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Written by Bob Murphy, subjected to rigorours review by Jeff Huff and Matt Stevens
I went diving with my son, Kevin on Saturday and I was pretty nervous (scared) when we did a 107 foot dive. I told Jeff that’s the most frightened I’ve been in a couple of years. Well, the Sunday run beat that hands down. Matt changed the run order – thank goodness – and we started on the Windward side. It was a beautiful day (a little humid) and we were in good spirits running to the trail head. My previous experience with Olomana with Don Fallis was basically a walk-up, but we turned around before the top due to rain.
Matt was leading the way, taking pictures and telling stories. Jeff and I were trying to breathe and not die. The way up the first peak was kind of dicey towards the top. There were fix ropes to help you climb over the big rocks. I have relatively strong legs, but the upper body strength of a small boy. I was hanging on for dear life and cursing the lack of push-ups in my life. The drops were unreal – straight down. Luckily, heights don’t bother me, but falling really does. At the top of the first peak, we were pretty excited – an incredible view looking down the Windward side.
Matt told us the way down was like running down Nuuanu…he was lying. Jeff developed a unique way of descent; hereafter know as the “Huff butt-crawl”. The man has a very talented butt and I suspect may be part of his Tahoe 100M strategy. Matt was skipping along, Jeff was alternating sliding and crawling, and I was hoping that Hardrock was not like this.
Coming down the 2nd peak was a long descent with three fixed ropes. Jeff volunteered to go into the great unknown first. I wanted to ‘hold’ his car keys just in case, but he said he was fine and that Matt had a car. It seemed like it took a long time to get down, but that’s probably because I was holding my breath. Actually, it was a long way down. At the bottom, I remember saying that at least we don’t have to go up that bad-boy. We’ll have our chance and it was a great photo op – something that was definitely on our minds as we were climbing out. But I get ahead of myself.
At the top of the 3rd peak, we did a quick assessment of our cuts, scratches, and bruises. Matt had none and his shirt was still dry, Jeff was pretty beat up and soaking wet, and I was sweating like a big dog with a couple of boo-boos. Matt told us this was the most dangerous descent. Jeff and I were very excited about a new opportunity to prove our manhood – actually, we said crap! We got a third of the way down and decided to send Matt ahead to scout the descent (sheer drop-off). Discretion was the better part of valor and we decided to reverse and go back the way we came. That was definitely the right decision.
The climb up the fixed rope wasn’t that bad. I think we knew it was the last challenge and it was the only way out. The helo evacuation was discussed, but would have been cost prohibited. I kissed the ground when we finally got down. After I spit out the dirt, I was really happy to be alive. That was quite an adventure. Matt was great and kept us safe. Jeff had a great time, but his Patagonia running shorts got a couple of tears. A great last Hawaiian adventure.