OHE July 22, 1998 (b)

Date: Wed, 22 Jul 1998 22:47:49 -1000
From: Sergio Lotenschtein (loetch@iav.com>
Subject: Pu'u Keahi a Kahoe

Sunday morning and we're walking across the gate into Moanalua Gardens. Myles and I had tried this hike two years ago but the sudden downpour had given us second thoughts. This time, with Tina in tow, we start the walk through the valley on a beautiful day.

The first thing we notice is the total lack of water. The bridge crossings are dry and the fords are a mere puddle crossing. The walk along the valley is beautiful. After 45 minutes we pass a section with a yellow ribbon wrapped around a fallen trunk, this is the exit for the loop section of the hike. We thought about doing the hike in reverse of Stuart Balls recommendations and am glad we didn't.

For those who've read the descriptions of this hike in Ball's book I am glad to report that not much has changed. The trail is suddenly shrouded in rainforest at the end of the valley walk, some slipping and slidding. Then the steep switchbacks which a t times have narrow crossing and have you looking for fingerholds in the rocks. Luckily the struts that anchor the transmission towers can be used to keep one from sliding down the ridge.

As the trail rises up the ridge there are some narrow crossings. It appears that not many hikers have been on this hike there is much overgrown. We found the ropes up the ridge intact and continued the heart pounding hike up the ridge and the false summ it. The panoramic views of the airport, Salt Lake and the Waianae range all the way to Mokuleia are, as always, awesome.

On the summit before Keahi a Kahoe we have a totally clear view of the Windward side. Then the fun begins with the ridge walk toward the 2800 foot peak of Keahi a Kahoe. Its muddy, narrow and oft treacherous. I spent a great deal of time watching were I was walking. The trades are kicking strong, it slows our walk toward the peak. I notice that I'm spending alot of time watching my footing. I make time to look at the ridges going down, there are trails corridors on them. What manner of mountain goa t is climbing in from the Kaneohe side?

The summit offers another perspective of the panorama and the missing radars. All that's left is the concrete foundations and the shack near the stairway to heaven. We stopped for lunch, talked about our yearly Kalalau trek, cattle drives and weirdos wh o wear teddy's in the laundry room.

Going down to complete the loop was heartpumping. Alot of ass crawling on the narrow ridges. Plenty of uluhe on my legs and arms and lots of yellow markers as we slowly descend. It reminds me of that interminable descent from the Manana hike. Finally we reach a junction and walk into a dead end. Backtracking we find a marker placed to low to notice. We tried to correct the problem. Anyone with some hiking experience would figure it out. Novices need to remember to keep to the left side of the ridg e.

Finally, down and out to the valley road. 6 1/2 hours to complete the trip.

I loved this hike. Highly recommend it on these wonderful clear and clouded days.

Serge


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