OHE May 18, 1999 (Pat's May Pau Hana Hikes)



Date: Tue, 18 May 1999 10:29:35 -1000
From: Patrick Rorie (prorie@mailhost.k12.hi.us>
Subject: Mid May 1999 Pau Hana Roundup

Friday, May 7th - Konahuanui Peak #2... Pau Hana

You knew I'd be back, esp. since I failed to reach the true summit back on February 26th.

Drove up Tantalus after work and parked slightly above the Kalawahine trailhead. Changed clothes inside the pat-mobile and approached the trailhead at 4:33 p.m.

With my legs in running shape thanks to the recent 13.5 mile downhill jaunt on the Big Island, I jogged much of the graded contour footpath equipped only with a power bar in one pocket, a flashlight/car keys/timepiece in the other while carrying a 1 liter plastic bottle filled with orange juice. The transition to the Pauoa Flats trail put my dexterity to the test (lots of protruding roots to avoid). Reached the Nu'uanu lookout at 4:54 p.m. and paused briefly to rest.

Following two tough climbs the ridge leveled off relatively speaking. Passed through the Australian Tea graveyard (a section littered with several dead Australian Tea trees). Two more tough climbs ensued and I found myself at the top of the first peak (elev. 3,105 ft). Cool tradewinds made for excellent speed hiker conditions. Clouds socked in the summit crest, however.

Pressing on, I traveled along the trail through many native plants and thick mud in route to the apex of the second peak (elev. 3,150 ft and the highest point on the Ko'olau Range) arriving there at 6:06 p.m. (one hour thirty three minutes from Tantalus to peak #2 - a new personal best!!!). The summit plateau is modest in size but a pleasant area nonetheless covered with low grass and surrounded by natives (lapalapa in particular).

Reluctantly departed the peak at 6:10 p.m. and noticed a trail dropping down to the headwaters of Lulumahu Stream while retracing my steps to the first summit. Brandon, is this one of yours? Have you checked this out?

Descended below the fog and enjoyed the beautiful golden hue of the cumulous clouds above the Waianae Range generated by the setting sun, the Honolulu city lights in the foreground.

Made it to the Nu'uanu lookout prior to serious darkness and jogged back to my car, the flashlight illuminating the footpath. Approached the pat-mobile at 7:51 p.m.

Tuesday, May 11th - Kaiwa Ridge... Pau Hana

Headed to the windward side of Oahu after work to visit an old friend. Specifically, the ridge where my passion for hiking began, humble Kaiwa Ridge. Drove up Koohoo Place in Lanikai and parked on the side. Following final preps I ascended a spur at the end of Koohoo directly to the double pill boxes (bunkers) and sat down on the concrete structure to take pleasure from the excellent vistas (the Mokulua Islands off the coast, Mokapu Penninsula, sweeping views of the Ko'olau Range behind Ohulehule to Makapuu).

A dude wearing a para-sail lifted off as I continued toward Bellows along the ridge crest. Paused again at the Keolu Hills overlook to gaze at Bellows, Waimanalo Bay and Rabbit Island.

Pressing on, I passed through a forest of koa haole (actually, the entire ridge is dominated by koa haole trees) in route to Pu'u O'Lanikai then descended steeply to a saddle.

Gained the next hill behind two cell phone repeaters and descended gradually to a spot near the fish shrine above Wailea Point. Looked down on the Air Force's VIP cottages and couldn't help but reminisce of good times had there. Recognized three of Lanikai's paddling teams as their boats glided around the point and reversed direction.

Emerged onto Aalapapa Drive near the "Lanikai Hilton" (a long, illegally constructed, unfinished "home"). Walked back to Koohoo where I entered the pat-mobile and drove off.

Wednesday, May 12th - Friendship Garden Gazebo... Pau Hana

A really quick one but I wanted to draw attention to the Friendship Garden gazebo. Free of mosquitos and surrounded by tall eucalyptus/Norfolk Island pines, I've found it to be one of the most relaxing places to go after work or anytime.

Upon emerging from the Pali tunnels on the windward side of Oahu, I made a left onto Kamehameha Hwy at Castle junction. Cut through Doug "Dusty" Klein's neighborhood, turned right and made another right onto Kokokahi Place. Drove to the top and parked in front of the Friendship Gardens.

Changed into proper hiking attire inside the pat-mobile and just as I got out of the car a punk dude came speeding by checking out the pat-mobile for possible auto break-in/theft. Probably unwise but I gave him a nasty look as if to say "Don't even think about it, brudah!".

Sprinted up the trail and veered right at a junction (the switchback on the left leads to the crest of Kawaewae Ridge). Completed the short hike to the gazebo in minutes and sat down to relax. Kaneohe Bay can be seen through the limbs of the trees and the arbor is refreshingly free of grafitti (a piece of paper on the wooden bench asks the users of the shelter to refrain from this type of activity).

Completed the lower loop back to my car then drove to John Flanigan's home in Kaneohe for a "Friends Of Haiku Stairs" meeting.

Thursday, May 13th - Maunawili Falls/lower Piliwale Ridge Loop... Pau Hana

A classic loop. I've done a write-up of the route in the past so I'll just highlight the hike.

Park on Kelewina Street in Maunawili Estates. A wide DLNR trail over a few stream crossings brings one to a junction. To the left and down is a footpath leading to Maunawili Falls. I checked out the falls briefly, backtracked then headed mauka. The connector trail built by members of the Sierra Club joins the Maunawili Demo Trail and has a truely breathtaking approach to the sheer fluted cliffs of the Ko'olau Range (see front cover photo of "Hiker's Guide") and a terrific panorama of the surrounding topography including Kaupo Cliffs, Pu'u o Kona windward (aka "Bear Claw" Ridge), the steep windward ridge coming down from Pu'u Lanipo, Mount Olympus, Konahuanui, Piliwale Ridge, and Mount Olomana.

Tramped along the demo trail until reaching the junction with Piliwale Ridge. Descended lower Piliwale to a watertank and Maunawili Estates. Walked through the neighborhood back to my car completing the loop in two hours seven minutes (non speed hiker pace).

HTMC will conduct the same loop hike open to the public tentatively scheduled for Saturday, September 11th, at 9 a.m. coordinated by the classy Joyce Tomlinson. Be there or miss out!

Friday, May 14th - Kaupo Cliffs/Tom-Tom Loop... Pau Hana

Another classic loop but certainly more difficult/dangerous than Maunawili Falls/lower Piliwale Ridge.

Drove to Waimanalo after work and for security reasons parked across from Pope Elementary at 4:53 p.m. Jogged up Huli Street and went left onto Waiokeola. Just prior to making another left onto Manawaiola a dog started chasing me . I slowed down and let the canine bark up a storm all the while continuing toward the trailhead above a vacant lot at the end of Manawaiola.

Entered a haole koa forest and picked up the Kaupo Cliffs trail near an old abandoned concrete ditch. For the most part I followed the ditch and ribbons but eventually veered mauka off the trail taking a more direct route to a spur ridge.

Ascended to the base of the Ko'olau Range and contoured toward Makapu'u past a dry waterfall shoot over a natural shelf. Experienced the thrill of getting there as I scrambled steeply over loose dirt/rocks and emerged from the forest then gained the top of a rock outcropping (rope and cable are available to assist). Ascended steeply again to an ironwood copse, passed through the ironwoods and climbed until the slope became impossibly steep. Slabbed right (another rope is available for security) on a goat trail then completed the ascent to the Ko'olau Summit at 5:46 p.m.

Sat down for a rest and recognized Koko Crater/Koko Head to leeward and Olomana to the north. Pressing on, I took pleasure from the abundant open ridge walking available on the crest tramping down to a saddle and up to the Tom-Tom terminus. Halted for another break and identified three prominent "shoulders" of the Ko'olau Range - Pu'u o Kona windward, Pu'u Lanipo windward, and Konahuanui windward.

Descended Tom-Tom, reentered the haole koa forest and emerged onto Manawaiola beyond the vacant lot.

Walked back to the pat-mobile approaching the vehicle at 6:43 p.m.

Notes: Having never ascended Tom-Tom and descended Kaupo, I would like to have done the loop in reverse but I had no idea how long the hike would take and didn't want to be poking around in the koa haole forest in the dark even with a flashlight. Next time.

== Paka


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