OHE March 22, 1999 (Piliwale)

Date: Mon, 22 Mar 1999 13:33:48 -1000
From: MARK SHORT (MARKESHORT@worldnet.att.net>
Subject: Piliwale Ridge

I've been trying to do two two hour training hikes per week. This way I don' die when I hike on the weekend.

About 6:30 friday morning I went up Piliwale Ridge, starting from Maunawili. After reching the Demo trail the path continues up the ridge looking fairly well used. Piliwale Ridge is shaped like half of a big pyramid set right up against the mountain. My goal was to reach the top of this and not continue straight up climb to the summit.

About 3/4 of the way up the trail is quite over grown in places. I had to pu my hydration pack on front and crawl in order to get past the vines. At the is a gap that I had read about in an earlier post. The author says he jumped accross.

Around this area I was reminding myself that hiking is not an exteme sport. Being very careful I descended about 20 feet to bottom of the very narrow gap and decided to climb the south side of the ridge since the top was undercut on the north side and who knows when the thousands ov years of erosion would cause it to drop? The south side was very steep, but it also had some large trees that would stop a fall. The large rocks that make up this wall are very crumbly and covered with moss. Even with my extreme caution a large rock gave way and I was momentarily dangling from a tree branch.

Having made it back up to the top of the rige I continued a short distance to where the almost straight up climbing starts. I think anyone who climbs this deserves the word legendary in front of their name (like the Legendary Silver Piliwale). I know that if I ever climb this I will be a legend in my own mind (this may be a good enough reason not to do it;).

On the way down I went the wrong way in one of the over grown areas. I knew this soon enough, then went the wrong way to get back to the trail. Usually the trail up a ridge follows a line of trees if there is one. In this case there were two, when I got to the wrong trees there was no trail. It was a bit of a chore getting back to the other tree line. But I was relieved to find the trail I had lost. Hard to believe this could happen in such a small area and it was humbling.

With this detour it took me about the same time to get down as it took to get up and my morning hike lasted about two hours.

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