OHE December 30, 1998 (Keahiakahoe)

Date: Wed, 30 Dec 1998 23:38:37 -1000
From: Sergio Lotenschtein (loetch@iav.com>
Subject: Keahi a kahoe

Hurray and the retail madness is over. Time to get Phyllis and Myles and do my most favorite warm-up hike. So this Sunday with my very new hydration system we walked the bridges and the troughs of Moanalua Valley and started into the forest.

The last time we did this it was late summer, the trail was wide and slightly treacherous. We had moved through it quite fast. I should'nt live in the past. The surprises were abundant. I love the part where the dirt road ends and you just thrust int o jungle. Then you follow the markers through the moist forest, except that most of the markers were gone and the overgrowth had obliterated most of the trail. Oh what fun as we strung new tape and made our way through those sharp raspberries bushes. The berries were abundant and very good with apple cliff bars. Pucker your mouth up.

The switchbacks are in terrible shape. Erosion has taken its toll. We spent a greater part of the time scraping along the raspberries bushes for hand and footholds. The overgrowth made stepping hazardous and I dropped down a hole without really intend ing to. By the time we got to the cable that anchors one of the transmission towers my arms were stinging from the cuts made by the thorns. We never thought of bringing rope because I didn't think we needed it. Some of the spots really need it.

Finally the tower clearing before the ascent to the first ridge. We took a small break and I realized that I had been sipping from the water pack at regular intervals and didn't feel the need to take the great gulps from the bottles I used to carry. I was concerned of going through my water faster than normal. I didn't have a way of gauging water usage. I guess I was going to find out. The first summit is alot clearer of growth and the climb to the top was a push as it always is to someone who hasn' t been out in the woods for a month.

The day was clear and by 12:30 we could see all the way to Makapuu but the north was cloudy. I was contemplating my scars and the memorial to male underwear (sorry I didn't bring any on this hike either), when 2 women walked out onto the top. Seems the y had climbed the stairs and were headed toward the valley. They found no problem in getting to the stairs and weren't even aware of any controversy.

We were going to come down from the descending ridge to complete the loop. The ridge walk was in good shape and the omega site looked, well like the omega site. Sorry for my lack of ridge names but the descending ridge was muddy and once into the heavi er vegetation the markers were once again lacking. I enjoy this descent because it forces you to see where you came up from and the snaking humps to come.

When we got out onto the dirt road, I was exhausted and scraped up pretty good. I had been sipping moreso on the drop. I wasn't sure how far 110 ounces of water would go, but at the end I still had quite a bit left. Normally a 7 hour hike for me would require 2 large 1.5 liter bottles and I would have to ration. 110 ounces is a bit more than 3 liters, yet I had more left over than if I'd have used the bottles. Also the pack sits more comfortably on my back because I don't have those bottles moving a bout crushing my lunch.

As to the sorbothane insoles. I've been using them for three years. I've gone through 4 pair of hiking boots and these insoles are still wonderful and intact. Worth the investment.

See you on the trails...Serge

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