August 26, 2010

Only for experienced climbers!

Today we set out for the summit of Mount Pahia, 727 meters of steep and muddy climbing. We headed out at about 7:00 am. Mojo and Ceol Mor (2 other cruising families) left ten minutes before us because we had a bigger engine then them. It turned out to be a race in which Dad kicked it into high gear to beat Mojo to the dock. We tied up just as it started to rain.

A couple of locals gave us some advice saying that the climb would be extremely muddy with even a little bit of rain. We didn't take their advice since this was our day to climb the mountain. Well I can tell you now that we should have took it. With a couple of turns and even using the guide book as a map we got lost and went back and found the entrance to Mount Pahia.

We were a large group made up of 3 families each with two kids with me being the oldest at 13 (turning 14 in a week:-)) and William being the youngest at the age of 8. We started the climb and once we reached the first steep part Ceol Mor turned back because of the crazy slope. This was a good decision on their part. The Perry family and the Mojos continued on through the muddy but fun to climb areas.

We began talking about how ropes would be nice for these steep areas. Well we rounded the corner and got our first rope:-), up the side of a small rock face. Half of us went up the rope....I went first. The others went around it using a small bushwack kind of trail. About a quarter of the way up we stopped for drinks because we were all thirsty. We then continued on into places where it was extremely tough and there was almost always a rope to do it. We stopped here and there and stopped off at a trickle of water falling down the mountain to splash our faces.

As we got higher we were more and more muddy and before yah knew it we saw our first amazing view of Bora Bora. The outer reef surrounding the isle was like a perfect square and the clear water showed the drop offs from shallow to deep water. I've got to say it was awesome! As we were going up we were wondering how we would get down and the risk factor of somebody getting hurt increased as we climbed higher and higher.

We finally reached a blue rope and this rope looked like it would take us to the top. We were right. I went up first to take a look and it turned out that that the blue rope ended and led on to a large grey rope that then went up the last bit to the top.

This top part was a 5 meter high rock face. I made an attempt but didn't feel comfortable. I looked down and I felt afraid. It was scary because if I let go I would break an arm or roll off a cliff. It wasn't a good feeling. Ondene, the mom on Mojo came up next. She fit the profile of an experienced climber and went up to the top. Mom then followed up to the gray bit of rope to spot me up to the top. Although she tried I never made it up to the top of the mountain because I just couldn't do it. After this I went down followed by mom.

Sven the Dad on Mojo went up to the top with Ondene and they had the kids wait below as they took in the view. My dad stayed down and we started the decent now without the Mojos. We reached a comfortable spot and had lunch soon and were soon accompanied by the Mojo's again. We enjoyed P&J baguette and homemade hummus and crackers.

Our way down was tough and we advanced to a whole new level of dirtiness. We had to slide down most of the mountain on our butts. We also had to repel down the ropes. At this point our butts were filthy, basically every inch below the waist had mud on it and our arms were barely distinguishable. Our toes were beginning to curl from all the weight that was being pushed on to them from the downward climbing. We stopped off at that trickle of water and used a leaf as a funnel and drank the water (avatar style). It was delicious water. We new it was clean because we were the only ones up there today. We finally .....after a long time made it to the bottom. If you asked me right now was it worth it I would say yes. This hike although high wasn't exhausting like the Pitons were. It was more about choosing the right foot step and Mom says I've got a knack for that. The hike was beautiful and I loved it.

By: Alex Perry

Ps....from I stood on the tiny ledge staring up the 5 meter high rock face and looking back as Alex descended I was faced with a decision.....would I climb to the top without the rest of my family or descend to join them. My competitive nature was beggin me to continue...the end was right there in front of me and I felt I could do it since my legs and arms were longer than Alex's....but all of a sudden it occurred to wasn't about the was about the journey and I grabbed hold of the rope and climbed back down to the Perry clan full of pride and happiness in what we had accomplished.


  1. Awesome blog Alex!! I hope you got some pictures! The hike sounds hard. I don't think I could have done it.

  2. The Acreage - Fort MacleodAugust 27, 2010 at 10:05 AM

    Great Blog Alex - great memory Perry Family!!!

  3. Excellent writing Alex. I thought it was your mother's writing right up until you started talking about "Mom":)

  4. Wonderful blog Alex, I am so glad that you are able to listen to your feelings and follow through. I could picture the climb in my mind, thanks for sharing this with us. Julie you are so right, in life it is about the journey. Love you