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Thread: Kaipapau Gultch, Oahu First Descent!!

  1. #1

    Kaipapau Gultch, Oahu First Descent!!

    This past weekend we set out to tackle a gulch we've been planning on doing for a while now but never got around to for one reason or another.

    We got a late start by Oahu standards and didn't hit the trail till 9:45am. This particular gulch requires a long and painful approach up a trail that everyone hates...but you gotta do what you gotta do right?? After a bit of route finding once we hit the summit, we dropped into a drainage leading into the gulch at about 2:30pm and at this point were preparing for a long day. After rock hopping for an hour or so we started to get to the start of the drops.

    It had been raining almost nonstop since about an hour into our approach hike so by this point the water flow was pretty solid. It was so wet and we were in such a rush that I didn't bring out my camera until we had gone down the first few falls or so, but there were still many more awaiting us.

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    As the sun started to go down we hit this super fun section of the canyon where it was just one drop after another after another. The water flow had picked up significantly by this point and made for some fun/scary rappels.

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    We were still had around 1400' elevation to cover at this point as it was starting to get dark in the canyon so we all started to give in to the fact that the rest of the rappels would be in the dark. Everyone was still having a blast though...

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    After a few drops in the dark we reached the final drop, Kaipapau falls. We had done this particular drop before so knew we were home free after this. Doing a 95' drop in the dark when you can barely see the bottom was exhilerating but everyone by this point was exhausted.

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    We had covered close to 10 drops, most of them in the 50'-150' range, and an elevation loss of 1800' so far. We knew we were done with all the drops but were trying to brace ourselves for the 2 1/2 hour rock hop to get out of the gulch . We stumbled, swam, waded, slipped, fell, and crawled our way to the finish line at close to 2am. Kaipapau was in the books and it only took 16hrs to do it. Oahu canyons man...

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  4. #2
    Wow that is a long day. Nice TR! Thanks for sharing!


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  6. #3
    Beautiful! Love those in direct flow rappels!
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  8. #4
    Love the Converse Canyon Shoes!

  9. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Slipknot View Post
    Love the Converse Canyon Shoes!
    Nice spot!! Haha yeah those became the story of the day...kind of a last minute scramble cuz he had lost his other shoes. I didn't envy him after all that rock hopping in those things.

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