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Bringing Generations Closer

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We’re often asked what the minimum age is for the classic rappel tour, as families with active children enjoy the prospect of creating memories on Maui with their children. Rappelling and outdoor activities are great for bringing multi-generational families together.  Some children and teens even decide, after taking their rappel tour, that canyoneering is their new sport of choice. The outdoors rock!

The minimum age for the Rappel Maui classic tour is 10, with a minimum weight of 70 lbs, and a minimum waist measurement of 22″.   “What’s the maximum age?” one guest asked over the phone.  For the classic tour, we don’t necessarily have one, and  during the summer of 2017, an 81-year-old man completed a Rappel Maui tour with his family of two generations. He was not the slowest or the least graceful person on the course, and he went out for a nice dinner afterward. Renaissance man, indeed.

Whatever your activity level and appetite for adventure,  there’s probably an outdoor activity on Maui for you to discover. Thank goodness it’s a jungle out there.  Call us to discuss your multi-generational outing or ask about a senior discount.

 

What is Rappelling, Anyway?

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q&a

Aloha!  In this Question and Answer post, you’ll find out what rappelling is.  We’re happy to discuss it, especially since most of our guests are unfamiliar, and we like to welcome first-timers to the sport whenever possible.

What is Rappelling?

Rappelling is the practice of using ropes, a harness, belay device and other equipment to descend a steep terrain. It’s an important part of climbing, caving and canyoneering–the exploration of canyons.  There are a few kinds of rappelling styles. The kind that you’ll perform during a Rappel Maui tour is either:

A standard rappel, during which a person lowers herself down vertical terrain with her back toward the ground and her feet in contact with the rock, and walks down while letting the rope slide through the  device. (The angle of the rope through the device determines the speed of the descent.) Here’s where you can learn more about the standard rappels you’ll do during the Classic Rappel Tour.

OR,

A free rappel–we also refer to this as a “zip” rappel, during which the climber slides down the rope through free space between the rope’s two anchors. In the case of a Rappel Maui zip rappel, the high end of the rope is attached to the top of a jungle wall near the top of the waterfall, while the other end is attached to an underwater surface in the pool below. Thus the rappeller makes a rapid descent down the rope from the top of the cliff and zips down into the water, which slows her to a stop.  You can learn more about the standard and free rappels you’ll do during the Extreme Zip Rappel Tour.

Do You Still Have Questions About What a Tour is Like, and Whether it’s for You?

We’re here!  You can call us at 808-445-6407. You can email us at dropoff@rappelmaui.com. Or you can chat with us from your computer or mobile device.

Everything You Wanted to Know About a Rappel Maui Tour, But Were Afraid to Ask

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS, ANSWERED

If you’re the curious type, but aren’t ready to call us with your specific questions, we’ve put together this unabridged list of facts to help you understand the nature of a Rappel Maui tour.

WHAT IS YOUR TOUR LIKE?
The Rappel Maui tour is a fun and active experience for anyone over 10 who wants to experience the excitement and beauty of Maui’s rainforest and waterfalls through the sport of canyoneering. It’s a recreational tour that requires no previous climbing or rappelling experience.  Follow these links for more about what it’s like, who can join us, when tours run, and how to book. Of course, you can always call us for information at 808-445-6407 between 7 AM and 7 PM, every day of the year.

IS THERE A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MAKING MY RESERVATION ONLINE OR OVER THE PHONE?
The only difference in making your reservation online vs. over the phone is that you can make an online reservation any time of the day or night. Check availability or make a reservation now. Our reservation phone hours are 7 AM to 7 PM Hawaii time, 7 days. Call 808-445-6407 to make a phone reservation.

HOW MUCH DOES A RAPPEL MAUI TOUR COST?
The classic tour costs $228.12 per person. That includes tax, transportation from Central Maui, all gear (with special footwear), and lunch. The cost to accompany the tour without participating in the rappelling is $156.25.  The extended tour, the Extreme Zip Rappel Tour, is $290.63 per person.

WHAT IS CANYONEERING? WHAT IS RAPPELLING?
Simply put, canyoneering is the exploration of canyons. Some necessary activities associated with exploring and traveling through canyons are hiking, scrambling, jumping, sliding, rappelling, and swimming. Rappelling is the practice of using ropes, anchors and other equipment to descend (and sometimes ascend) a vertical or nearly vertical surface. When we conduct our rappelling tours, we use harnesses, ropes, and a redundant system of anchors to descend natural wet and dry jungle walls.

SHOULD I REMOVE ALL MY JEWELRY BEFORE RAPPELLING?
Out on the pitches and trails, it’s best to keep things simple and un-blingy. Remove any pieces of exposed jewelry that might catch on equipment or rocks. You will also be using your hands quite a bit, and they will likely contact hard, rough and muddy surfaces, so if you’re worried about damaging rings with or without stones, we do recommend removing them.  We don’t, however, recommend leaving any valuables in your car.  Either leave jewelry in your hotel safe, or bring it with you so that you can keep it in the dry keg in your backpack.

WHEN DO YOU OFFER TOURS?
We operate tours daily, with a maximum of four tour times per day. Look online or call to ask about availability for any particular time slots. Classic tour times are at 7:00, 8:30, 10:00 and 11:30 AM. The Extreme Zip Rappel Tour time is 9:30 AM, and operates 3 days per week. Note that these are the departure times from the Central Maui park & ride lot. If we’re picking you up at your South Maui hotel, or if we’re meeting you on the way to the rappelling site, you’ll board the van at different times. Just call, chat or email us to ask about the details.

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN RAPPEL MAUI CLASSES AND THE TOUR?
The classic tour is a 6-hour long experience that’s strictly recreational, and is operated daily. The extended tour is a 7.5 to 8 hour experience, and is open to first-timers and beginners. It operates 3 days per week. The classes are for those who want to learn the sport of canyoneering from an instructor and master guide. There are multiple courses focusing on a variety of skills and skill levels and are scheduled in advance. Take a look at the Courses page to learn more about the offerings and how to register.

HOW MANY RAPPELS WILL I DO DURING THE TOUR?
Usually 3 on the classic tour, 4 or more on the extended tour. The format may be different if you’re taking a custom private tour. Call to ask us about custom private tours for small or larger groups.

I’M CONSIDERING A RAPPELLING TOUR, BUT I’M SCUBA DIVING FIRST. WHAT’S THE MAXIMUM ELEVATION DURING THE TOUR?
The maximum elevation of the tour is encountered in Haiku, during the drive from Kahului to the rappelling site, and is about 750 feet above sea level. Once you enter the rappelling site, there’s no more elevation gain, as you’ll descend first, and walk back up to the beginning elevation at the end. If you’re continuing on your own to Hana after your rappel tour, please note that you may encounter elevations of 1,000 feet above sea or higher during the drive.

HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE IN A GROUP?
There are two guides assigned to a maximum of eight participants.  When making a tour reservation, your group may include other parties.  To make a reservation exclusively for your party of one or more people, call to ask about a private tour.

CAN I TAKE PHOTOS OR VIDEO DURING THE TOUR?
Yes. There are lots of opportunities to capture your memories on a still or video camera. You can mount your GoPro to your helmet, or, if you don’t have a waterproof camera, you can keep your digital camera or smart phone in the dry keg that we provide, along with a backpack for your use during the tour. You can also keep other small, non-waterproof or fragile items in the dry keg, such as car keys and watches. Pro tip: Place water-sensitive items in a sealed plastic bag before putting them into your dry keg for extra insurance.

WHERE DO I GO TO MEET YOU?
We pick you up at a park & ride lot in Central Maui, on Highway 310 at the corner of Highway 30. Get directions and a map to the meeting location. Please arrive 15 minutes before your tour departure time.  If you’re staying in South Maui, we can pick you up at your resort/hotel. (South side pickup is for the 8:30 AM tour time only, with pickup at 7:40 AM, or the 11:30 tour time, with pickup at 10:40. The fee is an additional cost of $25 per person for a round trip ride.)

HOW MUCH DOES THE TOUR COST?
The 6.5-hour tour costs $219 per person, plus tax. The extended tour costs $279 per person, plus tax. Price includes transportation from Central Maui, equipment (including footwear) and lunch, snacks and water. You can book online anytime or by calling 808.270.1500 7AM-7PM, 7 days. South Maui hotel transportation is available for $25 per person; $35 per person from the west side. Ask about pickup and return times, and booking your reservation with hotel transportation.

WHAT ELSE SHOULD I BRING WITH ME?
There’s hand sanitizer and cold running water at the rainforest site, but no shower or soap. There are changing rooms for you to use after your tour. Bring clothing to change into after the tour, and a towel. We give you a dry box with your backpack to keep your non-waterproof items dry during the tour, but for extra insurance, bring your non-waterpoof items in a seal-able plastic bag.  If you like to keep it neat,  bring a separate or plastic bag for your wet swimsuit and clothing.

WHAT IS THE RIDE LIKE TO THE SITE?
We pick you up in a white 15-passenger van clearly marked with the Rappel Maui logo, and make a 1.5 hour drive to the rappel site on the scenic Hana Highway. Along the way your guides are happy to answer questions about the island, Hawaii culture and history and the tour. You’ll be able to make a bathroom stop either in Kahului (10 minutes from the meeting location) or in Haiku (40 minutes from the meeting location.)  There are also facilities at the rappelling site, along with private changing rooms.  On the ride to Hana, you’ll travel past charming North Shore towns like Paia and surfer-approved beaches like Ho’okipa. As you go, the road becomes a little less straight, and the roadside vegetation a little more green and lush. You’ll see waterfalls on one side of the road, and the infinite sea on the other–relax and enjoy the views.

WHAT IF I’M STAYING SOMEWHERE CLOSER TO THE RAPPELLING SITE THAN TO THE MEETING LOCATION?
If your accommodations are on the way to the rappelling site, or if you’re coming from Hana or continuing on to Hana after your tour, it makes sense to meet us along the way, or at the site on the Hana Highway. Just ask us about your specific meeting time when making your reservation.  If you’re coming from Paia, Makawao-Pukalani,  or Haiku, we can pick you up in an alternative location that will save you time on the road.

WHERE DOES THE RAPPELLING TAKE PLACE?
The canyon where we rappel is located in the Puohokamoa Valley, located on the Hana Highway, approximately halfway to Hana. It’s about 1 hour from Kahului, and 1 hour 15 minutes from Hana. If you’re meeting us at the site, we’ll send you specific directions about where to meet us at the site once you make your reservation.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I AM PRONE TO CARSICKNESS?
Your guides are experienced drivers of the Hana Highway, and are great at keeping the ride as smooth as possible, but if you know that you or a member of your party is likely to experience some carsickness along the way, let us know when making your reservations. We can either make the usual accommodations, like putting you in the front seat of the van and making sure that your guides carry plenty of ginger candy, or we can meet you at the rappel site.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I’M TOO SCARED TO MAKE THAT FIRST STEP?
It’s normal and natural to feel nervous about making  your first descent–we welcome beginners and experts alike. Your guides have accompanied all kinds of guests, from children to seniors and beginners to seasoned canyoneers; they’re great at helping adventurers face the challenge of doing something as unusual as walking down a waterfall–and doing it safely. Listen to your guide’s instructions and tips–they know some great techniques for minimizing nervousness and maximizing enjoyment. And if you decide that making one or more rappels isn’t for you, there are hiking trails to the bottom of each descent. You can stay with your party and enjoy the waterfall pools and scenery without making that step over the edge. If you know that you want to accompany the tour, but don’t want to rappel, you can make a reservation as an observer, for a reduced rate of $150 per person plus tax.

IS RAPPELLING SAFE?
Although a rappel tour is full of excitement and thrills, your guides’ first priority is safety. That’s why your tour group size is small (maximum size of 8), with two guides assigned to each group. Your guides are highly-trained in canyoneering techniques, first aid, swift water rescue and wilderness rescue. They receive ongoing training during the year, and maintain certification in Red Cross CPR.  Our courses and equipment are monitored daily and equipment is carefully evaluated and retired when appropriate. When heavy rains and severe weather cause the streams to flood, we use the rappel stations that are a safe distance from the water. And everyone wears a helmet from the tour’s start to finish.  These are a few of the precautions that make a Rappel Maui tour safer than a day at the beach. Read these related posts about why the tour is safe, how we keep it safe, and what kind of excitement you can expect from a day in the rainforest.

DO I NEED TO BE SUPER ATHLETIC TO DO THE RAPPELLING TOUR?
The most important skills in having a great day of rappelling are listening and attentiveness, with the most physical exertion happening at the end of the tour. After the three descents, you’ll hike a well maintained trail under the cool forest canopy back up the 300 vertical feet to the top–it’s like walking up 3 or 4 flights of stairs.  At the supply shed, you’ll be able to change clothing in one of the private changing rooms.

WHAT IF I’VE NEVER BEEN RAPPELLING BEFORE?
You’re in good company. Most of our guests are first-timers or are new to the sport and skill of canyoneering. If you’re interested in learning the how-tos of canyoneering, or further skills you’ve already developed, there are a number of classes offered under the tutelage of our own master guide and canyoneering guru Dave Black. Learn more about canyoneering classes.

WHAT ARE YOUR RESTRICTIONS AND SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS?
You must weight between 70 and 250 lbs to participate, and your waist must measure between 22 and 54 inches. The minimum age is 10. You must be in good general health, and have no neck or back issues. The activity (including the observer/hiking option) is not appropriate for pregnant women. You must also be able to speak and understand English well.

IS IT COMMON PRACTICE TO TIP THE GUIDES?
If you feel that the service your guides provided was exemplary, tipping them is one way to express your appreciation. You can bring cash with you to the tour, or you can call the reservations line to authorize a charge to your credit card for any amount. You can also email us about your experience with your guides, or use a social site like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, TripAdvisor, Yelp and others.

What Shoes Should I Wear?

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q&aFrom the Frequently Asked Questions files, a very commonly voiced concern:  “What kind of shoes should I wear to the tour?” Because most of our guests have come to the island with a suitcase, they doubt they have come fully equipped with “the right stuff” to rappel.  The truth is:  Some forgiving clothing and a sense of fun and adventure are pretty much all you need to participate in this curious journey into nature.   The answer to “What kind of shoes should I wear on the day of the tour” is:   Whichever shoes you feel comfortable walking in for a few hundred yards, keeping in mind that those few hundred yards may be muddy.  1363439141_louboutins3

That’s because we equip you with special footwear at the rappelling site.  Wear your sandals, your mandals, your flipflops, wear sneakers.  Wear your  platform Louboutins (or not.) It’s all good, because, once you suit up, you’ll be taking off whatever you’re wearing on your feet, and replacing them with a neoprene booty with special felt soles designed for helping your feet grip the forest’s slippery surfaces.

Once you’re out on the ridges and trails, you will still need to step carefully and pay attention to your guides.  They know every part of the valley, and can point out places where the passage is tricky.  When you’re hiking along high passes on exposed cliffs, you’ll clip your harness to anchored ropes.  When walking up the trail “stairs”, conditions can be muddy and slippery when wet.  Use the anchored ropes and trees as handrails, to prevent slips, falls and otherwise ungraceful moves.

Once you’re back at the picnic area, you’ll have a chance to change out of your gear and shoes, clean yourself up a bit, and relax.  Unless you really did wear your Louboutins.

When Was the Last Time You Waterfall-Walked?

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If you’re not sure whether a waterfall rappelling tour is for you, ask yourself a few questions: Glori smirk

1. When was the last time I walked down a tropical waterfall, in a rainforest, on Maui?
2. When will I get another chance to walk down a tropical waterfall, in a rainforest, on Maui?

These are just a few of the prompts inspired by a recent article in The Maui Concierge, in which an intrepid writer named Heidi takes on the challenge and joy of harnessing up and looking down. Way down.  You can read up on her experience online or in print (at finer news stands all over the island.)

 

How to Prepare for a Safe Day of Rappelling on Maui

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While a Rappel Maui tour is a thrilling but safe activity, there are some natural hazards that exist out in the rainforest. The good news is, with just a little thought and planning, these common risks can be easily minimized and mitigated.

prepared-not-scaredInsects:  While there are mosquitoes in the rainforest, there is no malaria or dengue fever.  If you are particularly sensitive to bites, we recommend wearing pants and a long-sleeved rash guard.  We don’t recommend bug spray, since DEET can damage rappelling gear, and put chemicals into the rainforest streams.

What’s in the Water:  Sometimes longer expeditions take a turn for the worse when canyoneers fail to properly filter or purify their water from natural sources.  Avoiding waterborne illness is easy–don’t drink the water from the streams or falls.  Since there’s plenty of bottled water on your Rappel Maui tour, there’s no reason to do so.

Temperature: Getting too cold or too hot is a common show-stopper for canyoneers from Maine to Hawaii. If you know that you are prone to hypothermia or hyperthermia, plan and act accordingly. Don’t stay in the water if you find it very cold, and bring a rashguard or even a wetsuit top or wetsuit if you know you get too cold too quickly in chilly water.  Drink plenty of water and cool off in the pools if you’re feeling too warm.  Eat a good breakfast and hydrate yourself before your tour. Bring towels and a dry change of clothing with you so that you can return in comfort after a day in the water and/or rain.

Rockfall: Rocks can and do move about in the water, especially when water levels rise rapidly.  They can also be loosened on dry land by a number of factors, including climate.  In this case, we don’t recommend “using your head.”  Helmets save lives, and that’s why everyone wears a helmet, every day we go out, for the duration of the tour. No exceptions.  Listen to your guides always, who will be watching for loose debris.  Lean into the slope and look down (not up) if you hear someone yell, “Rock!”

Swiftwater and Flash Floods: When water levels are high, or there is a threat of flash flooding, we stay out of the streams and waterfalls.  We do dry rappels next to or overlooking the roaring falls on these days, the sights and sounds of which are unforgettable.

The Road to Hana: While we don’t drive you all the way to Hana from the pickup location, we do take the infamous Road to Hana about halfway there. It’s about an hour from the pickup location in Central Maui to the rappelling site, and so if you are prone to car sickness, please do let us know in advance.  There are a few measures we can take to make sure that you’re comfortable at the beginning and end of your epic tour.

There are other hazards associated with canyoneering in general, but there are some that simply won’t apply to you on a Rappel Maui tour.

Hunters and Land Owners:  Since we rappel with permission in a privately-owned valley, we don’t have to worry about angry farmers, ranchers, or Dick Cheney.

Wildlife:  The birds mind their own business, and the freshwater fish are so tiny, you need a little net to catch them. There are chickens and ducks nearby that belong to the arboretum, but they’re more like pets.  There are no snakes, bears, wolves or coyotes. Further, Hawaii is a rabies-free state.

Do you want to talk about your own personal preparation plan? We have our listening ears on from 7 AM-7 PM every day. Call 808.270.1500 or let your fingers do the typing at our Contact page

How Safe is Rappelling a Waterfall?

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keep_calm_rappel_square_sticker_3_x_3Sometimes during the same phone call with the person who asks, “How scary is rappelling?” we’re asked, “Is rappelling down a waterfall safe?”
The short answer is, “When you rappel with us, yes!”  The fact is that rappelling is safer than a regular hike down a hiking trail, and as you can read below, safer than the beach.  The 2 guides per 8 guests personalized attention and supervision, safety equipment, and nature of the activity all make a rainforest rappelling tour one of the safest activities on Maui.  Here are some other reasons why a rappelling tour is safe:

Natural vs. Man-Made Hazards

As with any outdoor sport, there are some common hazards and risks associated with canyoneering and rappelling. There are natural hazards, which are limited in number, and include things like rockfall, weather and swift-water current.  All of these dangers can be sensed, monitored or noticed in some way.

And then there are man-made or self-inflicted hazards that are brought on by some failure on the canyoneer’s part. These are much more subtle and numerous, and can include things like inadequate information about the environment, substandard gear, lack of expertise, and many, many other lapses in judgment and behavior.

Rappelling and canyoneering become dangerous when natural hazards, which are always potentially present, meet up with self-inflicted hazards.  In other words, a rappelling team can be its own worst enemies or its own best friends in any adventure.

Your New Best Friends: You, Your Gear and Your Guide Team

When we take new or old friends rappelling, our first safety advantage is the environment. Since we rappel in the same location every day, there are no new routes or anchors to assess, and therefore, there are few surprises.

We already knowCaptain & Clark May, 2014 what the path is like because it’s explored and maintained daily.  When routes change due to weather or water, we close the route until either we can change it, or it has returned to its previous, normal state.

We also know that you don’t go rappelling every day. That’s why there are two guides assigned to each person who’s rappelling: One at the top to get you started, and one at the bottom who’s there as your backup on the brakes, should you fail to brake properly with your rope.  It’s uncommon, but in the even of a mid-descent freak-out or freeze-up, the top guide can pull you or help you back up to the top.

If you’re not the greatest swimmer, make sure you communicate that to your guides. We’ll provide you with a personal floatation device, and we can also provide you with a dry keg in your backpack, which adds additional buoyancy. The guide at the bottom of the falls can make sure that you make it across the pond in good shape.  It’s only a few minutes worth of dog-paddling to the other side.

We know what kind of gear is necessary, and we use and carefully maintain the best gear every time, for everyone.  Whether it’s because of falling rock or stumbling while hiking any surface, we all wear helmets. Helmets save lives.

Your guide team is well-trained and practiced in communicating with each other both verbally and non-verbally using some of the same methods rescue personnel and military units have used for year, decades, centuries.

Many of the hazards canyoneers face in other environments simply aren’t present when we guide our rappelling tours. Again, the rainforest canyon we rappel is visited and monitored every day.

Because the valley we’re visiting is privately owned, we don’t have to worry about trespassing and angering a farmer or rancher.  We already have permission to do our thing.

Rattlesnakes are the bane of many a mountain climber and canyoneer. Luckily, we don’t have snakes in Hawaii, nor are there rabies, malaria or dengue fever.

We conduct tours rain or shine–there will be rain in the rainforest.  But lightning is extremely rare on Maui, and when the rain causes the waterfalls to practically erupt, we rappel existing routes that are near them or overlooking them, so that we can enjoy the excitement of the roaring falls without endangering anyone’s safety. When the water is swift or high, we don’t rappel in it and we don’t swim.

To learn more about some common environmental hazards, how we mitigate them, and how you can prepare for them, check out the post How to Prepare for a Day of Safe Rappelling on Maui.

How the Risks of Rappelling Compare to a Very Common Maui Activity

dangeroussurfWho visits Maui without going in the ocean? That would be crazy, right? Yet there are many more unexpected hazards in the ocean environment, and an overall lack of guidance for those who haven’t spent their lives in the surf. Remember,  you can’t get stung by a jellyfish or bitten by a shark on a rappelling trip.  You won’t get overrun by a surfboard, you won’t step on a spiny sear urchin (the dreaded “wana”), and you won’t get raked over coral by a wave you didn’t see coming.  You’re even less likely to get sunburned in the rainforest environment.  Yet not many people ask, “Is it safe to go in the ocean?”

On a very serious note, Hawaii emergency services and hospitals are plagued with a regular influx of people who have broken or damaged their vertebrae while body surfing, boogie boarding, or just standing in the waves.  Hawaii lifeguards are some of the best in the world, but the ocean is big and the surf is serious, unpredictable business. There are far more swimmers, surfers and kayakers than lifeguards, and unlike a rappelling tour, there is simply no way for them to help each person manage the natural hazards that exist, or the lack of knowledge about the power of the surf.

Safety is our first priority. We don’t do surprises.  When the water is too high or swift, we don’t go in it.  Our equipment, gear and anchor systems are checked and re-checked daily.  Our guides come to the job with years of experience, and receive ongoing training and education from renowned instructors.

Finally, it’s up to you to be your own best advocate, not just for your safety, but for your own enjoyment. Ask questions; be communicative. If you don’t understand or aren’t satisfied with an answer, it’s OK. We’re in no hurry.  Rappel Maui tour sizes are small so that each person can receive very specialized, personal attention from start to finish.  Listening to your guides and focusing on their instructions keeps everyone safe. And, if you decide that it’s not for you, you’re never obligated or forced to rappel once you’re at the edge. If that’s the case, you can continue on the tour as a hiker without having to leave the tour altogether.

But be forewarned:  Focusing on the experience and taking a rappel down a rainforest waterfall on Maui can induce intense feelings of accomplishment and satisfaction, with the possibility of wanting to do it again.

Are you still curious about safety and the other details of a Rappel Maui tour? That’s great! We encourage your questions, since it gives you a chance to prepare for the experience, and therefore get the most from it.  You can read more here at the blog about tour details, or, call us at 808.270.1500 7 AM-7 PM, 7 days a week.

How Scary is Rappelling?

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“So, I just have a question,” the person on the other end of the phone says, “how scary is rappelling?” That’s a tricky question, given that there are different kinds of scary, and the fear factor in any adventure is personal. If you want to know for yourself, read on, or call us at 808.270.1500 to talk about your day.  You can also see firsthand what Audrina Patridge thought of her first rappelling trip when she and the show 1st Look came to visit.

Rappel Maui-Glori takes on waterfall rappel like proWhat Kind of Scary Can You Expect–and Not Expect?
It’s NOT haunted house-scary. There are no “gotchas” in a Rappel Maui tour–and we keep it that way on purpose, no surprises.
It’s NOT unsafe-scary. We don’t take risks with equipment, best practices or behavior. Period.
It’s NOT prison camp-scary. There are no snakes, no rabies, no malaria, no dengue fever. There’s plenty of bottled water to drink, snacks to eat, and hand sanitizer/running water at the picnic area.
It’s NOT amusement park-scary. Unlike a roller coaster ride or even a zip line, rappelling is not a ride that happens to you. Once you begin your descent, you’re in control of the action and the pace. You’re the boss, with your guide team there if you don’t know what to do, or need a hand.
DO expect to feel the kind of scared that comes with doing something exciting, thrilling, that you don’t do everyday. Like walking down a tropical rainforest waterfall on one of the most remote islands on Earth, for example.
If you are feeling afraid at first, DO expect to feel a sense of accomplishment and invincibility afterward. Like you faced your fears and conquered them.

Rappelling Realness
You may not look graceful during all of your rappels. You may want to take a “do over” before you feel like you’ve got your ninja moves down.
Rappelling down natural, wild terrain may cause a broken nail, a scraped shin or some bruised skin. We’ve seen our friends show these off later, while telling and retelling stories about their epic day. We heard one young photographer say, “Mom, turn so that your scratch shows.”
The outdoors are messy; you may find the water chilly–or exhilarating. You will wear unusual equipment, get wet and gritty, and stay that way for a few hours. You might not look good in a helmet. You might follow a 10-year old who looks like a circus-performing monkey on her first rappel ever. Those are the realities of taking on one of the best adventures on the island. Let’s say that the “scary” stuff dissipates for most people long before everyone is finishing their dessert cookie at lunch.

What to Expect When You’re Rappelling

You will feel excitement from your surroundings and the experience. There’s the roar of the falls, the birds and breezes in the trees, the sensation of intense sun or soft shade of the tree canopy. Your senses will be stimulated. If the cliff exposure or the heights are turning your adrenaline up to 11, tell your guides; they are experts in focusing energy in the right direction. And you’ll find the built-in support of others on your tour, even if they are complete strangers, surprisingly inspiring.

Best Bets For Good Times
DO try to relax. Take photos and videos for sharing later.
DON’T worry about being inexperienced. We cater to people who don’t do this every day; that’s why the very best in the business are on the team.
DO listen up, look around, laugh out loud.
You can do this!