Maui residents and visitors can now walk down waterfalls-backwards. Rappelling is safe, fun, exciting, and, though it's popular worldwide, it has only recently arrived on Maui through Rappel Maui.
For three decades, Ken Schmitt and M.J. Harden ran the award-winning Hike Maui. During that time, they explored most of the major canyons and waterfalls on Maui. And eventually an idea emerged. Why not rappel into these valleys, dropping down waterfalls into pristine and powerful nature?
But since canyoneering was not yet done in Hawai'i. Schmitt and Harden needed an expert.
As they searched, the same name kept popping up-Dave Black, a well-known Utah canyoneer, ice climber and rock climber. Black, who has 40 years experience climbing and rappelling, literally wrote the book on the sport-a 200-page sports' guide called "Canyoneering; A Guide to Techniques for Wet and Dry Canyons."
Black joined the team as manager, and inspects the companies top quality ropes, anchors, harnesses, hardware and helmets daily.
Rappel Maui is located in a privately owned, isolated, wilderness rainforest valley with two waterfalls, adjacent to a 29-acre botanical garden. The valley is so magical that Steven Spielberg shot the opening scenes of his movie, "Jurassic Park," there.
The adventure is six to seven hours, usually from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. or 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. It costs $200 per person plus tax. The day combines hiking, swimming and rappelling, and two well-trained guides staff each group.
For more information, visit www.rappelmaui.com or call (808) 270-1500. Follow Rappel Maui on Facebook and YouTube.