OHE May 3, 1998 (b)

Date: Sun, 3 May 1998 20:01:21 -1000
From: "Dayle K. Turner" (turner@hawaii.edu>
Subject: Tripler trail clearing

A big gang of us, 19 in all, climbed a steep, wind-whipped ridge from the windward side to reach the Koolau summit so we could work on the Tripler Ridge Trail for an upcoming HTMC hike. Meanwhile, ten others cleared the trail from the bottom-up, so we had comprehensive coverage which led to a successful maintenance outing.

The top-down entourage began in Kaneohe at 8:45 a.m. and reached the Koolau summit crest at around 10:45. Once on the crest, we needed about 45 minutes to cross over to the topping-out point of Tripler Ridge. For the most part, we were socked in by clouds during the climb to the summit and the crossover. However, we had a several time segments of visual clarity to windward which brought on whoops and our traditional heavenward-extended hands. Steady blasts of ka makani (wind) over the crest gave everyone's hair (if applicable) the wind-blown look and made for a chilly yet exhilarating traverse

After a 20-minute rest/lunch break at the Tripler summit clearing, we commenced the descent of Tripler, swinging machetes and sickles as we went. The upper half mile of Tripler wasn't too bad, for the constant wind tends to keep the vegetation low. However, the ridge narrowed considerably in sections and the wet conditions created slippery conditions, so we had to descend with care to avoid mishap.

One the way down, we could see some of our bottom-up colleagues on a distant downridge pu'u. Encouraged after spotting them, the top-down ohana continued our work, cutting back uluhe and clidemia and carving footholds where needed in sloping sections of the trail. As we did our work, wind-whipped rain jetted down Moanalua Valley like ghost bound for the ocean.

In the past when we've worked on Tripler, we've started from the bottom and worked upridge. However, because Tripler is long and includes some big ascents, we rarely topped out since time and energy reserves were in short supply by the time we reached the powerline trail junction (Point G in Ball's book--page 48), if we ever got that far.

When a two-pronged operation was suggested, many members of da gang were enthusiastic about the idea, hence today's set-up. And everything worked out nicely, with Tripler now being in solid shape for the club's May 17 hike. Ken Suzuki will lead this outing. Join him if you have the chance.

A couple of closing notes:

--Bill Gorst and I briefly explored a ridge that drops down to Moanalua Valley slightly upridge of Point F in Ball's book (page 47). Old ribbons marked the route, which probably is/was used by hunters to drop down/climb out of the valley.

--The club will not start the Tripler hike from the Tripler Hospital Grounds. Instead, hikers will assemble at the community park at the end of Ala Aolani Street in Moanalua Valley, walk up the gravel road for a mile and a half, and then bear right to climb steeply up a spur to the crest of Tripler Ridge. About a third of the way up this spur is a sizable sandalwood tree, one of the larger specimens on Oahu, according to Ken. We descended this spur to Moanalua Valley today.

--Mahalo to Ralph Valentino, Naomi Nasu, and the famous woman hiker (my idol) for providing pre- and post-hike transport to the windward side.

--HTMC president Grant Oka's brother passed away recently. Aloha and sympathy is extended to Grant and the Oka family.

Aloha and safe hiking to all,


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