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Entries By mark tucker

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

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

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