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Entries from Kilimanjaro

Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Start Out of the Machame Gate

Sitting down to our 7AM breakfast on the patio at Arumeru River Lodge, we had a great view of Kilimanjaro this morning.  We loaded up the bus and rolled out of the lodge just a few minutes after 8 AM.  Traffic was light on the main road and we made good time cruising through the farmland and small villages.  Kilimanjaro got bigger and more magnificent as we turned from the highway and began walking uphill toward the 6,000 ft Machame Gate to the national park.  As usual, it took a little time to get the team registered and the staffing sorted, but by 10:50, we set out walking in warm, and sunny conditions.  Filibert, one of our local guide staff, set the slow and steady pace up through the tall and lush forest.  Freddie, our chief guide, along with guides Venance and Happyson brought up the rear.  Things clouded up as the day progressed, the high humidity and exertion had everybody sweating before too long.  We saw blue monkeys in the trees, a few good birds, and even a small chameleon on the trail.  The track itself was in good condition, not too muddy, which certainly helped.  We came into Machame Camp (at 9,900 ft) in just over five hours.  The Utah gang was delighted to find camp already built and ready for moving into.  We met in the mess tent for afternoon tea and then finished the day a few hours later with one of chef Tosha’s excellent dinners.  Everybody did great with this big day of work, but most were also plenty happy with turning in early for bed at 8 PM.

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

On The Map

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Yea, Caspers!!! You got this. Fun to follow your treck. Looks like quite a different route than we took.

Posted by: Laurie on 2/2/2018 at 5:55 pm

Looking good there!  Hello to Lynn and Joanna!!  Excited to watch the progress of your trip!  So jealous!

Posted by: Troy Christensen on 2/2/2018 at 7:59 am

Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Explore the Ngorongoro Crater

Jambo everyone,

Today we visited Ngorongoro Crater. The crater is roughly 100 square miles and is home for the 30,000 to 40,000 animals that have taken up residence.
We hit the road early with hopes of catching a few more animals before the heat of the day.
There were many sightings today of hyenas, jackles, ostrich, and countless other birds. We didn’t manage to see many lions, but did get pretty close to one big male.
One of the highlights was seeing not one, but five Black Rhino which have become very rare do to poaching.
We wrapped up the day with a visit to a Maasai village not far from the crater 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 under the stars and the full moon that hopefully everyone back home gets to see too.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

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Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Arrive in Arusha, Tanzania

We’ve got the makings of a fine climbing team.  Eight pals from Utah and one guide from New Mexico came together in Usa River, Tanzania these last couple of days to begin a Kilimanjaro adventure.  Today our program formally began just after breakfast in the gardens of the Arumeru River Lodge.  We sat for a bit discussing strategies and priorities for our week-long attempt on Africa’s highest point.  Then it was time for equipment checks and packing up back in the rooms.  We want to be ready for departure bright and early tomorrow.  All this preparation still allowed time for a combination of relaxing and exploring in the afternoon.  Some braved the heat to walk the short distance into the nearby village while others explored the reclining chairs by the swimming pool.  We’re each working through jet lag via our own methods.  Kilimanjaro showed itself in the distance at sundown as the haze and clouds melted away.  Just after dusk, we sat down to dinner on the patio while the super blue moon rose over East Africa.  All are excited to get walking up a mountain tomorrow morning. 

Best Regards
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Good luck Utah team! Looking forward to keeping up with all your adventures!  Enjoy! Lee and Susie

Posted by: Susie and Lee on 2/1/2018 at 6:26 pm

Good Luck!  Fingers crossed and thoughts are with you.  You can do it.

Posted by: Lynette Elliott on 1/31/2018 at 3:55 pm

Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team’s First Day on Safari

Today was our first day of safari and we headed west to visit the beautiful Lake Manyara, which is a brief stopping ground for the many migratory animals and full of beautiful birds. Everyone enjoyed the day cruising around in our safari vehicles with cold beverages in hand while seeing the animals.
We managed to see a few wildebeest, zebras, Cape buffalo, giraffe, baboons, impalas and many hippos, plus one huge male elephant very close. It was a pretty nice introduction to the incredible wildlife that Africa has and the team is looking forward to seeing more tomorrow.

We wrapped up the evening relaxing at our new accommodations, The Plantation Lodge.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and the Safari crew

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What an exciting first day on safari portion of Kilimanjaro expedition. Great pictures of you 6, even with giant bull elephant so close. Without my first hand knowledge I wouldn’t guess you’d just gotten down from climbing highest point in Africa.

Posted by: Daniel Thompson on 1/31/2018 at 7:27 am

Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Bid Farewell to their Mountain Staff

100% on Top!

Yesterday we had a beautiful long day climbing to the summit of Kilimanjaro.

Today we started at 7:00 feeling good and refreshed after a much needed nights sleep, we had breakfast, then enjoyed some goodbye songs and dance from our amazing African crew of porters, cooks, and local guides numbering 51. 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, cleaner, and smelling fresh after an exciting seven-day journey up and down Kilimanjaro.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and the Kilimanjaro crew

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Congrats to all! What a fantastic accomplishment!

Posted by: Lisa DeBoer on 1/30/2018 at 6:20 am

Kilimanjaro: Grom and Team Reach Summit

Hello everybody, Casey Grom checking in. Just wanted to let everyone know that those of you who didn’t receive a phone call from the summit of Kilimanjaro, we had 100% success today!

Like I said last night, we left pretty early to beat some of the traffic, but unfortunately I think many of those people have the same idea as well. It was a busy day on the trail for us which wasn’t too much of an inconvenience, but it definitely made things a little more challenging with breaks and trying to keep a nice steady pace. But the team did fantastic and as they know that goal number 1 is to take care of yourself, and they did a fantastic job today of taking care of themselves. A little after about 7 hours of climbing, we were able to reach the summit of Kilimanjaro along with most of those other people that started the night with us. So there was I’m guessing close to 100 people on the summit, some before us, and a handful after us. Up there all the same time, it was a little bit of a struggle to try to get people in to get their photos at the actual sign. It’s pretty painless on Kilimanjaro, but we managed to get quite a few.

Unfortunately still no cell service, so I haven’t been able to get any pictures out. And that’s going to happen tomorrow for sure, as we have descended all the way back to the Mweka Camp tonight. We’re at about 10,000’. Tomorrow we get to the park gate…our hotel and freshly showered, at about 3-4 in the afternoon.

Anyway, all is well; team’s doing great. Everyone’s very tired after a very long day, but again 100% success and looking forward to sharing some of those pictures with you guys alright.

RMI Guide Casey Grom checks in after the team reaches the summit of Kilimanjaro.

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Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Arrive at High Camp, Prepare for Summit Attempt

Hello everybody, this is Casey Grom checking in again from Kilimanjaro. We woke up to beautiful clear skies again today, which was very, very nice after a bit of rain and snow showers that we got last night. And, to be honest, that has kind of been the trend the last few nights. We’ve been able to get in to camp generally before any little clouds roll in and we’ve been getting some sprinkles and there were some snow in the evening, but we have been waking up to clear skies thankfully every morning. Today we left Karanga Camp which is about 13,200 feet or so and we hiked up to our High Camp, which is called Barafu and sits up at about 15,000 feet. Everybody did fantastic and again, we had super nice weather getting up here shortly after arriving at camp. same thing as the last couple nights, we had clouds roll in and start spitting a little moisture on this, but thankfully our gracious crew already had camp set up and lunch waiting on us so we able to pull in and stay dry and then fill our bellies full of good food up here. We took a little nap and then had dinner and then we also discussed the upcoming game plan for tonight’s climb.  Finally we’re here and ready to do it. So everybody’s all packed up squared away. They know what they got going on and what they’re going to be wearing and bring with them tomorrow. The plan is going to be for us to wake up at 11 p.m.. It’s a little busy up here so we’re going to try to get out ahead of some some of the groups. So we’re going to get up at 11. We’re going to try and hit the trail about midnight or so after a small light breakfast with some porridge, and some maybe some fresh fruit and some toast and obviously plenty of coffee. Then we’ll hopefully be walking uphill at midnight. If all goes well we should be at the summit somewhere between 6 and 8 hours. I’m guessing we’ll be around 7 or so will be ideal and like the last trip. We can all get to get up there to bring the satellite phone and everyone’s going to give a call to their loved ones back home, so if your following the blog and this makes it to the blog before we get to the summit, keep your phone handy again. We should be near this summit somewhere between 7 and 8 o’clock Tanzanian time. So if your phone rings, and you get a funny number, it’s probably a satellite phone and someone is calling from the summit to say they miss you and wish that they had you there with them. Anyway, that’s all for now time to get some sleep, and we’ll check in hopefully from the summit and certainly when we make our way back down. Have a good night.

RMI Guide Casey Grom

RMI Guide Casey Grom checks in from High Camp on Kilimanjaro.

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Congratulations to the team for the successful summit. A special congratulations to my amazing duo, my husband Stan and son Conrad. I’m beyond proud of you two both for your accomplishment and for your special bond. Good job guys. Keep going!  Waiting anxiously for your stories and photos.



Posted by: Elena Golovac on 1/28/2018 at 4:30 am

I want to give a big shout-out to my amazing father Randy DeBoer! While most guys retire and take up golf, my pop casually decided to take up mountain climbing and hasn’t looked back since. He always has been and continues to be an inspiration to his family and friends. We love you dad! Can’t wait to hear all about your amazing trip.

Ty, CC and Margot

Posted by: Ty, CC and Margot on 1/27/2018 at 5:22 pm

Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Arrive at Barranco Camp

Hello from Barranco Camp located at 12,800’ on Kilimanjaro.  We left Shira camp and slowly climbed uphill before we started our traverse over to Barranco Valley across the volcanic plateau and just below the remaining glaciers that cling to Kilimanjaro’s slopes, which sadly we didn’t get to see up close, but there’s always tomorrow!
As we approached camp we were all amazed to the giant Groundsels and famous Senecio trees that look like something out of a Dr. Suess book and were relieved to be at camp after about five hours of hiking.
Everyone is doing very well and are looking forward to tomorrow’s climb up the Barranco wall which sits just above camp. 

RMI Guide Casey Grom

On The Map

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Hi daddy just wanted to say I’m so beyond proud of you. Miss you terribly tho and can’t wait for you to be home safe!!


Posted by: Maggie on 1/27/2018 at 8:29 pm

Hi Conrad and Stanley! So happy for both of you and am loving following these daily updates. I love and miss you, Conrad! Cannot wait to see the photos.

Posted by: Ali on 1/25/2018 at 4:31 pm

Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Ascend the Shira Plateau

Hey, everybody this is Casey Grom checking in again from here on Kilimanjaro.  We wanted to let everybody know we woke to a beautiful clear sky and had an incredibly nice breakfast in our camp this morning. Our route ascends a ridge line and then as we just get out of the trees the route veers to the north and we make our way towards what’s called the Shira Plateau created by a very long ago eruption. It took us about 4 1/2 hours to get up here. It was sunny all day and the team did great. The trail was a little busy because there are quite a few folks climbing this route with us, but we did really well. We spent the remainder of the day hanging out and our giant dining tent being catered to here in Africa.  We just wrapped up dinner. The sky is full of beautiful stars and the team is headed off for bed and looking to get a good night’s rest before getting up in the morning and going for another walk. I will check in again tomorrow. No cell service today, but should have it tomorrow, so hopefully we’ll get some fresh photos up for everybody back home. Thanks for following.

RMI Guide Casey Grom

RMI Guide Casey Grom calls in from Shira Camp on Kilimanjaro.

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Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Start Off at the Machame Gate

Hi everybody. This is Casey Grom checking from the Kilimanjaro trip. Just wanted to let you know that all is going well here in Tanzania. We made about an hour and a half drive to the base of Kilimanjaro. Once we arrived at the gate, it took a little while to get all our gear sorted and weighed and allotted to the porters that we’re going to have helping us on this climb. It took about an hour waiting there and getting registered and taking care of all our permits and stuff. We then were able to hit the trail. We left at about 11 a.m. and we walked literally right from the park gates right into the thick forest that surrounds the base of Kilimanjaro. We spent the entire day thankfully protected from the sun, in the trees and nice cool weather. We made it to camp with just a few sprinkles of rain falling on us. Now that we’re here up at about 10,000 feet, the sky is clear and it’s a beautiful evening and the team is doing great. Our plan is to get a good night’s sleep here, and then hopefully get up early in the morning and punch out just above the tree line and up onto Shira Plateau. All is well; the team is doing great and we’re off to bed. We’ll check in and hopefully tomorrow I’ll be able to get my cellphone to connect and get a few photos out to you guys. Alright, that’s it for now. Thanks for following.

RMI Guide Casey Grom

RMI Guide Casey Grom calls in from Kilimanjaro.

On The Map

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Dean, it sounds like you and team are having an amazing adventure!

We are all thinking about you, and hoping you are having a great adventure!

Posted by: Dane Sitlinger on 1/24/2018 at 10:27 am

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