OHE May 2, 1999 (Waikane-Kaaumakua)

Date: Sun, 2 May 1999 20:04:39 -1000
From: Dayle K. Turner (turner@hawaii.edu>
Subject: Waikane-Ka'aumakua

Doing some of its finest work ever, the trail maintenance crew of the Hawaiian Trail and Mountain club visited Waikane Valley on the windward side today to clear the magnificent yet seldom-used Waikane trail to the Koolau summit and beyond to Pu'u Ka'aumakua. Pat Rorie and I will coordinate an HTMC super hike over this route this coming Saturday, May 8.

On hand today were trail boss Mabel Kekina, Grant Oka, his daughter Georgina, Ken Suzuki, Thomas Yoza, Nathan Yuen, Ralph Valentino, Bill Gorst, Jay Feldman, Charlotte Yamane, Volker Hildebrandt, Carole K. Moon, June Miyasato, Kost Pankiwskyj, Gina Goodman, Jim Pushaw, his daughter Kristy, Jason Sunada, Greg Kingsley, Carmen Craig, Larry Oswald, Kris Corliss, Kim & Judy Roy, Lynn Agena, Dusty Klein, and Deetsie Chave. A couple of hiking friends, Pete Caldwell and Don Fox, also joined us and did superb work.

With such a large group on hand, it is no wonder that the trail was cleared so well today, perhaps as well as it has been in ten to twenty years. What was once a route choked by clidemia and uluhe, blocked by fallen trees, and made treacherous by landslides and erosion is now much safer and a joy to hike. After summitting Ka'aumakua (with at least a dozen others) and heading back down the trail, I was amazed at the transformation, in the span of a handful of hours, of what was once a heavily overgrown and dangerous route. Granted, some exposure still exists, but the trail is much clearer and, as a result, safer.

Kudos are extended to Larry, Dusty, and Pete, who hauled in chainsaws to cut open sections of trail blocked by fallen trees. Don lugged a hedge trimmer up the trail to attack sections of clidemia. What's more, Grant, Thomas, and Ken, among others, spent much time regrading sections of slipped/eroded trail and honing steps/footholds where needed. Larry even hauled his huge chainsaw (Husquavarna--highly recommended brand) to the summit of Ka'aumakua in case cutting work was needed. And everyone else chipped in by brandishing sickles or machetes to clear overgrowth.

The sum of all this is the opening up of a beautiful trail, one of the finest on Oahu. The section cut into the sheer pali overlooking Kahana Valley is a marvel of workmanship of the CCC crews who labored to build the route back in the Depression Era.

Much appreciation is also extended to all who turned out today to help prevent the trail from being lost to the elements and nature. Your work is greatly appreciated by Pat and I, by the folks who will hike with us this coming weekend, and by others who traverse the route in the near future.

I invite others on the list to hike the Waikane Trail. I'll be surprised if you're disappointed by the experience.

Aloha and safe hiking,


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