By CHRIS FILARDI Photo by Fred Oliver We left Kolombangara on our first clear morning. By midday, gushing rain transformed the lower-elevation forests into torrents of braided streams that formed and reticulated as we wandered, obliterating all signs of our passage. What little there was of a trail was gone, turned streambed. So we just went…

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By CHRIS FILARDI Kolombangara peregrine country. Photo by Patrick Pikacha Friday, Oct. 15 Waking at 1,600 meters in the Solomons is like waking in the clouds. Cloud days begin with a vigil of sorts: a slow and deliberate ascent up a ladderlike trail through the tangles to a perch that hangs out into the gloaming heart…

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By CHRIS FILARDI Kolombangara white-eyes. Photo by Andrew Cox Tuesday, Oct. 12 After 12 hours of walking, climbing and crawling through tangles of huge roots, fern trees and bamboo, our full team has reached and settled into our high camp. We are perched in a small cleft at 1,600 meters elevation on the flanks of Veve,…

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By CHRIS FILARDI Approaching Kolombangara Island. Photo by Chris Filardi Sunday, Oct. 10 I awoke in the Solomon Airlines Twin Otter yesterday afternoon and looked groggily out the window. Below sprawled a bewildering array of islands, reefs and tropical ocean blues. On the short one-hour flight between Guadalcanal and my destination in the New Georgia Islands,…

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By CHRIS FILARDI The highest point in the Solomon Islands, more than 8,000 feet above Henderson Field. The uplands of Guadalcanal are a spectacularly mysterious place that few have ever visited. These forests are part of the largest remaining contiguous tract of wet forest left in the insular tropical Pacific. Photo by Chris Filardi Three short…

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