Mo'ole Valley hike (1997)

Mo'ole Valley hike (1997)

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On Saturday, 4/12/97, Pat Rorie and I hiked to the 2,000-foot peak above Mo'ole Valley in Nuuanu. For those of you who don't know where this peak is, it's the one opposite of the topping out point of Nuuanu Pali Drive. Next time you are headed Kailua-bound on Pali Highway, look up the valley as you pass the area of Oahu Country Club and Waokanaka Street. You'll see a distinct ridge that rises up to Lanihuli. Well, we climbed up to that ridge, taking about two hours to get from Pali Highway by Nuuanu Pali Drive to the unnamed peak which I'll refer to as Mo'ole.

The going gets steep in the last 100 yards of the climb and Pat and I agreed that cables in a couple of spots would be helpful.

Today (4/13/97), Pat and I and about a dozen other members of the Hawaiian Trail and Mountain Club trail maintenance gang headed to Kahana Valley to clear the trail that leads to the saddle between Ohulehule (2265') and Koiele (1683').

To get there required several stream crossings but heavy overnight rains created a stronger, higher waterflow than anticipated. Accordingly, the braintrust of the group--Stuart Ball, Grant Oka, Ken Suzuki, Mabel Kekina--agreed that trying to ford the streams would be too risky.

Plan B had us clearing a trail in Kahana Valley opened up by Dick Davis several years ago. The trail was somewhat overgrown and blocked at several points by fallen trees, including a couple of large koa.

By 11, we had progresed quite a ways back into the valley, and six of us decided to chance a crossing of Kahana Stream (no danger at all) and try to make our way to the base of the summit ridge to the intake of the Waiahole Ditch.

Well, we never got that far, stopping at 12:30 to eat lunch at the foot of a dead koa tree on a broad, uluhe-covered ridge. Stuart Ball said that we were probably on a hunter's trail and might have missed a junction that would lead us to the intake. A post-hike topo map perusal indicated that we were on course and would have reached the intake if we had pushed on for 15-20 minutes more. Well, that will happen on another day.

From our vantage point, we could easily make out the Koolau Summit Trail etched into the pali high above us. Several small waterfalls cascaded into narrow cuts on the mountainside.

A ridge with a high point called Puu o Kila (1530') was directly adjacent to us. We headed back, the ditch system in Kahana Valley unseen by our eyes on this day. :-(

BTW, on Friday (3/11/97) I also tried descending to Pacific Heights from the Nuuanu Trail. I wrote about this semi-botched attempt and, for those interested in reading it, posted it to the USENET newsgroups alt.culture.hawaii and soc.culture.hawaii and also to this URL

If any of you folks on the list (or anyone who reads this, for that matter) went out and did some hiking this weekend (or whenever), email me because I (and others) would be interested in hearing what you did.

Aloha and hike safe gang,


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