OHE May 29, 1999 (Waiahole middle ridge)

Date: Sat, 29 May 1999 17:35:22 -1000
From: Wing C Ng (wing@lava.net>
Subject: Kipapa Windward, First Ascent :)

Legend Miller wrote about the middle ridge of Waiahole, a gentle, easy ridge to the Koolau summit that is doable, but apparently he has not done.

It tops out near the top of Kipapa. So by analogy to Schofield- Waikane, the combination should be called Kipapa-Waiahole. However, in order to nudge those intrepid trail-clearers who will clear mega-trail Hauula-Castle tomorrow, I shall call it "Kipapa Windward".

Started off with Steve Poor. I was 1/2 hour late because I forgot my socks. We started walking 8:45. As usual, Steve wanted to find a new way.

The orthodox route was go on Waianu-Kuolani and then turn left at the top of the uluhe hill. Steve wanted to turn left way before, and find some way to avoid uluhe (he's in shorts). Today, he's not very successfuly, and it looks like we will be meandering in circles in the dark jungle forever, and so I quit, returned to the trailhead, and started on the orthodox route.

My 2nd start was 10:00. Contrary to appearance, uluhe is not too bad. In fact this is a most beautiful trail, not at all steep, and not at all overgrown. In fact it is about the same standard as St. Louis Heights trail before the Sierra Club cleared it 10 feet wide.

By 12:00, I hit the ditch trail. Amazingly, the ditch trail is not too overgrown, and I contemplated going either left or right when I come back, but didn't.

I continued on. The trail gets a little steeper, but still not too bad. I was worried that I would actually be the first to get to the Koolau Summit, and then Paka et al. would be soooo green with envy .....

By 1:00 I can see what's ahead. There are several humps, and then a steep climb. After that, it's undulating/flat all the way to Kipapa.

It was never very steep so far, but the ridge narrows, and is similar to Manamana cemetery side, with looooong dropoffs on both sides, although the dropoff is not too obvious while I was walking on the ridge itself, one has to look to see the consequences.

I decided it would take couple more hours to reach the top, at least, and so I stopped at the first place that the trail goes down a notch and comes back up. There I sat down and had lunch.

I gave my roll of ribbons to Steve, and so there are no ribbons at all on this trail, but I did lots of cuttings, and also made machete marks on trees in lieu of ribbons.

Return took much less time, 20 m. to the ditch trail, 45 m. to Waianu-Kuolani, and 20 m. to the trailhead.

Kipapa Windward is now WIDE OPEN. Go clear it and connect with Schofield-Waikane, and it will be a wonderful hike.


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