Entries from Kilimanjaro
September 9, 2016
Posted by: Mark Tucker
Stars at night climber’s delight. Clear below brought out the city lights of Moshi, the town we will drive through on our way back to the Dik Dik after the climb. Look up and it’s star gazing at its finest. A restful night for the whole team, with a later wake up call to give us the climb of the Barranco Wall without a lot of other climbers. A number of the team had a nice intro to some real rock scrambling. A fine job by one and all, not without a few gasps and grunts prior to topping out on what ended up being a highlight and lots of fun. The support team pulled off some impressive maneuvers, carrying supplies and equipment, on their heads to boot. Our local guides coached and protected on the more difficult sections. A bit more leisurely today compared to yesterday but no less beautiful. We arrived at Karanga Camp by early afternoon, and were quickly greeted by some steamy hot spaghetti to fill our tanks for the climb ahead. Carb load is on! The team continues doing very well.
On The Map
Go team Brooke and Trob and the wonderful group
This is a special time
Go for it and enjoy
Posted by: Joan Mike Megan John on 9/10/2016 at 9:27 am
This is amazing !!
What a beautiful view
You are on top of the world
Posted by: Joan Mike Megan John on 9/9/2016 at 7:07 pm
September 8, 2016
Posted by: Mark Tucker
You remember the feast of yesterday, add some sweet watermelon and that was the start of yet another clear sunny day. A bit breezy as we headed along a ridge for a good part of the day so the shorts people had to succumb to pants. The typical fantastic views all day as we climbed to well over 14,500ft before the descent into Barranco Camp. Camp is at about 13,000ft. The spectacular of tomorrow’s goal, the great Barranco Wall, looms over head. We are all settled in doing well. Aware of the challenges ahead, but as we say in Swahili, “Hakuna matata” (no problem) for this team.
On The Map
pasta bolognese on kilamanjaro !!
way to go Brooke , TRob and Team !!
Go team :~] !!
Posted by: joan megan john katherine mike on 9/9/2016 at 11:13 am
Go team, go!!!!!!! Hugs and kisses to Brooke and TRob
Posted by: Susie on 9/9/2016 at 6:55 am
September 7, 2016
Posted by: Mark Tucker
We enjoyed a wonderful breakfast of fresh fruit, bananas, oranges, passion fruit, pineapple, cheese and meat plate, French press dark roast Tanzanian coffee to go with toast, scrambled eggs and bacon, it’s a pretty great start to fuel us for the day. We left camp and started right into a steep uphill section with some loose rocks along the trail. We took our time and with a great staff and determined group of climbers we reached the Shira Camp at well over 12,000’. When we arrived our camp was set up and were quickly greeted by some steamy food, fresh salad, filet of beef, hot pasta, you get the picture, and that was lunch, not too bad. We are well taken care of. Now we are enjoying the spectacular scenery in all directions. The weather is great and tomorrow’s goal is in sight. All is well.
On The Map
Enjoy the beautiful journee
Posted by: Joan Mike Megan John on 9/8/2016 at 9:41 am
Brooke and Throb- I hope your having so much fun! Keep trucking! Love you guys
Posted by: Alison on 9/8/2016 at 8:21 am
September 6, 2016
Posted by: Mark Tucker
We left the Dik Dik Lodge after breakfast and made our way to the start of our climb from the Machame Gate (6000 ft). After obtaining our permits we set off, starting in overcast conditions that were very comfortable. Four thousand vertical feet in just under six hours brought us to Camp 1, also known as Machame Camp. Our fantastic local guides and staff had all tents ready to be invaded. After dinner and a most beautiful sunset, we were settling in for the night, knowing tomorrow will bring a full set of challenges. The sun may have gone down but the team’s excitement grew well into the night.
On The Map
Cookie and TRob
Keep climbing and enjoy!!
Posted by: Nancy Bento on 9/7/2016 at 5:56 am
Brooke and TRob and team
Wishing you the best of everything for your journee
Enjoy this special beautiful time
Posted by: Joan Mike Carol Eileen Andrea Katie on 9/6/2016 at 5:43 pm
We just received word that the one missing bag is getting picked up at the nearby airport and heading our way. The team is now complete! I encouraged the team to sleep in as best they could this morning, It sure helps with the jet lag we are all experiencing. Everyone followed orders and a leisurely morning it was. The afternoon was for preparation. The team assembled with a combination of enthusiasm and nerves. We spent a couple hours of meeting to channel both in the right direction, and to gain a solid understanding of what is to come. It’s also a chance to get to know everyone. We have a great collection of people for this journey to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. We spent the remainder of of our day sorting all of our gear getting ourselves ready to start our trek. We share the same staging area as our local support team, needless to say, it was a very busy place to be. It is an interesting process to see the making of a grand expedition from the start.
Breakfast call will be around 6:30 tomorrow followed by a few last minute details before we start our climb!
RMI Guide Mark Tucker & Team.
Anxiously awaiting updates and lots of pictures!
Posted by: Joan lyons on 9/5/2016 at 4:23 pm
Busy day. The team had coffee and tea brought around to Kikoti’s tent cabins a little before sunrise. Fortified with a great breakfast, we got right back into cruising the rough but beautiful roads of Tarangire National Park. Highlights were the family of head-tossing, trunk-swinging, ear-flapping elephants we encountered. Curiously, they were more animated and energized than any of the many families we saw. And we finished our tour on a highlight too, getting to watch up close as five lions followed an alpha female around as she decided what she might be hungry for. We could see her changing her mind from wildebeest to zebra to Impala to warthog. It all looked yummy to her. We left her and the pride undecided and hungry as we hit the road for Arusha and our return to the Dik Dik Hotel.
We got back through Arusha’s rush hour and road construction traffic at four. This left time for repacking and freshening up before one final excellent meal in the dining room. Then we said goodbye to the staff who’d taken exceptional care of us, and to our teammate Kathleen. She is staying on a week to do good works up by Lake Victoria. The rest of the gang got on board the bus for a ride out to the airport. We’re flying now… Dar Es Salaam…. Amsterdam…and onward. We’re all excited to be moving on, of course, but also a little reluctant to let go of this morning’s vision of a lion cub telling his mom to hurry up with the food shopping. It has been an incredible few weeks in Africa. Thanks for following.
RMI Guide Dave Hahn
Dave, thanks so much for making us all a part of this incredible journey. We’re getting Mary back in the states soon and we’re so excited to hear about her journey, and we are so greatfull to you and the guides for getting her here safe and sound. We also thank you for all the pictures you painted with your eloquent words. I’m sure it’s not easy to hike a mountain “hearding cats” so to speak, with all those people in tow, and still have the energy to sit down at the end of the day and find the amazing words to give those of us at home a chance to live vicariously through our family members. A genuine thanks to you and the RMI staff for hosting this site/blog for all of us back home!!
A pleasant journey home to all of the hikers. our daughter, Mary, I’m sure, will take a piece of all of you with her home in the form of memories that will last a lifetime.
With much appreciation and congratulations to all,
Bill and Kathy Harshbarger
Posted by: Bill and Kathy Harshbarger (Mary's Parents) on 9/3/2016 at 5:50 am
What an absolutely amazing journey for all of you. Thank you for taking care of each other and much appreciation to Dave for posting wonderfully detailed blogs that allowed the rest of us to cheer and follow from afar.
Jason—we’re so thrilled for you and anxious for your return. Safe travels. Love you.
Posted by: Jen (Jason's sister) on 9/2/2016 at 9:12 pm
Judging by the conversation over our evening campfire at Kikoti Safari Camp, this was a great day. The team recalled a fine night at the Plantation Lodge and a great start to the day there. We then drove a couple of hours to reach Tarangire National Park. We’d only been in the park boundaries for a few minutes when we got to watch a beautiful lioness clear a waterhole of a hundred zebras and wildebeest. She only had to take a step in their direction to get the herds running frantically and kicking up dust. She did this in a few directions, seemingly just to buy herself some space. We left her in charge and then went exploring, over Tarangire’s great savannah expanses, through forests of Boabab trees, across rivers and alongside vast swampland. We saw herd after herd of wildebeest and zebra. There were waterbucks and impalas and elan. There were elephants and giraffes and more lions. There were Cape buffalo and birds of great variety. There were Dik Diks and mongoose. And just when we thought we’d seen everything the park intended to show us for the day, Joseph -our driver and guide- made a typically astounding discovery of a beautiful leopard. None of us could understand how he’d seen her at the distance that he did. She was on a red-dirt termite mound next to the road and she permitted us to get fairly close, which was thrilling. When she moved off the mound, it turned out that she was minding a leopard cub. This final treat of the day made for a sensational finish. The “big five” completed at 5:50 PM. Sunset was at about 6:30 and not at all dull and boring either. We pulled into friendly and tranquil Kikoti Camp then and discovered yet another place we’d all like to spend more time in. Such things are on our minds now, of course, because we are running out of time. Tomorrow evening we’ll be jetting back to the world. But first, we’ll wake out in this wilderness and see just what we can find in a final morning on Safari.
RMI Guide Dave Hahn
Another awesome safari day and I’m thrilled you got to complete the Big 5 goal. Thank you for sharing your day with us.
Posted by: Jen (Jason's sister) on 9/2/2016 at 12:07 am
Never a dull moment with you, Dave! I have thoroughly enjoyed reading about your adventures on your climb and safari. Glad you got to add the last of the Big 5 to your list before the end of the trip!
Posted by: Susie Lambert on 9/1/2016 at 1:03 pm
The safari gets better and better. Today we were up early -before sunrise- for our visit to the Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area. It was cloudy and cool as we entered the gates and began the drive up to the crater rim. That rim was cloudier and colder still at 9000 ft above sea level. We stopped in to a Masai village where we got to watch (and join in) as the residents performed traditional songs and dances, made fire and showed us into their simple homes (made of sticks, dung and ash). The Masai are just one of Tanzania’s many distinct tribes, but they are prominent because they’ve held on to so many of their own customs and have largely stayed away from modern conveniences. We were impressed that the herdsmen protect themselves, their families and cattle herds with nothing more than spears. We were even more impressed a half hour after leaving the village when we got to see ten big lions down in the crater. Six females and four males, walking wherever they pleased… apparently without any worries or fears. The zebras and wildebeests wandering around them reacted sharply and obviously upon discovering so many kings and queens of the crater in one place. They seemed to be guarding a kill in the shrubs, driving off the odd hyena who came sniffing around. We were amazed at the vastness of the caldera floor and at the size of the herds of zebra, wildebeest, antelope and Cape buffalo that wandered about. Before long, we’d seen four of the “big five” (lion, elephant, rhino, Cape buffalo) and were looking hard for leopards to complete the set. No luck there today, but that didn’t phase anyone. We were enchanted with the setting for our picnic lunch, on the edge of a lake full of hippos, with a big bull elephant casually walking through without paying any attention to all of the Land Cruisers and tourists in the designated lunch spot.
The clouds cleared completely by mid-afternoon and things finally warmed up. That made the ride back up to the crater rim all the more memorable as we could then see the entire amazing valley.
We enjoyed an easy evening ride back to the Plantation Lodge. Cocktails out on the veranda were accompanied by lots of show and tell of the excellent pics taken today. Then it was time for a fine buffet dinner and some birthday cake in honor of both Tom and Tim.
The team is excited to move on to Tarrangire National Park tomorrow.
RMI Guide Dave Hahn & Team
Love hearing about your adventures. What memories you’ll have!
Posted by: Sue Rentschler(Jason's aunt) on 9/1/2016 at 4:53 am
What an amazing day all of you had! A combination of generosity from the tribe and generosity from the wildlife - both contributing to what must be (for all of you) great, memorable moments.
All so well deserved…enjoy, take tons of pictures (can’t wait to see/hear) and know how proud we are of you.
Posted by: Kathy and Denny Meyers (Jason's Mom and Dad) on 8/31/2016 at 3:35 pm
Switching gears… We walked hard every day for the last week. Today we rode around like royalty. We pulled out of the Dik Dik hotel by 9 AM and cruised in two modified Toyota Landcruisers through the outskirts of Arusha. Traffic thinned as we pushed westward toward Lake Manyara National Park. We spent a great afternoon seeing hippos, baboons, monkeys, flamingos, storks, giraffes, Cape buffalo and elephants… And of course a pair of Dik Diks… The smallest of the antelope family. Most thought the elephants were the highlight of the day, but they were nearly upstaged by whatever it was that we didn’t see. At one point, the monkeys were sounding alarms, the elephants were trumpeting and charging and we found fresh big cat tracks in the road. But we didn’t see the leopard or lion causing all the commotion. We looked, but were catless for safari day one. Beautiful day in a Tanzanian National Park though, and a fine evening relaxing at the luxurious Plantation Lodge. We already seem worlds away from our grubby Kili climbing days.
RMI Guide Dave Hahn
What an exciting day for you and the animals! Here’s to seeing a “Big Cat” tomorrow. Loving the pics and blogs.
Posted by: Jen (Jason's sister) on 8/30/2016 at 6:39 pm
Deborah Beggan and whole team,
Congratulations on your thrilling, bad ass climb!!! I am awed by your adventure!!!!! Enjoy a very Happy Anniversary and Safari with Tom!!
Love, Aunt Ginny
Posted by: Ginny Shaller on 8/30/2016 at 5:49 pm
August 28, 2016
Posted by: Dave Hahn
Summit Day! We had flat-out perfect weather for it, which is only what we would have expected after the past five splendid days. The pattern held… Sea of clouds far below, nothing whatsoever up high.
We were up at 11:30 and on the trail by 12:50 AM. By about 4 AM, we were wearing nearly everything we had. Although it was calm and clear, it was also COLD. Those of the team that looked up saw a snake of headlights working up Kibo, a fair number of shooting stars, the International Space Station, constellations and a crescent moon forming a smile on the horizon. Those that looked down saw a whole lot of trudging steps for the seven hours and ten minutes it took us to hit Uhuru… the highest point of Kibo, of Kilimanjaro, and of Africa. Sunrise caught us just before we reached the crater rim and was welcome for its beauty, but even more for its warmth. We spent about 25 happy minutes on top and got moving downward just before 8:30. The mountain was busy -as always- but we had no trouble with traffic jams on either the climb or descent. We were back to Barafu by 11:05 AM and sitting at the lunch table soon afterward. Then, much as we’d have enjoyed a good nap, it was time to pack and get out of Barafu. The team made good time on tricky trails and reached Mweka Camp by 4:15PM, having gotten rid of another 5,000 vertical feet in the process. We are back in tall heather after a couple of days in the alpine zone. All are figuring they’ve got a good chance of overcoming jet lag and altitude tonight to get a full night of well-earned sleep.
RMI Guide Dave Hahn
On The Map
How much time do your clients spend getting used to the altitude, before they can handle 20,000’?
Posted by: harold hahn on 8/29/2016 at 2:10 pm
Bravo pour cette belle expédition, l’atteinte du sommet et le plaisir de le faire. Nous avons bien hâte d’entendre le récit de vive voix
Posted by: Roger Brosseau on 8/29/2016 at 10:19 am