OHE February 8, 1998

Date: Sun, 8 Feb 1998 20:30:02 -1000
From: Wing C Ng (wing@lava.net>
Subject: Double header

Got to the trailhead of Kamaileunu in Makaha at exactly 8 a.m. Have done this hike more than 10 times. As long as I start at 8, I'll get to the top almost with the gang who starts at 9.

Uneventful. Cold weather at first, but warming up within 1/2 hour. Doing good time-wise, got to the flat section in 1:00; normally would take 1:05. I've done this sooooo many times, got the landmarks and times to the nearest second!!

Went on the flat section, enjoying myself ..... Disaster, tragedy, catastrophe!!! The sole on my boots separated!! One sole at first, but I know this super-tough hike, going without soles is hopeless, I immediately turned around. Without 5 minutes, the sole on the other shoe separated as well!! Goes to show, it IS indeed time for this pair to enter Nirvana, sigh, sic transit gloria, or whatever!

Without soles, I am walking on the fiberglass shank, which is plenty tough, but it has zero traction. I am slipping all over the place. Thank God the rocks of Kamaileunu have extraordinarily high coefficient of friction, and so most times I was under control.

Met the gang coming up, and told the tale to everyone. Nathan Yuen took pictures, claiming he will post it on Internet.

Exceedingly dejected when I got back to my car at 11:05. Every time that I started at 8, I always made the top of Mighty Kamaileunu, probably my favorite hike. Sigh, sob, ...

Occurred to me that it is early. I could go home and change boots and do a double header in the afternoon. I decided to take revenge again on Kuliouou-Ahi.

Got to the Ahi trailhead at 12:40. I brought a better rope to hang at the dirt wall. I also figured that I might want to dig footholds there, and so I brought along my ice-axe. Some women came down from the Ahi switchback, and one screamed "pickaxe!! murderer!!".

Got up to the top without problem, and proceeded to cross over. I dug several footholds at the first dirt wall (the easy one) that however humiliated Mighty Dayle onetime when he almost fell off ... Dayle! Now you have no excuse!

Proceeded on to the next dirt wall, where my previous puny rope is still hanging forlornly. I attacked by going up the left, contouring to the right, and then switchbacking to the left to gain that notorious ledge. Once the footholds are in, it becomes cupcake, and a rope is quite unnecessary. Wow!, digging holes is very tiring, and after digging 10-15 holes like this, I was exhausted.

Since I brought the rope and it's cheap, I decided to hang it anyway. With the thicker rope, fancy knots are needed, and I don't know how to do fancy knots. So I just made 3 klutzy knots, and hope that they hold.

Went on the crossover to Kuliouou without problem. Looked at the various ridges coming up from thee valley, and noticed one that topped out beyond the cables, at the false summit before the real summit, that looks reasonable. But it started way inside the valley. Could Grant & co. have gone in that far??

Got to the Kuliouou top and it's 4:40 already. (Took a long time digging those holes). I am not concerned since it normally takes 1:30 to come down, AND I took a flashlight.

I have never seen this trail so dry. The mud has been baked dry, and turned into loose dirt. Everywhere the mountain crumbles to the touch. Normally when the trail is dry, one can make good time. Today it's beyond the point of dry, and many places are slippery, not from mud, but from the loose dirt.

The loose dirt wall on the Kuliouou side with a cable simply crumbled when I descended it. Several cubic feet of dirt fell off. Am sure glad that the cable is new and sturdy.

Same thing all over the upper sections of the trail. As a result, downward progress was slow, and it took 2:00, i.e. 6:40 pm to come out, when it's just getting dark.

Met a father and son, getting into their car. They asked about the hike, and we had friendly conversation. They marveled at my _just_ coming out before it gets dark, and they offered ride and a beer! The day turned out wonderful at the end.

Wing


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