OHE April 5, 1999 (Piliwale & Kaiwa Ridges)



Date: Mon, 5 Apr 1999 09:30:03 -1000
From: Patrick Rorie (prorie@mailhost.k12.hi.us>
Subject: Piliwale Ridge and Kaiwa Ridge Moon Rise... Pau Hana

With so much "talk" recently on OHE-L of the infamous Piliwale Ridge, I had to give it a look myself.

Drove up the Pali Hwy from the Punchbowl area after work on Thursday, April 1st. Departed the highway before the tunnels and parked in the Pali Lookout lot.

At 4:40 p.m. I continued on foot tramping along the Old Pali Road. Got blown around with some tourists while passing the overlook. Enjoyed superb windward views, esp. of my beloved Ohulehule in the distance as I descended gradually to the junction with the Maunawili Trail. Passed a lovely lone date palm as the abandoned vehicular thoroughfare wound along the side of the mountain.

Reached the Maunawili Trail and traveled on it for a distance. At a bend in the graded contour footpath where a ridge originating from the Maunawili Estates Subdivision intersects it about .5 mile from the Pali Hwy hairpin turn, I began ascending through guava trees on the Piliwale Ridge Trail at 5:20 p.m. Twenty minutes later I emerged from the thick vegetation and used a cable (actually two right next to each other) to climb steeply over a huge grass covered boulder.

Descended briefly to the base of a sizeable gap (notch) in the ridge, climbed out of it then carefully negotiated a fairly level stretch along the ridge crest. Next, I ascended very, very steeply on an exposed stretch with the aid of an old cable (I tested the cable many times to make sure it could hold my weight). Just below the cable's anchor point I stopped and tied a long red ribbon to a small tree which is easily spotted from the boulder prior to the notch. I decided to proceed no further due to a lack of time and a desire to watch the moon rise from Kaiwa Ridge that night.

With mountaineering experience on the backside of Olomana's third peak, the Southeast Ridge of Ohulehule, and the ridge behind Kuloa Ranch, perhaps it is time to attempt Piliwale Ridge all the way to Konahuanui! The big problem is finding a partner who won't abandon me halfway up the narly flank. Stay tuned...

Retraced my steps and returned to the pat-mobile shortly before 7 p.m.

From the Pali Lookout I drove to Kailua Town 7-11 where I hydrated and made a few phone calls in preparation for a Good Friday hike. After getting off the phone, I traveled to Lanikai and ascended Kaiwa Ridge with the use of a flashlight to the concrete bunkers. A group of teens had gathered on the stacked pill-boxes (elev. 565 feet) so I continued along the ridge until I reached an eroded spot with a nice vista of Kailua Bay, the Mokulua Islands and Waimanalo Bay.

Although a bit breezy, I enjoyed watching the nearly full moon rise above the horizon from a point halfway between the smaller Mokulua Island and Wailea Point, the moon light reflecting very beautifully off the Pacific Ocean.

With a big hike planned for the subsequent day, I reluctantly started backtracking along the ridge crest toward the Mid Pacific Country Club where my car was parked. Encountered a different group of teens on the first bunker but they posed no threat. On the contrary, the three males were friendly and even invited me to "party" with them. I thanked da boys for the offer but explained that I lived on the leeward side and had an activity the next morning.

Further down near the trailhead I ran into (almost literally) a group of high school girls as they climbed up the initial steep slope without flashlights. We exchanged greetings then went our separate ways.

Entered the pat-mobile after 9 p.m. and sped off for home.

== Paka


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