OHE April 26, 1999 (Kuliouou)



Date: Mon, 26 Apr 1999 08:49:30 -1000
From: Patrick Rorie (prorie@mailhost.k12.hi.us>
Subject: Kuli'ou'ou Ridge... Pau Hana

As mentioned in the previous post "Pau Hana Hike Summary", I took off for east Honolulu after work this past Friday, April 23, bound for the state DLNR Kuli'ou'ou Ridge Trail.

Turned left off of Kalanianaole Hwy onto Kuli'ou'ou Road and drove deep into the valley parking at the end of Kala'au Place. At 4:44 p.m. I put on my backpack weighing 36 pounds and continued on foot entering the Kuli'ou'ou forest reserve on a wide trail. I felt good, the weight was considerably less than what I had hauled around on the recent Ka'aha/Halape trip, and I plan on going as light as possible for the Ainapo trip.

Turned right and up at a junction, and methodically worked my way along the switchbacks toward the crest of the ridge. While on the switchbacks it occurred to me that doing Kuli'ou'ou Ridge wasn't as good a preparation hike for the Ainapo Trail as I thought. Ainapo goes straight up to the summit cabin, meanwhile I was gaining elevation via switchbacks which isn't the same. Oh well. I concluded that the hike would be a good workout anyway.

Gained the ridge line and further ahead paused at the covered picnic tables for a breather. I could feel my heart beating rapidly, my shirt damp with perspiration. Desiring to make good time, I pressed on passing through an impressive Norfolk island pine grove and enduring two serious climbs. Emerged from the woods and caught sight of the Ko'olau summit crest. After ascending a set of black erosion barriers, I accomplished the final climb and reached the Ko'olau summit at the top of an eroded hill (elev. 2,028 ft) at 5:39 p.m. (only five minutes slower than my normal day hike time).

The cooling trade winds brought relief but also the smells of the cows below in Waimanalo! Sat down to catch my breath on the Honolulu side of the hill which is protected from the wind then took off my pack. A few minutes later I stood up and returned to the top to enjoy the excellent views of windward Oahu including the Mokulua Islands, Kaiwa Ridge, Waimanalo, and Rabbit Island. Turned around and recognized Koko Crater, Koko Head, Maunalua Bay and Leahi. Studied the eroded slopes of Pu'u o'Kona to the northwest, a place of true horror for Wing Ng.

It started to get chilly so I commenced the downward leg at 6 p.m. and literally cruised down the ridge allowing gravity to do most of the work. A short distance below the covered picnic tables, I encountered a bicyclist and informed him of a trail which descends to the right (as one faces mauka) of the structure. He thanked me and we went in opposite directions.

Approached the pat-mobile at 6:52 p.m. and took off for home soon after.

Notes: I'm not sure if anyone noticed but there were plenty of "wuss" hikes in the "Pau Hana Hike Summary" write-up. There is no shame in submitting a hike to OHE-L no matter how short or "wimpy". Furthermore, the write-up does not need to be of pulitzer prize winning quality. One person told me that he thinks Professor Turner grades each submitted post. This is simply not the truth. If you went hiking this past weekend, tell us about it!

== Paka


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