OHE January 19, 2000 (Lanihuli via Moole)

Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2000 19:02:34 -1000
From: Kalalau Rich (kalalau@gte.net)
Subject: Lanihuli (almost)and going away party for Pete

I woke up at about 5AM today and when I looked outside I was not very optimistic about the weather. Thick clouds, drizzling rain and the ominous weather forecast did not forebode well for todays outing. And yet 7 hearty solemates joined me on this adventure. Included among the group were Brenda and Dick Cowan, Nancy Rawlins, Jay Wright (in the Air Force reserve visiting from Oregon) , Gordon, Ed Gilman, and Pete Sofman (our guest of honor at our surprise going away party at my house after the hike) and myself.

We were supposed to leave at 7:30 but Pete, Nancy, Dick and Brenda got caught in traffic and we got off at about 8:15. Pete shuttled the eight of us to the end of Nuuanu Pali Drive where we began our adventure. It had already started to rain and we took care in racing across the highway to access the trailhead on the other side of the Pali Highway.

We decided beforehand that we would not attempt to walk through the tunnel along the trailgiven the adverse conditions and when we got to that point were glad that we made that choice. The water in the tunnel was waist deep. Instead we climbed the very slippery slope to the ridge and after some searching for the right trail made it down to the other side of the tunnel where we continued our adventure.

One of the nice things about the rain were the spectacular waterfalls and cascades as we ascended the several waterfalls along the way. The first waterfall was really raging and Jay took the opportunity to get some pictures to take with him to Oregon.

Thanx to Dayle Turner who blazed the trail last year, we were able to easily follow the ribbons up the trail. While it was wet, windy and chilly we all kept good spirits and made sure we kept moving to avoid hypothermia.

The last time I went up this route I missed the final ascent of the waterfall at the site of a minor landslide. Dayle advised me that the route was more downstream and sure enough he was correct. However there are still ribbons that lead up the waterfall closer to the source.

With the assistance of the ropes and cables we all successfully climbed up over the seven waterfalls and began our ascent toward Lanihuli. Since we had told others who were planning to come to the surprise party that we would be there at around 3:30 we realized that we would not be able to get to Lanihuli and back in time. After climbing up the uluhe overgrown trail we reached the first summit and junction with the return route at noon. We then hunkered down on the rainy blustery ridge to enjoy our lunch. We shared various goodies with each other but did not linger on the ridge very long as we were all getting rather cold.

A few minutes after starting our return I realized that the distal third of my left middle finger had completely lost any sensation. I was wearing gloves and attempted to get some feeling into my finger by massaging it but this was not successful. Several minutes later I took off my glove and noticed that the end of my middle finger was strikingly blanched compared to my otherwise tanned hand. I immediately inserted my finger into my mouth and after about five minutes the numbness disappeared and the color returned. And who could imagine frostbite in Hawaii!

Dick and I had two way radios and kept in contact as we descended the spur off Alewa Ridge. Jay, Ed and I had separated from the rest and we followed the ridge down but lost the ribbons, trying to work our way in the right direction. Not being successful we caught up with the rest of the group and spent what seemed like an eternity to find the way to the highway. We kept running into thick thickets of hau. Eventually we scaled the fence, crossed a raging cascade of water in a culvert by carefully crossing over a fallen log. We reached the Pali Hgwy about a half mile from the car and walked along the side of the highway while the torrential rain pelted our skin. We were all anxious to get back into some dry clothes.

We finally reached my house at about 3:45 and there were a dozen people wating there, includingPetes wife Pat, to help celebrate his sad departure from the island. After eating delicious desserts, imbibing drinks and singing our praise for the great work that Pete has done for the solemates we all wished Pete well gave him various going away gifts and lamented his upcoming exodus. Next Wednesday will be his last hike with the Solemates but he promised that he will return annually to join in our hikes and will remain a member of the email group. He was also given an honorary lifetime membership into the Solemates.

All in all it was a great day with great hiking with great people. It does not get much better than that. I am very much looking forward to more hiking with the Solemate as we enter the new millenium. While Pete will be sorely missed he will always remain with us in spirit. It would be nice to have his van though:-))

Happy trails,

Kalalau Rich

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