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Wall of Dreams First Descent

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by NateFlet, Sep 24, 2021.

  1. NateFlet

    NateFlet

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    Location:
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    It's been a while since I've posted here but I figured it'd be nice for you guys to get a change of scenery! This past weekend, our crew of 6 dedicated valley explorers tackled one of the largest valleys amongst the Hawaiian Islands. To keep this post as short as I can, ill try to stick to the cool stuff and leave all the backstory stuff behind.

    We started our hike up a well-known trail on Friday evening and worked our way up the mountain into the night. This approach was not going to be an easy one so we worked to get as far up trail as we could, as the next day would be a hard one...

    Photo 9-17-21, 6 41 08 PM.


    The next morning, we continued our long approach up the mountain until we eventually made a turn off the beaten path and onto a trail made specifically for this approach (thanks to Tim and Matt for their many hours and hard work spent bushwhacking this side trail). We spent the next couple of hours following this trail until eventually, the dreaded but expected end had come. Matt and Tim only made it so far before they had to turn back, so now it was time to spend hours bushwhacking through some really dense vegetation to get to our drop-in spot. After 10 hours of climbing up and down streams and bushwhacking through head-high Uluhe ferns, we had finally made it to the drop-in point, which also doubled as our camping spot for night 2. Talk about one hell of an approach... not for the faint of heart.

    Photo 9-18-21, 4 27 11 PM.

    Sleeping next to a streambed is actually quite nice... until you wake up in the middle of the night to a steady downpour of rain and the sounds of a gushing waterfall. Usually, this wouldn't be a problem but in this case, we expected a descent with very low flow so we opted to leave our wetsuits in the car to save some weight. We woke up before first light to a blasting stream, not to mention the waterfall nearby our camp had increased in flow by at least 4x. We spent a few minutes deciding whether or not to make the descent before we said screw it, threw on all our extra clothes, took down our tents, and headed downstream. We blasted our way through the first few small rappels until we reached the ledge.

    IMG_4611.JPG

    From this point on, the canyon makes a steep drop down over 2000' straight to the amphitheater below.

    IMG_4616.JPG

    Above is myself rappelling down a smaller drop with some pretty hefty flow, you can see a 240' waterfall in the background. I had witnessed the water untie my shoe while on rappel and almost rip it straight off my foot!

    IMG_4618.JPG

    Above is a view looking down the canyon from a small ledge in between a 280' and a 340' waterfall. The next photo is the same sequence of rappels from the bottom. Unfortunately, I had to sacrifice the picture quality to get the website to accept the photo in this post.

    Photo 9-18-21, 8 28 13 PM.

    After a very cold first couple of hours, the clouds had finally lifted and the sun began to reach into the valley! This made for a much more enjoyable descent.

    Photo 9-19-21, 10 45 00 AM.

    Here's RBB enjoying the sun and staring down canyon at the long hike out that awaits us.

    After many rappels, we hit a sunny ledge with one hell of a view. Looking to our right, we were able to see 2 large falls which would later merge all into one very large stream.

    IMG_4626.JPG

    Heres the large 420' rappel right next to a ~600' waterfall from another unexplored stream. Views coming down this rappel were the best I have ever had. The sun glare on the mist of the waterfalls created rainbows right next to us down the whole rappel. Not to mention the large waterfalls to our left... Check out the Pictures Thread for the view while coming down this big guy.

    Photo 9-18-21, 10 25 38 PM.

    Heres a photo from the bottom of the same drop, but looking left. You can see the large ~600' fall right next to us with the ~1000' drop in the background. While the back waterfall may not look large, this photo only captures half of its true size...

    IMG_4649.JPG

    We continued down canyon, tackling drops left and right. Shown below are the last drops before making it to the base of the amphitheater.

    Photo 9-19-21, 3 36 03 PM.

    Photo 9-19-21, 2 15 17 AM.

    After many hours of descending, we had finally made it to the bottom of the large headwall containing the majority of the rappels. Here's the view looking back up canyon. The tiered stream in the center of the photo is what we had just come down.

    IMG_4699.JPG

    The rest of the afternoon involved rock hopping, rock hopping, and more rock hopping. It took us about 5.5 hours and 4 more smaller rappels to exit the canyon from the base of the amphitheater. Moving as swiftly as we could, we spent the last 2-3 hours hiking and rappelling in the darkness. Which really is a shame as the canyon slotted up quite a bit more than a couple of times along the dark hike out. Heres Matt making his way down the second to last drop.

    Photo 9-19-21, 4 33 35 AM.

    We ended our adventure at 10:30pm, making for a 16.5 hour day. Not bad. Our arrival back to the car marked the end of the FD of Hawaii's now largest established route. The beta for this one is pretty nuts, coming in with a total of 19 rappels, where almost half of them are over 240'. The approach was long and physically demanding, the exit was long and hard with wet and heavy packs, and the flow throughout the canyon was probably as strong as you'd ever want it to be. We celebrated our accomplishment with some Krispy Kreme donuts that we had left sitting in the car prior to the hike up. We named the canyon Wall of Dreams for obvious reasons.

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  2. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Awesome as in DOUBLE AWESOME!

    t
    hank moon, Rapterman and NateFlet like this.
  3. vanyoneer

    vanyoneer

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    What's your rope selection and anchoring techniques on this trip? Impressive stuff.
  4. NateFlet

    NateFlet

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    Location:
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    Thanks! Anchoring techniques are about as basic as they get, using mostly water knots or extended overhands around trees and boulders. Only had to bolt a single drop. On large drops, we always give ourselves awkward starts with the rap ring over the edge, which is obviously a fair trade-off for an easy pull.

    As for ropes, we had a 600' and a 350' Sterling Firetech, a 450' and 200' Bluewater Canyon Extreme, and then another 200' Sterling C4.
    ratagonia likes this.
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