OHE July 18, 1999 (KST--Pupukea)

Date: Sun, 18 Jul 1999 19:56:33 -1000
From: Larry Oswald (Oswald1@sprynet.com>.  
Subject: KST Update

Update on the Koolau Summit Trail Maintenance

On July 17, 1999 a small crew of HTM club members (Kris Corliss, Larry Oswald, Steve Poor, Mike Algiers and Ed Gilman) completed the final push to clear the KST from Pupukea to Malaehahana. The trail is now passable to eager hikers who don't mind mud and occasional narrow stretches through strawberry guava and uluhe. The reopening of this stretch of trail is by no means a small feat. This was the final event for a project that has lasted for three years, involved at least 12 separate attempts, three of which involved the full HTM trail clearing crew, and as many as 50 different people. In many areas the guava was so dense that only a chainsaw could open the trail.

The trail can now be officially upgraded from and "F" meaning severely overgrown and only passable to masochistic persons not minding being scratched and scraped to approximately a C+ status which means passable to almost anyone who has a desire to push and splash a little. The trail offers some magnificent views of lush uninhabited valleys and ridges as well as panoramic vistas of the North Shore, East Shore, Kaena point, Mt. Kaala, Laie, Kahuku and the Pacific Ocean. Many native plants abound on this trail including Loulu palms, Koa, Ohia, Olapalapa, and a whole bunch we don't know the names of.

On the return trip, when walking at a brisk pace, it required 2 hours and 45 minutes to travel from the Malaekahana trailhead to the Pupukea jeep road via the KST. We estimate it will now take 4 hours to hike from the Boy Scout camp to the Malaekahana trailhead, 4 hours and 40 minutes to the Laie trailhead and 7.5 hours to reach Laie. Add a half-hour lunch and you will have an outstanding 8-hour super-hike.

A great many thanks go out to all of those who contributed to this effort.

Larry Oswald

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