OHE January 3, 1998

Date: Sat, 3 Jan 1998 21:24:03 -1000
From: "Dayle K. Turner" (turner@hawaii.edu>
Subject: Kamiloiki to Kuliouou West

I joined Pat "Paka-lolo" Rorie and Laredo "Rainbowman" Murray (blonde hair today) for a hike on the east end of Oahu today (1/3, Sat). We staged a car by the community park on Kuliouou Road and drove over to Makahuena Place in Hawaii Kai to hike up Kamiloiki Ridge.

We began hiking at 9 a.m. with gray skies overhead. After about 15 minutes, rain pelted us, this shower lasting for about an hour. The trail on the ridge didn't appear heavily travelled and this was even more apparent when we reached the buffalo grass sea not far from the top. We reached the Koolau summit in a grove of ironwoods at 10:30, and after a brief rest, we continued left (ewa) along the crest.

By that time, the rain had passed and views of the windward side were available. Laredo enjoyed the sights since he hadn't hiked this section before. After descending to the head of Kamilonui Valley, we climbed to the summit of the Tom-Tom trail, then scaled the cable section cliff without incident, and reached the summit of Mariner's Ridge at noon. From there we could see massive Pu'u o Kona Ridge descending to windward. We spent 20 minutes eating lunch, resting, and enjoying the views before resuming the trek.

The next section featured plenty of eroded rock and dirt patches made slippery by the earlier rains. I took a vigorous flop down a slick slope, to the amusement of Paka-lolo and Rainbowman. We spotted a bunch of trademark red Christmas-present ribbons of Wing "Wingo" Ng for awhile but about midway to Kuliouou these stopped (when were you last up there and what happened, Wing?). We rested briefly at the summit of Mauna o Ahi Ridge and continued on to Kuliouou Ahi, reaching the latter 90 minutes after leaving Mariner's Ridge.

Pat and Laredo chatted with some hikers who had come up Ahi, describing the trek we had completed thus far. Pat added an entry to the summit log at the Ahi summit and we pressed on, bound for Pu'u o Kona. Pat and Laredo made it up the first eroded slope beyond Ahi with no difficulty but I slipped while ascending it and had to use a crab/grappling hook technique to terminate a potential full-gainer to the floor of Kuliouou Valley. :-) We moved on to Wing's hill and made it up and over without casualty. We rested a few minutes at Pu'u o Kona. Pat eyeballed Pu'u o Kona windward and Laredo scanned the summit section we had covered, remarking about how far we'd travelled today. From o Kona we descended to a saddle and then began a steady ascent to the summit of Kuliouou West. In all, the traverse from Kuliouou Ahi to West took us 45 minutes.

The descent of Kuliouou West, particularly the upper section, was exciting, with two cable sections and some narrow dike sections to negotiate. After those were done, we descended somewhat steeply through a slippery uluhe section, where I took several more flops. Thereafter, the descent was more gentle with the trail passing through stands of guava, ironwood, Christmas berry, and other introduced flora. We reached Pat's car on Kuliouou Road at 4:30, ending a 7.5 hour hike in the Koolaus.

A good hike with good friends.

Aloha and safe hiking to all,

--Dayle


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