OHE March 7, 1998

Date: Sat, 7 Mar 1998 21:55:54 -1000
From: Wing C Ng (wing@lava.net>
Subject: Kamaileunu +  Keaau

Went with the same gang, Pat Rorie, Dayle Turner and Steve Poor to an unnamed Valley and tried to check out a route to the top of Kamaileunu from there.

All of us need to get GPS. We collectively went up 4 ridges, and I think the last one was the correct one. Anyway, by 2 pm, we maybe did 3% of the correct ridge. 2 pm, "worship" time is up, and we had to leave.

Steve went home early. I finally talked the two remainders into going up Legendary Ski-Pole's steep trail straight up to Keaau II through the watertank.

Ten years or so ago, I told Stuart Ball about this trail, and he took one look from Kamaileunu ridge, and said, "that's crazy", i.e. it is suicidally dangerous. Well, looks are deceptive. Both Paka and Professor got to the top, and I would have, except that I took some wrong turns and got too near to some sheer dropoffs on some loose dirt and rock, and caused me to lose my nerve!! Still, even I got up about 2/3 of the way.

I thought the Keaau is never hiked by anyone. It's coincidence like on the day of my Konahuanui-Olympus traverse: they got up to the top, and two young guys came up on the long Keaau ridge from sea level!! Paka and Professor offered to give them a ride if they come down the shortcut Keaau II trail, and so they did. We gave them the website address and hopefully these two fearless energetic young men will join our list real soon.

All in all, an excellent double-header!!

Tomorrow will be one year anniversary of OHE list.


Reply From: "Dayle K. Turner" (turner@hawaii.edu>

As Wing noted, we did a double-header today. He was intentionally cryptic about the opener of the twinbill because it involved subterfuge. After some initial straying off course, Pat, Wing, and I eventually found our way to a ridge that ascends to Kamaileunu (Fred Dodge and friends reportedly descended this ridge several years ago). Wingo says we only ascended 3% today; I think it was more like 15%. Whatever it was, at least we know the route and can finish it at some point, either descending from the traditional terminal point of the Kamaileunu hike or ascending from the "unnamed valley."

After that exploratory jaunt, I was ready to call it quits for the day and beeline to Waianae Taco Bell for a couple of bean burritos, a super-sized drink, and then head home. However, Wingo rambled on about wanting to try a route up to the crest of Keaau ridge. "I've dreamed of doing that for 20 years," he bemoaned.

Paka-lolo and I caved in to Wing's pleas and we headed to Kili Drive, a roadway that heads mauka right before Makaha surfing beach. About a half mile up Kili is a water tank road on the left. Above the water tank is a steep, gnarly-looking ridge (but actually not bad at all) that tops out at a benchmarked point called Keaau 2 (elev. 2266 ft.).

We set off for hike 2 of the day at 2:45. The climb was akin to the steepest segments of Kamaileunu. We did plenty of rock and boulder hopping but nothing overly dangerous needed to be negotiated. No cables or ropes were necessary either. While ascending, we did spot plenty of goat scat, bullet casings (from goat hunters, no doubt), and bones (from goats, I think). A steady ocean-originating breeze helped make the upridge grind more bearable.

Pat summited in 65 minutes and I in 95. At the top, we had great views of the west Oahu coast and enjoyed the pretty sights of Kamaileunu, Kaala, Kalena, Hapapa, Kanehoa, Kaua and more. About 150 yards from us, we also spotted a small herd of goats crossing a ravine on the Ohikilolo side of the ridge. A few minutes later, to our surprise, two hikers appeared downridge of Keaau heading toward us. We later found out they had started at 2 p.m. by Makaha surfing beach, and after gaining the ridgeline had followed it upslope for a couple hours to where Pat and I were resting.

We invited them to descend the ridge we had climbed and catch a ride back to where they began. The duo, a couple of 20-ish surf dudes from Florida, gladly agreed.

As might be expected, the descent went much quicker than the climb with Pat and the surf dudes bottoming out in 30 minutes and I about 45. As Wing mentioned, he had gone up more than halfway and stopped when he reached a loose-rock slope that unnerved him. He completed his descent a couple minutes before me.

We discussed returning to follow the ridge all the way to its junction with Ohikilolo. Another hike for the to-do list.

Tomorrow it's Makapu'u Tom-Tom with the HTMC, and as Wing mentioned, the birthday of OHE-L.

Later all,


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