Here, I’m climbing the second Pali Notch.
Myself atop the second Pali Notch. Today, due to the many fatalities there, I recommend that nobody climb the Notches.
Pali Notches hike is known as one of the most extreme, dangerous climbs on the island of Oahu. There, I’ve cheated certain death many times. It’s famous for claiming the lives of many thrillseekers, due to narrow ledges, sheer dropoffs and extreme weather conditions of which the slightest miscalculation, technicality or slip of a finger will send you plummeting down thousands of feet of steep mountainside, to be swallowed-up by the forest canopy below. I’ve wedged my hand into the narrowest of cracks in order to traverse inches-wide ledges, my life depending only upon that wedged hand to anchor me. That stuff is exilharating to me. I’ve tested fate there many times.
Avid Climber and author of the book iPositive: Being Positive & Staying Positive Freddie Patricio, whose May 17, 2018 climbing accident at Waihe’e Falls took his life, was arguably THE most skilled hiker, climber and wilderness rapeller in Oahu’s hiking and climbing community. Climbing’s elite here looked up to him. He taught and trained those elite. He was the elites’ elite.
Around the time that Freddie died, he showed up to me in a dream. He moved his face close to mine, said something inaudible and then was gone. I didn’t think about that again until today, when I was pondering with my hiking buddy about the effects his loss will have upon Oahu’s hiking and climbing community. What was Freddie trying to say? I believe he had a message to tell.
Freddie’s death rocked me hard. No doubt, his fatal climbing fall is rocking so many other hikers and climbers who knew him. Friends, clubmembers, the super elite and the skilled. Freddie was so skilled that he was a celebrity here, and he had a huge social media following. I’m sure his celebrity would’ve continued to grow, had he not met with fate last week.
The sheer irony of Freddie’s climbing accident was that he died at one of the easier, less extreme waterfall climbs on the island. This fact shakes me to the core of my being. That someone whose climbing skills that so exceeded mine would be killed at such a place. There’s a leason in all of this that I believe we should all heed.
Freddie Patricio was a very skilled climber who was admired by many. Rest in Love, brother.
I believe that the fallout from losing Freddie lay in the hearts and minds of those of us who like to cheat death along unforgiving terrain and in treacherous conditions. Over the following days and weeks, many will be reconsidering the potential consequences of continuing their thrillseeking ways. Freddie’s loss is a sad reminder that even superheroes can be fallible.
I for one have reconsidered challenging fate and have decided to change my thrillseeking ways. At least for now.