
Along with the jackets, hiking boots, sleeping bags and other items needed along the trail, Susan brought with her a special Courage Quilt.  This quilt was given to her by Mrs. Hixon’s 4th Grade class from Oakton Elementary School in Oakton, Virginia.  Mrs. Hixon and her class did a project on Nepal and the Himalaya.  ” It certainly helped me and I think it helped the other team members as well.” said Susan.

The students were asked the following questions:
What is courage?
What does it look like?
What do you think about when you need to be courageous?

The photo below is of the Courage Quilt given to Susan which she brought with her to Nepal.

The Courage Quilt - From the Fourth Grade Class at Oakton Elementary School in Oakton, Virginia.  Photo: Susan R.

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Mt. Everest: Dave Hahn & Team Back to Namche Bazaar

Posted by: Dave Hahn, JJ Justman, Billy Nugent, Mark Tucker | April 26, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest
Elevation: 11,300'

Today was a big walking day, up and down the hills of the Khumbu Valley from Pheriche to Namche.  Right out of Pheriche, where we started hiking at 8 AM, we crossed the river, climbed a hill and turned into the inhabited portions of the Khumbu.  We turned our backs on rocks and ice and walked down into rhododendrons, pine trees and villages.  JJ led the way as we rolled through Shomare, Pangboche, Deboche, Thyangboche, and Phunky Tonga.  We got hot enough to sweat a bit, which was a novelty, we passed a million trekkers and heard about a million helicopter laps as the B2’s and B3’s flew over us on their way back and forth to Everest Base.  Finally, at midday, we got working our way up the giant dusty hill that would put us on level with Namche.  It took us about six hours to reach Namche -still quite familiar to us since we spent three days acclimating in town on the way in.  This time… no acclimatization needed… so fine to be below 12,000 ft for the first time in close to a month.  The team enjoyed a fine evening at comfortable Camp De Base.

One more big day of hiking to go before Lukla International.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Descending views of Everest. Photo:  Casey Grom

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Mt. Everest: Dave Hahn Checks in from Pheriche

Posted by: Dave Hahn, JJ Justman, Billy Nugent, Mark Tucker | April 25, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest
Elevation: 13,950'

Our last night in base was made dramatic by a lightning storm rolling through.  A few inches of snow fell thick and fast, making morning, bright, fresh and beautiful.  At 11:15 AM we filed out of the ghost town that Mount Everest Basecamp has become.  The climbing team, accompanied by Lam Babu, made good time in losing three and a half thousand feet to reach Pheriche in four hours and forty-five minutes.  We each paid Everest’s summit a couple of last longing looks during the march, but then paid more attention to the task at hand; walking an uneven, slippery mountain trail while dodging trekkers, yaks and porters.  The gang stuck together wonderfully, demonstrating what a close knit and fit climbing team we’ve become.  With each village on the descent, through Gorak Shep, Lobuche and Thukla, we each noticed the thicker and easier air.  We coughed less and walked faster.  All enjoyed seeing the baby yaks trying out their legs on our homestretch into Pheriche.  Tonight, we are indoors again… safe, enjoying each other’s company, and quite comfortable.  We hope things are going well for Mark Tucker and the bulk of our Sherpa Team, back at EBC for a last couple of days to button things up properly.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

An RMI team descending past prayer flags. Photo: RMI Collection Views of the Himalayas near Pheriche. Photo: Casey Grom

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Mt. Everest: RMI Expedition Ends

Posted by: Dave Hahn, JJ Justman, Billy Nugent, Mark Tucker | April 23, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest
Elevation: 17,575'

We began the day with hope that we might be getting closer to resuming climbing.  Billy and JJ took the climbers hiking while Mark Tucker and I met with a number of other climb leaders and Sherpa sirdars.  Those meetings convinced us that the right course was to give up on Mount Everest for Spring 2014.  In future dispatches, we’ll try to quantify the reasons for such a decision.  But for now, suffice to say that the risks outweigh the possibility of success.

This week has been a roller coaster of emotion for many of us, from the horror that came with the avalanche of April 18, to the confusion that followed it regarding the right course to take for balancing respect for the dead, concern for team safety and summit ambitions.  Following the accident, our list of serious obstacles to an Everest summit was always significant, but we believed it worthwhile to continue looking for some way forward.  Our climbers, Sherpas, guides, and outfitters had put too much into the planning and execution of this trip to let go of the goal with less than our best effort.  We’ve given that now.

We’ll start heading for home soon.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Mt. Everest, Nepal. Photo: Jake Norton

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52

Close call for you on the day before.  Great call for you to make that thoughtful decision on behalf of your many
Nepalese friends. Congratulations!

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Posted by: Chuck Roberts on 4/23/2014 at 7:51 pm

Tough call guys but the right one. RMI Rocks.

Safe travels back home Dave. Maybe see you up on Wheeler soon.

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Posted by: Phillip on 4/23/2014 at 7:44 pm


Mt. Everest: Mark Tucker Checks in

Posted by: JJ Justman, Billy Nugent, Dave Hahn, Mark Tucker | April 21, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest
Elevation: 17,575'

The skies were sunny with warm temperatures today at Everest Base Camp.  Our climbers took a few short hikes around the lower glacier and then a bit of cards and board games to keep our minds busy.  There is community gathering for a remembrance scheduled for tomorrow.

RMI Guide & Base Camp Manager Mark Tucker

The view from Everest Base Camp, 17,575 ft. Photo: Dave Hahn

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Mt. Everest: Meetings Attended by Hahn & Tucker While the Climbing Team Hikes to Pumori Camp 1

Posted by: Dave Hahn, JJ Justman, Billy Nugent, Mark Tucker | April 20, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest
Elevation: 17,575'

Still at Everest Base.  Still a very difficult situation for all involved.

JJ and Billy led the climbing team on a hike to Pumori Camp One today, where they enjoyed awesome views of Mount Everest (during our hike to the same point last week we had no views due to an ill-timed and swirling snowstorm).  Mark Tucker and I attended a series of somewhat tense and serious meetings between team leaders, Sherpas, and the few government representatives present in camp.  It is very difficult to say what will happen going forward but one cannot under emphasize the enormity of the tragedy to the Sherpa community.  Each team, if it has not suffered death and loss directly, has lost relatives, close friends and neighbors to the icefall avalanche of April 18.  In too many cases, survivors saw the friends perish before their eyes or else they dealt with the difficult aftermath of body recovery personally.

Our Sherpa partners love their jobs and love to climb, but nobody is climbing now and all are struggling to come to terms with how to proceed in a way that honors those lost and protects those left alive.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Mt. Everest with a wind-swept plume. Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. Everest: Update 4-18-14

Posted by: Mark Tucker | April 17, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest
Elevation: 17,575'

April 17th - 11:20 pm Pacific Time

RMI Guide and Everest Base Camp Manager Mark Tucker reports that RMI climbers, Sherpa and guides are safe at Everest Base Camp.  Around 7 am local time on April 18th an avalanche occured below the West Shoulder continuing down into the Khumbu Ice Fall.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the teams on Mt. Everest.

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36

Kara, So relieved to hear you are all OK. We’re thinking of all of you and sending our thoughts and prayers to families of those lost.  Take care of each… read more

Posted by: monica on 4/18/2014 at 5:25 am

Glad to hear the RMI team is safe.  My thoughts and prayers are with all of you.  Take care of each other. To the Sherpa and their families, my condolences.

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Posted by: Josh Jones on 4/18/2014 at 5:21 am


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