Alpine Ascents Kilimanjaro Winter 2003 Cybercast
Friday, February 28th, 2003. Arusha, Tanzania. Team III
Hello everybody, this is Allen giving you a call from Arusha Tanzania, and Team Kili Clan has arrived back at the Mountain Village after some fantastic days of safari travel. Mt apologies for missing the last couple of days, but as you all might know, having fun has never been easy, and it does take time and effort. We've had a great time, we've had great weather, we've climbed great mountains and we've seen many many great animals, we had fantastic safari guide's and what a splendid way to cap off the trip. I could probably sum up everything that we've all enjoyed here in there letter and that's Wow! What a great time.
Tonight we're off to Arusha to go into town, we're about 5 km outside of town, more specifically. We're going to head into town and enjoy some good food and celebrate our last night together here. It's going to be a good time abut it's also going to be a sad time and folks in this crowd have truly come together to form an exceptional and tight-knit group of friends here and I should hope that we all come together again some time from the corners of our country. We've got Tampa Bay Florida, we've got Seattle, Washington Sand Diego California, we've also got North Conway New Hampshire, and then somewhere centrally located, we would say that Dave should be the mayor of Kansas City. He has handed out over 500 Kansas City Missouri, heart-shaped sticker emblems to go on the shirts of just about everybody he's met. I know myself I've probably got about five of 'em stuck through various articles of clothing that I will be picking out of the laundry probably for months to come. (laughter)
Anyway, we're having a great time, we've had a great time and I think tonight we're going to cap it off in that tradition. I want everybody to know that we're heading out of Arusha tomorrow, myself included at about 3pm. We expect to arrive in Nairobi around7 or 8pm and we'll be on our 11:00 flights out of the country. So you can look forward to seeing your friends and family members who have been a part of this wonderful expedition, you can expect to see them home in the next couple of days. So wait patiently for all the group photos that are going to come from this trip. For now, this is Allen with the Kili Clan.
Tuesday, February 25th, 2003. Arusha, Tanzania. Team III
Hello everybody this is Allen with the Kili Clan calling in to let you know we all made it off the mountain safely. And what we want to do here, in following a tradition on some of my trips, I want to pass the phone around let folks say hello to friends and family and I think some of them are even going to share their most memorable moment on the mountain. So I'm going to start the phone off by passing it to Steve here, so here we go...
"This is Steve for Steve and Kelley. Hello to all of our friends, family and coworkers in the northwest and to Tim, Gina, Caitlin and Griffin in DC. My favorite moment was dawn on the crater rim when we knew we were all going to get to the summit and Kelly's was scaling the Barranco Wall, I'll pass the phone on to Gayle."
"Hi this is Gayle, hello to everybody back at home. I don't have a particular memorable moment it's more like a 24/7, and it was the kindness and generosity of all of the other climbers on the trip that helped me get to the top of the mountain and I really appreciate it."
"Hi this is Gary and we are all down safely with no major injuries and I think that my most favorite moment on the mountain was as Steve said was probably 2 or 3 hundred yards short of the summit where the dream meets the reality you know that you're going to make it and you get a second wind to keep on going. Dave I'll pass the phone to you."
"This is Dave, my favorite moment has been the entire adventure, which still goes on, and the real privilege of being with one great bunch of people I really have had some good friendships."
"Hi this is Al and Linda, living the dream here in East Africa. Probably the most memorable moment similarly was the sunrise at Stella Point. I would like to say hello and thanks to Elaine and Jeff for leading the way. Also hi to Kyle and his fifth grade class in MA, and I'm happy to report that Harry the Hippo made it to the top, the Roof of Africa."
"Hello this is Rich, hi Stacy, Jake, Caroline, Ryan, family, friends and Team Élan (?). My most memorable moment personally was definitely, 2-300 yards below Stella Point, was when we looked to the left and could see the glacier eye to eye. That thing was teasing us all night long, it was horrible, but we finally made it and as I looked over my right shoulder, Gary and I said 'It's about sunrise' and at that point we knew we were about there, I just had an incredible surge of energy, and then as a group, the cool thing was as we approached Uhuru Point, the highest point, all of us waited until the entire Clan was together and then we made it to the point and took some pictures. That was really cool too. This is a great group of people, we've had a great time and I knew that altitude sickness was setting in when they all laughed at my jokes. We look forward to the safari."
"Hello this is Andy speaking on behalf of Andy and Vicki, and just wanted to tell everyone at home that this was just a wonderful experience, and to let everyone know that this was the definitely one of the most physically and emotionally exhausting things you could ever do. To anyone who knows Vicki, you would be proud of her, she was wonderful up there, she showed her resolve and how hard she worked to get to the summit, and getting to the summit with her just yesterday was a wonderful experience and look forward to seeing you guys at home, bye bye.
Hi this is Mike and my most memorable moment took place at about 3am, we were heading up towards the summit in an incredible wind, maybe two hundred miles an hour, I don't know maybe even more. For every two steps forward we were pushed back one step. (unintelligible) climbed up a vertical rock pillar. I think that (unintelligible) actually, she had her backpack on and everything, she was on this pillar and gave such an inspirational speech to us all, something like 'Come on guys you can do it, I didn't come all the way to Africa to climb Kilimanjaro how she made it heard in all that wind I'll never know. But after her speech, once we all wiped the tears from our eyes, we all found renewed strength and continued on to the top and made it." (Laughter and applause)
Monday, February 24th, 2003. Uhuru Point, Tanzania. Team III
Hello everybody this is Allen with the Kilimanjaro Clan calling from the top of Africa! Yes we had a great showing here today on Kilimanjaro We had 11 people reach the top and I include myself in that because, well despite popular myth, mountain guides are people too, at least that's what my veterinarian tells me. So David hung back at camp, and that's probably a good thing, he probably dug as deep as anyone trying to get to high camp, and I think he made a real responsible call looking out for his best interests and the team. So we would like to dedicate this climb to David who is really our spiritual leader on the trip, seeing this guy give it all he had every day was very inspiring for us to reach the top. And we did that in good style.
We were actually on the crater rim right at Stella Point about five minutes before the sun broke over the horizon and that was one of our goals to see the sunrise from Stella Point, and we did that. Up here we've got great views of the faraway mountains, far far ff in the distance some beautiful low clouds down beneath us. It's looking like it;s going to be another beautiful day for our hike out.
I would like to take just a second to congratulate our team members here, there wasn't one person on this team who didn't really dig deep and tried to find something inside themselves that they never knew existed I think people really discovered a lot about what climbing is and about what it is to set goals and then slowly chip away at those goals until you've achieved them. Our team definitely showed a lot of fortitude and for that I salute them wholeheartedly, they really made the last climb of my season a memorable one.
So that's about it for now gang, what we're going to do is head down to some thick air at the Mweka Camp after we descend the mountain and we're going to give you a call later on this evening just to let you know that we are at that camp, safe and sound, relaxing and reminiscing about a summit that's going to look a long ways away when we get down there, but in time it was just a day away as they say. So for now this is Allen wishing you all well and stay tuned for this evening's call, and we'll do our Most Memorable Moment as I have sort of this tradition of asking the expedition members to share with our followers their most memorable moments on the mountain. So we'll talk to you later this evening folks, thanks for following.
Sunday, February 23rd, 2003. Cosolo Camp, Tanzania. Team III
Hello everybody this is Allen giving you a call from Kilimanjaro. Yes indeed The Kili Clan did reach high camp to day, we're at a camp know as Cosolo Camp, slightly higher than the usual high camp Barafu. We had another beautiful day of weather here on the mountain. Although late in the afternoon some moderately strong winds seemed to come through Camp once in a while, but they didn't pose much of a challenge or too much excitement for us. Everybody's acclimatizing real well. We're planning on getting up at about 11pm tomorrow and will be making our summit attempt shortly thereafter. We're hoping to have a good show tomorrow and get everybody to the top. It does sound like one person has might have reached their high point and that's unfortunate but we've got to give David all the credit in the world for chugging along this far, he's really been an inspiration for everybody. So everybody wishes friends and family back home a warm hello and we will report tomorrow morning from the summit I hope, weather permitting, otherwise we'll give you a call back when we reach Mweka Camp. So from 15,100 feet or so this is Allen with the Kili Clan signing off until tomorrow.
Saturday, February 22nd, 2003. Karanga Camp, Tanzania. Team III
Hello everybody it is February 22nd and this is Allen Carbert giving you a call from Karanga Camp, we just arrived in Camp. Today was a good day, we have really been fortunate with weather. Beautiful sunset last night, starry skies in the nighttime. Today we started our hike with lots of sunscreen on and real pleasant temperatures. Right now though I do see the clouds starting to creep up the valley, which is a pretty predictable weather pattern here on the mountain, it seems that every afternoon we get a little cloud cover and then in the evenings it breaks up and by the time the sun sets everything is back to beautiful conditions.
People are acclimatizing real well on the whole trip, and with a group of 11 people that's a pretty amazing thing. I think it speaks highly of our acclimatization schedule on the mountain and if I might put in a few words for myself I think it speaks highly of my excellent care taking if I might put a feather in my own cap. (laughter) We're chugging along. Tomorrow we're going to head up to our High Camp, Barafu Camp where our number one local guide is saying that we'll camp at, which is high enough that well get to the summit for sure. I'm optimistic that we're going to have a real good showing come summit day. We'll make sure we give you a call from our high camp and I'll be sure top let you know how everybody is doing. For now our best wishes to our friends and family back home in the states and in Canada, and we all hope for a peaceful world and we that when we come back home that everybody will be waiting to listen to tall tales of when we were on the mountain and will sit through lots of pictures because we are taking a lot of pictures on the trip. That's it gang, this is Allen Carbert signing out and I'll talk to you tomorrow.
Friday, February 21st, 2003. Baranco Camp, Tanzania. Team III
Hello everybody this is Allen with Kilimanjaro Clan, here at Baranco Camp. We had a long day getting in here, oh six and a half hours or something like that, but we had great weather (Thanks Gayle from the sunshine state). We're standing outside of our dining tent, we just finished up dinner which was very good. And we're seeing Kilimanjaro sneak out from some thick clouds, just sort of teasing us right now. We're really psyched up we're looking at the Baranco Wall, looming off in the distance, and we're geared up, everybody's acclimatizing real well, and we're having more fun than we should be allowed to have. So following with last night's theme, I'm going to pass the phone around and let this exceptionally cyberblastic enthusiastic group of people say hello to their friends and family back home in the states and in Canada possibly. Cheers until next time.
"Hi this is Gary Bacon I wanted to say hi to my wonderful girlfriend, and my parents and family and friends and most particularly to my former boss Bill, who is helping me finance this trip when he bet me that I couldn't climb it."
"Hi this is Al and Linda calling from the side of Kilimanjaro, we're just here living a dream, having a wonderful time with a wonderful bunch of people, and I'd like to say hi to my Mom in Gloucester, and Mike and Sandy in Monroe, LA."
"Hi this is Kelley calling for Steve and Kelley. And I wanted to say hi to Katy and I wanted to let Katy know that I was okay. And I wanted to say hi to Dylan, and my Dad, Larry, and to Suzanne, and everything's just fine and I can't wait to share theses experiences with you when we get home. So thank you Suzanne for being so good and taking care of Kate, and I hope all is well, Love Kelley."
"Hi this is Gayle again calling, all is well. I'd like to say hello to my brother and his wife, and to my two nephews Stephen and Timothy and my niece Jennifer. So see you all soon."
"Hi everyone this is Vicki and Andy, we just wanted to say hello to our families and friends. It's been an interesting three days, we're with a great group of people and we have great guides. Andy's doing great, and I'm doing very good with the help of Excedrin, my new best friend. But two more days to the summit and we know we'll get there and we'll be home soon enough, take care."
"Eric Cowan calling to Toronto. First to Liz to thank her for her packing job on those incredible daily snacks. And then to my grandson, Jack in Ottowa, Gumbo Jumbo Bowa!(?)
There you have it folks a sentimental moment from everyone in the group huh? We'll talk to you tomorrow from Karanga Camp, until then, have a good day.
Thursday, February 20th, 2003. Shira Camp, Tanzania. Team III
Hello everybody this is Allen giving you a call from the "Kili Clan" from Shira Camp on Kilimanjaro. We had a good day today moving up from Machame Camp beautiful sunshine, thank you Gayle from the Sunshine State. And we're having a spectacular evening stargazing. That's all I'm going to say on this phone call because we've got some other people here who are looking forward sending their hellos and warm wishes etc, back to all of you in cyberland. So I'm going to pass the phone around and we will talk with you all later tomorrow. First of all we're going to start off with Richard who has a very very important message:
"Hello Stacy, Jake, Caroline, and Brian, this is husband and Dad. Stacy first of all I wanted to wish you a very Happy Birthday, wish I was there, though I'm happy to be here, we made up for it before I left and we'll make up for it when I'm back I'm sure, but we're having a great time, we'll talk to you soon, love you bye."
"Hello this is Gayle calling. Saying hello to Woody, Mom and Dad and friends and everything's fine. Talk to you later."
"Hello this is Dave. Hello daughter Jacqueline, Love you. I wish you could be here and have the fun I'm having and I want to make sure I send hello to all my good friends and neighbors back home."
"Hello this is Andy calling on behalf of Vicki and Andy, and just kicking ass and looking forward to getting to the top and hello to everyone back home."
"This is Steve calling for Steve and Kelley. Hi Dylan and Katy, Katy good luck ski racing this weekend, Dylan this is just a fantastic place, you're going to have to get here one of these days. Everything's going great, Hi Mom, I hope you're feeling better. Hi to everybody at Platt/Irwin, and everybody else, take it easy."
Okay gang so that's it from half of our expedition, from the Kili Clan, the other half is already in their sleeping bags if you can believe it, it's a little bit chilly out here but the next time we pass the phone around we'll be sure to have them send hellos back to all of you. So for now and until later, this is Allen signing off, cheers.
Wednesday, February 19th, 2003. Machame Camp, Tanzania. Team III
Hello everybody this is Allen with the Alpine Ascents Team calling you from Machame Camp. The whole team of 12, myself included, arrived late this afternoon about 5:30 maybe 6:00after a long hike up a steep muddy trail. But we did have lots of sunshine, and we want to thank Gayle Whatley for that. Gayle being from Tampa, Florida and the sunshine state, managed to bring the bright orb with her and it was really a beautiful treat today. The excitement for the day might include a couple of monkeys running across the trail in plain view, that was pretty cool. Beautiful views of the mountain were available to us at camp here, and also on our drive from Arusha to the Machame trailhead.
Camp is a little crowded here tonight, we've got probably five other parties from all over the world camped around us, it's a good night with beautiful stars and everybody seems to be going to bed after their big hike up here, we expect it to be a pretty quiet evening, so some of us can get some much needed sleep. Understand that many of the members of this group have traveled over half way across the world and then taken a bus ride from Nairobi to Arusha after only one night's rest and were still recovering from a little bit of jet lag. Being that it is early at night now, about 8:30 and we're not going to get up tomorrow until 6:30 or so, people should be able to catch up a little bit with their sleep, so that's good. The sun is down but the moon is not yet up, so we've got clear skies and several of us are star gazing.
The team's working on deciding on a name, we want to pick a good one, we've got a few names out on the table as options, and I think that will be reported to you guys tomorrow, so stay tuned for that, we've got some good options, but we're just trying to find the best one which is in fine character with everything that this trip is all about, doing things the best way.
This evening at dinner we talked a little bit about acclimatization, we talked a little bit about what to expect for tomorrow. Early this afternoon I pulled out a map and we're looking at the route in day-today sections and trying to understand a little about mountain topography and things like that. Today on our climb I also managed to throw in a little bit about biomechanics and proper exercise, using our ski poles efficiently, just cover the bases to make sue that we're able to get to the top in fine form. We're looking forward to ending it with another great climb.
The team is doing great, people are in good spirits and having tons of fun and that's what it's really all about. Gayle from Fl, Andy and Vicki are doing great, Richard is doing fine and he's keeping David in line, which is no easy task, David at 72, he's a Wiley character so we have to put someone on board with him to keep him from doing too many back flips. We've got Gary Bacon with us who I've had the good pleasure of meeting up in Alaska at our mountaineering school. We've also got Al and Linda with us who climbed with me in Mexico, they're a real treat to have along. We also have with us Steve and Kelley, now they're from my neck of the woods, Washington State, and it's kind of neat reminiscing about some of our favorite areas to go run around in. Eric is from Canada, he's keeping me on my toes that's for sure, he's a sharp character and a quick thinker, so when I start babbling too much, he cuts me off and he looks like he's about ready to do that right now in fact.
We just want to let everyone now that we're having tons of fun so far, and we're all looking forward to Shira Camp tomorrow. Being a little shorter day we'll relax, hopefully in the sunshine again. Stay tuned for more fun and excitement from Shira Camp tomorrow. For now farewell, wishing you all the best from Kilimanjaro, the Roof of Africa. Cheers everybody, bye.
Tuesday, February 18th, 2003. Arusha, Tanzania. Team III
Hello Everybody! This is Allen Carbert giving you a call from Arusha Tanzania, and the third Alpine Ascents trip has arrived. We've got a group of 11 people to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro and I'm going to lead 'em to the top. Everybody made it today with all their luggage etc. everybody is in good health and good spirits. We did a quick equipment check this afternoon making sure we have all the toys necessary to safely climb this mountain and everybody did. After that we had a brief meeting here in the beautiful lobby of the Mountain Village, talking about high altitude physiology, the logistics of the climb that lay ahead, typical menu plans, typical weather patterns. Ah yes and let us not forget the safari which is truly the highlight of so many of our adventures here in Africa, the wild wild lands of East Africa.
Tomorrow we depart here at 8:00 in the morning, our bags packed, our boots on and we're going to head uphill. With all that information in mind gang, I want you to stay tuned for the rest of this trip as our climb unfolds. Everybody sends their warm hellos back to family and friends, encouraging them to monitor the cybercast every single day because they'll be so full of fun and excitement. I'll be sure to pass the phone around on a couple of occasions so our expedition team members can say hello to their family and friends back home. So stay tuned gang, it only gets better from here. For now this is Allen, February 18th, 2003 bidding you farewell.
Saturday, January 4th, 2003. Arusha, Tanzania. Team II
Hey everybody this is Allen giving you a call from Arusha Tanzania. Well this is it, the last day for the Team that Santa Forgot, as this is our last day we spent together, right now we are enjoying a nice lunch outside and saying our farewells. Kelly, Amanda, Ken, Charles and Jim all had a great time, as you all know we reached the summit successfully and in really good style. Safari was fantastic, we were able to see probably all of the animals that you would hope to see less the ever-elusive leopard. We did see an impala pulled up a tree, approximately 20 feet, the impala was laying across a tree branch, so obviously a leopard had been around and was able to drag this 100 pound animal up the tree 20 feet. So even though we didn't see a leopard, seeing the evidence of the leopard was a treat.
Some of us today enjoyed the facilities here at the Mt. Village. We took a tour of the coffee plantations, doing another canoe ride on the lake, which is really enjoyable, and a couple of us even went in for
A couple of people are staying an extra day in Nairobi, and we made reservations for them at the Carnivore, so they're going to enjoy some wild game for dinner tonight, while the rest of the crew takes here some time about 11:00 this evening. That said, I think we've had a very enjoyable trip, everybody is in good health and in good spirits and I just want you all to tune in on the next expedition I will be working on, which will be in February. But in the meanwhile, I will be moving off to climb Mt. Kenya, the Western Breach Route on Kilimanjaro, and touring some of the nice places here in Tanzania such as Zanzibar and The Serengeti. So as you can see, yeah I am having a rough life here in Africa. For now and until later this is Allen bidding you all farewell.
Tuesday, December 31st, 2002. Arusha, Tanzania. Team II
Hello everybody, this is Allen, giving you a call from the Mountain Village, near Arusha Tanzania. Well everybody made it down the mountain safely. The new Mweka descent route, well it's the old route, but newly renovated. It is in good condition now, and it facilitated a quick and easy descent from the mountain. This afternoon four of us enjoyed a fantastic canoe ride across the lake here at the Mountain Village. It's actually a lake formed in a Caldera, a collapsed volcano, so it's a very deep lake. We paddled near the shoreline and were able to see monitor lizards on some trees nearby, we saw some kingfishers, we saw fish eagles, egrets, the list goes on, it was a fantastic adventure. Off in the distance we could see Mt. Meru kind of with some clouds dancing around it, truly a wonderful afternoon. A couple of us opted to hang out at the mountain Village, one of us decided to get the massage here, which is a great treat after the end of a long climb, and the other decided to hang out and watch some of the New Year's Eve festivities including some dancing and some acrobatic acts.
So we're having a great time here after coming off the mountain, we're awaiting safari tomorrow, but I wanted to call in and let everyone know what a fantastic afternoon we've had, resting, recuperating, enjoying some good lunch food and the canoe ride was actually a wonderful experience. If there are any people out there who are interested in birds and plant life, the canoe ride in the Lake is just fantastic. SO it's great that the Mweka route is reopened, because it gives us a little more time to relax and enjoy our afternoons here at the Mountain Village. So that said, tomorrow w start our safari.
I want to let everybody know that I have a suggestion: "If anyone is trying to come up with a new year's resolution, it ought to be to come to Kilimanjaro. To do a safari. To take an hour or two out on a canoe and enjoy the lake. The birds, the sounds that they make, the numbers. It's fascinating, I have to say it was truly a great afternoon. If you're looking for a New Year's resolution, let it be: Come to Mount Kilimanjaro, enjoy a safari, enjoy a canoe ride and do it with Alpine Ascents. So for now this is Allen checking out with you all, cheers.
Monday, December 30th, 2002. Baranco Camp, Tanzania. Team II
Hello everybody, this is Allen calling from Mt. Kilimanjaro on December 30th with the Team that Santa Forgot. Well we've come to the realization that Santa didn't really forget us it just took us 7 days to unwrap the present. And that gift was: all of us standing on top of Kilimanjaro. So we had a successful summit climb, we encountered some snow, some wind, made it a real full-on experience for us all. That said, I'm just going to take this opportunity to pass the phone around to everybody, and let them share with you, their most memorable moments on the mountain:
Hello this is Kelly, memorable moments: A. I can't believe I made it to the top, there were several times I really didn't think I was going to, we have an excellent guide and he is the one who got me there. And actually my favorite part of it was seeing the glaciers, they are quite incredible I can't believe it, that was something I really wanted to see. And they were spectacular. That was my favorite part of the trip, so far and we have many more enjoyable days ahead. Saying hi to everybody at home, and if you get a chance in life you should do this trip, bye.
Hi this is Amanda, the first thing I would like to say is Holy elevation Batman! That was just ridiculous how much effort it takes to do anything at that kind of elevation. But my favorite part of the trip, even though it was the hardest for me, was the last part before the summit. That was very hard, but all the snow made it gorgeous, especially since I live in a place that doesn't get snow. But I hope that family and friends are all doing well in the South and I will see you soon, bye.
Hello this is Jim McGough, reporting from Kilimanjaro. My most memorable moment, was actually laying eyes on the sign that said that I am on the roof of Africa, the highest point on this continent. I guess as most of you know, my friends and family, that I am a guy that's a businessman at heart; to have a vision, to have a strategy to achieve that vision, and to knock off Kilimanjaro, you know it's just a most amazing moment because I was looking at that sign, so I'll send photos everyone when I get back. But I hope all are having a great holiday season, I look forward to seeing you in January. God bless.
Hey, this is Charles Choi, calling from Kilimanjaro. My memorable moment was that I lagged on the summit and my dream is to lag on all the seven summits in the world. And I hope that everybody is healthy and I hope to see you all later, bye.
Hi this is Ken, the summit today was awesome, it was a great personal achievement to reach the peak. I had a little problem at around 17,000 feet, some sort of cerebral edema, I'm told, so I was a little bit loopy, and of course many of you have already seen me in that state before so you would understand. But it was really awesome, very challenging, very difficult but well worth it in the end. So I just wish everyone a happy new year and I'll see everybody soon.
Well there you have it folks, the latest and greatest from the team that Santa Forgot. Tomorrow we'll end our climb by hiking down the newly renovated Mweka Trail, it has only been open a week, and from what we've seen of it so far today, it looks like a great exit out. For those of you who might be looking back on this cybercast and thinking of past trips where we had to go out the Rau Camp, well it's a completely different experience now, and it's very, very nice, it's much better than it has been. So that's it for now, stay tuned for our updates while we're on on safari and we'll let you know what kind of animals we're feeding Charles to. Bye bye. (Laughter in the background)
Sunday, December 29th, 2002. Barafu Camp, Tanzania. Team II
Hey everybody, this is Allen calling from Kilimanjaro with the Team that Santa Forgot. We're at Barafu Camp, this is going to be where we make our summit bid starting at about midnight later on. Everybody's doing pretty good. A little bit of snow falling up here, but that said, we have great visibility down to the valley below and the village of Moshi. The Weather is favorable. We saw a lot of people come down from the summit today all in good spirits. Our team is doing great, Charles is running around taking photos, we've got Ken who's just getting real psyched, he's ready to go to the summit right now it looks like. Jim is doing some diagrams, he's testing some high performance, high altitude oxygen intake systems for Audi, so all you guys back at the Audi plant be aware that he is going to come back with some high powered engineering improvements. Amanda is doing very, very well, bright smile, blue eyes, she's loving life up here, I think she's going to be a mountain guide here in the next year or so. Kelly she's doing good, she's in her tent getting a little bit of rest, preparing for tomorrow's summit bid.
Our plan is to wake up about 10:00pm, and take about an hour and a half to two hours to get ready and around midnight we want to be rocking and rolling towards the top. We're all looking forward to a great summit morning. The weather has been improving. Last night just after I called in, we had probably one of the most beautiful sunsets any of us has ever seen. We all took numerous photos, the sun was setting behind Mt. Meru, and just a beautiful contrast, the dark mountain sitting in front of the beautiful reds and orange colors of the sun going down over the horizon, so it was a spectacular evening. This morning we woke up and it was again very beautiful, clear skies, we had frost on the grass all around the camp, which had a real nice effect. So we're enjoying the inherent beauty of Kilimanjaro and tomorrow we will enjoy the summit.
We'll give you a call from the summit, providing that the winds allow us to use the phone. If it's too windy, obviously that's about all you hear coming through the mouthpiece. So if that's the case we'll give you a call when we get back to high camp and let you all know that we made it down safely and we'll pass the phone around then and let people tell you a little bit about what their summit experience was like. What do you say to that Charles? Charles says right on, two thumbs up from Charles. So for now, gang, this is Allen with the Team Santa Forgot and we are jazzed. And we're also making some pretty heavy plans for New Year's back at the Mountain Village, but I don't think we're going to let you all know what that's all about, that's just for the privileged few. So anyway we wish you all well, stay tuned for tomorrow's update, bye bye.
Saturday, December 28th, 2002. Karanga Camp, Tanzania. Team II
Hey everybody this is Allen calling you from Kilimanjaro with The Team that Santa Forgot. We're at Karanga Camp right now enjoying some beautiful views. We can see the village of Moshi, we can see Mt. Meru and most importantly we can see our objective, Kilimanjaro. Looking up at the southern ice fields from Camp, just a spectacular evening. We're just sitting down now to enjoy some dinner. I guess the highlight of the day might actually have been last night. We had our first wildlife encounter, not even on safari yet. We had a wild mouse in Amanda & Kelly's tent. Yes it had teeth that could bite and claws that could snatch. Despite their panic, I remained calm and cool in my a-one mountain guide typical form, and evicted the mouse from their tent, no bloodshed, no nothing, it was a pretty smooth operation. I think Kelly is still a bit traumatized, but we're working on her.
So the group is in great form, we're all acclimatizing really well. We've actually got a couple of maps out, one of Tanzania, and the other map of the mountain itself, we're taking some time to identify some of the landmarks, some huge lakes out in the distance, so we've found the names of those lakes, we've seen some game conservation areas, we're identifying some rivers. I guess another highlight of today, which I've just been reminded, was climbing of the 1,000 vertical feet of the Great Baranco Wall. We did this in great style (What else would you expect eh?) it probably took us about an hour and a half, no more than that which is really good time, and the rock was wet, a little bit slippery, but we went up it without hesitation. So we were happy to have done that.
So our Camp right now is actually called Karanga Camp, but we're out of the valley of the Karanga River. So we can look down into the valley, see where some other folks are camping, and see the tributaries of the Karanga River which runs right down the mountainside towards the village of Moshi. So that said gang, we're going to pass the phone around a little bit later on, maybe tomorrow morning and let everybody talk a bit to their friends and family back home, but right now we've got some hot soup waiting for us, and I'm outside in the cold and I anxious to dive into it as well. Wish you all well form Kilimanjaro, stay tuned, tomorrow's call will come to you from Barafu Camp, our high camp for our summit climb, bye bye.
Friday, December 27th, 2002. Baranco Camp, Tanzania. Team II
Hello everybody, it is Friday December 27th and this is AC calling you from Baranco Camp, with "The Team that Santa Forgot". Well that might not be absolutely correct, Santa Claus did not forget us, he could not get to us. You understand that there is a no-fly zone over Baghdad, when you're in the Iraq area and his flight path from the North Pole to Arusha was obstructed by that. But we are hopeful that when we reach the summit of Kilimanjaro we can make arrangements for a high-altitude Santa Claus air drop, it's all in the works and we'll keep you posted as to how that goes on summit day. So for now everybody is in great shape, the team is acclimatizing very well and the we're putting in some long days. You might remember the weather that I was able to enjoy on the last expedition, well that's nothing more than a pleasant memory right now, because we are dealing with a significant amount of rainfall throughout most of the day.
The typical weather patterns that one might see on Kilimajaro, having clear skies in the morning with just a little rain in the afternoon, then again clearing at night, that just hasn't seemed to evolve. So we're slogging along in sometimes ankle deep mud, and dealing with some rain and some poor visibility. But I tell you what, when you have poor visibility, you tend to look at the terrain that's a little nearer to you, you tend to note the flowers, the lichen on the rocks, you hear the waterfalls and stuff like that. When you have beautiful weather it seems that people are more drawn to looking at the mountain and while that's all fine and dandy, we are still able to make the best of the small things that we see in front of us.
I am standing outside right now with also limited visibility, we can't see the mountain a the moment, we did have some great views of the Arrow Glacier and the Western Breach, Lava Tower, etc. But I am no more than 300 meters away from Baranco Wall right now and I can't see a thing. We just finished dinner, we had a good mincemeat goulash, with some fried bananas for dessert, some fresh green peas, fresh carrots. Everybody is in good spirits, as I said, and I just want to emphasize the fact that we all send our best wishes back home to those who are following our travels. So for now that's about it gang, we'll be giving you a call tomorrow from Karanga Camp, letting you know just how we're doing and would somebody please pay the weather bill? We're working way too hard to not get a little bit more sunshine, so we're hoping that Mother Nature will at least extend us some credit for the next several days. So for now this is The Team that Santa Forgot, cheers to everybody, bye bye.
Saturday, December 21st, 2002. Arusha, Tanzania.
Hello everybody, this is Allen Carbert calling you live from Arusha, Africa. The last team member of "Team Cadillac" has just departed for home. Marking the end of a successful expedition. An all around outstanding experience for all expedition team members, guide staff and porters included.
As you recall, we had 100% summit success. Summitting the mountain, Kilimanjaro in perfect style all together as a group and descending in identical fashion, setting a new standard for the context of teamwork. On this climb we generally had good weather and zero incidents of altitude problems. This was a special trip, filled with laughs, good times and great people.
For the members who will be reading, this last cybercast, I just want to ask you to recall our tea break on the summit crater just as the sun was rising over the horizon. Remember what you saw and how you felt; recall that it truly was the experience of a lifetime.
For now this is Allen Carbert wishing you all a safe, happy holiday season and please stay tuned as Alpine Ascents begins its second expedition on the mountain. This season, our first day on the mountain at the Machame camp will be Christmas day. So to everyone back in the United States and all over the world have a safe and happy holiday season.
Thursday, December 19th, 2002. Tarangire Sopa, Tanzania.
Hello this is Garrett Ehrke with Alpine Ascents talking to you from the Sopa Tarangire Lodge in Tarangire National Park in Tanzania, Africa. Yesterday morning we enjoyed a safari in Ngorongoro Crater. It was an amazing spectacle. It was kind of like Noah's ark with all the animals living amongst each other. The highlight was seeing lions so close we could hear them breathing. One actually walked by so close to my vehicle I could have petted it, but I didn't want to give Allen a heart attack but he almost did himself, because he was leaning over the driver by the steering wheel and he almost hit the horn which would have scared the lion away which would have ticked off about 5 other vehicles because there was that many of us watching the lion. We also saw lots of zebras, wildebeests, cape buffalo, baboons, gazelles, and elephants. We saw a few hyenas, jackals and a bunch of birds plus rhinos and hippos. We had a picnic lunch amongst a pack of zebras by the car and we drove a couple of hours through the beautiful Tanzanian countryside. (Transmission ends)
Wednesday, December 18th, 2002. Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania.
Hello everybody this is Allen giving you a call from the Crater Rim of the Ngorongoro Crater. We just watched the sun go down and a beautiful sunset it was. I want to start this cybercast off by sending a very sincere thanks to the Alpine Ascents Office Staff and our travel agent Adele Bailey for being persistent in working with the airlines to change Angelina Trujillo's plane ticket. her participation in the rest of the trip is adding so much to the group and we owe that possibility to those folks who were able to change the ticket.
Today we spent our day traveling through Lake Manyara and the surrounding I guess you would say rain forest, to some extent. We saw oh probably a dozen elephants and a water buffalo, we saw giraffes, warthogs, zebras, numerous birds, just a spectacular day on safari. We ended the evening with a visit to a Masai village and I got to meet who I know consider to be a good friend of mine Heluis who is the chief of the village and he always welcomes the Alpine Ascents groups with open arms. We got to tour some of their houses, or mud huts, rather. We got to understand a little about how the Masai live, some of the challenges that their facing in the modern world and some of the ways that they are trying to hold onto their traditions.
Tomorrow we'll be taking off into the crater floor, which is the largest caldera in the world, its about 20 miles across, and has one of the highest concentrations of land animals anywhere in the world, so we're looking forward to another great day of safari tomorrow morning. After we tour the Ngorongoro Crater we'll then take off and travel to the Tarangire game preserve and enjoy some of the fantastic sights there, and many many more animals. So we're having a great time here, we all want to send hellos back to our family and friends.
I want to thank you all for tuning into the cybercasts, I guess we'll do two more, we'll let you know what we see in the crater tomorrow, and then the following day in the Tarangire game preserve. So please stay tuned. Thanks a lot and we'll be in touch.
Tuesday, December 17th, 2002. Madera Hut, Tanzania.
Hello everybody this is Allen calling in from Kilimanjaro with Team Cadillac. We all safely descended the mountain We spent last night at the Horombo Hut and we are now at the Mandera Hut. We have taken an alternate descent route as the traditional route is in a state of disrepair. So what I've asked everybody to do here in the group is to help me out a little bit. We want to provide all of you back home with a little snapshot of our experience here on the mountain by sharing with you some of our more memorable moments. Let me just start off by saying my most memorable moment is probably right about now sharing most memorable moments with the group. That said I'm going to hand the phone off and let everybody talk into for just a second and share their thoughts:
This is John Vetter I wanted to say my most memorable moment was waking up and living among the clouds and the heavens for a week.
This is Patrick and my most memorable moment was Machame Camp, waking up at the crack of dawn and looking out at a beautiful clear sky and Mt. Kilimanjaro
This is Doug, one of my most memorable moments was the rock scramble up the great Barranco Wall, some Class 3, a little bit of Call 4 moves, not unlike the moves we do in the Crestones in Colorado, much unlike the Elk mountains and I'd like to thank Doug Cook (?) for all his climbing those mountains, thanks.
Hello this is Garret and my most memorable moment was being at 19,000 feet on the crater rim and watching the sun rise, it was absolutely beautiful, thank you.
This is Rob I think, my most memorable moment was sharing this trip with my trip mates and spending all the nights laughing away with them.
Hey this is Terrence and my most memorable moment was waking up in the middle of the night at about 16,000 feet and looking down at the city of Moshi, the lights, and seeing more stars than I have ever seen.
This is Angelina, I think the most memorable moment of this trip has been when we left high camp going down to Horombo and I looked back and I realized that we had all just been up there and that we were safe and that was the end of it.
Hi this is Robert and my most memorable moment is being part of a group of eight strangers that came together with a common goal and all shared success at the top.
Well there you go folks, little snapshots of our times on the mountain. Tomorrow we'll be starting the safari and we'll be calling in every day and letting you know about the animals we've seen and the weather that we're experiencing so for now this is team Cadillac we're in cruise control with the top down and we'll talk to you later.
Monday, December 16th, 2002. Uhuru Point, Tanzania.
"Hello this is Garrett Ehrke with Alpine Ascents talking to you from the roof of Africa at 19,340 feet. We made the summit at about 6, 6:30 this morning, we left camp at 12:20 last night. 100% success, all of us are here! We brought along our 4 African guides and our American guide Allen. The weather is beautiful, it's probably about 20 degrees, the view is unbelievably awesome, we are all tired, but it was well worth the effort to reach our goals. It is very nice to see all the planning and training pay off. All of the group would like to say hello to family, friends and loved ones back home and we thank you all for the well wishes and good luck praises. Now we want to wrap up the summit photos and descend to some thicker air. We will be going to be going all the way down to 10,000 feet so we have quite a day yet. We'll talk to you tonight at our next camp after we descend safely. We are all looking forward to showers and 3 days of safariing in Africa. Bye bye for now from the top of Africa. Next stop for three of us in July is Mt. Elbrus is Russia. Thanks a lot and have a good day."
"This is Doug Hill and Rob Hill saying hello to everyone in Colorado. Wishing our love to Lynn, James, Doug and all of our friends at the Colorado Mountain Club. We had a great climb, the weather's clearing up, it's beautiful, a special hello to Rob from the mountain club, Phil from the mountain club. and Dennis my good buddy, my high pointer, and a quick note from Rob."
"Hello Colorado. Flying kisses from the rooftop of Africa. We have made it, made it to the top. My Dad's here, we've got these six other troopers with us who made it all the way to the top, we've got great guides, Nicholas, August, Amist, and Allen. We're having a great time, we're freezing up here and we're getting ready to head back down, get warm and get some chow."
"I would like to say hello to my family and friends, Gypsy (?)(unintelligible) JC, JK and Sean, thanks for all of your help in getting me here. I had a great time, the trip was great and we'll see you in a week, take care."
"This is Angelina Trujillo to all my family and friends, you know that this is my lifetime goal to stand at the top of one of big big mountains. I hope to see all of you very soon, bye bye for now."
"This is Patrick Hazelwood, I just wanted to say hello to all of my friends and family back home in Seattle, WA. I'm calling from the top of Africa on Mt. Kilimanjaro. We're at the top now. I'd just like to say hello to my Mom, Shirley, Kevin, and my nephew Cole in Nebraska, Tim and my Dad in Nashville, we'll see you real soon."
"Hey this is Terrance Michaels from Los Angeles, CA. I just want to shout out to my Mom, Damon and Sterling (?) I made the summit and look forward to seeing you all soon, and send my love, thanks, bye."
"Hello this is John Vetter, I wanted to wish a Merry Christmas to my family, my great parents, Carrie, Paul, Angela, big Will, also my friends back home, from the top of Africa wishing you a merry Christmas, also to my friends at Metro BCS and my fiends at the University of Miami MBA program. Now for the familiar..."
"Okay gang this is Allen and that's all for now, we'll give you some reports while we're on safari. Oh yeah one last thing: can't wait to see you sugarplum."
Sunday, December 15th, 2002. Barafu Camp, Tanzania.
Hello everybody this is Allen with Team Cadillac giving you an update from our high camp on Kilimanjaro, we're at 16,003 feet and we were cruising with the top down today, smooth sailing. The only issue we're facing is we're running low on film because of all the great photo opportunities we've had on the way up the mountain in the last several days. Our plan tonight is to be in bed by about 5:30 or 6 after a nice dinner and get up at midnight to fire off the summit. We've has good weather for the most part a little cloud buildup in the afternoons, but the mornings, evenings and night times have been nothing but sunshine or starry skies. Everyone is acclimatizing exceptionally well and we are psyched. So stay tuned for tomorrow's cybercast from the top of Kilimanjaro, the Highest Free-standing mountain in the world. We're going to pass the phone around and everyone is going to get a chance to say hello to their family, friends and loved ones back home. So with warm kisses sent through the air, we'll catch up with you tomorrow okay? Cheers, bye bye.
Sunday, December 14th, 2002. Karanga Camp, Tanzania.
Good morning everybody, this is Allen giving you a call from Karanga Camp. We're having a beautiful start to our day. We moved camp a little bit up and out of the Karanga River Valley, so we're catching some early morning sunlight. Patrick and Bob decided to take the opportunity to do a little cleaning up, They got some warm water and are washing hair and get themselves all prepped for summit day I guess. Below us we can see the city of Moshi and the other nearby mountain off in the distance is Mt. Meru which is a spectacular view from here. We've got birds flitting about in the grass.
Today we move up to high camp and if we have weather at all similar to what we're experiencing today it's going to be a great day to summit. But everybody seems to be acclimatizing really well, we've got healthy appetites and we're sleeping really good. And we're having fun and that's what it's really all about. Today's hike is probably going to take us about 4 or 5 hours to get to high camp as we've already took a little bit of time off that hike again by moving up and out of the Karanga Valley, we're probably about 200 feet above it. and again we're doing that to maximize early morning sunlight. The tents have a little bit of frost on them today, but it's quickly drying out.
Last night we had a spectacular spaghetti dinner, with some vegetable sauce and also a really nice meat sauce. so the cook is really going out of his way, that would be Hartford, he's doing a fantastic job, we're all eating well, I think some of us might be gaining weight on this trip, even though that wasn't our intention when we signed onto the expedition. John is in good shape over there, he's packing up his bags right now, we've got Angelina she's also washing up with a clean wash towel, and everybody is just kind of enjoying the view from up here. It's probably one of the better views we've had on the trip. And I think tonight's view will be even better but I suppose we'll be anxious to get into our tents after we eat dinner after arriving at high camp and dusting up for summit day. So I think our next call is probably going to be from the summit. That's our intention. Garrett has earned the honor of calling in the cybercast, so while we will pass the phone around on top, the first voice you hear is going to hear from the summit is going to be Garrett's.
Best wishes to all of our friends and family back home, we're hoping that everybody is preparing themselves nicely for the holiday season to come, frantic last minute shopping I imagine. We seem pretty far removed from that experience right now, it's actually quite a peaceful feeling up here. So for now, this is Allen signing off from Karanga Camp, stay tuned as our next call is going to be from the summit.
Friday, December 13th, 2002. Barranco Camp, Tanzania.
Hello everybody this is Allen Carbert calling you from Kilimanjaro at Barranco Camp. Today, Team Cadillac enjoyed another smooth ride, we had the top down all the way, beautiful sunshine and perfect temperatures. We reached a high point today of 14,800 feet, basically marking our mid-way point between Shira Camp and Barranco Camp, so we did a good thing for acclimatization by climbing high and then descending 1,000 feet and sleeping low, so our acclimatization is going great. People are in really good health and good spirits. We're doing great, we're having a really good time, the food has been superb. Garret has been doing back flips in anticipation of summit day, Bob is basically bouncing off the tent walls, also equally enthusiastic about the days to come. Angelina is having such a good time, she has decided to join us on safari, initially she was just going to participate in the expedition, but after enjoying the company of such a fine group of people, she has decided to "call in sick", so I promised to write her a note so that her boss would give her a few extra days off.
Here at Barranco Camp we are enjoying some fantastic views, we've got the Barranco Wall looming off in the near distance, it's been partially obscured by some low clouds from time to time, but that will be the first part of tomorrow's climb. It's about a 1,200 foot elevation gain through some moderate rock, and really is kind of neat after hiking the last several days on pretty moderate trails, its sort of neat to get on some steep stuff and enjoy the exposure, although it's not that great for most folks, and they handle it in really good style, it still does give a different sort of flavor to the mountain.
We're also enjoying this camp for a lot of other reasons, there is a beautiful clear stream running nearby, with huge Senecios, and Lobelias growing nearby, lots of birds around, all sorts of lichens and heathers and stuff, so it's a neat place to camp, we're enjoying it greatly. We can also see Kilimanjaro, probably the best view of the mountain we've had, at least the most ominous view of the mountain. You can see the frozen waterfalls coming down from the ice fields that sit high up on the summit crater.
The mountain was just gorgeous all day today, we had superb views as we hiked. Several of us were actually looking for a shortcut, thinking, "Golly, it looks so close, I think about 4 hours up and a couple of hours down and we'll have it under our belts. But the reality is that the sense of scale is quite different when you're looking at a big mountain, you don't have anything to compare it to, but it did look real close. Having such a great view of the mountain, feeling so close to the mountain as we did, really did a lot to inspire us and get us super-excited about the next couple of days and summit day to come.
On that note, we have a special request again from Garrett, who says, "Hello to everyone in Minnesota" I offered to get him the white pages, if he really did mean everyone, but he kind of chuckled and said that wasn't necessary. So I just wanted to all you folks back at home to know that we're in really good health, we're in great spirits, the food has been superb, the weather has been superb despite a few little rain showers on the first day of the climb. So for now, from here, I will have to say goodbye to you all and I look forward to giving you a call from Karanga Camp tomorrow. So we wish you all well back home, hopefully the holiday season is approaching in a calm, cool and consistent manner and our thoughts and wishes are with you all back home in the states. For now this is Allen Carbert signing of from Barranco Camp, cheers.
Thursday, December 12th, 2002. Half way to Shira Camp, Tanzania.
Hello friends and family back home in the states, this is Allen on Kilimanjaro. We're giving you a call right now, we're about half way between Machame Camp and Shira Camp, where we've stopped for a nice lunch break. Today's travel has been real nice, in fact the trail is so much improved over the mud we dealt with yesterday, we've decided to call our team, "Team Cadillac" because of the smooth ride we've enjoyed so far. We've got a special request to thank some nice hosts we met in Nairobi, some workers for the United Nations, they played host for our group and took us out to a fantastic dinner, and their names are Maria and Kathy, So a warm thank you from high up on Kilimanjaro.
Last night we had another fantastic dinner. Our cook really isn't a cook, he is a chef. He made pepper steak, he made some beautiful potatoes with a gravy sauce, we had fried bananas in honey sauce for dessert, all accompanied by fresh fruits and vegetables all sliced up nicely, our napkins were folded into nifty little triangles. So we are really enjoying ourselves and living in the lap of luxury all things considered. We'll give you a call tomorrow, and let you know how we're doing as we depart from Shira Camp. But for now everybody wishes you well, and everyone on this team is doing really well.
Garrett wants to say, "Hello to everybody in Minnesota, he's having the time of his life." So that's today's update, gang, from Kilimanjaro. Stay tuned for more thrills chills laughter and action as we call in tomorrow and we'll see you then, bye bye.
Wednesday, December 11th, 2002. Machame Camp, Tanzania.
Hey everybody this is Allen, giving you a call from Kilimanjaro in Tanzania Africa. Today is our first day on the mountain, we just arrived here at Machame Camp. Our day started with a wonderful breakfast and beautiful views of Kilimanjaro just outside the hotel. We started hiking around 10:00 from the Machame trailhead after organizing gear for our porters. We did have an early afternoon rain shower which we found to be quite refreshing. We're just getting ready to enjoy a real good dinner. We are going to have mashed potatoes, fresh vegetables and getting some chicken ready and I think we'll even have a nice dessert in store which I think I'm going to keep top secret. The group is doing just great today, we stayed together all the way up the trail for our six-hour hike.
Tomorrow we're going to work our way up to the Shira Plateau. The group sends warm hellos back to everyone at home, I've been asked to make sure everyone knows we're safe and sound, and having a heck of a good time. We're looking forward to climbing this mountain in good style and safely, and I assure everyone back at home that I am going to keep a close eye on folks and we'll make sure that it is a fun time, an enjoyable time, and a safe time. So that's all I have to report, tomorrow we'll give a more detailed cybercast so you guys will know just what kind of trouble we've been getting into and staying away from. So for now, from Machame Camp on Mt. Kilimanjaro, I bid you farewell and we'll talk to you tomorrow. Bye bye.
Tuesday, December 10th, 2002. Arusha, Tanzania.
Hello this is Allen Carbert calling in with Alpine Ascents International's Kilimanjaro expedition. I just wanted to report in that the group has arrived here in Arusha with all their baggage in hand. Looks like a great group of folks. So for those family members back at home I have been requested to let you know that John, Bob, Garrett, Doug, Rob, Terrence, Patrick and Angelina are all safe and sound. We are finding beautiful weather conditions here in Arusha and we're anxious to start our climb up to the Machame Camp tomorrow morning.
For now we have a special request from Garrett, who says, " Hi Mom! I'm safe and sound, don't worry." At any rate as the expedition progresses, we're going to give everybody an opportunity to talk on the phone and give a friendly hello back to their friends and family back in the states. So for now this is Allen signing off. Stay tuned for tomorrow's call from Machame Camp. We wish you all well, bye bye.
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