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Oahu Canyoneering: Zig N' Zag descent (July 14, 2019)

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by NateFlet, Jul 16, 2019.

  1. NateFlet


    This past Sunday, the crew prepared for a long day in the mountains, ready to run a canyon which we had thought nobody had run. We reached the trail head at 6:45am and begun the long, 3 hour hike up the mountain.

    On our hike up, the canyon looked almost to steep to run, so we assessed the situation with Emilio's drone. Oh how technology has made everything so easy...

    After seeing the canyon as runnable, we continued on to the drop in point. Dropping into canyons in Hawaii is no joke. We clawed our way through thick ferns, soggy branches, and sharp blackberry bushes, until we finally reached the stream bed. After a little bit of rock hopping, we reached our first drop.

    Another short walk lead us through a thick overgrowth of Ulehe ferns, which created a natural tunnel above the stream, where we found our next rap. I think this may have been one of the coolest rappels in this canyon, as you start in a fern tunnel and exit the tunnel with some crazy views. Here's a pic of Emilio on rope.

    The canyon really started to drop off the side of the mountain. We begun to hit rap after rap with little to no hiking involved in between.

    Here's Lopaka making his way down one of the smaller drops.

    Sean working his way through some overgrowth on his way down a rap.

    We quickly began to realize that we weren't the first ones down this canyon. We found signs that there had been at least two other groups that had run the canyon, one of those groups being quite recently, in fact so recent that we were able to reuse some of their anchors (after close inspection of course) which is really quite rare out here on the island.
    Many rappels later, we finally reached the last two drops, which seemed to be the largest drops in the canyon.

    We didn't really focus on measuring any of the rappels, but the last one was probably the largest, coming in at somewhere between 230 and 280 feet. This completely devastated me as I had lugged around 420ft of rope in my pack all day. Guess that's the price you gotta pay for running unknown canyons out here...

    After packing up the rope and gear, we began our hike out of the canyon. We made it back to the car at around 7:30pm, clocking in at a total of 12.5 hours up in the mountain, not too bad.

    After a little bit of talking around, I learned that the canyon was given the name "Zig N' Zag" by those who had the first descent. Man its hard to find information on these places...
    JakeH, Jolly Green, Sutitan and 4 others like this.
  2. ratagonia


    Mount Carmel, Utah
  3. JMarty287


    Solid work, thank you.
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