Maulua Gulch - July 22, 2012

Spectacular first decent of Maulua Gulch. Sit back, hold on, and enjoy the ride...
  • Tyler surveying the scene atop the big drop in the lower reaches of Maulua Gulch.  A hint of things to come.
  • Trailhead amongst the Eucalyptus Trees.  We park near the edge of the Forest Reserve at nearly 2,000 feet above sea level.
  • And the buschwhacking begins.  A well worn hunting trail brings us relief as we push thru the guava groves.
  • Very soft ground in here.
  • Making our way thru the brush.
  • Tyler and the fern gulley.
  • We reach our drop in point.  Maulua Creek hits a big headwall and plunges 165 feet, with a great vantage of the canyon that lies below.
  • Drop 1, 165 feet down a loose and rocky cliff.
  • Drop 2, this was bypassed on the right with some moderate climbing.
  • The bedrock begins to show itself.
  • After quite a bit of rock hopping, we reach what we came here for.  The creek begins to cut deeper into the Earth.
  • Drop 3, a 15 foot jump.
  • Looking back up canyon, starting to get good.
  • Beautiful.  The creek cuts a deeper and deeper slot canyon.
  • One of the countless pools to swim in Maulua Gulch.
  • We turn a corner and it really starts to get interesting.  Deeper down the rabbit hole we go.
  • Drop 4, a 40 footer down an awesome chute.
  • Matias on the same rappel, looking back up canyon.
  • The team continues to work its way thru the slot.
  • Drop 5 comes quickly, a 25 foot rappel into a hanging pool.  Next drop is just a few feet beyond the water's edge.
  • Yours truly doing the dirty work.  Zero natural anchor options force us to place two bolts.
  • Solid.
  • Drop 6 into the spring room.  Look closely; there are four waterfalls.  Center right is the creek flow.  The other three are springs gushing out of the wall.  This alcove blew my mind.
  • Drop 7 right around the corner, a 30 foot fall.
  • Matias taking a break at the top of the next rappel.
  • Drop 8, yet another beautiful waterfall.
  • The narrows begin once again.
  • Drop 9, a short but sweet rappel.
  • Tyler surveying drop 10,  the biggest rappel of the day weighing in at 180 feet.
  • Typical anchor in the creek.
  • Woah. Quite the view down canyon peering over the edge.
  • Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the heart of Maulua Gulch.
  • Elizabeth on the floss.
  • Matias soaking it all in after succesfully making his way down.
  • Outstanding narrows as we continue down the creek.
  • One more view looking back at the big drop.
  • Drop 11, the final one of the day.  With less than two hours of daylight we make haste towards our exit point.
  • We reach the highway as the remaining daylight fades.  Mission: accomplished.  1,400 feet of elevation lost in 3/4 mile.  9 rappels up to 180 feet. 12 hours car to car.  An adventure for the record books.