OHE 3-21-97

While zipping around on the web this afternoon, I stumbled onto a page by a UH grad student Gabriela Canalizo (canaguby@galileo.ifa.hawaii.edu).

For those who are interested, her page is at http://www.ifa.hawaii.edu/~canaguby/hiking/hikes.html

Seems as if she's a hiking buff and has written several narratives (with pics) about treks she's been on. What follows is one she wrote about a Manana ascent/Waimano descent when things didn't turn out as planned.

Don't try this at home. :-)

Gabriela's post follows:

"We left around 7am. It was an ungraded trail. The first 2 miles or so were relatively easy. We started in Pacific Palisades, and hiked right on the ridge up to the north... it was actually pretty cool to be walking on this ridge. Very windy, beautiful nature, no signs of civilization. But after the first couple of miles, it got insanely hard... Very steep humps, we kept climbing up and down. It was VERY steep. And very mudy. And you know my balance is very bad, and I kept falling. Chris kept saying I was a master of balance...

"We were hoping to get to the summit by noon but it didn't happen. It was just too tough. A little after noon, we ate our 2 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and we had already had our only snack at 11am.

"We kept going up and down and up and down and I was so tired I just wanted to quit. Finally, around 2:30pm we reached the summit. The view was really nice. We saw Kaneohe, and Chinaman's hat and all that (this is all in the North shore) Well, we were basically on the highest point of this enormous ridge that was perpendicular to the one we were walking on. This ridge was like a 2660 foot tall wall, very narrow and extremely steep. Almost vertical. We were both very tired, and sat down for a little while to rest and enjoy the view.

"My good old friend Chris had planned to go down a different trail which was longer, about 8 miles, and which was about 2 miles from where we were (of course, at that point we thought it was less than a mile). And it was already 3pm... It kind of sounded very appealing though, cause the other trail was graded, and according to the description of the book, the miles "just fly by". So we started heading that way. And the "trail" was right along the ridge. The ridge was about 2 feet wide, many times less than one foot wide, and then a 2000ft drop on either side. And the wind was at least 40 or 50 miles an hour. I kept looking down, and wondering when i was going to start panicking and crying... but it didn't happen. What was scary though, was that it was very slippery and the wind was SOOO strong... there was this part were there was a rope cause it was so narrow, and there was nothing to hold on to. And it kept going up and down.

"Then we came to this place where it was wider and flatter and we were just so happy. And then... ooops! were's the trail?? It wasn't really a trail before, but at least there was that one rope. But now we just couldn't find the trail, and Chris went looking in many places, but he just couldn't find it. So we looked at the book (Ball's book), and kind of figured out which ridge we had to go to to find the other trail, and we couln't find a trail leading there. So Chris starts going down to where we think there should be a trail and after a while he calls me and tells me to come down. That part was fun. There was no trail at all, it was VERY steep, and I was sliding down and only holding on to the bushes. It was fun, I squated and was sliding on my feet, and every once in a while I was sliding on my butt... so I reach Chris, hoping he'd say 'HERE'S THE TRAIL!' but he says, 'Well, there's no trail, so we'll have to make our own.' It was already a little after 4pm.

"We were trying to make a trail cutting through the 'exhuberant vegetation' (no kidding). Chris' legs were really scratched I was wearing jeans, so only my arms were scratched and my hair was getting stuck in every single plant it could. One time I was walking, trying to open some way and I give the next step and there was nothing under my foot! whoa!!! I fell into this small ditch, about 7 feet deep. Nothing bad, I landed on my feet but it was kinda scary, especially since I didn't know where (or if) I was going to land... And I couldn't get back up, cause there were sooo many plants, so i had to keep walking inside the ditch, hoping it wouldn't take me too far away from Chris. Finally made it out. Hard.

"Now picture us going back to the ridge, and going on this really really narrow ridge, but this time without a trail, and my wonderful balance... and the sun getting close to the ocean... Well, that whole part was sooo long and sooo scary and painful that I feel like i have to keep going on forever. But don't worry, I won't. Finally, after sunset, when there was still a little bit of light (our wonderful twilight) we made it to what we thought was the ridge where the other trail ended. And.... there was no trail!! I can't begin to tell you how frustrated we were, specially Chris.

"We started trying to find it. But it was very dark now. Chris had a headlight, but it had old batteries, and he was really mad at himself. This was around 7pm. So we started making our way through the bushes, but it was really rough, cause we couldn't really see the ground, and it was very steep and with tons of plants. Well, if we could reach this graded trail, it wouldn't be that hard to hike it in the dark. At least in Chris' opinion. I was dead, I must say. My legs weren't responding. And we kept hurting ourselves trying to make it through the bushes

"Now, you must remember we hadn't had any food since noon. I still had a small tangerine, so we stopped and sat and ate it. It was a great dinner. I was telling him I was dead, and how I thought it wouldn't be a good idea to get lost when it was pitch dark. So he pulled out his book, and studied it for a long time and finally realized we had not reached the right ridge yet. And there was no way we were going back to the summit ridge when it was pitch dark. So, we decided to stay there. And we tried to go to sleep.

"We tried to go to sleep, with our stomachs nearly empty and at 2600 ft altitude, with a very strong wind. It was freezing. We both had our raincoats, and he had an extra pullover, that he very kindly let me use (I told him I'd make sure everyone would know how much of a heroe he was for doing this) He had rain pants, and he put them on. So we went to sleep. (sarcastic ha ha) At 10pm we finally stood up again, both shivering, and gave up on trying to sleep. So we went back up, at least to find a more sheltered place, maybe closer to a hump. Walking in the midst of bushes again, it felt so good to work out, and get some thermal energy.

"We found some relatively flat piece of land in between the bushes and we each found a little place to sleep. It was cold. Freezing cold. The hours went sooo slow. It seemed forever before it was midnight. I had to stand up and do squats many times through the night, so i could get some heat. And I kept hearing Chris rubbing his hands. And then we start hearing dip dip dip... oh no, I said, ... it rained on us. We were soaking wet. Wow, was it cold... I don't think either one of us slept for more than 2 hours total.

"A little before 7am, we started hiking again. We went over another one of those slim walls, slided down among the bushes some more, and there it was !!! the trail!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can't tell you how happy we were. Oh, by the way, I had 2 cough drops, so we had them for breakfast. =)

"The trail was actually pretty nice, very muddy and slippery, but it seemed sooooo nice after not having a trail at all!! We went down as fast as we could, and we only had one thought in mind: food! After all, it was only an 8 mile trail... What I didn't tell you is that the car was parked about 5 miles from the trailhead. Anyways, that trail went pretty well, except when it started going uphill, I could barely walk. Even Chris said he was sore.

"When we crossed the second stream, about 2.5 miles before the trailhead, we saw these two mountain bikers, who were about to start heading back up. So Chris had the brilliant idea that if we could get to the top before them, they could probably give us a ride to the car. It was really brilliant. So now we had the extra stress of having to make it before the bikers! It was tough, many times I felt like they were stepping on my ankles. Also, by this time I had completely run out of water. I finally gave up and told Chris to go ahead, get the ride from them and come back to pick me up. He went ahead, and a little after, the bikers passed me. Phew! When I got to the top, I somehow managed to get off the trail, so I had to jump a fence and go into private property, and all sorts of things. But I did find the trailhead. I asked some people at the top if they had seen them, and they said Chris did make it on time. yay!!! And a little after, Chris picked me up. We were soooooo happy and sooooooo hungry! we had so much mud on us. And my hair was like an arboreetum. We finished the trail close to 1pm. Next stop: Burger King!

"So that's my story. We didn't really get a chance to recover because we both had a big assignment due the following Tuesday, and we ended up staying up all night the following 2 nights working on it at the IfA.

"It was very exciting, and I am very grateful we survived safely. =)"

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