OHE August 29, 1999 (Konahuanui-Manoa Middle)

Date: Sun, 29 Aug 1999 20:28:11 -1000
From: Dayle K. Turner (turner@hawaii.edu>
Subject: Konahuanui-Manoa Middle

On 8/20/99, Brandon Stone, Wing Ng, and I ascended a spur from the back of Manoa Valley to the Koolau summit [1]. Today, eleven of us descended that spur as an offshoot of the HTMC's Konahuanui trail maintenance outing. While most of the trail clearers met at 8 up on Tantalus by the start of the Manoa Cliff Trail (aka Kalawahine), five of us met at 7:30 in Manoa Valley near the end of Manoa Road, leaving cars there for posthike transport.

Meeting in Manoa were Thomas Yoza (one of the heroes of Kahana), Nathan Yuen, Dave Webb, Dick Beaton and I. Using the Manoa Falls Trail, a shortcut route through the bamboo forest, and the Aihualama Trail, we ascended a bunch of switchbacks to get to Pauoa Flats and the Nuuanu Lookout. A hundred meters before the lookout, we caught up to Mark Short and his friend Mike Young, and waiting at the lookout was Rich Jacobson, who'd earlier ascended the Nuuanu Trail after starting from his home on Nuuanu Pali Drive. These three, along with Lynn Agena, Jason Sunada, and Roger Breton, would join Thomas, Nathan, Dave, Dick and I for the crossover on the summit and the descent of the spur to Manoa.

Before that, we had the trail to Konahuanui to tend to. Among the things to report are

--a cleared area on the slope on Koko Head side of the lookout. Is Na Ala Hele planning to put a picnic shelter there?
--the removal of ropes from the trail (there is just an orange & black one at the small cliff mauka of the second big pu'u from the lookout).
--a proliferation of fiddlewood along the trail.
--slight muddiness but generally good footing all the way to the top.

The weather was superb, with zero cloud cover along the crest all day. The winds were 15-20 mph trades, which helped to keep us cool during the steep climb to the top.

Before heading eastbound on the crest, I spent some time at the clearing at the lower (3,105) peak of Konahuanui, chatting with Jim Pushaw (another Kahana hero), Jay Feldman, Arnold Fujioka, and Wil Kawano. Among the others in attendance for the outing were trail boss Mabel Kekina, Ken Suzuki (yet another Kahana hero), Charlotte Yamane, her hubby Volker, Carole K. Moon, June Miyasato, Greg Kingsley, Bill Gorst, Carmen Craig, Robert Bettencourt, Kost Pankiwskyj, and Gina Goodman.

I shoved off for the crossover at 11:30 and joining me were Thomas, Lynn, Nathan, Dick, Dave, and Rich. Jason left a few minutes later and quickly caught up; meanwhile, Mark, Mike, and Roger were out ahead, having departed 10 to 15 minutes prior. The summit trail was muddier than I remember and on the brushy side but still passable.

At 12:15, we caught up to the trio in front, who'd stopped to eat on the east-facing side of the first major pu'u from Konahuanui. While in the past we've stopped to eat on the backside of the next pu'u over (the bowl), the spot Mike, Mark, and Roger had chosen was just as good, so we all sat down there for lunch. While we rested, I talked story with Mike, who graduated a year ahead of me at Kamehameha, and we tossed around names familiar to us while reminiscing about days of yore on the Kapalama Heights campus.

As they did before lunch, Roger, Mark, and Mike charged into the lead to continue the crossover. There was a big descent from our lunchspot and a rope that was at the steepest segment is no longer there. Rich and I talked about the rope remover (I told him about the missing ropes at the sedan rock and ironwood section), and I guessed that he/she was someone who either was concerned about the suspect quality of the ropes or was convinced the ropes were unnecessary. Wing would call this person a murderer! :-)

The pu'u marking the terminus of the spur we descended (elev. 2,320 ft.) was identifiable by a landslide splotch on its windward-facing slope. An orange ribbon also marked the trail swath but this may eventually be blown away or removed, so anyone looking for this junction be forewarned.

The spur was level for 60 to 70 meters then plunged rather steeply, mostly through uluhe, on a loose-soiled slope. Even though some of the others grumbled about the lack of an appreciable trail during the descent of this slope, I enjoyed myself, especially after recalling the suffering I endured while climbing this on 8/20. We did plenty of butt sliding, and I laughed and whopped out gleefully, just as I did while sliding down slopes on cardboard boxes as a kid.

There was a saddle at the base of the steep slope and a short climb to a flat-topped pu'u (1935 ft. elev.), where we rested and refueled for ten minutes. Mike, with minimal hiking experience, was hampered by a sore knee but otherwise was doing quite well.

It was all downhill from the 1935 pu'u, and the swath of this route will likely be swallowed up by the vegetation in a few months since few or no folks are likely to use it. That won't be a big tragedy since the Waahila and Konahuanui trails are well-established routes to the crest in the area, putting this spur into the category of give-it-a-try-if-you're-looking-for-something-different-to-do.

After bee-bopping around in a dark bamboo forest looking for ribbons, we emerged on the bank of Waiakeakua Stream. Some of us climbed the 39 Steps (a concrete staircase) and followed a trail on the east bank of the stream to reach a beautiful little pool where we took a refreshing plunge. Jason and Thomas went upstream to look at the memorial stone for Gladstone Wright [2].

From the pool, we retraced our steps to the steps, continued on a muddy trail then a dirt/gravel road and emerged on Waaola Way, which led to Waaola Place and then to our cars parked a short distance away.

Most of us then headed up to Tantalus to join the other trail clearers for post-outing refreshments, always a fun and enjoyable time.

Next Sunday's (9/5) HTMC maintenance outing is Halawa Ridge. Meeting time is 8 a.m. at the end of Iwaena Street in Halawa Valley. While the crew will be at/near full-strength with the return of a bunch of folks who spent the past week on Kauai enjoying the Na Pali Coast via kayak, additional help is always welcome.

Hike on,


[1] http://www2.hawaii.edu/~turner/ohe/Aug99/8-21.html
[2] Info about this memorial was posted by Brandon Stone at