The journey begins....
02/21/2006, Machame Camp, Kilimanjaro
Hello! This is Tamara, Jamie's Administrative Assistant, reporting from the SEI office in Colorado Springs where it is a sunny day of about 45 degrees with blue skies. It feels as if summer has arrived in contrast with the single digits of last week! Jamie called via satellite phone earlier today and left an update message which I will report here.
I had been wondering about the time difference, and in case any of you are wondering too... Tanzania is 10 hours ahead of us here in Colorado.
Jamie's call reported that the trip is going smoothly and everyone is doing great. As Jamie mentioned in his last webcast, they met at the Nairobi airport on Sunday and had a nice night staying in a quiet part of Nairobi. Yesterday, they drove from Kenya to Tanzania, approximately a 5 to 6 hour ride, arriving in Arusha safely after going through the Namanga border. During the drive from Kenya, Jamie noticed that the landscape appeared dry and that as Kilimanjaro loomed closer, there was less green than usual. Last night, they met their porters and then spent the night in Arusha.
The Kilimanjaro ascent is officially underway as of this morning. Dan, Scott and Steve each did well allowing them to reach the first camp, the Machame camp, in 5 ½ to 6 hours. Jamie's call was from the Machame camp at 10,500 feet where they will camp tonight.
Until next time,
Coming to Kenya always seems to me as if I'm greeting an old friend. I tried to count how many times I've done this, and couldn't I got lost around 12-13. Nonetheless I love it, arriving to the sights and smells is always welcome.
The jet-lag I could do without, and especially since I arrived at 0700 in the AM a first for me, its always nicer to arrive at night, that way you can sleep. I forced myself to stay awake, not an easy task. I'm on my way to pick up the team, Steve, Dan and Scott-all weary eyed and ready for the trip to begin bo doubt. I have us staying in a new part of town this go around, mainly since I wanted to avoid being in the city centre. The place were at is quiet, and truthfully its in my opinion perfect. First time I've been in Nairobi and actually heard the birds....
Tomorrow we load up for Tanzania, crossing the border in Namanga. A highlight for many folks. It sites near the foot of the Rift valley and the border for entrance into Tanzania. I always have folks get visas here, mainly because its a full on immersion into way of life here. Otherwise your on a van or bus, off for moments and then herded through the border like cattle, and that is just not my style. Besides Steve loves to barter with all the local craftsman in getting good deals on art. Its entertaining to watch.
I'll be passing the torch on this one to other group members to do updates. As well Tamara in the office will be helping out as I call her on the Sat-phone for ongoing updates.
Till tomorow. Jamie
02/16/2006, Colorado Springs
It's been a busy couple of weeks. Nursing aching joints, and catching up on many details that if gone unnoticed may leave my CPA made at me yet again. This has been a blustery week, one that seems almost bi-polar in the sense that on Monday I was rock climbing in a short sleeve shirt here in Colorado Springs, and yesterday walking Hudson my dog in a down parka. Ah Colorado Springs.
We're still full tilt with all our Avalanche courses? This year were so thrilled to have a strong team of guides and instructors that are leading the Level 1 and Level 2 AIARE courses for us. Were getting dumped on in the mountains as we speak. The adjectives that my good pal Shawn used to describe the snow rate as it was coming down on his recent trip from Breckenridge was "puking snow"! That about sums that up.
I managed a free ½ day to take in some sunny rock-climbing with our new Executive Admin Tamara and Bruce Hamilton our Senior Guide earlier in the week, and holy cow how nice it was to shake out the cob webs with a good healthy dose of "fear therapy" on lead..
I'm off to Nairobi tomorrow, can't believe it but its true. Tamara will be holding down the fort, and what a job that will entail, I think she is probably wondering what she has gotten herself into working at this crazy place, but we're thrilled to have her on the team.
I meet my climbers on Sunday in the sweltering metropolis of Nairobi. I'm excited for yet another great adventure in Tanzania and Kenya. I'm armed with bags of gear for the guides on Mount Kenya that I'll be training and dozens of pairs of shoes and other goodies supplied by my wife Dustin for the Tumani children's home. How excited they will be, of all the things in the world they need more of its-shoes..
More from London or Nairobi depending on energy level, its always a huge task trying to stay awake once you land in Nairobi, if you arrive in the AM, which I do, and then fall asleep your done for, and your clock will be off for days. Instead staying up on a fix of espresso and walks downtown, where they drive on the wrong side of the road will certainly add enough adrenaline to keep one up.
This photo is taken on Mount Kenya during our ascent last year.