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Entries from Kilimanjaro

Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Explore Ngorongoro Crater & Visit Maasai Village

Hello again everyone

Today we visited the famous Ngorongoro Crater, one of the seven natural wonders of the world. The crater is roughly 100 square miles and is home for more than 25,000 animals that reside here year round, as its one of the few places that has natural springs. We started early with hopes of catching a few big cats before the heat of the day sent them in search of shade.
We saw many hyenas, jackles, ostrich, plus countless other huge birds, and even managed to get close to a large pride of lions with very full bellies. There was a Black Rhino spotted not to far off of the road also which was a highlight.

We wrapped up the day with a visit to a Maasai village not far from the craters rim. The Maasai people are a semi-nomadic tribe that exist almost entirely off of their cattle. The team spent time asking questions and enjoyed being shown around their small and simple village.

We have just finished another wonderful meal here at the Plantation Lodge and the team is off to bed after a long, but very rewarding day on safari.

RMI Guide Casey Grom

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Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Begin Their Safari Days

Today was our first day of safari and we headed northwest to visit the beautiful Lake Manyara. The lake is a brief stopping ground for many migratory animals and home to more than 300 different birds. Everyone enjoyed the day cruising around in our safari vehicles with cold beverages in hand while seeing the animals up close.

We managed to see a few wildebeest, zebras, Cape buffalo, lots of baboons, a few impalas and many hippos, and several elephants pretty close. It was a nice introduction to the incredible diversity of wildlife that Africa has and the team is looking forward to seeing more tomorrow.

We wrapped up the evening with a wonderful meal at our new lodge, The Plantation Lodge, and even celebrated one of our teammate’s birthday with a cake and plenty of singing.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and the Safari crew

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Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Complete the Climb & Celebrate

Today we woke at 6:30 after a wonderful night of well deserved sleep, had a quick breakfast, then enjoyed a few goodbye songs from our hardworking and kind crew of porters, cooks, and local guides. We finished the little celebration by handing out their well earned tips and then hit the trail one last time descending back into the thick forest surrounding Kilimanjaro. It took about three hours to reach the park gate where the team had lunch then hopped aboard our awaiting bus for the ride back to the lodge.
The team is doing great after relaxing for a few hours and some and well deserved long, hot showers.
Everyone is looking forward to our game viewing safari which starts early tomorrow!

RMI Guide Casey Grom and a happy Kilimanjaro crew

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Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Reach Summit!

We did it! Summit success!

The team got up at 11pm and were all ready by 11:30 for the ascent. We then had a quick midnight breakfast of porridge, tea and coffee before starting our climb under a mostly full moon.
The weather was very calm and the route wasn’t all that busy allowing us to take our time and enjoy the ascent. The climb took just under seven hours to reach the summit, and thankfully the sun rose shortly before reaching the top to help warm us and boost morale after climbing through the night.
On the summit we hugged each other, enjoyed the views and took plenty of pictures and even made a few phone calls to loved ones back home.
It was a true test of endurance for most of the crew, and I’m really proud of everyone.
We descended back to high camp, where we had a quick lunch, repacked and then continued further down the mountain to our final camp in the thick warm air at 10’000ft, where we just finished another fine meal prepared by our gracious staff. Now it’s off to bed for some well deserved sleep.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and a happy Kilimanjaro summit crew

On The Map

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When I looked at the picture of the summit crew I knew it was you Judge Junell!!!! Congrats on another summit. I have another trip for you- The Lofoten Islands, Norway. I’ll send you the info!! Cheers to everyone.

Posted by: Elsie Bemiss on 9/24/2018 at 5:18 pm

kudos to Hans/Alix. You guys overcome all obstacles. Proud parents.

Posted by: Margot badenhausen on 9/23/2018 at 3:44 pm

Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Ready for Summit Bid

Hello again everyone:

After a good night’s rest and a short hike up to 15,000 feet we’ve finally arrived at our high camp. Today was mostly sunny with great views of Kilimanjaro and our intended route for tomorrow’s climb.
The team has just wrapped up lunch and discussed in great detail the plan for tomorrow’s climb. Everyone knows what what we’ll be wearing, what will be in the pack, as well as the schedule.
Our game plan will be to wake at 11pm and have a quick breakfast at 11:30, then hopefully hit the trail right at midnight. The team has been doing great thus far and I’m expecting us to reach the summit in seven to eight hours if things go according to plan.

Also to note!
There have been several rounds of trivia with the winner getting a chance to make a satellite phone call from the summit. So everyone back home please keep your phones handy and if you receive a call from a strange number please answer. We are seven hours ahead of the east coast time zone, so a 7:00 am arrival at the summit will mean a midnight phone call.

Wish us luck!

RMI Guide Casey Grom and the Kili crew

On The Map

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Hey Jess, tried to get your call last night, but no luck for service. Can’t wait until you’re back. K byeeeee

Posted by: Zacharahia Mcclanahan on 9/23/2018 at 7:46 am

Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team and the Great Barranco Wall

Hello again everyone:

We left camp a little later today to allow the many porters to hit the trail before us as we had our main difficulty right out of camp. This obstacle is the great Barranco Wall, which rises about 1,000 feet and looks as intimidating as it sounds. Thankfully there is a nice narrow trail that weaves its way up and through the wall and all the way to the top. Most of it feels more like steep hiking, but there are a few places that require the use of our hands to help us climb up. The team did a good job of moving steady and allowing a few porters through with their loads precariously balanced on their heads.
After reaching the top, we took a nice break and enjoyed the amazing views of the ice-ladened south face and valleys below. The team continued our hike for a few more hours before reaching camp. All in all, it took only about four hours for us to reach our next camp called Karanga, named for the big and beautiful valley which it overlooks.
We spent the remainder of the day relaxing in our tents as a light drizzle arrived shortly after we did.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and the Kili crew

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Kilimanjaro Grom & Team Camp Below Barranco Wall

Jambo Everyone

Once again we woke to beautifully clear skies with even better views of Kilimanjaro since moving up on the mountain. Our morning ritual has been waking around 6:30 and getting everything in our tents packed up before heading into our very spacious dining tent for our breakfast feast. Normally there is fresh fruit, fried eggs, porridge, bacon, and plenty of hot coffee awaiting us, obviously we’re being well taken care of by our gracious staff.

Today our route took us up and around the well known and beautiful Lava Tower reaching just over 15,000’, setting a new altitude record for some.
We also passed by many of the giant groundsels and towering Senecio trees that made us feel as if we were in some crazy Dr. Suess story book.

All in all it was a really nice day with clouds gathering in the afternoon to help keep the temperature comfortable for hiking. We are now comfortably set up at Barranco Camp beneath the Great Barranco Wall.

RMI Guide Casey Grom

On The Map

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Helping you breathe from our home elevation of 500’. Good luck on your final ascent. Love the log.

Posted by: Margot/Dick on 9/21/2018 at 11:18 am

Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Ascent the Shira Plateau

Hello again everyone

The team had a really nice day here on Kilimanjaro today, waking to beautifully clear skies and hiking in sunshine all day. We started the day waking at 6:30 to start packing up before moving into our dinning tent for a nice breakfast with porridge, fried eggs, toast, avocado and even some fresh fruit, and most importantly plenty of hot coffee.

We hit the trail shortly after 8am and slowly made our way up the rocky trail with good views of Kili above. The trail climbs up a ridge and eventually out of the trees and allows for some truly spectacular views of the valley below. The team hiked for about four hours before reaching out next camp that sits on Shira plateau, which is an ancient lava flow.

Everyone is doing very well and we are currently relaxing in our tents.

RMI Guide Casey Grom

On The Map

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Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Gather at the Arumeru Lodge

Hello Everyone:

Casey Grom here checking in with RMI’s Kilimanjaro Climb.

All is well here in Tanzania as the team arrived late last night after some very long flights and a very long process getting through immigration. Normally things go pretty smoothly after landing but last night took a little over two hours to get everyone through. Thankfully everyone is accounted for and all of our bags too!

It was a short drive to our Lodge that is nestled in between Arusha and Moshi and not so far from the base of Kilimanjaro. The team had a quick but wonderful dinner and headed for bed as the time change has us all feeling just a little off and we were a little tired after all the traveling.

We had a nice relaxing morning today and had our first official meeting at 10:00 where we did a round of introductions and then discussed the program for the coming days ahead.

The remainder of the day was spent getting our gear packed up, exploring the grounds of our Lodge, which is incredibly peaceful and has monkeys and Dik Dik running around. See for yourself.

We wrapped up the evening with another delicious meal and plenty of friendly conversations. Everyone is doing well and excited to hit the trail tomorrow and get a little bit of exercise.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and the Kili crew!

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Pole, pole Dad! You got this!

Love from Texas! ❤️

Posted by: Keith Elizabeth on 9/18/2018 at 6:34 am

To my wonderful husband Ken and beautiful daughter Jessie, hope your first day was fantastic!  I can’t wait to see the pics!!

Posted by: Lisa Williams on 9/18/2018 at 5:58 am

Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Visit Tarangire National Park

Hello everyone,

Today we headed to Tarangire National Park know for its abundant elephants, and it didn’t disappoint. There were plenty of elephants around, and we parked on an overlook to watch a large group of them play in the river.
There were lots of giraffes, impalas, monkeys, ostriches, and many others. One of the highlights was seeing three cheetah not too far off just relaxing under a tree. 

We are spending our last night here in Africa at Tarangire Balloon Camp, which has beautiful tented rooms with screened windows to allow the sounds of the wild African night in.

Everyone is doing great and we are hoping to see a few more big cats on our way out tomorrow. Then it will be back to our main lodge near Arusha for a brief stop before catching our evening flights home.

Thanks for following,
RMI Casey Grom and the Safari crew

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I hope this is not a duplicate comment, I thought I responded to this last blog post. Thank you again, Casey, RMI and the entire crew!!  This last few days, so happy for the continued amazing, enriching experiences…and the w a r m t h :-). Emily and Alysia…you took care of all 3 “summit, safari, and shangri- la”. Way to go. Much love, see you soon xo :-)

Posted by: Shelby Schneider on 9/14/2018 at 1:41 pm

All we can say is “Incredible!” What an incredible guide and team leading an incredible group to a lifetime of memories!! We are grateful to to RMI for such a wonderful blog to share in the experience with our children B&G!!  What an adventure it has been!  Thank you and wishes to everyone for safe travels back to their home and loved ones!

Posted by: Shelly & Greg Meador on 9/13/2018 at 1:49 pm

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