OHE November 22, 1998

Date: Sun, 22 Nov 1998 18:38:29 -1000
From: "Dayle K. Turner" (turner@hawaii.edu>
Subject: Kaupo Cliffs descent

Greg Kingsley will undoubtedly post a write-up about today's HTMC trail maintenance outing of the Makapuu-TomTom route, and I look forward to reading it. While most of the folks hiked the entire segment from the Makapuu Lookout to TomTom, Ralph Valentino, Jason Sunada, Arnold Fujioka, Lynn Agena, and I opted to go down the Kaupo Cliffs trail to see what that experience would be like.

The descent, which commences at the pu'u just past the ironwood grove where we usually eat lunch, is quite steep at times, making for a bit of excitement. Toss in strong wind gusts whipping up the mountainside from Waimanalo Bay and the exhilaration factor went up a couple clips. One of the hazards of the trail is falling rock, and Jason avoided injury when he dodged an ulu-sized pohaku dislodged unintentionally by a trailing colleague.

In addition to our attentiveness to the rock hazards, we all took care to keep our center of gravity low (read: butt slide or crab shuffle) in the steepest sections. Plus, we took our time coming down to be safe and to enjoy the amphitheater-like views of Waimanalo proper, Waimanalo Bay, and the Koolau summit spine to Pu'u o Kona and Bear Claw Ridge. Watching the other members of our party hiking along the summit to TomTom was a treat.

All the markers from the HTMC super hike of Kaupo were still in place and the trail was well-blazed from that event. I think few if any hikers have traversed the route since then. Nobody else has mentioned doing it. If so, I'd be interested to hear about it.

Once we reached the base of the mountain, we contoured west for a half mile through a forest of koa haole and occasionally hau until reaching the trailhead of TomTom. Our timing was superb, for we arrived there almost exactly when our TomTom descending cohorts did.

That group included, among others, Grant and Georgina Oka, John Hall, Bill Gorst, Wil Kawano and Jay Feldman (who'll co-coordinate the MTT hike), Ken Suzuki, Jim Pushaw, Greg Kingsley, June Miyasato, Kim and Judy Roy, and Doug Walker. Also on the trail was Rob Geer, who logged an afternoon workout hike by going up TomTom, crossing over to the ironwood lunchspot, and returning the same way.

Our omnipotent leader, Mabel Kekina, was waiting at the end of the residential street for us, and she ferried Ralph and Bill back to the Makapuu Lookout where they'd left their trucks after shuttling us over in the morning. Mahalo nui to them for the transport.

Next week's maintenance outing is mighty Kamaileunu out Waianae way. List members interested in joining us can email me.



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