OHE April 3, 2000 (Chuck Godek)

Date: Mon, 3 Apr 2000 10:24:12 -1000
From: Stuart Ball (lmasu@hgea.org)
Subject: Chuck Godek

Chuck Godek


I can't believe Chuck Godek is dead. I thought old hikers, like old soldiers, just fade away. Chuck was such a agile, powerful hiker. Steve Brown described him as "loping" along the Ko`olau summit. With the exception of Kipapa-Manana, Chuck hiked the entire summit ridge. That includes the treacherous Pali, Lanihuli, and Moanalua sections which require ropes and a lot of guts.

Chuck's other favorite area was Moanalua Valley. He and Erwin (Ski Poles) Jaskulski developed a route on the left ridge which produced a hair-raising loop along the summit and down the stream trail. Chuck and Ski Poles also worked out the middle ridge route. Chuck and I then developed the Pu`u Keahi a Kahoe hike, connecting the middle ridge and powerline trails along the summit.

Chuck's trademark was a hardhat, which he wore on every hike. Some thought it amusing, others intimidating, but everyone knew it was the mark of a serious hiker. Around the campfire in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness in 1983 I finally asked Chuck why he wore the hardhat. He thought for a moment and then replied "I don't know, but let's bury it here in Montana." So to this day a hardhat remains buried in the shadow of Trapper Peak (unless the bears have dug it up).

On mainland and Neighbor Island trips Chuck was famous for carrying heavy loads (move over, Grant). He took a huge Sears tent, like a pavilion, and lots of canned goods. On a Waimanu trip in 1985 Carole Moon heard a pop and a whoosh from Chuck's tent at the beach campsite. She quickly investigated and found Chuck downing an ice cold beer! Needless to say he offered her one, which she did not refuse.

I particularly remember the first time I did the difficult dayhike up Mauna Kea in 1982. At the trailhead were 15 of us, including Chuck. I think maybe 3 or 4 actually made it to the top. I started slowly, got stronger by the adze cave, and then faded above Lake Waiau. Totally out of breath, I finally creeped up the last cone to the summit. There was Chuck, fast asleep, hardhat over his face. When I kicked him gently, he woke up and boomed "Stuart! Good to see you." Well Chuck, it was good knowing you and hiking with you. Aloha.


Return to OHE top | Return to Oahu Hike Tales | Email Dayle