Entries from Kilimanjaro
Jambo everyone back home
We had much better day day on Kili today, thankfully waking to mostly clear skies. Seemed like everyone slept pretty well after a bit of exercise and 9hrs of tent time too.
We started the day waking at 6:30 to begin packing up before moving into our dining 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 8 am and slowly made our way up the rocky trail that leads out of camp in the warmth of the sun. The trail climbs up a old volcanic ridge and eventually out of the trees and allowed for some nice views of the valley below. The team hiked for about four hours before reaching our next camp that sits on an old lava flow called the Shira Plateau. This plateau which formed a few million years ago sits just above tree-line, it was a bit cloudy when we arrived, so we had to wait till almost dinner to see some of the view and of course Kilimanjaro looming above us. Once settled at camp we were treated to a nice warm lunch and then hopped into our tents to relax.
The evening was full of great stories and another amazing dinner prepared by our more than gracious staff.
On The Map
Following you all the way up…....safe footing God bless
Posted by: Barbara Sluboski on 1/23/2019 at 3:11 pm
Good job team!! With you every step of the way!!
Posted by: Judy Koppinger on 1/23/2019 at 12:03 pm
January 22, 2019
Posted by: Casey Grom
The team got off to a moderately early start this morning leaving behind our beautiful lodge and have headed to the mountain towards the start of the climb.
We left around 8am and drove along the rural country side and small villages for two hours to reach the park entrance. Most of the area surrounding Kilimanjaro has been cultivated and primarily used for coffee production and for a variety of other agriculture needs, but there are still some areas that have been untouched and resemble more of a savannah that Tanzania is known for. The base of Kilimanjaro is more forested and looks more jungle like and is called a cloud forest.
Once we arrived at the gate we had all of our gear weighed and divided into loads for our 48 porters and other staff to carry before hitting the trail. Once everything was in order we started our climb slowly making our way up the winding trail that ascends continuously through the thick forest. The canopy is quite dense thankfully, which provided some cover from the rain that arrive around midday.
The team hiked for a little over five hours and managed to not get too wet before we reached our camp for the night that sits around 10,000ft.
After settling into camp and getting situated, the team was served a nice warm meal for dinner consisting of soup, rice, potatoes and steak.
Everyone is doing well and looking forward to a good night’s rest.
RMI Guide Casey Grom and Kili crew
On The Map
Happy climbing…..wishing you good weather and sure steps on this wonderful adventure . Keep us posted. Godspeed !
Posted by: Barbara Sluboski on 1/22/2019 at 8:54 pm
Wishing you a safe and exciting adventure, thanks for the updates!!
Posted by: Judy on 1/22/2019 at 8:36 pm
Kilimanjaro trip number 2 for 2019 is underway!
The team arrived late last night after their long flights from the US and after a short drive to our lodge the team had a quick dinner and then headed for bed.
Today after a hearty breakfast the team met for RMI’s official orientation where we did a round of introductions and discussed the upcoming plan for the next few day and the gear essential for our climb.
We spent the remainder of the day packing and relaxing here at this tranquil and private lodge that has numerous wild animals roaming the grounds. There are two different types of monkeys here, the Velvet and the Blue. Several Dik Dik that have been rescued, a few Guinea fowl, and we even managed to see a mongoose sneaking around today.
We are being well taken care of here at the Arumeru River Lodge by their gracious and kind staff.
Everyone is doing well and looking forward to a little uphill exercise tomorrow as we head to Kilimanjaro.
RMI Guide Casey Grom and Kili Team 2
Be safe and enjoy.
Posted by: Louis Sikora on 1/22/2019 at 10:36 am
Yay!!! Good luck guys! Safe travels.
Posted by: Nikki on 1/21/2019 at 10:35 pm
We spent yesterday touring Tarangire National Park which is home to many elephants, in fact, it has more per square kilometer than any place on earth and it didn’t disappoint.
There were plenty of other animals as usual, and we got close to a few big giraffe, which was amazing plus a leopard sighting too.
We ended our day at a remote and off grid camp within the National Park and surrounded by wildlife. The camp has screened in rooms that allow the night sounds of Africa in and also last night’s big thunderstorm.
It’s been a memorable experience for everyone and great friendships forged. But finally it’s time to return home to our families.
Jambo from RMI Guide Casey Grom and the Safari crew!
Hello again everyone
After a good nights rest and rain all night, we were not sure what to expect after all the rain from the famous Ngorongoro Crater. The crater is roughly 100 square miles and is home to roughly 30,000 mammals that reside here year round, as its one of the few places that has natural springs and water year round. We started early with hopes of catching the big cats as they are more nocturnal animals.
We saw many hyenas, jackles, ostrich, plus countless other huge birds, and even manage to get close to a pride of 12 lions with very full bellies. There were 3 Black Rhino spotted 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 and the safari crew
Thanks so much for your regular blogs. They were wonderful for those of us who had a loved one in your group. You did a great job of reporting!
Posted by: Peggy Phipps on 1/18/2019 at 1:52 pm
Today was our first day of safari and we headed West to visit the beautiful Lake Manyara. The lake is a brief stopping ground for many migratory animals and home to many unique birds.
Everyone enjoyed the day cruising around in our safari vehicles with cold beverages in hand while seeing the animals up close and personal.
We saw wildebeest, zebras, Cape buffalo, lots of baboons, a few impalas, hippos, and several elephants so close we could have touched them.
It was a pretty nice introduction to the incredible diversity of wildlife that Africa has and the team is looking forward to seeing more tomorrow.
We spent the remainder of the day relaxing at our new lodge and finished the evening with a wonderful meal at our new lodge.
RMI Guide Casey Grom and the Safari crew
Today we woke at 6:30 feeling good, had breakfast, then enjoyed a goodbye song and dance from our gracious crew of porters, cooks, and local guides numbering 52. We finished the little celebration by handing out their well deserved tips and then hit the trail one last time.
It took a little over 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.
Finally we are all safe and sound, and a little cleaner after an amazing seven-day journey up and down Kilimanjaro.
The team is currently relaxing and looking forward to Safari which starts tomorrow!
RMI Guide Casey Grom and a happy Kilimanjaro crew
January 13, 2019
Posted by: Casey Grom
Hey everybody, this is Casey Grom checking in from the Kilimanjaro climb. We are calling to let you know that we’re all safely back at High Camp after a very successful summit climb. We were able to get nine of our ten climbers to the summit. It was a little bit of a busy day up on top trying to get photos and let people make satellite phone calls and I wasn’t able to get one out to the dispatch until we just got back to camp and it’s a good time. We’re all safe. Everyone’s doing well. We will take a little break here and have some lunch and then we’re actually going to pack up and descend a couple more thousand feet to some warmer temperatures and some thicker air. And it’ll shorten are descent out of the park tomorrow. So everyone’s doing well. Everyone’s in great spirits and we’ll do our best to get a dispatch out tonight. But if I remember right in the past, I haven’t been able to get one out of the trees there. So if you don’t get a dispatch tonight then Monday morning as soon as we’re making our way out of the park, I’ll update and give maybe a little play-by-play of the summit climb. And as well as we’ll get some photos to you guys. Obviously, we haven’t had cell service or Wi-Fi service up here so that we could really send that much data. I think a few of the team members said they were able to send some texts. But anyway looking forward to getting those to you and kind of fill you in on how everything went. That’s all for now and hope you guys have enjoyed following along. Talk to you soon.
RMI Guide Casey Grom
On The Map
Just wanted to tell Chris we are all fascinated with this way of keeping us aware
of your climbs. Keep it up
Posted by: John Condon on 1/14/2019 at 8:22 am
Yea Catherine! Was such an unexpected blessing to hear your voice from the summit! So glad weather cleared up some the last of the trip so that you had that beautiful view. Eager to hear all about it when you get back.
Posted by: Peggy P on 1/14/2019 at 6:02 am
January 12, 2019
Posted by: Casey Grom
Hello again everyone
After a good nights rest and a short hike up to 15,000’ we’ve finally arrived at our High Camp. Thankfully the weather broke and today was 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 11 pm 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 7 to 8 hours if things go according to plan.
Also to note!
There have been several rounds of trivia with the winners 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 7 hours ahead of the east coast time zone.
So a 7 am arrival at the summit will mean a midnight phone call and 9 pm for pacific time.
Wish us luck! And thanks for sending the good weather just in time!
RMI Guide Casey Grom and the sunshine Kili crew!
On The Map
Catherine, I just heard from Mom, you did it! I am so thankful you have had this experience. Take care of those knees on the way down. I love you and am praying for your safe return.
Posted by: Carol Lyn on 1/13/2019 at 6:53 am
Cat and Kris, I can only imagine the magnificent views you’re seeing! I’m so happy you’re getting to have such an amazing experience. It’s certain to be a taxing endeavor, but it has to be worth it!! Am so proud of you both!
Posted by: Melinda on 1/13/2019 at 1:22 am
January 11, 2019
Posted by: Casey Grom
Jambo family and friends.
Today was slightly better than the last few, briefly sunny this morning, then clouds and a little more rain as the day continued. Thankfully it was a shorter hike today and the team did fantastic.
We left camp a little later today to allow the many porters to hit the trail before us as we had our only major obstacle right out of camp. This obstacle is the great Barranco Wall, which rises about 1,000ft and looks as intimidating as it sounds. Thankfully there is a nice narrow goat 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 our hands to help us climb up. The team did great and thoroughly enjoyed the challenge.
After reaching the top we took a nice break but were unable to enjoy the amazing views due to the clouds. Nonetheless we continued our hike for a few more hours before reaching camp.
We spent the remainder of the day relaxing in our tents and playing a few games of cards with plenty of good old mountain stories.
RMI Guide Casey Grom and the Kili crew