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Welcome to Michael's blog. Michael Andrew, (aka Michael The Maven) is a freelance producer, photography instructor, tech innovator, and when needed, disaster aid specialist. Disclaimer: Michael is a participant in Bhphoto & Amazon affiliate programs that provides an advertising commission if you purchase through links on this website.


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01.29.13         maui hot spots  

The Commando Hike


Ive been wanting to go on this hike for literally years, and even spent an afternoon trying to find it on my own (for several hours and I couldnt find it!). A few weeks ago, I ran into an old high school buddy, Jhonathan, whom I ran track with and is also living on Maui. Jhonathan loves to spend his weekends hiking around and he said he would show it to me.

I also had my good friends Marshall and Angie visiting from Idaho, who I met through Warren (my dentist). We all get along fabulously well and decided it would be a fun adventure to do the Commando hike together.

All images were taken with a Go-Pro Hero 2 in a Backscatter housing. I think I like the Go Pro more as a back up scuba camera, I really am not a fan of the 2 button controls and the way it turns on or off.

Side note about the Commando Hike, it is not user friendly. You will slip and fall on the river part (we all did) & you will get complete soaking wet from head to toe. You will also need to climb wet waterfalls, and if you cannot lift yourself up with arm strength, probably not a good idea to even try. A few years ago a man fell and was killed on this hike, and just a few months ago another group had to be rescued. All four of us are in pretty good shape and we all agreed not to do anything stupid.

The hike starts off through a cow field....
...and then up a river bed. Very hard to find if you do not know what you are looking for. It was no wonder I couldnt find it as there is no path. You literally have to walk up the river bed. You cannot really rock hop up it as this goes for about a mile or so. Flip Flops would be a nightmare. I was wearing Keen waterproof sandals, Marshall and Angie wore shoes, Jhonathan went barefoot.
Angie & Marshall....
...Jhonathan. He has been working out alot since I last saw him some 20+ years ago.
The token shot of the resident photographer so he wont feel left out.
Eventually you get to a point where you have to crawl through all these branches....
Then swim through a small pond, and up a first small waterfall....I had a backpack full of drinks, snacks, cell phone, leatherman, flashlights. All the important stuff was in zip lock bags to prevent damage.
This is what your pictures will look like if you have water on your Go Pro Port:
When we got to the first big waterfall, there was another group really struggling to get up. They had a girl in their group that could not climb up and they had to use team work to do it. I thought we were going to have to pitch in, but we didnt have to.
The way to climb up is as Jhonathan is demonstrating, not the girl in the white shirt. There are enough good foot and hand holds that any decently athletic person should be able to do it. Just dont slip!
After that waterfall, is the entrance to the first cave....
Which leads to more and more waterfalls and caves in side. Ive heard about people trying to go through without flash lights, I dont think that would be possible.
As it gets pretty much pitch black.
Good times though, lots of climbing and swimming.
Eventually you come out a drain gate on the other side. The opening isnt that big, but we all squeezed through no problem. There were waterfalls to the north and south of the exit, both were pretty big. The wide angle lens is distorting this, but I would say this was about 60 feet up.
There was a perfect, beautiful little lagoon waterfall just a short walk away. We decided to go swimming and do a few cliff jumps!
I got some video of Angie and Jhonathan jumping off the cliff and grabbed a quick shot of me swimming back. It was beautiful and serene. We ate a few snacks before heading back.

Some dude with a Mohawk was just chilling there with his girl friend.
The hike back was through a forest and was much quicker to get back to our cars. I think the whole trip took us about 2 hours. It was a great way to spend the afternoon.

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