OHE June 13, 1998

Date: Sat, 13 Jun 1998 19:11:47 -1000
From: Wing C Ng (wing@lava.net>
Subject: Another way up Konahuanui

I was going to go Hawaii Loa this morning. As usual when I go alone, I sleep late, and it's 11 already when I got there. It occurred to me that one year ago this weekend, I tried the same thing, was turned away, and went Maunawili ....

Well, same thing, parking lot is full. I didn't believe the guard, and said I'll visit my friends living there, and got in. Turned out he wasn't lying, all 10 spaces are taken. There are 20-30 empty spaces for that picnic facility though, in fact totally empty, and I consider whether to claim that my friend invited me to BBQ, but I looked and the summit is socked in, and upper Hawaii Loa is very slippery when wet, so gave that up. As I turned back, I actually saw security driving up, probably to check on me; glad I didn't chance it.

Went over to Pali Lookout just like one year ago, and was going to check out several side ridges there that I saw last Saturday. First to do was the stream (look at topo map, it's the only marked stream). There is military plane wreck there, and today I noticed a bottle with native plants in it by the trail; looks like someone memorializing his/her loved one killed there at least 50 years ago.

The stream splits in two, with waterfalls in each. Both seem climbable, if sufficiently determined, but I am not. On the right side there is distinct trail going up, and so I followed it up. It forks, the left goes up to the top of the waterfall, but it involves climbing over loose, bare dirt, and so I picked the right fork, with lots of sticky vegetation. I almost gained the ridgeline, but noticed that there is cliff-face on the ridge itself slightly above, and so did not bother.

As I returned, I passed the plant vase, and noticed yet another trail, which I followed and was quite easy and I did gain the top of the ridge. Then I walked up the ridge to take a look, and did see the steep cliff-face I saw earlier, and so I stopped and turned around.

Then I hiked to the end of Old Pali, and went partways into Maunawili, and picked the exact same lunch spot with a view a year ago to have lunch.

After lunch, I returned the same way, and checked out a feature that looks to me like a contour trail above the Old Pali Road. BTW Old Pali was opened in 1898, 100 years ago, and the plaque there was erected in 1948, 50th anniv. Info. at the Lookout says that there first was a foot-trail, then a horse carriage trail, then Old Pali, then Pali Hwy. Old Pali was said to be built _below_ the foot trail, and so that contour trail could well be relic of the old foot trail.

I got up to the contour trail, and I have no doubt it _was_ the old foot trail. I followed it to a ridge, and then climbed the ridge.

Go to the topo map, and find the most prominent ridge between the Koolau summit ridge and Piliwale ridge, and that's the one I was on. The trail is amazingly nice, quite clear, not too steep, not too narrow, and reminds me of upper Kaua. I got to the point where another ridge joins from the left (as I ascend), and I checked the topo, and identified the exact spot where a ridge joins, and it's at 1640 feet. Rather unusual that I manage to locate exactly where I was.

The ridge looks okay further on, but getting steeper and narrower. Eventually, it reaches a cliff-face, but it seems to be do-able from my vantage point. Unfortunately fog came in, and I couldn't see anything above that cliff-face. The topo map says that, yes, it does get steep and narrow, but the section is very short, and by going up this ridge, one joins the summit ridge at 2200' level, and may bypass the difficult section of the summit ridge, which seems to be between 1800-2200'.

Ohulehule has 4 ridges that go up it, SE, SW, W, NE. Only W has been done recently, SE was last done in 1985, SW was done some 25 years ago, and I know of no one who has done NE.

Konahuanui also has 4 ridges that go up it: from Nuuanu Lookout, the easiest, from Olympus-Sedan-Ironwood moderately interesting, via Piliwale, very interesting, from Pali Lookout via summit ridge, somewhat suicidal. I think I found yet another way today. Since the trail is so well defined, it must have been frequently used (and still seems used, I saw 4 ribbons, about 2 years old). Used for _what_?? Maybe to go up Konahuanui, the 5th Way.


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