OHE June 14, 1998

Date: Sun, 14 Jun 1998 21:05:40 -1000
From: "Dayle K. Turner" (turner@hawaii.edu>
Subject: Manana to Waimano

This Saturday (6/20), Pat Rorie and I will lead a HTMC hike up Manana, across the Koolau summit, and down Waimano. In preparation for the outing, a bunch of us hiked the route to mark and do some work on the summit section.

In addition to Pat and I, turning out today to help out were Ralph Valentino, Dusty Klein, Thomas Yoza, Ken Suzuki, Judy Roy, Kim Roy, Nathan Yuen, Arnold Fujioka, and Lynne Masuyama. Lynne's hubby, hike guru Stuart Ball, did the Manana leg with us and returned via the same trail. He was making note of any changes in Manana for a revised edition of his well known *Hikers Guide to Oahu*.

In addition to the group mentioned above, a bunch of people turned out to do some work on the Waimano trail, including, among others, Carole K. Moon, Lita Komura, Bill Gorst, Lester Ohara, June Miyasato, Jay Feldman, Michael Valentino, Lynn Agena, and my idol, the famous woman hiker.

Mahalo to all who turned out to help work on the trails.

At 7 a.m., the crossover crew assembled at the Waimano trailhead and pooled rides to the Manana trailhead. Mahalo to Ralph, Stuart, and Lester for providing transport.

We shoved off up Manana at 7:40, with drizzly, windy conditions prevailing. Although the rain made for a muddy ascent, the wet stuff kept us from overheating and needing to drink a bunch of water on the way up. The climb up the infamous Manana rollercoaster went reasonably quickly and among other things we noticed a strongly flowing cascade in a gully on the left at around the 3.5 mile mark. It should be noted that Na Ala Hele has installed mileage markers on the trail, the summit marker reading "5 miles" (isn't Manana supposed to be 6?).

Whatever its length, Manana was topped out today in 3 hours (10:40 arrival time). After a rest break and readying of our hacking gear, we began the summit crossover at 11. Cloudy and windy conditions continued, with gusts probably maxing out in the 40 mph range. During the entire crossover, only on a couple occasions were we afforded views of the windward side, and these were brief.

Of interest on the crossover was the rolling gully complex at Eleao. The wind blasts with great force through this area and it's easy to see the prevalent wind direction by looking at the lean of the low grass in the gully. Eleao is about 20-30 minutes from the Manana summit and the area inspires a "Sound of Music" association. In fact, Ralph belted out his version of "The hills are alive..." while passing the area.

After Eleao is a critical junction where hikers can easily go astray (and others have), especially in clouded-in conditions. Well, it was socked in when we arrived at this point and like others we know of before us, we went the wrong way. And it's quite easy to go the wrong way, since a distinct trail follows the seemingly obvious ridge. But the seemingly obvious isn't the way and after about half an hour astray (and a 20-minute lunch break), we backtracked, found the critical junction, ribboned it extensively, and continued on.

There is a spectacular narrow section just past the go-astry junction. The whipping wind today added considerable flavor to the traverse of this razor-like segment. Ken Suzuki, not one to exaggerate, said he thought the section was even more dangerous than Ohulehule's cabled ridge.

Beyond the narrow part, there are several humps (six?) in the crest to negotiate, nothing overly exhausting, before reaching the Waimano ridge terminus. We completed the crossover at 2:30 (3.5 hours). Subtract the time spent astray, clearing, and for lunch and the Manana to Waimano segment equates to two hours, give or take.

Whoops were aplenty and the sigh of relief tangible upon reaching Waimano and after rest breaks of varying lengths, one by one members of the crossover-11 began the sprint hike down the trail where "the miles fly by," per Stuart in his hikers' bible. The last of us left the top at just before 3:00.

By 6, everyone had arrived at the Waimano trailhead where "Mama" Mabel Kekina and several others were waiting with snack items and cold drinks. My buddy Bill Melemai had dropped off a cooler of drinks earlier. Mahalo to him.

And mahalo again to everyone who turned out to lend a hand in prepping the route for this Saturday's outing.

--DKT


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