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Entries By mark tucker

Kilimanjaro: Tucker & Team Ascend the Barranco Wall

Jambo -
This group of intrepid mountaineers made quick work of the infamous Barranco wall. Working together, climbing with style and grace and a bit of support from are great local staff our team ascended and thirty minutes later we reached the top of the wall with high fives and a good photo opportunity. We were then on our way to our new camp at over 13,000’ at Karanga Camp.  The weather conditions are perfect and thank goodness for kissing the Blarney Stone before the climb.
The whole team is in great shape and feeling strong, boots and equipment are performing well. We are hoping the weather continues to hold to give us the best chances to stand on top of Kilimanjaro!

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

On The Map


Have a great climb!

Steve & Cheryl

Posted by: Steve Burtzel on 7/15/2016 at 2:08 pm

Kilimanjaro: Tucker & Team Crush Altitude Records to Reach Barranco Camp

Can you say cruise into camp? Why? Well, that’s just what the team did. After a clear and cool evening at Shira Camp, we woke up early to hit the trail and crush most of the teams altitude records! We kept a perfect pace (of course) and with impeccable technique by one and all we hardly noticed the thin air. We were able to get in some great views of Kilimanjaro’s main peak, dramatic ice fields, and the steep mountain flanks. A long descent into the Barranco Valley brought us to are next camp for the night. Barranco Camp is nestled among the crazy looking giant senecio trees. These trees have some resemblance to the Joshua tree. Looming above us are glaciers and huge ice runnels. Needless to say it is one heck of a beautiful spot. The weather is perfect, the team is great and we all wish you were here.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

On The Map

Kilimanjaro: Tucker & Team Reach Camp One

Jambo from Kilimanjaro-
We are checking in from Camp One, Machame Camp at 9,800’ and everyone is doing great.
We woke early this morning and had a nice breakfast at the Dik Dik.  We loaded the vehicle and after a quick stop at the open air meat market we reached the Machame Entrance Gate at 6,000’. After some photos and the fun began as we started on the trail. Being a cloud forest it held true for most of the climb but now here at 10,000’ the skies are clear and beautiful. We have clear views of the summit and associated glaciers and life is good here in the very comfortable dinning tent.

Have a nice day,
RMI Guide Mark Tucker

On The Map

Glad to hear things are going well.  I am certain that the views are breathtaking and that the climb is strenuous but exhilarating.  My best to all of you!

Odette Hankins
Taylor’s mom in Cleveland, Ohio

Posted by: Odette Hankins on 7/13/2016 at 7:33 am

Kilimanjaro: Tucker & Team Gather in Tanzania

It’s all coming together now. We made our final preparations today here in the town of Usa River Tanzania, located at the base of the tallest mountain on this continent. Myself and eight hearty souls are taking on the challenge of climbing Kilimanjaro starting tomorrow. It will be tough to leave the luxury of our lodge but the team is fired up for the adventure ahead. A very nice group of folk have started to bond here in the lowlands and and a tight nit team is just a few days and thousands of feet uphill.

Early tomorrow morning we will leave for the trail head and start our climb to the “Roof of Africa”.

Stay tuned,
RMI Guide Mark Tucker

Hi Everyone,

I am Taylor’s mom.  I hope you all have an amazing experience.  I’ll be thinking about all of you, but mostly about Taylor.  Be safe and have fun!


Posted by: Odette Hankins on 7/11/2016 at 3:51 pm

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

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