OHE June 14, 1999 (Pakui backside)

Date: Mon, 14 Jun 1999 00:10:02 -1000
From: "Short, Mark E." (Mark.E.Short@bankamerica.com>
Subject: Pakui backside with my dog Sam

Saturday afternoon about 3pm I wanted to get some exercise. My wife agreed to hike a short ways with me in Waimanalo. Then I would continue over Olomana and she would pick me up on the Kailua side. At the last minute she decided not to go. I wanted to go anyway so she said "go ahead, but you have to take Sam" (our dog). Her reasoning was that if Sam could make it, it must not be too dangerous. I complained saying that I'm always careful and that this is not a good area for him because we might bother equestrians. My wife was firm so I agreed and said I'd probably end up at Makapuu instead.

So I'm on my way to Makapuu and Pakui just calls to me. It couldn't hurt just to explore a little. I'll keep Sam on his leash and try to find DKT's route. After parking the van Sam & I set off on a dirt road then smaller trail. Each time the trees open up a little I check to see if we're headed in the right direction. Dayle said he had put up some ribbons, but none were to be found. Not even on the ground, pulled down.

After some course corrections I let Sam off his leash and we end up on the correct ridge. This is confirmed by the chopped xmasberry (some very large cuttings and lots of work, thanks Dayle!). We huff & puff up the steep slope and reach a tricky rock section. I carefully negotiate this crumbly area and figure Sam will be stuck below. Soon I'm wondering why he's not howling & making a lot of racket (he hates to be left behind). I wonder if he's getting so mellow that he's quietly waiting below, or did he find some animal to harass? I hear noise from the bush and Sam appears! I'm impressed, and continue on.

Near the junction with the main Pakui backside route there is a steep rock chute. I'm able to get foot/hand holds by spreading my arms & legs. No way Sam can make this, but I'll turn around at the top, he won't have to wait long. I reach the junction and sit down to rest and enjoy the views. There is a second narrower chute next to the one I came up. I look down the chute and again see Sam emerge. This chute has plants growing in it so plenty of traction for Sam & up he comes. I can see from the expression on his face that he is proud of the climb he has made (or maybe I'm just proud of him). We sit together and study the route to the top. Next up is a 15 foot vertical section with a frayed old cable. I can make it without the cable, but I don't want Sam to try. So we head back down.

As we descend, I picture in my mind the route over the three peaks of Olomana. If we made it to the top could Sam complete the traverse? I also remember about HFD rescuing a dog who had fallen off Olomana. My reaction at the time was "what was a dog doing on Olomana!". I really wasn't planning for Sam to come this far and if we ever do make it all the way, it won't be planned.

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