The Most Challenging Thing to do in Bora Bora

by Mike on November 11, 2014

I discovered on my first day in Bora Bora that I could hike to the peak of Mt Pahia. I inquired about going about this with the front desk of the hotel and they recommended I take a guide.

Mt. Pahia

View from the Peak

Apparently, there’s only a handful guides that run their own tour company and the go to guy is someone named Azdin. I’ve never met him, I’ve only talked on the phone with him about his availability. When I inquired about Mt Pahia with Azdin, there was no one else signed up for the day I wanted to do the hike so he told me to call back a few days before the day I wanted to hike to see if anyone else would sign-up.

 

I called again and no one else signed up. Presumably, he didn’t want to take me alone because it wasn’t worth his time despite charging 14,000 XPF per person.

I didn’t ended up wasting more time with this guy as his mind was more into the money than making an enjoyable trip for someone.  So, I found a local who was willing to go with me as my guide for less than half the price of what Azdin was charging. The local guide arranged to meet me at the ferry drop off point in Vaitape and walk to the trail head.

VIEW FROM THE TRAIL

The hike starts off walking and immediately gets steep with the first rope climb coming about 20 minutes into the hike. From there, the hike is more like a climb.  I was constantly placing my foot on a firm piece of rock and pulling myself up.

Steep Rocks

Steep Rocks

For this trip, I packed my scuba gear and hiking gear thinking I’ll be using them in Bora Bora and New Zealand respectively.   I was glad I had my Asolo TPS hiking boots as it made for better traction on the rocks and dirt trails.   I think I would be slipping a lot more if I had sneakers or trainers on.

My local guide on the other hand was barefoot the entire time even on the rocks.

Mt. Pahia Guide

Barefeet

At times, I found myself scrambling as I was making my way up trail. There was at least one time that I had to hop–up and use my entire upper body to push my lower body up.

The last push is the probably the most challenging because I had to pull myself up with the rope as I had to find foot holes to plant my feet to push upwards.

It took us about an hour and half to ascend to the peak with a few short breaks scattered here and there.  The makings of the views are apparent as I can peak through the trees and see the beginnings of a scenic view.

THE VIEWS

The panoramic view was amazing. I can turn 360 degrees and see water all around. The real peak of Mt Pahia is bit higher, but my guide urged me not to make an attempt with the clouds rolling in(clouds tend to get stuck around the peak) and a steep wall that needs to be scaled.

Mt. Pahia Guide

 

My guide brought a Papaya as a snack.

Mt. Pahia Guide

Papaya

THE WAY DOWN

The decent took longer than the way up mostly because I was descending facing the mountain most of the way. The steep parts where the ropes were took a lot of time negotiating because I had to almost hold myself while I secured my footing before lowering myself down.

About half way down, it started raining, which made the trail more slippery. The showers passed quickly and ended before we were back in Vaitape.

Mt. Pahia Rope Climb

Rope Climb

I wouldn’t recommend this hike to anyone as it’s physically demanding.  It definitely requires some upper body strength to pull yourself up on the ropes and lowering yourself down on the descent.  I advise anyone thinking of taking this hike to know your physical limitations before going.

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