OHE December 3, 1999 (Lanihuli attempt)

Date: Fri, 3 Dec 1999 16:20:42 -1000
From: KalalauRich (kalalau@gte.net>
Subject: Lanihuli--- Not quite

The plan was to hike up to Lanihuli on Wednesday with those interested meeting at my house in upper Nuuanu at 7:00 AM. Tuesday night I went to sleep about 10PM. At 3 AM I was awoken by thunder, lightening and torrential rain. Unable to sleep I decide to go on line. Mistake. As lightening struck my computer flickered. I immediately turned my computer off (fortunately no damage) and got a snack. I looked outside to see a swollen Nuuanu stream. I went back to sleep figuring that no one would be crazy enough to come for the hike.

At 7:00 AM sharp three intrepid individuals arrived at my house, bright eyed and bushy tailed ready to hike. I got up quickly, dressed, made a lunch to bring along and prepped the hikers what lay ahead. All were eager to get started. The three included Kimiko (a newcomer from Seattle who I met at the Sunday HTM hike) and Deanna and her boyfriend Seth, also from Seattle. Seth had a midnight flight on the day of the hike back to Seattle.

We left my house at about 8:30 and began to walk up Nuuanu Pali Drive to the trailhead off the Pali Hgwy about a mile up the road. It was raining lightly but we headed up undeterred by the inclement weather. On the way, I decided to show everyone the old summer palace of King Kamehameha. It was just a 10 minute walk up the the ruins where we stayed only for about five minutes before resuming our trip. There was evidence of some attempt to preserve the ruins by the state but there is sure a lot more work to do.

We got to the trailhead at the break in the fence at about 9:15. We hiked through the dense forest where it appeared that someone marked the trail with ribbons recently. Reaching the culvert I noticed that the water level was quite a bit higher than usual. As we hiked along the culvert I wondered how full the tunnel that we needed to walk through would be. When we got to the tunnel we realized that if we chose to walk through it that the water would reach above our waist (and for Deanna who stands 5'3") perhaps to her chest.

We decide to try to climb over the ridge and back to the stream bed where the tunnel exits. I told the others that I had never gone this way but they were confident that we would find the way. The best laid plans of mice and men..................................

We climbed upon the ridge and kept going and going and going never descending into the valley. We reached a very steep rock face with a precipitous drop to the left. The two women were quite anxious about climbing up, primarily because they might have to come down especially if we could not find the route, but came up intrepidly. It rained on and off during our ascent. At one time I thought that the sun would come up and things would clear up but I was wrong. We continued hiking along a rather narrow ridge with drops on both sides. There were trail markers the entire way. The trail markers ended at a small clearing and we decided to go back rather than risking life and limb. There was quite a nice city view from this vantage point despite the stormy weather.

Anxious about going down the precipitous cliff I assured everyone that I had a rope to assist our descent. This was the first time I have carried rope on a hike but I sure am glad that I did. Having missed Jay's lesson on tying the Bowline I deferred to Seth who adroitly tied the bowline to a large tree and we each descended the 25 foot length of rope in turn.

On the way down I saw the turnoff to get down to the streambed but it was very poorly marked.

We successfully found our way back to the tunnel which had only dropped a few inches in depth. We got back to my house at about 3:00 PM. I apologized to the three for not being able to reach Lanihuli but they all agreed that it was a great adventure and helped to overcome their fear of heights.

Timing was great as 10 minutes after getting back home I had Fed Ex, UPS and Hawaiian telephone make visits to my house to deliver packages and make repairs on my home.

All in all a great day of hiking and exploring. This was my third attempt to reach Lanihuli and to this date have not been successful (the first two times got within 30 minutes of summit before aborting due to running out of water).

Anyone interested in trying Lanihuli again next Thursday??? If so let me know. I am going to make it up there before the new millennium:-)))

Aloha and happy trails,

Kalalau Rich

Return to OHE top | Return to Oahu Hike Tales | Email Dayle