OHE 3-13-97

Mike Uslan emailed to remind me about his Oahu 4x4 website. Check it out for some interesting stories about off-roading on Oahu.

Seems as if the piece I wrote about the Haiku Stairs got some folks thinking about trying that thing. One wahine emailed, asking me what I think the likelihood of getting busted by security is.

Next week Saturday 3/22, Chris Thomas (ct@lava.net) and I have plans to do Pu'u Kalena, the hike by Kolekole Pass (above Schofield) with the legendary dike. Anyone want to join us? Email me.

On 3/23, the HTMC trail clearing crew will be working on Lanipo (8am start time). After getting to the top, we'll turn right, make our way carefully along the summit spine, and descend Waialae Nui ridge. Looking forward to that trip.

The week of 3/24 through 3/28 is Spring Break at LCC which means no classes, no work (well, I will have a pile of essays to grade), and plenty of hiking. In fact, on Wednesday, 3/26, I'm Hilo-bound with some HTMC folks for a three-night stay at state-run cabins at Kalopa (37 miles north of Hilo towards Honokaa), and an overnighter at KMC. Among other things, we plan a dayhike into the back of Waipio Valley. I tried to convince the gang to do an overnighter to Red Hill Cabin on Mauna Loa but didn't have any takers. Next time, maybe.

I took a look at Grant Tokumi's Olomana webpage. Nice pics, brah!! Made me want to hit the triple peaks (I live about a 10-minute drive away in Kaneohe). Pretty soon.

I also want to mention that hiking legend Silver Piliwale passed away in Castle Hospital last Friday at the age of 97. For those who don't know of the man, he is supposedly the first in modern times (and maybe ever) to descend Konahuanui to the windward side via a ridge that bisects the fairly-new Maunawili Demonstration Trail. The ridge even bears his name. I checked out this steeply ascending finger about a week and a half ago and it gets hairy rapidly, gang.

Wing Ng (wing@lava.net) has some info about Piliwale Ridge:

"Jason Sunada said that he did Piliwale, going up. He was the guy who went with Stuart Ball to the top of Waiau. Another guy, who went to high school in Hong Kong with me, said that he did it from the top down, and at one point, he closed his eyes and jumped. Welllll, seems that THAT was not a good idea: on July 11, 1991, he went on a hike in Wa. state, took a "short-cut" on the way down, fell and died. Amazingly, his own sister wrote in our high school alumni magazine, that he would surely love to die that way, (while hiking) 'it's like dying in the embrace of his lover.'"

Intense stuff, huh?

I've received other info about Piliwale, the man, from Wing and from one of Piliwale's granddaughters who told me how the legendary mountain man hiked to summit of Koko Crater at 90 and the entire length of the Koolaus from Pupukea to Makapuu to celebrate his 70 birthday. If you've ever hiked even a short stretch of the backbone you can surely appreciate the latter accomplishment. And hiking up Koko Crater at 90? I'll always remember that whenever I feel like wussing out on the trail.

Never met the man. Damn, I wish I had.

God Bless Silver Piliwale.

Hike safe, gang.

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