Death of a landmark

September 16th 2006 marked the end of an era for the Stable Road community, when at 11:45 Rope Tree fell to its death.

Rope Tree has been a landmark at Camp One for as long as anyone can remember, sitting at the waters edge and providing the perfect platform for many a photoshoot. The rope swing has been loved by kids aged 3-90, residents and visitors alike.

Summer 2006 has seen the highest levels of beach erosion at Camp One in a decade. Rope Tree was not the first to fall. It will probably not be the last. One thing is for sure; it will be the most missed.

Rope Tree served its final photoshoot duty on September 11th 2006 to Matt and Kevin Pritchard. We captured all the action here on mauiwindcam.

We also captured Rope Trees final moments. The view from mauiwindcam will never be the same. Farewell old friend.

Please scroll down to enjoy some of our favourite rope tree moments and sign rope trees book of condolences.

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29 Responses to Death of a landmark

  1. Ray Masters says:

    I’ll try and put some words together but……… This hurts too much……

  2. Chris Wright says:

    An article has to be submitted to Boards, for the demise of the great one and how much enjoyment said friend has given. I may not have known him personally, but he will be missed

  3. Kachina (Robert and Mary Jo Masters dog) says:

    Oh tree, oh tree!
    You stood so tall, so free.
    I yearn for ye, like a piece of Brie.
    Why oh why did you have to flee?

    Cameramen climbed on you, to see
    Windsurfers as they jibed with glee.
    They filmed all day, there was no fee
    For shooting tricks, from A-Z. (that’s zee you Brit gits!)

    Now look at you, oh sad old tree.
    Artist Ray thought this could never be.
    Oh lowly tree, I mourn for thee,
    As you lay in rest in the Hawaiian sea.

    Now where oh where will I take a pee
    After my morning bowl of Earl Grey tea?
    I know not now – all is lost for me,
    Since Matt and Kev knocked over my favorite pissing spot.

  4. Aunt Enid (Pritchard) says:

    I swear if I catch those two young whippersnappers I’ll give them the tanning of their lives…..bad boys!

  5. Ray Masters says:

    Rope Tree stands (stood!) as a testament to the fragility of life ….. and the strength and power of nature

  6. Brian McDowell says:

    A sad day indeed. I don’t think many people can comprehend exactly how crucial these next 10 years or so are in the human race gaining control of the way we pollute our planet, and how that subsequently causes weather systems and rising water levels to bring this kind of tragedy about.

    I have made a posting on the PWA site and I hope that brings some old friends of Rope tree to your obituary book. I will be sure to tell everyone in Sylt later this week. Well done for your efforts to let all lovers of Maui know about this.

  7. Jace Panebianco says:

    Sorry about the tree. It will be remembered in photos. I always like that sort of landmark that can tell you dates and times without words.

  8. Grant Larkin says:

    After using the tree as a point to aim for on the way up to the reef from Kanaha all of us Aussie sailors are gonna miss it. It was one of those things that was just always there. Seems strange that only 2 months ago we were standing there with the tree and now its gone. RIP Tree.

  9. Geoff Cornish says:

    I really enjoyed reading your photo essay, and admire that your sensitivity as an artist to the challenges we face as a race… motivate you to do something so powerful about it visually.

    Crosby Stills Nash and Young and a few artists like them… taught me to that to notice, complain, demostrate and shout out loud really matters….

  10. Pietro Porcella says:

    Aaah what a pain! I just saw on the PWA web site the sad news that ‘rope tree’ in Stable Road went down in the unstoppable erosion of our beaches. We were affectioned to that tree more than a dog.

    I think I have some of the oldest memories on “Rope tree” in Stable Road. In October 1981 at the very 1st Maui Grand Prix, after the wave contest in Hookipa (1st in boardsailing history) we had a downwind slalom 1 against 1 in Sprecklesville.

    The name Camp 1 was not born yet and there was no rope hanging either. I remember being there with Uli Seer (historical photographer for Mistral in the late 70ties early 80ties). For the exciting final between Robby Naish and Greg Aguera I climbed on that tree in order to have a better perspective of the windsurfers in action. I was shooting one of my first sliding films with the brand new Canon A1 and the 200 mm telephoto.

    Twenty five years later (last month) I was there with my younger daughter Gaia (8 years old) playing on her birthday. That tree was a monument for kids and windsurfers.

    Now hearing the bad new while I’m vacationing in Sardinia, I would like to do something. For example if we are finally going to do a ‘Windsurfing Museum’ somewhere in Maui, we should rescue glorious “Rope tree” and expose it at the entrance of the Museum. And decorate it with historical sails and boards donated by legendary windsurfers.

    Let’s keep ‘Rope Tree’ alive!

  11. Charles Oreve says:

    While driving in the area the other day, Yves told me that Rope tree went down….

    I felt sad when I heard that, this was a landmark for photographers. Last month on my only try to climb that monument, failure and a sharp piece of branch stroke my right foot… Blood was dripping all over the trunk, like every piece of history Rope Tree showed it’s strength, and taught me that you couldn’t succeed the first time you try.

    Would have loved to have captured some action from up there, but I guess destiny saw it from another eye…

  12. Laura Buzianis says:

    I remember my activities up and down the beach enjoying that great tall tree. My fondest ones were when Lance was first born, we’d walk him up and down the beach to soothe him at night and I’d show him the rope swing tree in the moonlight ….ssssssee ya oooooohhh killer tree.

  13. Pieter Bijl says:

    This is terrible. Lots of good memories from this tree, I remember the first time I came to Maui, 18 years old I did a shoot there with Peter Sterling, who knows what ever happened to him. It is a shame to see this dead of a land mark. It was great one, I remember the last few weeks the beach had eroded that much that we could easily gibe around this tree.

    I’m sad to see it gone, I went down to the beach to check it out myself and have to say that it will never be the same.

    Thanks rope tree for the many good shots, but much more important many good memories.

  14. Jacob Goetzinger says:

    I will miss the rope tree. Me and my wife visited it this past June while on our honeymoon. We had found the camera on the internet and while we were in Maui we walked up the beach until we found the rope tree. We waved to family back home in Vancouver, Canada and have pictures of ourselves with the tree. I still look at the windsurfing camera on the web and I will miss seeing the familiar rope tree.

  15. Joao Felippe de Souza Jr says:

    Sad news…that tree was a special one in many ways…!

  16. Pamela Spencer says:

    I have the “rope tree” bookmarked and look at it everyday. This is a terrible loss and sad day.

  17. The Belandres Family (Bernie, Beverly, Josh [5] and Max [4]) says:

    So sad to hear the news about the demise of rope tree. Our family will certainly miss its presence dearly as it is was always nice to see rope tree was always there when we arrived on Maui and especially when I would hit the water for the first time in a year.

    We could even see it from the plane sometimes as we departed Maui. It has been a memorable landmark for us and it appears in the background of many family photos

  18. Ron Quinn says:

    Another part of beautiful Maui has vanished, my heart grows dimmer every day. Aloha Rope Tree.

  19. Ed Jonas says:

    My my what a shock, and a shock as well to see that Sir Rope Tree was so huge.
    But alas it is a huge loss as well.
    The stalwart guardian falling to his death at his post.
    It is a testament of honor to duty.
    And though we never met in person
    I salute you sir rope tree and bid you adue.

  20. Nick Bicanic says:

    I liked this tree. I did a photoshoot there a long time ago. It’s very much part of my memories of Maui. In fact I propose we find another tree that looks similar and stuff it into the beach in its place.

  21. Michael C says:

    I’m a windsurfer from Argentina but never been to Maui. Nevertheless I can see it was a very special tree. Some of my friends that have been to Maui told me about the rope tree. So please accept my condolences, and farewell soul of the rope tree.

  22. Leo and Karen Suik says:

    My wife and I have been to Maui twice, and unfortunatly never seen the rope tree. I discovered it one day on the internet. Since then it has become a favorite web site. On a cold winter night in Rockford Il. I’ll bring up the website drink a rum and coke (maybe more than one) and remember what a beautiful place Maui is. Someday we hope to move there.

  23. Nixes says:

    We were there, sitting on the balcony and then the tree was gone! Looking downwind will never be the same.

  24. Shelley Halvorson says:

    I LOVE sailing Camp One and that tree has been a landmark for the 26 years I’ve been living and windsurfing on Maui. Camp One just won’t be the same without our Rope Tree. Aloha and Mahalo.

  25. Judy Miyagawa says:

    Rope tree was around for longer than anyone can remember. I hold many fond memories of this beach as did my father, who was born in Camp one. For the record, Pietro Porcello, It was called camp one beach when my father was born in Plantation Camp – one in 1920. This beach has had its name for a very very long time.
    Mahalo and much Aloha Rope tree!

  26. ray says:

    Wow….reading all the comments again brings back the memory and significance of Rope Tree. It is strange and wonderful how, what is a dead stump to some people represents so much more to others.
    The memories. The love. The sadness.
    Looking back at the wonderful photographs brings a tear to my eye. Especially when I look at it now.
    I look forward to seeing our beach returned to it’s original beauty soon.

  27. Ed Timm says:

    Who killed the old rope tree?
    Sad to say it’s you and me.
    As the reefs die off and the waves run free.
    The beach retreats but not a tree.

    The Hawaiians knew not to build on the beach.
    With kapu’s strong to that were lethal to breach.
    Heiaus were built so the elders could teach.
    Protect the reef or face a seiche.

    Haoles came in numbers without bound.
    They took the land and ignored what they found.
    The Aina was bulldozed all around.
    You wonder why the trees were downed?

    False tears are shed by fools like me.
    Who trashed the beauty we came to see.
    In denial yet is how we be.
    Crocodile tears are shed for free.

    Sprecks itself is the next to go.
    It’s armored beach doesn’t allow the flow.
    Count the bucks you made as you layed it low.
    And remember the tree where the winds used to blow.

    When Maui looks like Orange County, memories are all you will have.

  28. heywood Jablowmee says:

    It’s about time, I though for sure someone was going to eventually die on it. I know of at least 10 people getting hurt on it for life!

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