Rumors were circulating through the school that the “big
guys” were planning an expedition to the bottom of Gundar
a feat that had never been accomplished up to that time.
Not to be outdone, Danny Hakken, his younger brother Jim,
Phil Curtis and I set off one morning to try a route I had
noticed opposite the falls gorge off the 40 mile round on the
I had noticed that there was a cleft in the rock wall
descending at about a 30-45 degree angle which was
grass. We took this and it led right down to the base of the
After lunch, we noticed that the rock cliff to the left of
the falls as we faced them was laced with grassy tufts growing
out of the cliff, and we decided to try climbing from tuft to
This worked quite well, until we were about 300-400 feet
up the rock wall. There we found ourselves stuck, with the
tuft about 9 feet above us.
After scouting the situation, we realized that if we got past
this obstacle, we could make it the rest of the way.
So we decided to form a human ladder; Danny on the bottom, I
next, and then Jim and Phil could use our bodies as a ladder.
that I think of it, no one figured how Danny and I were going to
Anyway, Danny and I formed the ladder, and Jim began to climb
over us. Being a bit on the awkward side, he got us all off
balance, and we strained with all our might to hug the rock wall,
needless to say without firm hand grips.
We all swayed away from the rock wall for a moment, and then
slowly swayed back against the wall. Jim clambered down, I
and we looked straight down at the rock pile 300 feet below us
Thanking our guardian angels, we prudently decided to
to the base of the falls. Once there, we plunged into the shola
to the right of the falls.
Surprisingly, the climb was rather straight forward, and in a
short time we were at the top of the falls and hence home.
The hike to the bottom of Gundar Falls had been accomplished,
and I have no explanation as to why the shola route had been
sidered impassable in the past.
Needless to say, reflecting on the adventure years later,
this was one more example of why I feel each of us Kodai kids
a special guardian angel watching over us at all times.
Conquest of Gundar Falls