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Oahu Canyoneering: Hidden Dragon / Ma'kaua Falls (605' Rappel)

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by NateFlet, Sep 10, 2018.

  1. NateFlet


    Ma'kaua Valley (not to be confused with Ma'akua Valley) is a shorter valley as it's connected to an isolated mountain rather than the usual Koolau or Waianae Ranges on the island. The hike up and above the valley took just under 2 hours and provided some incredible views spanning over the entire eastern side of the island. I wish we had gotten a better picture of the view, but the best thing we got is a photo of Jesse with the ocean in the background.

    After the quick scramble to the top, we brought out the ropes and started heading downwards. The first drop was a nice and easy rappel that ended in a small pool.


    Directly on the opposite of the pool was the next, and the last, drop; a beautiful 605' waterfall chute. We set the anchor with a MMO, tossed the rope, and then sent Luca on his way down first. After waiting a solid 10-15 minutes, Luca radios in. Turns out the rope was just ~10ft short off the ground. Luckily, with the trusty MMO, we were easily able to get him to the floor, then re-rig the anchor as a biner block. I sent the rest of the crew down, until finally, it was my turn. I made a redirect with a second anchor for the pull cord for an easier pull, threw down the pull line, clipped myself in, and began the descent. The rappel down was literally breathtaking as the weight of the rope gave me an unwanted workout in my right arm, but the views were incredible. I look around and all I see are sheer vertical cliff faces dropping down hundreds of feet to sea level. I look straight behind me and straight out of the valley is the bright blue ocean that reaches outwards until it reaches the horizon. Hawaii canyons are awesome.

    Here's Jesse giving Luca a farewell fist bump as he clips in.

    And here's the bottom shot:

    Here's another shot of the bottom (Hint: Look for the kiddo heading down the chute)

    Now the fun part was over, but we still needed to retrieve the ropes. This process took longer than it took us to descend the two falls... 600ft of rope is heavy! We used a 3:1 pulley system and we still needed to use the weight of two of us to pull the line down.


    After 2 hours and some very sore arms later... we finally began our 45 minute hike out of the valley.
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