Noticed the following article in yesterday's Advertiser...
"A 34-year-old Navy man with a compound-fractured left leg was airlifted out of the mountains above Hauula yesterday afternoon. The hiker was climbing down a cliff near the second waterfall on the Maakua Gulch Trail when he fell into the water below, fire officials said. The man apparently broke his leg on a rock under the surface, rescue workers said. The fire department was notified within an hour of the accident, but it took another two hours to get the man to an ambulance because the maneuver to reach the man was dangerous and "tricky", Capt. Roger DeHay, of Engine Company 15 in Hauula, said. The injured hiker was taken by ambulance to Kahuku and later airlifted by military helicopter to Tripler Army Medical Center. The hiker is a petty officer first class stationed at Pearl Harbor. His name was not released."*
What a terrible accident !!! My heart goes out to the injured man. However, I hope the fire department doesn't cut the Maakua Gulch ropes. There is a series of atleast 7 ropes hanging down the steep rock face of 7 waterfalls above the normal termination point of the Maakua Gulch Trail. Although dangerous it is very exciting to climb up the side of the waterfalls as you penetrate deeper and deeper into the valley !
* Lum, Curtis "Firefighters rescue hiker above Hauula" HONOLULU ADVERTISER Hawaii section page B-3 September 2, 1997.
Yup, I've been up 6 of those ropes, you need to have good upper body strength to pull yourself up the falls. I did it 4 years ago, fell off the second falls into the water in the center of the pool accidently. I felt my hands slipping, my arms were super tired so I pushed off the rock face with my legs and let go of the rope at the same time. I *aimed* myself towards the middle of the pool before pushing off. Lost my glasses in the water. Had to hike out 1/2 blind. Went back a week later w/face mask and snorkel and retrieved my $200 pair of glasses.
That gorge the falls cut thru is so gorgeous, the grren moss and ferns covering the walls and just a sliver of blue sky above. I hope they leave the ropes too but I would understand their reasoning if they did cut them. They *are* dangerous. BTW, I understand there are *7* ropes as you say Pat, can you eventually connect with the KST/Castle trail if you follow the falls far enuf back in???? I always wanted to dpo that, my buddy and I poured over the topos before trying to plan our route.
On Wed, 3 Sep 1997, Art Neilson wrote: > can you eventually connect with the KST/Castle trail if you follow the > falls far enuf back in????
A good question. Dunno if anyone has ever done that but I'd suspect that someone has tried. When Pat, Pete Caldwell, Laredo and I did the KST several months back, we looked over the area that drops down to what would be the head of the stream that funnels through Maakua Gulch. The routes down didn't appear precipitous at all but I'd imagine since no trail exists the going to/from the stream would be hard and slow.
Perhaps another thing to consider would be if other falls exist above the seven known ones. Maybe there is one or two that may be too high or steep to negotiate.
If I can remember, I'll ask some of the HTMC vets (John Hall, Bill Gorst) if they know the answer to your question.
Since this thread started on the topic of rescues, I also read in yesterday's *Star-Bulletin* and in today's *Hon Adv* about a woman who died on Sunday while hiking the Keauhou Trail in the Volcanoes National Park. Apparently, she collapsed five hours into the hike down the trail on a 93 degree day (probably hotter in the lava fields).
At 2 p.m., her hiking partner, an M.D., hiked two miles downslope to seek help, leaving her friend in the shade and with water. Not sure why it took so long, but the rescue helicopter did not reach the collapsed hiker until 11:20 p.m. I heard a report that the woman, a resident of Colorado, was already dead when the chopper arrived. Today's *Hon Adv* article seems to contradict that.