OHE August 5, 1999 (Kaupo Cliffs/TomTom)

Date: Thu, 5 Aug 1999 20:02:43 -1000
From: "Short, Mark E." (Mark.E.Short@bankofamerica.com>
Subject: Kaupo Cliffs/Tom-Tom

This is a hike I've been wanting to do for some time but I was unsure of the trailhead. On the way home from the KST backpack Rob Geer was good enough to show it to me. So I ditched work early and went to the club house to change clothes. There I met Alex Broadfoot who had just painted the Kane's concrete floor. So I changed in the Wahine's room. I mentioned my plans to Alex . He said "Really!, the weather is perfect for it, I'm envious". I asked if he would like to come along, but not being properly equipped at that moment he declined. I commented that the mountain would be there another day. I climbed into my car and drove a few blocks to the trailhead.

Starting about 1:30 I waded through the tall grass at the end of the road and hopped over the two low fences. Rob mentioned that the walk through the forest could be confusing and that I should follow the ribbons. This I did, however the ribbons were infrequent and the trail was indistinct. I ended up zig zagging a bit. There are a lot of very large rocks and boulders littering the forest in here, I remember a huge boulder that had rolled down the mountain and landed on the highway not too far away. I would soon be climbing the cliffs all these rocks had come down from and caution was on my mind. I reached the bottom of the Kaupo trail at about 1:50. The KST this weekend really had no climbing and I was looking forward to a workout. After about ten minutes of going up I began to wonder why I wanted this. It had been hot down in the forest and I had hoped for a breeze on the climb. I got my breeze eventually, then it went away. As soon as I reached the Ironwood grove I sat down for a rest and returned a couple of phone calls (cell phone allows me to work & hike at the same time!). I resumed climbing through the smell of goat urine (no animals spotted today). There were ropes in a few places, but they were not necessary. The rock up here is much more solid than Olomana, which was nice. This climb reminded me of Ku, with the rocks & heat & goat smell. The views were breath taking. The bright green water & white sand beaches of Waimanalo were extremely vivid & looked close enough to jump to (fantasies of flight). At about 2:45 I reached the summit and took in views and enjoyed the now stronger breeze. Setting out along the summit I moved quickly appreciating that I was no longer climbing. At about 3:10 I was at the tom-tom junction and headed down. This trail was much easier and did not involve nearly as much climbing. Using the trees I was able to swing down fairly quickly and was at my car by about 3:35.

After taking off my shoes and waiving at the neighbors I drove back to the club house where I was able to shower and change back into street clothes. I told Alex I wanted to donate my copy of Ray Jardine's 'The Pacific Crest Trail Hiker's Handbook' to the club library and asked him if I should just leave it upstairs. Alex said that all donations had to go through a committee and that there were several books on the Pacific Crest Trail up there. I explained that this book was more about how the author & his wife managed to get their pack weights down to 8.5 lbs. over several ultra long distance hikes and about his philosophies and ideas on lightweight long distance hiking that are considered by some as quite controversial & revolutionary. I left the book with him and went upstairs to look at the library. I found a book that explained how to do mountain rescues with rope and a book on route finding. These are both skills I would like to learn. Rob showed up and we continued a conversation we had started on the KST about the club having a program to teach these types of skills. It seems to me that an important part of the club's purpose should be to have members that are able to do more than just follow ribbons with a leader and a sweep person. Of course I'm new to the club and it's easy for me to talk. As I was looking at books I could hear Alex laughing below. On my way out he said he had already started Jardine's book and that he could tell it was going to be a good read. I had a great hike today and the convenience of the HTMC clubhouse. Happy to live Hawaii!

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