OHE August 28, 1999 (Ohulehule)

Date: Sat, 28 Aug 1999 22:00:31 -1000
From: Dayle K. Turner (turner@hawaii.edu>
Subject: Ohulehule (8/28)

Jim Pushaw and I went up Ohulehule today. Because of other commitments, Ken Suzuki (leading a hike) and Thomas Yoza (leading a bike ride) couldn't come along. Jim wanted to shoot some video of the trail and summit area as remembrances of last Sunday's rescue. Plus, the two Danish girls had left some personal effects up there and we wanted to find and return them.

We met at 8 at the parking lot just off Kam Hwy and from there we drove up to the pulloff area just before the valley homes where we began the hike. Joining us was Robert Bettencourt, a recent addition to the HTMC trail maintenance crew.

The day was beautiful, with partly cloudy skies and ample trades. We hiked at a steady rate, stopping occasionally to allow Jim some time to shoot video of segments of the trail and the peak. It was interesting hearing about the sequence of events as they unfolded last Sunday, and by talking to Jim, I learned much about what happened.

We all were anxious to find out where the girls had spent most of their days and nights, thinking the spot would be easy to locate by flattened vegetation or some other signs. In the past week, there's been speculation that they spent most of the eight days at the summit and part of the time on the steep slope where the cables and ropes are. By the end of our outing, we discovered things to clarify what happened.

At the summit, we found no signs the girls had spent much time there. They'd told Jim, Ken, & Thomas that a camera had been left along the trail. After an extensive search of the summit today, we found no camera nor any trace of a flattened spot or matted vegetation where they'd bedded down. This was perplexing.

Using his cell phone, Jim called Mabel to tell her of our arrival at the top and our lack of success finding the camera. Mabel suggested calling the Hawaii Kai home where the girls were staying and she gave Jim the number after looking it up in the phone directory.

Jim called the number, and lo and behold, one of the girls answered (Anitta, I believe). From that conversation, Jim found out the girls had spent only a brief time at the top (perhaps only part of the first day), which jives with the lack of signs we found at the summit. Also, the camera had been left hanging in a tree at the spot where they'd slept and spent most of their time. Through more questions, Jim discovered that this spot was somewhere on the steep hillside where the ropes and cables are.

On the ascent, while we hadn't seen the camera nor any obvious sign of a sleep spot, we figured we'd missed these since we were anticipating finding things at the summit instead. We'd find all we needed to find on the way down, we concluded. With that thought, we ate lunch and took a break.

Unfortunately, we found nothing on the descent even though we carefully searched trees and trail. Had someone come up during the week and snagged the camera and any other possessions the girls had left? Perhaps. Or maybe we just missed spotting these, and they'll turn up on a future visit to Ohulehule.

The hike out went without a hitch, and when we arrived at our cars at 3 p.m., Mabel was waiting there for us with refreshments. She was disappointed that we hadn't found the camera but was glad Jim had shot extensive video footage which, if all goes well, will be shown at the club's Appreciation Night in September.

A few other notes:

--The girls are heading home to Denmark tomorrow to take some time to recover before resuming their around-the-world tour.
--Last Sunday, the girls had in their possession the makeshift notebook that was in the plastic bottle on Ohulehule's summit, confirming that they'd made it to the top.
--The girls had already descended the cable/rope sections and were about a third of the way to the saddle lunchspot when Jim first made face-to-face contact.
--Clidemia berries taste okay. I tried some today and found them edible. --Jim was featured in the headline article of the paper of his mainland hometown in Michigan. He showed us a copy today.

Safe hiking,


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