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Level 2: 98 points
Last Logged In: October 11th, 2009
TEAM: MANUIA MOOREA BART Psychogeographical Association Rank 1: Commuter

15 + 58 points

The Highest Place by tropictuco, LC Wildcard, Orynes

October 8th, 2009 12:06 PM / Location: -17.51097,-149.8423

INSTRUCTIONS: Go to the highest point of anything.

For this task, we hiked, climbed, and crawled our way up to the summit of Mt. Rotui, Moorea - French Polynesia.

Legend has it that the god Hiro tried to steal this mountain and take it back to the nearby island of Raiatea, but the warrior Pai saw this and hurled a spear from the neighboring island of Tahiti - piercing a large hole at the top of another mountain (Mouaputa), waking the roosters of the island and leading to a heist-stopping ruckus. Hiro only made off with the top bit of the mountain, and to this day there exists a hill on Raiatea with characteristically Moorean flora. Rotui is the second highest mountain on Moorea, and although oftentimes sketchy, was still safe enough for us to tackle with a touch of care. The higher mountain (Tohieva) is better suited for the likes of Spiderman than college students.

Getting up from sea level to the highest point at 2980ft took us a good 5-6 hours, hikes take a little longer when you're taking the time to not die. This rather perilous stroll takes a "path" along the thin ridge of the mountain, with a narrow bit of solid earth to walk on with vegetated cliff on either side. Sometimes you don't even get the solid ground, just an earthy jello of roots and dirt.

We and a few friends were lead up the mountain by our intrepid guide - David Hembry, Entomologist (DHE for short). The day starts with DHE briefing us about how he knows of only one death on the mountain, group morale is his forte.

Our first challenge? Biting dogs along a bit of private property we need to cut through to reach the base, don't worry, DHE says he knows how to stave them off. Rocks. Or in the words of the consummate badass himself: "There are some small biting dogs here. I'd be willing to throw rocks at them." The hounds let us slip by with just a little investigation and a tail wag though, we got lucky.

From there, it was just up and up. There was the occasional mishap but nothing serious, a leg going off the side where the edge of the trail was obscured by ferns or soft ground giving out, fortunately this type of tomfoolery was conducted along the less sheer areas.

Along the way we came upon a rest spot with a tattered improvised flag, a nice view, and mean ants.

Toward the end, the small peaks were steep enough that ropes were installed to help out.
main_trail485299.jpgⓜoustache ⓔnvy (teal hat) does some small time rappelling.

Eventually, we made it! Here's the victory GPS reading:

+ larger

Guardians of the Mountain
David Hembry, Entomologist
The ridge
Rest spot #2
The trail
A nearby ridge
Some more trail . . .
Recovering from a fall on the cliffside
A couple of our stalwart companions
A view
Another view
Opunohu Bay Panorama
Cook's Bay Panorama
1/3 of the collaboration team
The 2nd third
The last bit of the collaborators
The Rotui Crew

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6 comment(s)

Well done!
posted by Borgasm on October 8th, 2009 12:35 PM

such beautiful scenery @_@ What an awesome hike!

(no subject)
posted by artmouse on October 8th, 2009 4:46 PM

i'm just super glad it didn't rain on us! that would have been super sketch.

DH,E also told the tale of the one time he got stuck up on Rotui in a crazy rainstorm and was pretty much covered in mud by the time it was safe enough to descend.

we were all slipping pretty hard without it raining - i think it's safe to assume one of us would have taken a nasty spill had it been raining!

in any event, i'm so very proud of all of us for surviving.

(no subject)
posted by officer j-dog on October 12th, 2009 10:33 AM

damn kids, those crazy stories of people almost falling off!!! but i still wanna do it!

(no subject)
posted by Mr Everyday on October 16th, 2009 7:18 PM

Very nice job. Love those Polynesian deities, always stealing mountains (There are 4 or 5 similar Maori stories).

(no subject)
posted by artmouse on October 17th, 2009 2:37 PM

land is quite the commodity in the middle of the ocean~~~~

posted by River Rock on May 31st, 2010 12:32 AM

What a hike! What a place! Thanks for the vicarious enjoyment--