Climbing Mt. Ohue

Berge Bora Bora

Date of writing: 15.02.2017


  • You do not need a guide for the tour, as a guide will merely show you,
    where the path is. Instead, this description, the OSM-track and a certain sense
    of orientation is sufficient to find the right way. Always have an eye
    on whether you are still on the path, if unsure, look around, usually
    you should find the right way quickly. The path is slightly worn
    (probably a few hikers a week), and thus visible.
  • Instead of a guide, you could take a doctor with you, as there is the
    real probability of slipping. You are very unlikely to fall to death, so
    the maximum which could happen in reality is sliding on the slope for 2
    meters. The necessity of a doctor was a joke of course 😉 just pay
  • Anyway, as a rule of thumb, if you are scared easily and prefer
    comfort and coziness, stay at home. If you prefer the feeling of having
    conquered the summit, while risking to get a bit dirty and sweating, go
    for it, you’ll make it.
  • Don’t attempt, when it was raining (heavily), as there is bare rock
    with lichens, on which you would need to get some grip. Same applies for the many
    leaves on the ground. If it is raining, you will have to do the way down
    on your buttock, or you will be forced to. 😉
  • Don’t attempt, if you are only an occasional hiker used to easy
    marked trails with gentle slopes. You will have to use both arms, legs, a
    certain amount of body tension to pull yourself up or down. It makes
    the hike reliable, if you have some basic climbing experience, even at
    artificial climbing halls or from boldering. This should give you a good
    sense for your body and its behavior when moving on sloped
    surfaces. But if you have, this hike makes fun.
  • The path is neither trailmarked, nor well maintained. So you have to
    climb through/across fallen trees, step, push away some shrubs or
    grass. Watch out your head and face when walking, not just the ground.
    Anyway there seems to be partly maintenance as some of the plants were
    obviously cut down at some sections. Usually no problem, if you are slim
    and fit.
  • Pay attention on the way you go up, as it is crucial to go down the
    same way. People have died by missing the right one, ending up in a
  • You’ll need hiking boots or at least a good sole and grip, even if
    you are just standing on the tip of the shoe. Hiking sandals could work,
    but will make you unhappy because of grass, seeds and sticks which
    might get stuck in it.
  • Beware of liana like plant parts on the ground, which might let you stumble by holding your foot.

The trail:

Start the hike in the narrow road right of Europcar and left of Hina
Pearls. This is a residential road which soon will be unpaved. After
400m the road ends. Near the end, before a white house, turn left. The
path leads north for 100m, then turning towards the mountain, passing
through a banana plantation. 100m further the forest starts and
immediately there’s something which appears to be a crossing
intersection. Turn right (south) there, following the footpath into the
woods, which is without major ascend for the next 100m. Sharp left
towards the mountain and the ascend begins. After 150m there is a small
partly obstructed viewpoint with a 100 year old mango tree. Around 10
Minutes later, the first rope will appear giving an insight, how the
path will proceed. If you are almost struggling there, you should not
continue, it will get slightly worse. If you just find it challenging,
go ahead.

Soon a second rope follows. Here you are standing at that part of the
mountain which is visible from the town as the lower cliff surrounding
the mountain. In general the path goes the same direction more or less
along the gradient of the slope, until the bottom upper cliff is
reached. There is a third rope. The path now turns to the left following
the bottom of the cliff and traversing around the mount Ohue for 120°.
Although you already reached around 480m altitude, this traversing could
take about half an hour, until there is a gap in the cliff, which is
suitable for climbing up. This is on the northern slop including views
to the airport, and the cargo harbor at Farepiti.

Turn towards the mountain again, there is a fourth rope where also a
little bit of water is coming down the path. Another small cliff, just
go ahead bypassing it. Finally a 2m bare rock with natural steps
appears, which is secured by the fifth rope. This brings you to a rim,
where summit is visible and just another few meters away.

The summit gives you a breathtaking view, which makes a helicopter
round flight obsolete. The summit height according to the Lonely Planet
guidebook is 619m, my GPS showed 625m.

It was once possible to continue further to Mt. Pahia, but due to a
fire, which devastated the vegetation around its summit, necessary grip
and aid by plants and branches to overcome another small cliff, are
gone. Maybe they already regrew to an extend, that it is possible to
climb it again. Anyway, by looking at it, I reckon you probably will
need climbing gear. By looking from Mt. Ohue, it was unclear if the
trail goes along the rim all the time or surrounds the cliff lightly
left. At least the path is not worn and clearly visible continuing from
Mt. Ohue.

The hightest mountain of Bora Bora is Mt. Otemanu (727m).