Alpine Ascents Kilimanjaro Winter 2004 Cybercast

March 1, 2004.  Tanzania. 
Hello. This is the last cybercast from Africa for the wonderful team "Side Street Creepers, Back Alley Darters". Sometimes I like to give lots of details about a trip, about the climb, and about the individuals but I can't do that for this group of folks. We just has too much fun to attempt to capture all of it in words. You would have had to been there to understand.

This is the kind of climb and safari that really sets the standard of perfection. Great logistics, cooperative weather, good food, and great people.  I'm confident we will see many of these folks in the mountains again soon.  This winds up the winter season on Kilimanjaro and I want to tank everyone back in the Seattle office for all their support, especially Matt who works overtime this time of year, keeping up with multiple expeditions as they broadcast, so others may follow each trip day by day.

Stay fit and be well.

February 27, 2004. Crater Rim of the Ngorongoro Crater.
Hi everybody this is Allen giving you a call from the crater rim of the Ngorongoro Crater.  I could easily summarize today and the entire trip for that matter up to this point in just 3 easy letters, WOW.  We've had a great time.  It's not uncommon at several times during the day we have tears rolling down our cheeks of laughter, what a great group of folks and we are having just way too much fun. 

Today we traveled out of Tarangire National Park and had a wonderful experience there.  One of our vehicles was charged by an elephant, the vehicle had Larry in there and actually that's the second time in Larry's life that he has been charged by an elephant and that's way too much for convenience sake or actually coincidence for that matter.  So we are thinking that he may be jinxed so I know I certainly not riding in his vehicle tomorrow. 

We went through Lake Manyara this afternoon and had an enjoyable safari there as well seeing a huge troop of baboons, probably a couple hundred of them.  We stopped for a good 30 minutes and observed their behavior, their hierarchal behavior patterns and what not versus the individual behaviors that some of the individual baboons will display at times.  It is really quite interesting in their behaviors there.  We actually named one of the baboons, Scott, after one of our team members because well he kind of behaves in a similar fashion as some of these primates.  Tomorrow we look forward to going down into the Ngorongoro Crater, one of the highlights of the safari here in East Africa.  I'll give you a call.  I am hoping to see some of the cats that we haven't seen yet but if there is any place that we will see lions and possibly cheetahs and leopards, it is down there in the crater.  So our team members will be looking carefully for those animals and we will be giving you a call and let you know how lucky we are.  So we will give you a call tomorrow afternoon or tomorrow evening and we are hoping you are all doing well back at home.  And all our team members are looking forward to getting back home in a couple of days and be back with their loved ones and friends back in the states.  So that's it from the Ngorongoro Crater and we'll be in touch later. 

February 26, 2004. Tarangire Park. 
Hi everybody this is Allen again making a second call from Tarangire National Park.  I normally don't make 2 calls from the same location on the same day but I have just seen one of the most wonderful sights I've ever seen in Africa as the sun is setting in the distance brilliantly, illuminating the baobab tree.  I saw 3 giraffe, I can see them right now from my room, they are about 200 meters away from the back porch of my room and seeing the giraffe there in combination with the sun, the baobab trees and the acacia trees really is one of those signature scenes when you think of Africa and think of all the beauty, flora and fauna and everything else.  It really makes for a once in a lifetime viewing opportunity.  I just wanted to share it with you all while I am staring at these animals right now and the setting sun, it really is a special moment here and the group is just having a gas with it all and in fact I've got to go catch up with them and make sure that they are able to see the wildlife so anyway, I am going to sign off.  I just wanted to call in and tell you about the nifty things I am seeing.

February 26, 2004. Tarangire Park.
Hello everybody this is Allen calling in from Tarangire National Park.  We had a great day of safari today but let me go backwards and talk a bit about last night.  We had a wonderful dinner at the Mountain Village lodge and the staff came out and presented Suzanne a birthday cake and sang a few songs.  We had a really enjoyable evening.  Everybody is just having a blast.  Last night was a great way to end the mountain climbing portion of our adventure with a birthday celebration.  We are continuing our fun with a great safari today through Tarangire National Park.  Seeing again lots of animals and having terrific weather, nice temperatures, beautiful sunshine and lots and lots of animals to see.  This time of the year the park is exceptionally beautiful, they've had a lot of rain in the last couple of weeks which is making the vegetation really green, lush, beautiful vegetation. 

Right now I am watching the sun go down, casting long shadows across the landscape.  I can see Mt. Tarangire off in the distance, it's all making for a wonderful scene.  We are going to be getting our cameras out really soon just as the sun starts to go below the horizon bringing brilliant reds and oranges across the sky.  So I know a lot of the photographers in the group are really excited about getting a good sunset photo from the lodge right now.  Tomorrow we are off to Lake Manyara and we will be spending it at the Ngorongoro crater the following day and we will be heading down to the crater to one of my favorite spots.  Everybody is in good health and everyone is having a whole bunch of fun, it's really a fantastic group of people and I am honored to be part of such a good time.  So we are going to continue with that tradition tomorrow and stay tuned and we will give you a call in the evening.  Bye-Bye.

February 25, 2004. Arusha. 
Hi this is Allen calling in from Arusha, Tanzania.  All 14 of us are safely down from the mountain after an immensely successful trip.  We arrived back at our low camp yesterday, millennium camp at around 3:00pm in the afternoon, enjoyed a nice dinner and then got some much needed sleep.  We left camp by about 8am this morning and made it to the awaiting vehicles about 1pm in the afternoon.  I am calling you from our safari lodge at about 4pm, which is a little ideal, we've been on the go for the last couple of days, that's for sure.  We are looking forward to a good dinner tonight and celebration.  We have a birthday on board, Suzanne, she is turning 25 today.  So we are looking forward to celebrating that in good style.  We will give you a call tomorrow when we get back to the vehicles and depart for our safari.  We will let you know all the cool things we are going to see and tell you about how much fun we are having. 

February 24, 2004. High Camp.
Hey everybody out there in cyberland this is Allen giving you a call from high camp on Kilimanjaro after our successful climb to the summit.  That's right we left right on time at midnight and sat at the summit around 7-7:30.  We had a couple groups arrive at different times.  We were met with some windy conditions, blowing snow and yeah, a little bit of cold too.  We are back down at our high camp getting ready to move down to some thicker oxygen.  We had a good summit day for sure and I am going to tell you all about it tomorrow when we get some much needed rest.  So stay tuned and we will give you a buzz from the Mweka camp.  Over and out. 

February 23, 2004. Barafu Camp.
Hi this is Allen calling in from our high camp on Kilimanjaro, the Barafu Camp, where the air is thin at 15,200ft. Our team is doing exceptionally well, we had a great move from Baranco camp to Barafu camp arriving right before an afternoon rain shower, so our timing was perfect, just like it's been the entire trip.  I don't know if you can hear this but that was a little bit of thunder off to the side of us.  Any way we are seeing some rougher weather right now but it's part of a typical weather pattern for this mountain and will probably blow over in about an hour or so. 

We are going to start our summit climb at about midnight.  We will wake up around 11pm, have some food, get dressed and starting hiking uphill.  We will try to give you a call from the summit, if weather allows, otherwise we will wait to return to the Mweka camp.  I have a really good feeling about this, we started off with 15 climbers and that's exactly what we have right now.  People are feeling well and I don't want to make any predictions, that may jinx us but I do feel good about it.  So stay tuned, our next cybercast will tell it all. 

February 22, 2004. Karanga Camp.
Hello this is Allen calling in from the Karanga Camp.  Just as I promised at the Baranco camp, we are going to let the rest of the team members say hello to friends and family back home.  We have changed our names to the "Side Steet Creepers and Back Alley Darters", we thought that might have a little bit more flare, so that's an official name change.  So let me hand off the phone:

Hi this is Georgia.  I want to say hi to my folks in Aberdeen and all my friends in Baton Rouge.  I am having a wonderful time but I am still whining but Allen has been wonderful. 

Hello this is Bob and I wanted to say hello to Mary Lou, Amy, Kim and mom.  I love and miss you all but I am having a great, safe trip.  I am looking forward to seeing you at home and I hope everything is going well. 

Hey this is Tiffany B and just wanted to say hi to dad and mom, Char, Jill, Seth.  Love you all and sitting here from the base of Kilimanjaro, it's amazing and I wish I could share it with all of you.  This ones for Chris. 

Hi this is Scott.  To my family, friends and the cute girl at Starbucks, I wanted to let you know that I feel great and am having a wonderful time, meeting amazing people.  All though my idea of roughing it used to be having to bag my own groceries, I am confident Allen and the exceptional team will lead us to a safe and successful summit bid. 

Hello this is Mike and it turns out to much of my surprise that I am not much of a hiker, camper, trekker or mountaineer but thanks to Allen and my incredible teammates I am just doing fine and looking forward to a summit bid in the next 24 hours and am looking forward to getting home to a big fat cheeseburger and a beer.  Take care everybody, love you lots and talk to you soon. 

Hey this is Suzanne, first of all Al Hanna, thanks a lot.  I really appreciate everything and I couldn't have made it this far without you.  We are going to call you from the top.  Friends, family, I love you, you are with me, and I am with you.  I'll share everything when I get home.  I'll kiss the sky for all of you.  Love you all. 

Hello this is Jim.  God is great and this mountain and this continent are beautiful.  Our team is doing well.  Thomas, good morning, I love you and I hope you are doing well.  Mom and Dad, I love you too.  I look forward to seeing you soon.  Hello also to Mommy and everyone at Mrs. Wheeler's class at Twin Oaks Academy and everyone at High Park Methodist Church.  I'll see you soon. 

Allen: Well there you have it and I am not having these people say things about me, honestly.  I don't know, I think they may be hypoxic and they really don't know what to expect so I could lead them up another mountain and they wouldn't know.  But of course I am doing a great job.  So we will call from Barafu camp and see if the weather allows us to give you a call from Barafu camp and see if we can give a call from the summit as well.  Cheers.

February 21, 2004. Baranco Camp.
Hello this is  Allen calling you from Baranco Camp.  We have come up with a team name and we are officially "13 Blind Mice."  You know I made a comment yesterday about how much fun it was to be young, but I got to tell you what, as adults we are certainly behaving like children.  I don't know whether it's the thin air or the great company we're all keeping but we're having tons of fun.  And we're going to take an opportunity with now to pass the phone around, about half of our team members so that they can say hello to their friends and family back home.

Hello this is Mike A. from Tampa.  I just want to say hello and send my love back to my family, Rebecca, Zachary, Jake and Grace, I hope you are all doing well.  We are climbing strong and we will summit on the 24th, I can't wapiti to see you all again back in Tampa, I love you, bye.

This is Mary S. from Phoenix.  I want to say hi to Jakey, I love you and miss you, I want to say hi to Emily, I miss you and love you too, signing off.

Hi this is Sandy I want to say hello to Seth, Cody, and Sammy (?), I miss you all and thank you so much for allowing me to come, this has been absolutely wonderful, it's just great, love you all and see you when I get back, Hello to family and friends too, bye.

Hi this is Al M. from Phoenix, saying hello to Cindy and Jessica, I love you and miss you, having a great time, bye.

His this is Chip from Raleigh, just want to say a thank you to Nick, this is great, love you, and Gary the lasagna (?)is awesome.

This is Cleve from Anchorage, just want to say hi to all my loved ones and family, I having a great time, an unusual group of people, very interesting and the mountain is just phenomenal.  Allen is doing a great job Todd, if you wanted to know, and he's just great. (Laughter)

Well there you go, Cleve has just assured himself a spot on the summit team, (more laughter) thanks Cleve. Al right so we are having a blast here, we had some great weather today, the team is moving smooth and efficiently, just like we have since day 1. I think we're going to climb this mountain in good style. So you know what it's all about having fun, and that's what we're doing, so we're right on track. We'll give you a call tomorrow from Karanga Camp.  Those team members who didn't say hello to friends and family today will certainly be on the phone tomorrow, so stay tuned for that call. (Sunday's cybercast should be posted on Monday)

February 20, 2004. Shira Camp.
Hello this is Allen calling from Shira Camp.  We had another wonderful day on the mountain today. We had good comfortable temperatures, mixed sun with clouds, after we arrived at Camp It started to rain a little bit. But now it's clearing nicely, Kilimanjaro has come out from the clouds to show herself, as well as Mt. Meru off in the distance near Arusha. The group is doing very very well, everyone is acclimatizing nicely and having tons of fun.  I can't really believe it, this is what makes my job so enjoyable, just great conversations, the camaraderie and team spirit. 

We hiked together, all 14 of us, as a group all the way from our Camp this morning at Machame Hut, up here to the Shira Plateau.  We have a wonderful campsite for us, again great views, we're set aside from many of the other expeditions on the mountain, so it's going to be quiet tonight.  We've got a little bit more privacy, and we're going to enjoy that, get a good night's sleep tonight and look forward to heading to Baranco Camp tomorrow.  Again all of our group members really want to wish hellos and their best wishes to their families, I'll be sure to pass the phone around, here one of these afternoons, at Karanga Camp for sure, and maybe we'll break that up with a few hellos tomorrow, so stay tuned for that as time and weather permit. I do have one special request, from James Lake, he has asked me to send all of the hearty hellos to Ms. Wheeler's class at the Twin Oaks Academy in Tampa Bay, FL.  So all of you kids there in school, study hard, listen to Ms. Wheeler, remember that learning is fun, and being a grown up, well, that can be kind of a tough time, so enjoy your youth. (I put that in there).  Ah, to be young again.  Anyway, we're having a great time today, we'll call you tomorrow from Baranco Camp, thanks for listening and tuning in.

February 19, 2004. Machame Camp.
Hi this is Allen Carbert calling from Machame Camp.  Today's cybercast really doesn't have much interesting to tell you, and the reason for that is that everything went perfectly today.  This morning, many of us were awakened about 5:30am at the Mountain Village Lodge by torrential downpours, just unbelievable proportions and it kind of looked like it was going to be a rough way to start the day.  But by the time we had the vehicles loaded and were ready to depart for the trailhead at the Park Entrance, the weather had cleared up, in fact en route, we were able to stop along the roadside and get some fantastic photos of Kilimanjaro, just coming out of the clouds.

We started off about 10:30, hiking, we checked in with the park, again on the newly refurbished trail, which made for good easy travel, no mud on the boots today, despite the torrential rains I mentioned.  It happened earlier in the day, we just had a few little drizzles as we hiked up the forest out of the agricultural area, so the group was calling ourselves "The Zoners" because we are very interested in the ecological zones that we pass through and I gave some explanation of the agricultural areas and how they've evolved, and then about the forest that we hiked through. Machame Camp here, just about 10,000 feet, is what we call a heath forest, dictated by temperatures, precipitation, sunlight and that type of thing which allow various types of vegetation to exist. So a good day.

We pulled into Camp after our 10:30 departure, we got here about 4:00 and we just took our time on our way up the trail. The entire group stuck together, and I've never heard so many interesting conversations and it was like that at dinner too, just talking and talking and talking, so it's making my job really easy, I just kind of talk once in a while and say 'hey look at this plant' and say the Genus and species and then talk a little about high altitude physiology and then man it's great, after that the group, they start talking about everything from physics to dentistry to politics.

This is starting off to be just a fantastic trip, I wish I had something exciting to say, something besides 'it rained', and while we started hiking at this time, but the truth is that we are on auto-pilot, we've got a great support crew here as usual, we've got our brand new tent set up, and we are living large.  The group right now is enjoying popcorn and a little hot tea as an appetizer before dinner, so hey, roughing it has it's points on the continuum and right now are kind of heading towards luxurious.  But you know what, that's the way it's supposed to be here.

So until tomorrow, gang, we all wish you well, our thoughts are somewhat with our families at home, but I've got to tell you, we're living in the moment and we will be in touch.  I'd also like to say hello to the wonderful state of Tennessee, we've also got several people form that state and I forgot to mention that, so we really cover all points of the country.  That's it we'll give you a call form Shira Camp tomorrow, be well.

February 18, 2004. Arusha.
Hey everybody back home in the good old USA this is Allen calling from Arusha Tanzania.  Want to let everyone back at home know that all of our team members arrived here, safe and sound this afternoon, about 3:00.  For the last two hours, we've been talking about all of the really cool equipment we've brought with us, how we plan to use it, how we want to pack it up and get organized for our upcoming adventure.  We discussed the schedule for the next several days, with an emphasis on tomorrow.  We plan to get a good start, about 8:00am, all 14 of us, we want to be packed up and ready to go to the mountain.

 We have climbers from all over the country on this trip.  As far north as Anchorage, AK as far south as Baton Rouge, LA and Tampa Bay, FL.  We have a 3-person contingent from the windy city of Chicago and a few desert dwellers from Arizona, a Tar heel from North Carolina, and a couple of us from Washington State, so we really got the country covered and here we've all converged in Arusha, Tanzania to climb Mount Kilimanjaro and have a heap of fun to boot. We'll be calling in every day, letting you all know how our progress is on the mountain and stay tuned for a call from Karanga Camp, where I'll pass the phone around and let all of our team members say hello to their friends and family back home. So for now this is Allen wishing you all well and stay in touch, bye.

January 17, 2004. Arusha.  Listen to the call
Hi this is Allen calling from Arusha Tanzania. Team La La Salama Bearcats has just finished up it's safari with a great day of game viewing in Tarangire National Park. Today we saw two leopards, we saw a large herd of elephants and several giraffes all up close, a good day. To see the ever-elusive leopard and two of them is a real treat, so with that combined with the Ngorongoro Crater, we did see the big five and were able to see lots of other animals as well in fairly decent weather conditions. I think the cool temperatures actually allowed the animals to get a little bit more active thereby contributing to our success.

Tomorrow the team members are going to be packing their bags, getting ready to head to Nairobi and fly home. So with that said, we're winding down our trip. An excellent trip it was with all team member standing on the summit to see the sun rise, all summiting together at the same time, and finishing up with a great safari, so all in all a fantastic trip. I want to thank all the team members for participating and our A1 office staff back in Seattle for giving us the support necessary for us to run these first-class trips.  So stay tuned when I begin the next series of climbs here on Kilimanjaro, and that should be happening sometime around mid-February, so follow us then and stay in touch.

January 16, 2004. Ngorongoro Crater.
Hello everybody this is Allen giving you a call from Tarangire National Park.  We've just arrived form the Ngorongoro Crater after what was one of my most memorable game drives. I'm sure that our team members will confirm that with the great photos and stories that they're going to bring home.  We saw numerous rhinos, by that I mean four different Rhinos, that's really remarkable. (Transmission breaks up) We saw the lions up close we saw a couple of them in the road, and we were able to safari in the crater under good weather conditions.  As we departed and parted ways with Lisa and Mike who are on their way to the Serengeti, the skies did open up in a significant rather impressive way into a torrential downpour. The roads to Karatu, were quite slippery but because we are traveling in these excellent Toyota Land Cruisers, we were able to make our way through the mud, while others were definitely getting stuck and having a hard time of it all.  Here in Tarangire we're trying to snare the leopard which would round off the big 5 so we're going to have our eyes open tomorrow for all that and the elephants that Tarangire is so famous for.

I'd like to make one quick note to the family members of Mike and Lisa, they will not have internet access as they thought.  They are heading into some of the more remote regions of Africa for their safari. So they will not be able to communicate with you for the next couple of days, so wait patiently and anticipate the great stories that they're going to have to tell when they do get in touch with you all.  So this is Allen signing off and we'll give you a buzz when we return to Arusha, bye bye.

January 15, 2004. Ngorongoro Crater. Listen to the call
Howdy folks this is Allen giving you a call from the Ngorongoro Crater.  Our team had a great day of safari today at Lake Manyara and we then went and visited the Masai Village here at the Crater Rim.  Lake Manyara we managed to see three out of the big five and we're looking forward to finishing up the list tomorrow, seeing a rhinoceros and hopefully a lion.  The weather has been a little bit rough for us the last couple of days.  The roads to Karatu, one of the towns that we pass through, are dirt and very slippery especially with the amount of rain we've had.  We were fortunate enough to have a clearing in the weather while we visited the Masai Village, which is a lot of outside time, gift shopping and listening to the village chief tell us a little bit about the way his tribe lives.

Tomorrow morning we're going to descend into the crater, we can see it now as the sun is setting, it looks gorgeous, so we're all looking forward to that. The fact of the matter is that the crater is probably the highlight of the safari trip, so with that in mind I think people's expectations are going to be exceeded immensely. This is the last day that Lisa and Mike are with us as they are going on an extended safari to the Serengeti, the rest of us will continue tomorrow afternoon to Tarangire and from Tarangire I'll be sure to give you all a call and say hello.  This is Allen signing off.

January 14, 2004.  Arusha. Listen to the call
Hello everybody, this is Allen giving you a call from Arusha, Tanzania, letting you all know that Team la la Salama Bearcats has arrived safely down from the mountain. We're going to take this opportunity to pass the phone around and let our team members say hello to their friends and family back home and share with you their most memorable moments on the mountain.

Hi this is Mike. Hello Laura, Katherine, Christopher and Anna, I hope everything is well.  We summited yesterday and everything went great. My most memorable thing was seeing the glaciers up on top they were absolutely beautiful, so take care everybody, love Mike.

Hi all this is John. Hi Jessica, Kevin and Amy, I'm doing fine, Kilimanjaro is awesome, loved the summit, walked through the rain forest this morning and rock climbing on Baranco Wall overlooking some waterfalls. I'm doing fine, hope you guys are too, can't wait to see you this weekend, take care love you, bye.

Hey guys this is Steve. I think my memorable moment was probably standing on top of the Baranco Wall, it was quite cool, I think morning of Day 4 and also reaching Stella Point just before the summit, because at that point I think I knew I was really going to make it. I'd just like to say hello to Paul and Nicki my brother and sister and I will see you all Monday when I get back, bye.

Hello everyone this is Hirsch, safe down from the mountain. I guess my memorable moment would be again, the glaciers on top as well as getting ice cream today at the hotel.

Jambo, this is Lisa, my most memorable moment was reaching Stella Point, that is the point where you are headed up the mountain and you just reach the crater rim. It's not THE summit, but at that point I knew I was going to make it and the crater was beautiful and the glaciers were beautiful and that's about all. I miss you Roger, Connor, Cassidy and I can't wait to see you, love you, bye.

Hi everyone John B. here.  I think my favorite moment was definitely the hot shower I took today, I spent 6 days in a tent but...doing well hoping to see everyone when I get back.  Give kisses to Anna and look forward to seeing you guys in Chicago, take care.

Well there you have it everybody, that closes our mountain portion of this great adventure. Tomorrow we're looking forward to heading on safari so stay tuned and we're going to let you know what kind of animals we see and how much fun we're going to have.  Right now we are on our way to Arusha for a delicious dinner.  Talk to you later.  

January 13, 2004.  Mweka Camp. Listen to the call
Hello everybody this is Allen calling from Mweka Camp.  This is the kind of cybercast I just love to report.  This morning at 6am, all 6 team members of la la Salama Bearcats stood on the summit, that's right, we all touched the top, we summited together as a team and made very very good time. We departed our High Camp at approximately 12:30, summited at 6am, we returned to Mweka Camp all the way down at the base of the mountain, down here by about noon. So you can see that we had a fantastic turn around time, which is really a testament to the fitness and training that our team members invested in this climb. 

Last night we had very high winds as you might remember from yesterday's cybercast, those continued all through the night keeping us all awake.  So if I sound a little tired, that's because I've been awake for almost 40 hours right now and after climbing a big mountain and descending a big mountain, well, you can understand that.

The team members are all in great shape. Tomorrow we're going to pass the satellite phone around to each of them and they can say hello once again and share with you some of their more memorable moments of the climb. So for now this is Allen signing off and getting ready to go to bed.  So we'll look forward to talking to you tomorrow, we'll give you a call from Arusha, signing off.

January 12, 2004.  High Camp. Listen to the call
Hey everybody this is Allen calling in from our High Camp on Kilimanjaro. We departed Karanga Camp approximately 9am this morning under clear skies and very comfortable temperatures. We arrived here at High Camp at approximately 1:00 in the afternoon.  And everybody is acclimatized very well, we're all in good health, looking forward to our summit bid later tonight. The wind has picked up quite a bit, we got some gusts moving through High Camp, kicking around our dining tent and cook tent just a little bit, I think we're going to have to replace a few poles before the next trip, but we're probably going to squeak by just fine on this one.  I've spent the last half an hour running around, reinforcing tent anchors and giving instructions to people on how to manage their equipment so we don't turn a nice Gore-Tex jacket into a kite. 

Right now our whole crew is doing great, we've got our porter staff up here at high camp they're in their tent enjoying hot drinks and some of their food, ungawe, a corn-meal type dish.  We're getting ready to go into our dining tent to brace the winds and enjoy some hot tea and biscuits and some other snacks before dinner.  We'll give you a call after we descend from the summit, if conditions allow, I'd like to call from the summit, but if it's windy, reception on the satellite phone is often compromised.  So for everybody back at home, let me just repeat that the whole team is together, we're all in excellent health and good spirits and I think we're going to climb this mountain is really good style, I look forward to calling in again tomorrow, for now, singing off.

January 11, 2004.  Karanga Camp. Listen to the call
Hello everybody this is Allen calling from Karanga Camp.  We're going to pass the phone around and let the team members say hello to those back at home.

Hey gang, this is John. Hi Amy Jess and Kevin, love and miss you guys. Take care of each other, look forward to seeing you, one more week. We summit tomorrow night, feeling fine having a good time, met lots of interesting people, great scenery. Hey Jack, Sharon everybody else at work, doing well, talk to you soon. Take care, bye.

Hi this is Hirsch, hello to Mom and Dad and my brother Hans.  I hope everyone is doing well there.  To the big boys, we'll have to meet up in a couple of weeks.  Scott, Kathleen, Charlie, Jim, see you next month for a big night in the city. See ya.

Hey this is Steve.  Hey mom and Grandma down in (?), hope you're well.  I'm doing fine looking forward to summit day tomorrow, tomorrow evening.  Hey Danny and Turkey (?) in London, see you in a week and half's time. Bye

This is Mike. Hi Laura, Kathryn, Christopher and Anna. Hope you guys are all doing well and you're listening to your mother.  Training has paid off Laura, no problems so far and we'll summit tomorrow night, so take care everybody, love, Mike.

Hey guys this is John here, meeting some really cool people, having a great trip. We're at 12,700 feet.  We're going to tag this bad boy tomorrow and then head home, and can't wait to see you guys in a week. So give Anna big kisses and hug for me and love to all my friends and family, bye.

Hi this is Lisa.  I want to say hi to my wonderful husband Roger and my two great kids, Connor and Cassidy, I miss you guys so much and I love you and thank you so much for letting me do this. Africa is beautiful. I've met some really great people. So far so good, feeling really good except I miss you, miss you a lot.  Hi to my mom and my dad, Dick and Betty my sisters, and hi to Heather my good friend and to everybody else who has supported me in this adventure,  Talk to you soon, bye.

Hi this is Allen again, I just want to say hello to Mary and let you know that Salvador is on board doing is usual good work, he says he remembers you and that's all good. Look forward to seeing you in a week.  That's it, this is  Team La La Salama Bearcats signing off, so until our high camp tomorrow we'll bid you farewell.

January 10, 2004.  Baranco Camp.
I'm calling from Baranco Camp.  For the first time on the trip so far we actually had nice weather today.  We had great views of the mountain all the way from Shira up to Baranco.  The theme for the day was sun:  sunglasses, sun visors, sun block, sunshine, it was a great day, especially after getting rained on for the first few days.  The team all did well on the way to Baranco Camp, arriving here in good style, giving us enough time to enjoy a leisurely afternoon nap before enjoying a nice dinner.  We will be heading up to Karanga Camp tomorrow and we'll have some of the team members send some messages home tomorrow.  Until then this is Allen signing off.

January 9, 2004.  Shira Camp.
Hello this is Allen calling from Shira Camp with today's cybercast.  I'd like to start it off by doing a favor for Steve and John, who would both like to wish their mother a happy birthday, so from the hills of Kilimanjaro, Happy Birthday to both of their mothers.  We came up with an expedition team name, we are officially the la la Salama Bearcats, which would translate to the 'Good Night Bearcats.' And of course we all know that  la la salama means 'Good Night' and Bearcats refers to the mythic African creature that roams the jungles along the mountain.  Today we started out from Machame Camp in fair conditions with intermittent spells of rain sometimes a little bit more aggressive than others. 

It's Day 2 of the trip and we haven't even seen the mountain yet.  I'm convincing the group that the mountain does exist and I think that they believe me, as we have been hiking uphill the entire time.  On the bright side of the weather phenomenon that has been surrounding us the last couple of days, we each have our own crystal clear mountain stream in front of our tents.  That's kind of a special thing. We're hanging in tough and we're having a good time. 

This afternoon we enjoyed pictures of Lisa's family and I've got a special message from Lisa to Miss Prechts', third grade class at Sunny Hills Elementary, where her daughter attends.  "We talked about books, we had streams of sunshine, and I have officially been put on watch to keep my eyes open for glimpses of the mountain that is said to exist."

Stay tuned and we'll call in tomorrow but you won't see that cybercast posted until Monday, so to all my friends and family back in the Seattle area, and to the A#1 office staff at Alpine Ascents, we will talk to you on Monday, bye bye.

January 8, 2004.  Machame Camp.
Hello everybody this is Allen giving you a call from Machame Camp.  We had a good day today, we did hike through the rain from Machame Gate at approximately 6,000 feet until we arrived at Machame Camp, just under 10,000 feet.  Despite the rain, I have to report, much to the chagrin of earlier expedition members, that they have completely redone the trial between those two points.  They raised it a little bit and have added gravel, making it mudless!  So for those of you who were on previous expeditions and remember the deep mud that we had to slog through, well that's a thing of the past, the park did a great job of repairing the trail and improving the trail.

The team members are doing really well, we just finished a nice dinner, and are hanging up our socks to dry and are getting ready to crawl into our sleeping bags.  Trying to think positive thoughts for tomorrow hoping that the sun will come out.  We also plan to come up with a team name hopefully by tomorrow night, we'll have thought up something creative and interesting.  We didn't see much wildlife today.  I think the rain kept the animals subdues a bit.  I do think I got a nice glimpse of a bearcat, which is a rare thing to see here but it was moving pretty fast, so I am uncertain. At any rate we'll give you a call back tomorrow night. Stay tuned and that's all for now.

January 7, 2004.  Arusha, Tanzania.
Hi this is Allen calling in with the first cybercast of the 2004 climbing season on Kilimanjaro.  Our team members arrived in Arusha this afternoon in good spirits and good health, after uneventful travel from all points across the globe.  It's a hot day here in Arusha, maybe 80 degrees plus some mild wind, but the sun is very intense.  We just completed our climb briefing and equipment check and right now our team members are busy packing and making last minute preparations for our departure to the mountain tomorrow morning. 

Our team members include John B, John N, Lisa B, Mike B, Steven A, Hirsch M, and me, Allen Carbert, your favorite Kilimanjaro guide.  Now that's all I have to say, we'll report to you tomorrow from Machame Camp.

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