OHE January 6, 1998

Date: Tue, 6 Jan 1998 18:21:24 -1000
From: Patrick Rorie (prorie@hekili.k12.hi.us>
Subject: Noname' Peak

On Sunday, Jan. 4, I played hookie/black sheep from the HTMC trail clearing crew and rondezvoued with Steve Poor and his friend Bob at First Hawaiian Bank in Waianae. Our plan was to go in with the HTMC members who would be doing the Waianae-Ka'ala hike that day (we wanted to skip the road walk) and attempt to reach the summit of Kawiwi - the peak on Kamaile'unu Ridge between the normal termination point of the HTMC Kamaile'unu hike and an unnamed triangular peak. I called Arnold (the hike leader) on Friday, Jan. 2, to ask for his permission. He said no problem but to make sure no one followed us.

After Arnold's spiel the group headed deep into Waianae Valley and regrouped at the gate to the Waianae-Kai hunting area. A rather large local man walked out from his home and opened the gate. A handful of vehicles proceeded up the paved, grooved road each maxed out with eager hikers. We parked near a water tank just before the trailhead. A few minutes later the speed hikers took off up the trail the most noteable being John Darrah. The remaining members of the party followed with Steve, Bob and I hanging in the back. It was 9:40 a.m.

We ascended gradually at first then as the ridge narrowed turned left down into a gully. Next the trail took us over a small stream (a pleasant waterfall could be seen to the right not far away) and thru large guava trees as the group contoured around the foot of a side ridge. Steve, Bob and I broke away at the junction with the return leg of the Waianae Kai loop and ascended somewhat steeply until we arrived at the Waianae Kai lunchspot. We reached it at approx. 10:40 a.m.

After a five minute break the three of us started heading toward noname' peak. I was in the ram-rod position followed by Bob with Steve bringing up the rear. We followed a fairly discernible trail and I cut some of the protruding branches with handheld cutters (I didn't bring my loppers because I anticipated some narrow "true horror" spots which would require both hands). I stopped briefly to let the other two catch up at a nice view spot of Waianae Valley below and in the distance vast Lualualei Valley with Pu'u Heleakala on the right.

Pressing on I proceeded over a dike section and carefully worked my way thru an interesting rock formation. The rocks, which are clearly visible from points east, reminded me of a Hawaiian fish shrine. They were slippery so extreme caution was required.

Further ahead the three of us hit a road block while attempting to pass another smaller rock formation. We went to the right of it but there wasn't much room to pass. Steve took out his rope, tied a fisherman's knot in one end and had me place the loop around my chest. Meanwhile, Bob put the other end around a tree, took up the slack and wrapped a bunch of the rope around himself. As I carefully climbed up and around the rock outcrop Steve let out just enough rope for me to continue. Once I reached a safe area beyond the outcrop I placed my end around a solid tree. Steve could not make it so he searched and found an easier route on the left of the rocks. Meanwhile, Bob came up the same way I did.

Moving on, I climbed higher toward the unnamed peak and encountered the start of a 25 foot cable. It had a strange, weather beaten feel to it. Nevertheless, I used the cable to scale a steep section. I looked back when I reached the top of the cable but could not see Bob or Steve (although I could hear them). I looked across Makaha Valley and took delight in the excellent view of the fluted cliffs which are below and slightly beyond the topping out point of the Ohikilolo Trail.

Reached the summit of noname' peak (elev. 3,000 ft) and noticed several tea leaf plants nearby. Once the other two men joined me we ate lunch and enjoyed the outstanding views which were ours. Massive Mount Ka'ala could be seen to the east as well as much of the back of Makaha Valley in the north/north eastern direction. The three poles and the swath of the Waianae-Ka'ala Trail beyond them were clearly visible. It was approx. 11:40 a.m.

When lunch was pau, Steve and I spocked the narrow ridge which led to Kawiwi. Most of it looked doable except for a very steep area at the base of the peak. The two of us descended, exploring a bit further without much difficulty but decided to turn back due to time constraints and the very steep section. "Why go all that way and expend so much energy with no real possibility of making it to the top ?" we asked each other. We did not chicken out !!!

Bob, Steve and I departed the pinnacle of noname' peak at approx. 12:40 p.m. and retraced our steps to the Waianae Kai lunchspot. On the way back Steve took some photos and Bob snapped one of Steve coming down the cable.

The three of us arrived at the lunchspot at 1:15 p.m. and almost immediately began descending to the valley below. Instead of going back the same way we went right at a junction on the ridge we had originally ascended during the beginning of the hike. The trail took us down to another part of the gulch. We hiked to the right of a fern grotto and underneath a large number of Kukui trees. As we followed "hot" pink ribbons, Steve, Bob and I kept our eyes open for possible heiau sites.

After winding between trees inside the gully, Bob, Steve, and I emerged from the forrest at the watertank where the hike began. Much to our surprise most of the cars were gone. While walking down the paved road we spocked a wide ridge which connected nicely to the top of Kawiwi. "One of these days we'll try that one" we told each other.

The three of us jumped into Bob's vanogan after the twenty minute road walk and returned to the bank. We arrived there shortly before 3 p.m. and I bid Bob and Steve farewell as I exited the van.

The two of them headed for Burger King but I drove to Schofield hoping to catch the HTMC trail clearing crew before they departed Kolekole pass parking area. I pulled in at 3:40 p.m. and was warmly greeted. Enjoyed some of "Momma" Kekina's ono chocolate cake as I listened to Dayle and Nathan recount the day's events and I shared my story.

Later, after everyone had departed, I walked up to the pleasant meadow past the Kolekole rock and sat down to reflect on the year gone by.

Notes: With hikers on Mount Ka'ala, Mount Kalena and Noname' peak, the Waianae Range was crowded relatively speaking. Hike the Waianaes. You'll be pleasantly surprised !

== Patrick

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