OHE August 8, 1999 (Hidden Valley/Manamana)


Date: Sun, 8 Aug 1999 23:30:41 -1000
From: Dayle K. Turner (turner@hawaii.edu>
Subject: Kahekili-Manamana TM (8/8/99)

A good-sized throng showed up at Swanzy Beach Park in Kaaawa this morning for the HTMC's trail maintenance outing. The goal was to clear two routes--the one up to Hidden Valley (AKA Kahekili by the club) and Pu'u Manamana. During the day, the weather was clear and warm, somewhat muggy, in fact, and we did our work successfully, having fun at the same time.

Roll call (27): Mabel Kekina, Bill Gorst, Thomas Yoza, Charlotte Yamane, Volker Hildebrandt, Nathan Yuen, Ken Suzuki, Carole K. Moon, June Miyasato, Naomi Nasu, Chris Atkinson, Arnold Fujioka, Georgina Oka, Jason Sunada, Mike Algiers, Wayne Yee, Ralph Valentino, Michael Valentino, Kost Pankiwskyj, Jim Pushaw, Lynn Agena, Stuart Ball, Lynn Masuyama, Kris Corliss, Kim Roy, Judy Roy and I. Apologies if I missed someone.

From Swanzy, we headed up the road next to Kaaawa Fire Station, passing a house on the right where my family and I used to live (we moved from there when I was five). At the end of the road is a trail that someone has weed-whacked fairly recently (this is the clearest I've ever seen the trailhead). After about five minutes of hiking along in a forest of koa haole, we reached a junction where we went left and up (the trail to the right crossed the stream). The trail then switchbacked several times to gain the crest of the ridge near a bunker. At many points during the day, Thomas tested his new TalkAbout walkie talkies with good results (Ken, Naomi, & Stuart alternated using the other one).

Up to this point and on the following steep climb up the right side of a pyramidal mountain, little or no maintenance work was needed. The views became quite panoramic and spectacular the higher we climbed, with the Kaaawa coastline spread below us. The higher elevation brought cool breezes, quite welcome by our huffing and puffing group.

At the top of the pyramid, the trail followed the ridgecrest mauka over a couple of small humps and then climbed larger one with a couple of cables at the top. Not much work was needed in this segment either. At this higher location we could see down into Kaaawa Valley, the domain of Kualoa Ranch, and across the valley to Mo'o Kapu o Haloa Ridge, and its apex, Pu'u Kanehoalani.

A short walk along the narrow ridgetop brought us to the base of a high, narrow dike, where the trail veered right to contour alongside it. Although we were quite high up, easily over 1,000 feet in elevation, a thick forest of trees on the mountainside below made it seem like we might have been cruising along the ditch trail in Waiahole Valley. Of course, we knew better and took care as we made our way along the rooty, rocky trail.

Between 60 to 90 minutes after we left the park, we arrived at the top of a waterfall chute at the head of Olona Valley (aka Hidden Valley). Up to this point, little maintenance work had to be done, but even at that, the climb was steep and taxing, so we spent fifteen minutes resting up for what lay ahead.

Phase two of the outing was to work our way up a spur in Olona Valley until we reached the Pu'u Manamana trail. Last year, this spur was badly overgrown and we anticipated it being in a similar condition today. We were happily surprised, however, to find a good trail on it, indicating that hunters and/or other hikers have been using the route with some regularity.

Even with a good trail, the climb up the spur is fairly steep and provides a workout. We did have to do some chopping, mostly so that next year we won't have to work so hard if no one uses the route between now and then.

At the pre-outing briefing, Mabel suggested we split the group when we reached the Manamana trail, with the men heading left to clear the segment toward Turnover and then the ridge heading down to Trout Farm Road, and the women heading right to clear makai-ward, to include the parts with the spectacular dikes and cable sections and the steep descent to Crouching Lion.

Knowing the bulk of the work would be on the section toward Turnover and the ridge down to Trout Farm Road, most of us went that way instead of using Mabel's men-one-way-and-women-the-other-way suggestion. The Manamana trail needed work, for sure, with clidemia and uluhe the main machete & lopper victims. With many hands pitching in, we cleared the trail well, arriving at Turnover (elev. 2,027 ft.) just before noon. Lunch lasted till 12:30, and during the break an array of snack items was circulated, with Nathan the biggest contributor.

From the Turnover clearing, we backtracked 10 meters to reach a junction where we headed left to begin clearing the steep spur (we also refer to this as cemetery ridge) down to Trout Farm Road. Clidemia has a big presence along the trail down this sometimes-muddy spur, but again with many hands, we did effective work. Just hiking, the descent from Turnover takes about 1.5 hours. Moving slower because we were working, we needed between 2 & 3 hours. On the way down, Ken found a native gardenia, and was quite excited about that.

The trail emerged on Trout Farm Road after passing an old cemetery and crossing the lawn of an old church. In the morning, we had staged a few vehicles on Kam Hwy across from Trout Farm Road, and we used these to ferry the throng back to Swanzy Park, where we enjoyed several hours of relaxing, talking story, and partaking of a delicious selection of dessert and snack items (HTMC prez Grant Oka joined us after leading a club hike out Hauula way earlier). Among the discussion topics was a Summer 2000 reprise of the recently completed KST backpack trip, with a surprising number of folks expressing interest in taking part. Also, many members of the TM crew will be bound for Kauai in a couple weeks for a kayak adventure along the Na Pali Coast, so conversations focused on the logistics of that as well.

The last of us left the park at 5:30, bidding each other farewell until next Sunday's maintenance outing in Waiahole Valley (meeting time 8 a.m. on Waiahole Valley Road by the poi factory).

Safe hiking,

--DKT


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