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Entries from Kilimanjaro

Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Arrive in First Camp

At exactly 8 AM -the targeted departure time- we left the Arumeru River Lodge and drove East.  We did some people watching from our bus as we cruised the 90 minutes to the Machame Gate of Kilimanjaro National Park.  That had to suffice since we had no views of the mountain.  It was a solid carpet of cloud making things a bit gray, but we focused on the close-in views as we drove through a few changing vegetation levels getting to the 6,000foott elevation of the gate.  As usual, it took a bit of time getting checked in and registered with the Park, but we finally got to the good part -the walking- by 10:50 AM.  We set out in a big forest of moss covered trees.  The trail was pleasantly dry and fine for walking -since I’d warned the team that it would be slimy and muddy.  We gained elevation steadily as the hours went by.  The team did admirably and walked well, but all were quite impressed with porters zipping by at twice our speed with heavy loads balanced on their heads.  The gang was also impressed to come into a fully built, comfortable camp in the giant heather at 10,000 ft.  Our local staff of fifty porters, camp builders, cooks and guides had been busy.  We made it up in five hours and twenty minutes, surely a new world’s record, which we celebrated with afternoon tea and then a dinner and story-telling session in our dining tent.  There were many comments of surprise that Tosha, our head cook, could have produced such a great meal, so quickly, so far up a volcano.
Rain sprinkles began intermittently just after we reached camp but of course that didn’t bother anybody.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

Great Job!  Go April!

Posted by: Kevin Ellis on 9/21/2017 at 6:46 pm

Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Getting Going

Our Kilimanjaro team of ten climbers and one guide showed up ready to get ready this morning.  We met at 9 AM to introduce ourselves, and to review strategies, itineraries, policies.  In short order, we’d completed equipment checks, weigh-ins for loaded bags, and general preparations for hitting the trail.  This left team members with plenty of time for relaxing away the afternoon and chipping away at the evil jet lag.  Most ended up wandering the park-like grounds of our hotel and checking out the wildlife.  There were dik diks aplenty -the smallest of the antelope family.  There were velvet monkeys and small gangs of mongooses.  Occasionally we’d venture up the hotel’s Kilimanjaro observation tower, but the mountain never showed itself on this otherwise cloud free, blue sky day.  Too much haze and smoke toward the horizons.  We had a quiet and fine dinner and turned in excited for the coming day.  We get to walk uphill in a beautiful national park tomorrow. 

Best regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Lynn and Patrick, wonderful to be able to follow your progress each day, we are all excited for you ..... love from all of us xxx

Posted by: Robert and Jane Kilroy on 9/20/2017 at 12:15 pm

It’s exciting to see you begin this wonderful journey! We’re looking forward to your progress each day. This is a great adventure!
Jim and Travis

Posted by: Jim Reid on 9/19/2017 at 7:48 pm

Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team End Their Adventure in Tanzania

Our Safari and Kilimanjaro adventure came to an end today.  But not with a whimper… it went out like a lion.  And coincidentally with lions, as it turned out.  We were up for an early start with great help from the friendly staff at Balloon Camp.  Setting off in our Landcruisers, we hadn’t gone more than a few hundred feet before seeing fresh tracks from lions and elephants in the dirt road.  When we got to the actual wildlife: Cape buffalo, (barking) zebras, wildebeest, hartebeest, eland… we were interested to see that their behavior was markedly different in early morning than what we’d seen during midday.  Our excellent naturalist/drivers Edson Kahangi and Juma Msangi explained that all the critters had been up in the hills hiding from predators in the night but were now a little desperate and nervous to get down to the watering holes and streams again.  We eventually saw why… the predators were well represented down there.  We saw a big mom cheetah and a cub having fun with each other and making a game of chasing Impalas.  We saw a big burly male lion striding proudly over for a drink while all other animals sprinted away.  We saw a lioness and her two cubs up in a tree for a snooze… nearby, a hundred vultures were cleaning up whatever the lions had breakfasted on.  And then it was time for us to flee all the predators too.  We had to get on the highway again, back toward Arusha.  We made a final stop at the cultural center to make a few more purchases (Maasai blankets were a big hit) and peruse the great art museum, then it was on to the Arumeru River Lodge.  We showered and repacked and had one last team dinner before most of the gang headed for the airport and ultimately home.  We seem destined for reunions and future trips together… reliving the wild time we had way out in Tanzania.  We made a pretty good team.  Thanks for following along. 
I’m going to snooze for a day and then start it all up again with another group.  Our last Kilimanjaro climb of the season.

Best Regards
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

For Dave Hahn;

I cannot tell you how much we appreciate reading your daily blog. It’s the next best thing to being right there with you.You look like you had the benefit of a fabulous support team. I’m sure that our daughter Naomi will have plenty more to relate when she gets home. Right now she is in Amsterdam for a few days respite. Get some rest! Thanks again.

Howard & Gene Katz

Posted by: Howard Katz on 9/15/2017 at 3:24 pm

Blessings on all of you as you depart home. Dave, thanks for the updates and for taking good care of our loved ones. Nao, have fun on the rest of your journey. Can’t wait to see you. Hugs

Posted by: Claudia on 9/15/2017 at 1:24 pm

Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team tour Maasai Village and Explore Tarangire National Park

We began the day with a “so long” to Cory, who headed off -as planned- to compete in a marathon down in Capetown.  Then we set out from the delightful Plantation Lodge for our next Safari destination: Tarangire National Park.  Along the way, we toured a traditional Maasai village, watching tribe members dance and build fire and asking a lot of questions along the way about how the Maasai are able to hang on to their traditional ways in a modern world.  We entered Tarangire just after noon and within just a few minutes were seeing Impala, Zebra, and Wildebeest in numbers difficult to keep track of.  We saw great elephants and giraffes in the immense park and a few lions here and there, but for certain the highlights came close to the end of the day when we saw seven lion cubs playing and napping together while their mom/babysitter lounged nearby.  And that prepared us for the final sighting -a leopard napping in a tree with a freshly killed Impala stored in the crook of the same tree.  He/she didn’t pay much attention to us, but we payed plenty of attention to such a beautiful and formidable animal.  A few short minutes later we drove into Balloon Camp, our safari hotel.  Tonight we are back in tents, but more correctly they are tent-cabins and quite comfortable ones at that.  The staff put on a fine barbecue for our team, out under the stars near the swimming pool.  While dining, we could still hear nearby elephants trumpeting.  Just one more day to go, hard to imagine though that it will surpass today. 

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

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Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Visit Ngorongoro Crater

We drove up into clouds and fog along the rim of the Ngorongoro caldera.  It was jacket weather, but that didn’t prevent us from popping the tops on our Toyota Landcruisers and going down in to the Crater to see some wildlife.  Immediately, we were right up close to cape buffalo, zebras and wildebeest.  We saw ostriches and kori bustards by the dozens. As we cruised the network of dirt roads, we began to see lions.  We stopped to watch a pregnant female take a drink, and to see a big proud male searching for the perfect shady tree to lounge under.  We saw hippos doing what they are known for doing at midday (darn little) and we watched animals by the hundreds interacting at waterholes.  By our picnic lunch site, we spied a couple of giant, solitary bull elephants roaming the marshland.  By midday, much of the clouds had burned off and we could see the entire layout of the giant volcanic remnant we were exploring.  We eventually climbed back out the steep crater walls as the afternoon progressed and left the wildlife behind.  A few rough roads and then the smoothest of highways took us back to our fine lodge for a restful finish to the day.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

You guys all look great. Can’t wait to see photos of the Safari. 
I hope you enjoy the rest of your trip.
Miss you, Nao.

Posted by: Claudia on 9/13/2017 at 8:17 pm

Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Begin their Safari in Lake Manyara National Park

Packing for Safari is far easier than packing for a climb.  Getting up and getting on the road from our hotel was a low stress enterprise… we headed west at 8:30, squeezing between Arusha and Mt. Meru. Most of our 3 hour drive was through fairly dry and dusty cattle habitat.  As we neared Lake Manyara National Park, the change in climate was dramatic, with water easy to find and lush vegetation everywhere.  Animals like that sort of thing, as we discovered.  Immediately within the park we saw baboons and monkeys aplenty.  Before long we’d graduated to elephants -up close and personal, so that one could hear their big ears swishing back and forth in the air.  Manyara is known for harboring tree-climbing lions, but when we got to see the king of the jungle, he was lounging and in no mood for trees.  There were hippos and thousands of exotic birds enjoying the shoreline and bordering marshes of the Great Lake.  Toward the end of the afternoon we encountered warthogs among the zebra and cape buffaloes.  Lake Manyara was a fine primer for tuning up our game sighting reflexes.  From the park exit, it just took 40 minutes to drive out of the great rift and into the highlands, where we found the beautiful and luxurious plantation lodge.  We unwound and refueled in immaculately clean and comfortable buildings set in a lush garden.  We’ll strike out bright and early tomorrow for Ngorongoro Crater. 

Best Regards
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Leave a Comment For the Team (1)

Curt, I can only imagine the photographs you will get on this leg of the trip.  Don’t hold back!

Posted by: Judy Gadlage on 9/13/2017 at 6:03 am

Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Back at Arumeru River Lodge

Jambo from the Arumeru River Lodge.  Our last night on the mountain was just what the doctor ordered.  Good sleep and plenty of it -at a reasonable altitude.  We woke to clear skies and ate breakfast in a forest of giant heather.  Afterward, our entire mountain staff regaled us with singing, impressed us with dancing and caught us up in their laughter.  We thanked them for their friendship and hard work, shook hands and hit the trail.  We descended 4,000 feet down a sometimes slippery trail through the forest.  The weather stayed fine and dry, which is not always the case in a rain forest, obviously, but luck was with us (yet again).  By midday we’d reached the Mweka Gate and we exited the National Park.  Our staff treated us to one final excellent “picnic” lunch before we hit the Tanzanian highways back to Usa River and our lodge.  After a week in the mountains, a few of our team expressed the need for showers and so we delayed our celebration dinner to accommodate cleanliness.  With a little repacking, reorganizing and relaxing, we’re now poised and ready for safari.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Way to go Nomes, and team!!!!

Wrigley says, “my mom is a rockstar!”

Have a blast on the safari!

Posted by: Kelly on 9/12/2017 at 7:18 am

Naomi and team: CONGRATULATIONS!!  So happy for and proud of you!  Can’t wait to hear the nitty gritty stories of your amazing feat.
Love, Eve

Posted by: Eve Ruff on 9/11/2017 at 7:54 pm

Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Summit!

Hey! Dave Hahn & Team calling from the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro! We are at Uhuru 19,340’. We got up here at 6:49 in the morning, nine of our ten climbers. Everybody is doing really well, everybody is happy and healthy. It is an absolutely beautiful morning. It is way clear above us, and it’s way clear down below to about 4,000’ and then there’s a sea of clouds below us. It is a really great day up here. We’re going to do a dispatch when we are back to our camps to let you know we are all safe. Bye now!

Sunday, September 10th 10:57am PST
Greetings from Mweka Camp, down at 10,000 ft, down in the forest, down from the summit of Kilimanjaro

We got walking out of high camp at just after midnight on a perfect night for climbing.  It was clear, calm, moonlit and sparkling with stars.  As expected, things got progressively colder as we got farther up the hill and into the night/morning.  We kept adding clothing and tried our best to keep moving.  Eventually, a good chunk of the team had “everything” on and the sun was still hours away.  We might have stressed over the cold, but the altitude was kicking in with new stresses with every step higher.  The entire team surpassed previous personal altitude records today, so it was very much a voyage of discovery.  We hit Stella Point on the crater rim just before 6 AM and caught a magnificent sunrise when we were part way to Uhuru -the true summit.  We tagged the top at 6:45, spent a glorious 30 minutes up there… surprised to be in perfectly comfortable temps already.  The descent to Barafu took three hours, and we commenced our further descent to Mweka at 12:15, reaching this delightfully low camp at 3:45.  All are safe.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn & Team

RMI Guide Dave Hahn calling in from summit of Kilimanjaro.

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Curt, Syd and Carol,  Congratulations!  What an accomplishment!  Cannot wait to hear the stories!  Travel down safe, and revel in your amazing journey…

Posted by: Judy Gadlage on 9/11/2017 at 6:05 am

Congratulations to the entire team!  What an awesome accomplishment!  Curt, I shared your journey with your classmates from RBHS at last night’s reunion.  We’re all incredibly proud of you!

Posted by: Marilyn Blunier Ott on 9/10/2017 at 10:04 pm

Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Ascend to High Camp

We began and ended the day far above a sea of clouds.  But of course, our end to the day was farther still above the clouds, since we are now at 15,200 ft.  High Camp.  Last night’s camp -Karanga- was kind to us.  It was calm and quiet through the night and into our 8 AM breakfast.  We were on the road to Barafu -the “Ice” camp, before nine and into our new digs by about noon.  There were no longer any pretty plants to linger over as we’ve entered the Alpine zone.  We concentrated on the steady walking and breathing techniques that we’ll employ tomorrow.  The afternoon was spent in strategizing our summit bid and streamlining our packs.  We rested and ate and ate some more before turning in early.  Most could not resist staying up for the sunset though as the big ball of fire sank into clouds between Mt. Meru in the distance and Kibo up close.  We are ready for an early start and a big day tomorrow.

Best Regards
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Don and Jennifer, it’s been so great to follow along on your incredible adventure.  You are both rock stars.

Posted by: Tina Mooney on 9/9/2017 at 7:42 pm

I am so proud to call Naomi my Friend and Sista. I’m so excited for you. The pictures and blog have been amazing and inspirational (emotional).  Fair Winds, TeamKili. Keep your minds in the trail and all will be well. The Celebration is already starting for your great success. Cheers & Hugs

Posted by: Claudia on 9/9/2017 at 6:18 pm

Kilimanjaro: Climb the Barranco Wall and Settle into Karanga Camp

We were treated to a perfect night and morning at Barranco Camp.  The lights of Moshi twinkled far below, the hanging glaciers and ice fields of Kibo glowed in moonlight above us.  We slept in ‘til a leisurely breakfast at eight.  We walked out of camp just before 9:00 as cumulus clouds began to form up.  Within just a few minutes we were out of the gardens and streams of the valley and coming to grips with the great Barranco Wall.  With great help from our guides -James, Freddy, Patric, Venance and Philibert, we negotiated the ledges and cliffs.  We pulled ourselves up to new ledges and found nooks and crannies for the feet.  We squeezed through gaps in the lava and avoided loose and rolling rocks.  The wall eased into steep hiking in places, but there were always a few more scrambly bits mixed in.  We topped out near 14,000 ft in a little less than two hours.  By then the clouds were hiding Kibo and almost everything but our immediate surroundings.  We walked down into the next shallow valley and across a few more divides to get to the steeply cut Karanga Valley.  Some careful and dusty steps were required to get us down one side and up the other to our new camp on the far rim.  Karanga Camp sits at 13,160 ft which isn’t too much of a gain over our last camp, so we’ll hope for a night relatively free of altitude-associated discomforts.  The clouds stuck with us through the afternoon and evening, but of course that didn’t prevent us from lounging about and enjoying a couple more excellent meals from Tosha, our climbing chef extraordinaire.
The views will keep until tomorrow.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Thank you for providing these daily updates.  i get up every morning in Cincinnati and read about the events of the day before….then I read your update to anyone else who will listen.  Great fun to enjoy a vicarious adventure with detail and pictures and commentary from an expert.

Seeing new and exotic places is a lifelong passion but I could never do what you and your climbers are doing…..a thousand loud cheers…

My Best,
Judy Van Ginkel (Jennifer’s mother)

Posted by: judy van ginkel on 9/9/2017 at 9:17 am

Way to go Curt, Carol and Syd!!  Getting close, looks amazing!

Posted by: Judy Gadlage on 9/9/2017 at 8:05 am

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