OHE April 16, 1999 (Pakui)

Date: Fri, 16 Apr 1999 17:53:18 -1000
From: Dayle K. Turner (turner@hawaii.edu>
Subject: Pakui Makai revisited

I had a day off today, and I spent a few hours doing some trail maintenance work in the Waimanalo area. Last Sunday, a group of us from the club explored in the area of the backside of Olomana 3 (aka Pakui) and some ascended the peak, using two different approaches.

Nathan Yuen, Jim Pushaw, and I climbed Pakui via a spur that extends toward the ocean and I've named this spur Pakui Makai. While making our way up the spur last Sunday, we had to duck and scramble often to avoid low-hanging branches, mostly Christmas berry and Formosan koa.

On occasion, I am afflicted with the Wing Ng disease--the one where I feel compelled to take my machete and hack at bushes and branches. Today, I was so afflicted, and headed over to 'Nalo country, specifically the end of Mahiku Place. Since there is a stable and house near where I parked my car, the trailhead there has a safe feel to it, a big plus when I'm deciding where to hike.

Even after hiking in the area last week, I didn't realize how extensive (and potentially confusing) the trail system is in the area makai of the Olomana peaks. In addition to horse trails, there are foot trails aplenty, some well-used and some obscure.

After following the wide horse trail for maybe fifteen minutes, I grunted my way up a steep hillside on a faint foot trail until reaching the crest of Waimanalo ridge at its highest point before it merges with Aniani Nui ridge. I was on familiar ground again, and I continued on Waimanalo Ridge, passing a distinct rock formation that is bypassed to the right.

A couple minutes past the formation, I reached a junction with an old jeep road badly overgrown with Christmas berry. After affixing a double-pink ribbon to a tree, I followed the jeep road as it dipped into the gully to my right. At the gully's bottom, I contoured/climbed along the slope of the adjacent ridge, Pakui Makai.

When I reached the crest of Pakui Makai, I stopped to retrieve my machete from my pack and then turned left upslope to begin chopping. The work was slow since no maintenance of any kind had been done on the spur for a long time, if at all. Many a Christmas berry branch was hacked down and segments where Nathan, Jim, and I had to duck, scramble, or crawl last Sunday are now easily passable.

At several points, the trail emerged from the canopy of small trees, and I enjoyed views of Pakui above me and Ahiki (Peak 2) and Olomana (Peak 1) to my right. Also interesting was a dramatic view of the long cable section on Ahiki's backside flank. I didn't spot any hikers today, though.

As the steep makai facing wall of Pakui neared, the dirt path underfoot yielded to a rocky dike. I went to the left to bypass a rockface at the head of the dike then veered right to gain the dike's top. There was some native vegetation in this area, namely ulei and orange-blossomed ilima.

Moving higher, I slabbed right off the dike to bypass a steep, crumbly segment, then contoured right on a slope of trees, then switchbacked up and to the left to regain the crest of the dike. I tied pink ribbons in this area for future reference.

Not far up the dike, I reached a near vertical wall of rock and a steep chute with a tree about 15 feet up. At that point, I slabbed to the left on a shelf protected by a thicket of Christmas berry. Twenty feet later, I turned a corner and ascended up and to the right a much gentler chute.

Testing rocks for sturdiness as I ascended, I then reached the main backside flank of Pakui about two-thirds away from its summit. There was a cable at a vertical overhanging cliff just above me, but I wouldn't be using the aid today. Instead, I rested for a few minutes, tied a ribbon to a branch, and descended the way I had come up.

I did touch-up work on the way down, continued makai on the spur beyond where I had first reached its crest, and arrived at a large red-dirt clearing, the terminal point of a wide horse trail/4wd road.

For the rest of the return leg to my vehicle, I hiked on trails/horse paths/jeep roads different than the ones I used on the way in. As I mentioned, the trail/road system in the area is extensive.

I may go back at some point to try and scout a route to the saddle between Pakui and Ahiki. I'll post something here if/when I get around to that.

Have a pleasant weekend.


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