I was brimming with energy and walked all the way from downtown Papeete to Le Belvedere and up to just below the first hut. Unfortunately, I did not bring enough water and the humidity got to me... had to head back down.
This was one of only two rain-free days that week, but even then the summit was socked in. Views of the cloud-dappled ridges and valleys were spectacular, though... and only saw two other people (descending) the entire time.
On my multiple return trips to French Polynesia (always now during the "dry" season), I've gazed longingly at Aorai's summit and yearned to complete the ascent. One day...
we climbed Aorai and slept in our tent close to the summit. Great tour with an amazing view. Here Video of it:
I didn't reach the summit, but I'll sign since I am submitting the page. My experience with the mountain is below:
Very early in the morning, I set off for Tahiti and Mount Aorai. The wife and kids had plans for a boat excursion on this day, and I left while everyone was sleeping. This would be the final climb of the trip.
I took the early ferry to Tahiti and then took the early morning bus to the suburb of Pirae, where I started walking towards the mountain. Luckily, I caught a ride to Le Belvedere, where the route began.
I had forgotten my food bag in Moorea, so I bought a pizza in the restaurant, and had them box it up for my planned two-day climb. At first it was just cloudy, but after the first two hours or so, it began to rain. What a surprise. I knew that November is the beginning of the rainy season, but this was getting ridiculous. I was completely soaked, but continued up the mountain.
At the first hut, I dropped everything, and continued towards the summit hoping for better weather. It never came, and it was a downpour the whole time. Because of all the wet climbs I had done in the past few days, my feet were sore. I continued in the afternoon towards the summit, until at the higher elevations it actually began to become cold. The fixed rope sections were a pain in the rain, but not as bad as they were on Mouaputa.
Although I was high on the mountain, I lost all hope of better weather, and also lost my desire to climb the rest of the mountain. I headed back to the first hut in the rain to get my stuff. I fell several times in the super-slick mud, which made for a sore butt. I was soaked and decided it would be a good idea to walk back to Le Belvedere and catch a ride back to Papeete.
The heck with all this rain. I walked back to Belvedere, but never got a ride. I actually walked all the way back to Papeete, and there were no buses this late. I arrived after mid-night after completing one of my longest days ever. I checked into the nearest hotel (Prince Hanoi), and fell asleep without eating anything. It was a long and hard climb.
The kind of rock is extreme slippery if when it is whet I believe. Must have been an unconfortable situation I guess. Aorai is only out of clouds in the morning I got told so it sadly was the best idea to turn around. I thank you a lot for your Aorai page as it helped me for my planning! I wish that you once will have the chance to continue and who knows, this area is so nice you cannot say that you will not come back ;)Greetings