Date: Tue, 3 Feb 1998 23:53:14 -1000 From: Grant Tokumi (firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Kuliouou - Valley to Ridge
First of all, I would like to thank the AWESOME person/people that marked a path to get from Kuliouou Valley up to the ridge above it. That was a total life saver. The pink ribbon markers were excellently placed. We felt like we was going up to nowhere, but we would jump with joy (well, not jump too high or we may slip down the mountain) whenever we saw a marker. It was more like climbing from marker to marker instead of hiking. OK, now what happened.
Jan 31 - Sunday - Hiking Pu'u Manamana the day before, we wanted to do an easier hike. We chose to do the Kuliouou Ridge hike. Alex met me at my house and we pickup up our lunch and then the 2 of us headed out to Kuliouou. We started the hike at 11am (slept in late). The weather this whole weekend was perfect hiking conditions. Clear skies, cool, dry. Both of us had never been on that trail before, and the hike started badly because we went left on the road instead of right on the dirt road. We ended up at the water tank 2 minutes later and soon realized we had taken a wrong turn already. After slapping ourselves, we backtracked and went on the correct trail this time.
After a while, we realized that we were not going upwards and instead was heading deeper into the Valley. "Oh well" I was thinking. Later, after like 30 minutes from the trailhead, we met up with a couple on their return trip, and after talking to them, we learned that we were on the valley trail, not the ridge trail. I was bumming. We decided to backtrack, but the couple said there was a waterfall at the end of the Valley trail (only a few minutes away), so we decided to check that out first. Few minutes later we came up to a waterfall..... a dry one... Oh well. However, Alex found a nice little pink marker on the right side that seemed to mark a faint trail. We decided to check it out.
Soon, we found ourselves climbing up the mountain, using those wonderful markers as our guide. Some parts were pretty scary, it was like climbing trees when we was kids. I remember thinking, "Man, if these markers lead us to nowhere and we have to come back down, we are F*&%D!" I think the real energy drainer was the uncertainty of the length of the climb, and the uncertainty that the markers would even lead us anywhere. But those markers would not deny us. To my surprise, I found a fairly new looking Menehune Water gallon jug sitting on one of the ledges half full of water. Whose water is that? And after more climbing, we reached the ridge. YEAH!!!! But the Kuliouou Ridge was the next ridge over. BOO!!!! Nah, I was so happy at that point, I was pumped to hike around to the next ridge.
After resting for a bit, we proceeded to go up the ridge to the Koolau Summit. The views along the way were beautiful. We reached the summit, enjoyed more views of the Windward side, and proceeded along the narrow KST to the next ridge. It was super windy up there, dust was blowing in our eyes, we almost got blown over a few times. At around 3:40pm (4 and a half hours later), we finally reached the Kuliouou Ridge clearing. YEAH!! We found the bottle with the notes inside and wrote our little note. Oh, BTW, no more paper already in the bottle. The notepad all used up. I busted out my food and grinded. I got some natural rock flavrored Furikaki (nori on the rice) in my food thanks to the wind blowing the crumbly pebbles all over the place. I had so much little pebbles on my rice that it did look like brown furikaki in there. I ate it anyways, rocks and all.
Our return trip was relatively fast, meeting up with a few mountain biker dudes along the way. We found the junction where the Ridge and Valley hike splits and we could not figure out how the hell we could miss an obvious thing like that. It had the 4x4 pole state sign and everything. Maybe they should make those signs bright pink color (like the markers) =). We reached the trailhead at around 5:30.
For a supposedly relaxing hike, we sure busted our butts that day. After the hike, we changed and played a few rounds of tennis at Manoa Rec Center. Man, the wind was blowing the balls all over the place!
Pictures from our adventure should be up in a few days.
Nice pictures, Grant. I've done the valley hike only once and ever since have thought of it as novice cupcake, never to be done again. With ribbons marking the way to the summit I've changed my mind and will add the hike to my hiking agenda.
Don't mean to be a sourpuss but technically the trail along the Ko'olau summit crest is not the KST. According to Ball the Ko'olau Summit Trail (KST) is "a graded footpath that winds along the crest of the Ko'olau Range from the end of Pupukea Rd. to the end of the Kipapa Ridge Trail."* Speaking of which Art Neilson, myself and others will be doing the Poamoho-KST-Schofield Super Hike tomorrow weather permitting. It should be a fantastic trip if the weather continues as it has been the past 11 days or so (completely cloudless summit crest). Come join us ! We plan on meeting at the Dole Pineapple Pavilion at 8 a.m.
* Ball Jr., Stuart M. THE HIKER'S GUIDE TO O'AHU. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1993.