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Entries from Kilimanjaro

Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Visit Lake Manyara on Safari

Safari time!

Today was the first day of safari for us and we headed east to visit Lake Manyara, which is known for its tree climbing lions, flamingos, and more than 400 different species of birds. We didn’t manage to see any of those famous lions, but we had a very close encounter with a few elephants within just minutes of entering the park. Nothing dangerous, but they passed close enough that we could have almost touched them.
It was a pretty hot day here in Africa, so I’m sure that kept many of the animals hiding in the shade. We did manage to see wildebeest, zebras, Cape buffalo, giraffe, hippos, baboons, impalas and so many birds I lost count. It was a pretty nice introduction to the incredible bio-diversity that Africa has, and everyone enjoyed the day riding around in our safari vehicles.
We finished the day spending a few hours relaxing and exploring the grounds of our amazing lodge. Check it out for yourself.

We also celebrated another birthday here in Africa. This time it was for Sean McCroskey.
So a big happy 22nd birthday to him!

That’s all for now.
RMI Guide Casey Grom and the Safari crew

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Congrats all!! Maine says send more pictures :)

Posted by: Shannon on 1/18/2017 at 6:58 am

Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Finish Climb and Return to Arusha

Jambo everyone!

Yesterday we had a wonderful albeit long day climbing to the top of Africa.
We started shortly after midnight beneath a sky full of stars and climbed for a few hours before the moon came out to help light our way. As per usual we climbed in hour increments with 10-15 breaks in between. The weather was very calm allowing us to take our time and not feel too cold which we are thankful for. The climb took about 7 1/2 hrs to reach the crater rim, where we were greeted with a moderate cold wind, but also the warmth of the sun to keep it tolerable. Then came our final stretch over to the top of Kilimanjaro also called Uhuru peak. Once there, we had the place mostly to ourselves and we hugged each other, enjoyed the view and took plenty of pictures.
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, had a quick lunch, repacked and continued further down the mountain to our final camp on the mountain, where we had dinner and then headed to bed for some well deserved sleep.
Today we woke at 7am feeling good, had breakfast, then enjoyed a goodbye song and dance from our gracious crew of posters, cooks, and local guides numbering 46. 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 less odorous, 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

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Great blog Casey! Sure enjoyed the updates - - Thanks so much!  The smiles in the photo speak volumes.  2 thumbs up for RMI !

Posted by: Janet Rutter on 1/17/2017 at 5:36 pm

Thank you for the blog Casey. It’s been awesome to be able to take the journey with all of you day by day. Congratulations!! Enjoy the second leg of your incredible journey Catherine! Looking forward to seeing you soon! Xo

Posted by: Deborah Nicholson on 1/16/2017 at 6:03 pm

Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Summit!

RMI Guide Casey Grom and his entire team reached the top of Kilimanjaro this morning!  It was a long day and the team is safely back at camp.  They will be heading lower on the mountain soon.  We look forward to hearing from the team tomorrow.

Congratulations team!

On The Map

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Congratulations team!!! Ryan McLean, your team is super proud of you!

Posted by: Ashley Carson on 1/16/2017 at 9:17 am

Congratulations to the entire team! - especially Elaine, the most backwards-pantsed goofball that the mountain has ever seen!

Posted by: Alfred Cub on 1/15/2017 at 9:19 pm

Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Arrive at High Camp

Well we’ve finally arrived at Kilimanjaro’s High Camp!

It was a very short jump from Karanga camp up to Barafu camp, which is our launching point for the summit. The team did great and we arrived in just over three hours and shortly before some light snow started falling. I won’t mention any names, but one climber from Canada accidentally put their pants on backwards, which brought a little laughter this morning.
Everyone is currently relaxing or getting packed up for tonight’s climb to the highest point on the African continent.
This evening we’ll have a summit talk where we discuss the teams strategy for tomorrow and then it will be off to bed right after dinner to get a little sleep before starting to climb around midnight.

The team is celebrating John Ready’s 30th birthday today. Hopefully it’s one he’ll always remember!

Keep your fingers crossed for us, and there’s a chance, weather permitting, some of you back home might receive a satellite phone call from the summit. So keep your phones handy. My best guess is we’ll be on the summit around 8 am our time.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and the Kilimanjaro crew!

On The Map

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Congratulations on conquering the summit!!! Where are you now? News, group, we need an update on Catherine, Deborah and Kaki!!! Downhill is difficult, too, I understand. News please!

Posted by: Sharon Hostler on 1/15/2017 at 8:09 am

All the Best on your summit push to reach the top of Africa.
Have been watch your progress every day. Really cool. Right behind you on the next climb.

Posted by: Kim Gibson on 1/15/2017 at 6:16 am

Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team At Karanga Camp

Hello from Kilimanjaro:
Today the team did a fantastic job climbing the intimidating looking Barranco Wall. It was the technical hurdle of this expedition and everyone did great and I believe thoroughly enjoyed the challenge. Of course the porters made it look easy as they climbed the wall with their loads carefully balanced on their heads.
Once above the wall we took a well-deserved break to enjoy the views of the valleys below, but unfortunately the upper mountain was obscured by clouds. Nonetheless, the team climbed slow and steady as we made our way up and down a few ridges before finally arriving in camp for the remainder of the day.
Everyone is still enjoying the climb and are looking forward to heading to our high camp tomorrow where we will start our summit bid from.

That’s all for now.
RMI Guide Casey Grom and the Kilimanjaro crew

On The Map

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Good luck Catherine.  The summit awaits you!  All is well in Maine.

Posted by: Linda Morrison on 1/14/2017 at 6:37 am

Good luck, Elaine.  Belfry and Bartholomew send their best wishes for your night-time summit bid as well

Posted by: Steve on 1/13/2017 at 10:50 pm

Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Traverse to Barranco Valley

Hello once again everyone
We had another great day here in Africa with wonderful views of Kilimanjaro most of that day.
We left Shira camp and slowly climbed uphill before we started our traverse over to Barranco Valley passing through endless volcanic boulders that dot this desert like landscape and just below the remaining glaciers that cling to Kilimanjaro’s slopes.
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.

Everyone is doing very well and are looking forward to tomorrow’s climb up the Barranco wall witch sits just above camp.

That’s all for now.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and the Kilimanjaro crew!

On The Map

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Best wishes for your summit bid, Elaine!  (Casey: If she needs encouragement, get her to sing her hiking song).

Go Cougs!

Posted by: Steve on 1/13/2017 at 6:10 am

Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Cross the Shira Plateau

Hey, everybody this is Casey Grom checking in again from the Kilimanjaro climb. Wanted to let you know that we had another wonderful day here in Africa. We got up at about 7:00 and had a nice big breakfast of eggs and bacon and porridge and some toast. At 7:30, we washed that down with plenty of coffee and then tried to hit the trail right at 8:00. The camp we were in, the Mweka Camp, was a little bit crowded because it’s sort of a small spot, but we kind of got out ahead of a bunch of the teams. We slowly made our way up one of the ridges that leads up on top of what’s called the Shira Plateau. We gained about 2,500 feet and we took just a little over five hours to get up here. The team did incredible today and once again our our wonderful mountain staff and porters broke camp after we left and then passed us on the trail and then arrived at camp and had it all set up by the time we arrived up here. We just finished dinner and the clouds have just kind of blown off. Now we’ve got a beautiful view of the upper mountain as the sun has gone down. Everybody’s outside taking a look at all the beautiful stars that we can see right now. So that’s all for now. Everybody’s going to head to bed as it’s starting to chill down a little bit up here, and we’ll touch base again tomorrow. Thanks.

RMI Guide Casey Grom

RMI Guide Casey Grom checks in from Shira Camp.

On The Map

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Catherine Deb and Kaki— So glad to get the updates via the blog!  You’ve got this!  Get in some more photos!

Posted by: Linda Morrison on 1/12/2017 at 3:42 am

Jeff and Sean, hope you are having a great time. Is anything sore yet?

Posted by: Maureen McCroskey on 1/11/2017 at 7:06 pm

Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Start on the Trail

Jambo everybody! This is Casey Grom checking in from the Kilimanjaro climb. Just wanted to let you know that all is going really well. Today we left behind the comforts of a nice lodge and hopped in our vehicles and made about a two-hour drive up to the base of Kilimanjaro. Once we arrived at the gate, we had to unload all of our gear and then start off uphill. That all went pretty smoothly. After we started walking, we climbed for about six hours to a high point about 10,000’. On the way we were passing through dense and beautiful forests that surround the base of Kilimanjaro. Everyone did fantastic, spirits are high and we are excited to be here. We finally found the camp and just wrapped up dinner. The team is looking forward to a well-earned night of rest. We’ll check in tomorrow. We are hoping that we will have cellphone service up here so we can maybe get a few pictures out to you guys.

RMI Guide Casey Grom

On The Map

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Yo yo Catherine! Have you found any chaga on Kili yet?! 

Posted by: Kate & Mary on 1/10/2017 at 7:42 pm

Kilimanjaro: Grom & Team Meet at the Arumeru Lodge

Hello Everyone:
This is Casey Grom checking in on RMI’s first 2017 Kilimanjaro Climb and Safari.
All is well here in Tanzania. Most of the team arrived late last night after some very long flights and thankfully so did all of our luggage.
It was a short and uneventful ride to our Lodge that is a little oasis tucked in between Arusha and Moshi and not so far from the base of Kilimanjaro.
The team had a quick but wonderful dinner and called it a night.
Check out our accommodations, the Arumeru Lodge!
Today we had a leisurely morning and had our first official meeting at 10am where we did a round of introductions and then discussed the program for the days ahead.
We spent the remainder of the day getting our gear packed up, exploring the grounds of our Lodge, which is incredibly peaceful and has monkeys and Dik Dik running around.
We wrapped up the evening with another delicious meal and plenty of friendly conversations. Everyone is in good spirits and excited about hitting the trail tomorrow.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and the Kilimanjaro Crew

Leave a Comment For the Team (2)

Great adventure Jeff and Sean! Thank you Maureen for the updates, I will be sure to show Grandma Mac (mom) the photos when I get to the Beach Tomorrow. Truly enjoyable photos all the best Jeff and Sean! Cheers Todd

Posted by: Todd McCroskey on 1/13/2017 at 5:54 pm

Excited for you as we huddle in frigid NYC! Worried that we see no news yet of Tuesday the 10th. Hopefully you are sitting around camp at Machame Camp (9350). Hugs to you all!

Posted by: Sharon Hostler, Fran and Gerry Johnson on 1/10/2017 at 8:14 am

Kilimanjaro: Tucker & Team Enjoy Last Day on Safari & Depart Tanzania

We enjoyed more fine game viewing as we exited the park and our Safari guides continued to impress spotting out cats all over the place this morning. Things went as smooth as you could expect even on 4 wheel drive roads. Our great drivers and local support assisted us as we continued focusing on some of the things we do best, eating and shopping. After a quick stop at the Dik Dik Hotel to gather our climbing gear and have a quick dinner, it was off to the airport.  We said our good byes happy to be heading home but still smiling from our grand adventure. 
Happy October, it’s time to come up with my Halloween costume.
Until the next adventure.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

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