OHE February 10, 1998 (b)

Date: Tue, 10 Feb 1998 23:43:32 -1000
From: Grant Tokumi (gtokumi@aloha.net>
Subject: Ohulehule Hike Accomplished

It was a beautiful cool day for hiking Ohulehule. No rain, no choppers. The hikers were Kurt, Daryn, Alex, and myself. The hike took us a total of 10 hours. Heres the highlights of today's events:

KICK ASS WEATHER - according to Kurt, the trail was super hot the last time he came. This time, things were much cooler, overcast, only slight rain for like 2 minutes. No problem.

WE GOT LOST - the trail is VERY overgrown in areas. We got lost around 2 times. Sometimes the trail seemed to lead in different directions, and sometimes the trail just seemed to end, being so overgrown. The first time we got lost was after the last stream crossing (I think). We crossed the stream and ended up in a wall of uluhe and other trees. We could not find a bamboo forest, but after like 15 minutes of searching in head high uluhe, Kurt found the trail further down stream. It was marked with 2 orange ribbons. The second time we got lost was when the trail seemed to take us down into a gulley area. After getting down there, there were a few trails to choose from, unfortunately, all of them seemed to be pig trails, or maybe a trail for a menehune. Only someone 2 feet high could get through that overgrown trail. We headed back up to the top of the ridge and were scratching our heads, I was starting to get discouraged at this point. After around 45 minutes of being lost, we eventually found the overgrown trail. Yeah! I was energetic again. From that point, the markers helped guide us. Once we reached the steep climb area, the trail became much more defined.

MEAT GRINDED LEGS - Me and Daryn never learn to wear long pants. And I guess Kurt followed our example today cause he was wearing shorts too. But he at least had long pants in his bag that he used on the return trip. Only Alex was sporting his long pants, appreciating the protection from uluhe and other branchy branches and thorny thorns on the trail. As far as my legs, they feel like someone was yanking every single one of my legs hairs at the same time. OUCH!

DA ROCK!! - Last time, Kurt fell off the steel cable area breaking some ribs. This time, I almost broke Kurt's and Daryn's legs with a huge boulder. I was climbing up the super steep area with the steel cable (that part is crazy nuts). I stepped on a huge boulder, it must have been at least 150 lbs. The rock slid down under my foot's weight, and before I knew it, the rock was hanging over a ledge, on the verge of rolling down the trail. The only thing keeping it from rolling was my foot stepping on it. And on the bottom of cable area, maybe 20 feet below me was Kurt and Daryn staring up at me. I told them the situation, but they didn't have any room to move to the side to avoid the rock. I could not use my hands to help push the rock over the side because my hands were holding on to the cable. Daryn was thinking of hangin from a tree off the side, but they both opted to just stay there and hope the rock would go over the edge before it reached them. OK, so I slowly let go of the rock and there it went rolling. It was sort of shaped like a football so its course was not a predictable one. At first, it started rolling off my left, but then like how a football does, the rock quickly changed course and started rolling straight down the trail!! I was thinking "OH NO!!!" From my angle, it was headed straight for Daryn. And from the looks in Daryn's eyes, he was thinking, "OH S!#T!!!!". I thought one of them was goners. They both made a stance like they wanted to go somewhere, but there was no where to go. I swear, the rock came like within 4 ft from Daryn's legs when it took another turn to the right and smashed into Kurt, breaking both his legs and a few ribs, then he had to be choppered out of there. Jus kidding. It took a turn to the right, but Kurt was on the left. Whew. The rock went over the side right next to Daryn. But the rock did hit the tree that Daryn was thinking of hanging off of. Good thing he didn't hang off that tree. After that incident, I was in shock for a moment. One of them could have died there. Yikes!

LUNCH! - 6 hours after we began the hike, we finally reached the summit of Ohulehule. We signed in the notebook, took our pictures, admired Pat's clearing efforts at the summit, and grinded our lunches. Oh, and Alex had a clipping fest up there with Kurt's clippers, trimming down every little bush thing he saw.

The return trip was pretty quick, maybe 3.5 hours. No major incidents there.

We did it and made it out alive so we are all very happy. It took us around 10 hours, including lunch and time lost looking for the trail when we got lost. The steel cable area is pretty treacherous and is killers on the hands. That steel cable is hard to hold on to. But at least its there, so I'm not complaining. Pictures will be coming soon (sorry, no picture of the rock). Stay tuned..


Date: Wed, 11 Feb 1998 14:01:46 -1000
From: Kurt Heilbron (kurt@inix.com>
Subject: Ohulehule

Here's my tale,

At 8:00 AM Tuesday morning I met with Grant Tokumi and his two friends Alex and Darryn to do the infamous Ohulehule. Our plan was to try and start early before Kahana Valley heated up. We all checked our gear, drove up the road and parked our cars near the gate to the housing area. From there, we walked up the street to the hunter's check-in box and signed in.

I whipped out the trail directions and we headed for the saddle. At first we had to cross the damn section. We removed our shoes and headed across the stream. I informed the crew that we'd be crossing the stream a few more times. Grant and Darryn decided to leave their shoes off until the next crossing. Ouch ouch ouch! After crossing the stream for the second time we headed up the path through a few hala groves. The map said to descend down, cross the stream and emerge through through some bamboo. Well, being that I had only done this hike once before, and never made it back out, I was a bit unfamiliar with the trail. We crossed the stream but found no bamboo. Instead we kept looking all around for the trail. This little detour costs us about 20 minutes. We then back tracked to the point where the trail came down to the stream. >From there we TURNED LEFT, then proceeded down until we saw the bamboo. No offense to whoever made those trail directions, but we ended up getting lost a few times costing us about 1.15 hours.

Anyway, we pushed on through more uluhe on our way to the saddle which looked miles away. We descended down a short dike like section in a small gully. We emerged into more uluhe and made our way towards the mighty mountain. The trail reaches a junction and we decided to go left instead of straight. I am pretty sure the last time I did this hike I went straight, but the directions said to go left. After going left and following the trail though more...you guessed it, Uluhe, we came to another place that looked like a junction. There was a well defined trail to our left that headed down a gully and another that headed straight but became very overgrown. Well, we decided to go left. ( A big mistake). This turned out to be nothing more than a pig trail. We all kept trying to find a trail leading out of the gully and up towards the peak. We were getting frustrated and pissed off. Finally, after about an hour or so we back tracked up the the junction. Grant went straight and finally found the trail which was extremely overgrown.

Yeah! We were back on track. The time. Oh, about 12:15 P.M. We came to another grove of hala trees, an area I remembered from before, and headed up the steep ascent to the saddle. At a gully right before the saddle, I heard some noise in the bushes and saw a pu'a running into the bush. This part of the trail is okay except it is steep and tiring. We finally reached the saddle and took a short break. I pointed out the cable section to the crew and informed them what lay ahead. Alex led the way as we wasted no time in trying to achieve our goal. One by one we headed up the steep cable section. At one point Grant accidentally dislodged a boulder the size of two basketballs. He was hanging on to it by his foot yelling for Darryn and I to get out of the way. Darryn and I weren't sure what we should do at this point. I mean, we were right in it's path with no were to go, except maybe to the left and hang on to some trees. Instead we stayed right where we were. Grant slowly let the rock go hoping for it to catch on a stump right in front of it. Instead, it veered off to the left and went tumbling down right where the trees that Darryn and I were going to hang on to! Good thing we didn't! That boulder would have caused some major damage!

A note here. This area is right were the coated cable attaches to the steel cable. The section is badly eroded and very crumbly. Anyway, we pushed on up towards the peak encountering more cable sections. All of us were getting tired and hungry. We made to the final ridge and took a short break there to catch the views. We then made our final ascent to the summit. Alex led the way with his long pants and my cutters in his hands. The thimble berries were terrible in this section and really did a number on our legs.

Finally, after six long hours we made to the top! I immediately headed for the SE ridge to see the work that Pat had done. I snapped a few pictures then sat down to eat my lunch. Grant, Darryn, and Alex busted out their zip packs. We each took our turn at signing in on the note pad Pat had left in the jar. The top still needs some clearing. The area is nice except some of the trees still block the view.

We rested a bit, took some group pictures, and then decided it was time to head back. It was close to 3:00 P.M., now and we needed to get out of that valley before it got dark. We promptly packed our gear and headed back down. The cable sections seemed a bit easier to me than going up. We passed the saddle and headed down the ridge. I saw my white hat from my first encounter with the mighty Ohulehule and hung it on a tree. Back we went through the Uluhe and overgrown trail. We took some pictures along the way and carefully tracked our way back across the streams (this time I left my shoes on) and to the hunter's check in box. At 6:00 P.M we made it out and onto the road. We walked down to our cars chatting about our ordeal with Ohulehule. We were glad to have completed this hike. I was feeling very fatigued and tired.

This hike took us almost TEN hours to do. If you subtract the loss time for our little detours then the hike would have been only 8.5. Still, this is a long rugged hike. It's hot, miserable, dangerous in some spots, and very difficult. The trail is obscure at several places and it's easy to get lost. The views are nice at the top but the effort to get there doesn't make this hike worth the effort. This is only my opinion of this hike and I am sure it is not the same opinion shared by others. Yes, there are some pretty cool spots and views. It's just that this trail needs some serious work. And that valley gets really hot. We were lucky to have picked a day like yesterday. There was cloud cover most of the day. Also, if you plan on doing this hike, wear long pants. I put my on at the summit. I wished I had worn them through the entire hike because my legs were severely punished by the thimble berries and uluhe.

Pat, I don't see how you could have made it to the top in 2.5 hours. Dude, you must have been running, literally. I don't doubt that you did, I just don't know how you did it. .

If I ever do this hike again it will be from the southeast ridge. I'd rather go up steep rock sections than plow through a hot valley for most of the day. All in all it is still an accomplishment to finish this hike...something I just had to do after my last unfortunate encounter with the mighty Ohulehule.

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