OHE March 18, 2000 (Waiawa wrong turn)



Date: Sat, 18 Mar 2000 21:11:53 -1000
From: Markeshort@cs.com (Mark Short)
Subject: wrong turn/trail in Waiawa

Things just didn't go right from the start today in my attempt to get to the Kipapa summit. I left later than I wanted to and our van overheated going over the H3. I didn't start hiking until 12:30 and was a bit frustrated. I'm sure this had something to do with the rest of the day.

My goal was to camp at the summit and go down Waikane in the morning. I was expecting a bit of an adventure since I had not been to this area in about 14 years and I knew it was confusing with many roads and trails.

I was checking my map and compass regularly and was surprised to find that my "sense of direction" just was not working. Many times my compass would show my direction of travel to be just the opposite of what I thought it was.

After about 1.5 hours I reached a 6.5 foot high wooden cross made of 4x4 posts. There were various names carved in the cross but most looked like graffiti. At his point I had been heading northeast and now I was faced with the choice of heading due north or south. I chose north and the trail soon changed to west, wrong way. I reversed direction and this trail continued south which I also knew was wrong. Up to now I had seen a few ribbons (mostly on the ground) now there were lots going both ways. Aha! a contour trail heading east, this must be it! This nice contour trail then changed to a ridge top trail. "Kipapa is a contour" I said to myself. "Maybe the contour has been lost for this section and it will start again" was my reply. I continued and there was no more contour. This was a nice trail and looked recently cleared with a nice swath though the uluhe and even some saw work on large branches. Eventually the trail seemed like it was going to loop back and I was very sure it was not Kipapa. I took some time looking at the map and I could see where Kipapa should be and where I had most likely gone wrong. It was now past 3:30 and I was feeling disappointed I was not going to make it to the summit. I could make it back the way I had come before dark. Right?

On the way back there were more confusing roads and trails. I decided to just stick with a road that seemed to be headed my way and ended up on the prison road. I had called my son and asked him to pick me up in the cemetery at 6:15. So now I had a 35 minute road walk to meet him.

It is amazing how fast you lose your sense of direction without references of a known ridge or a clearly defined summit. I was disappointed at not being able to do the trip I had planned. Despite this, the day was actually fun & challenging & humbling. Really a great learning experience.


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