OHE November 25, 1999 (Wailupe Loop)

Date: Thu, 25 Nov 1999 18:21:06 -1000
From: JFEL873@aol.com (Jay Feldman)
Subject: SoleMate hike - Wailupe Loope - 11/24/99

We had a healthy turnout for Wailupe Loope; an old trail re-opened a few years ago by Gerald Leao, a very low profile but incredibly diligent HTMC member of many years. Bill Gorst and I arrived at the end of Hao Street in Aina Haina early but there was such an unruly mob milling around that we almost decided leave, then we realized these were fellow hikers. We searched out John Hall, our heavy handed trail leader who after announcing and taking names for the upcoming Kaaawa Valley venture outlined his plans for the day's adventure. He made it very simple, something like "We're going to go UP, UP, UP; rest and eat lunch, and then we're going to go DOWN, DOWN, DOWN" He had it exactly right.

We entered the back of Wailupe Valley by following an old jeep road through some disturbingly high grass. Proceeding through hau and guava we found the large rock by the trail where we turned right, crossed the dry stream bed, and began the UP, UP, UP. We worked ourselves up this side ridge for the equivalent of four working days finally topping out on the ridge which promised to lead us to the summit itself. I was with the lead group of four males, all attempting to demonstrate testosterone excellence. At our second, third, and fourth collapse points we could hear female voices easily gaining on us. Swallowing quantities of aspirin, a stroke preventative, we staggered on, eager to reach the summit first but anxious about being passed by the casual yackers behind us. Finally achieving the summit, we quickly did some pranayamic breathing to restore our color and distended lungs. However, before we knew it, there were Brenda and Judith asking if we were at the hard part yet.

The views were spectacular if you were myopic; though occasionally the clouds opened up for a quick look at the Okole of Olomana, the site for next week's excursion. John finally arrived and joined us for lunch, he had stayed back assisting Pete over the tougher spots. It's always a pleasure to watch John pick his lunch spot. He kind of circles around looking for a soft spot, and then his joints bend in sudden unison and he's sitting. I think it must be some kind of Zen discipline.

Given the state of the weather, John indicated a lack of interest in navigating to Wiliwilinui Ridge and suggested we turn back and try the middle ridge which ends in the scout campsite further back in Wailupe Valley. From there it would be a short hike along the stream bed to our entry point. Given the growing cool dampness of our location, he was given no argument and soon we began the DOWN, DOWN, DOWN business. The upper section is quite slick and muddy but fortunately several heavy ropes have been advantageously placed and the descent was greatly eased. By the time we were down most of the day had fled and we were happy to partake in the cold drinks supplied by Bart and John. Waiting for us in clean civilian clothes was our missing Wahine Warrior (Nancy). I guess she was concerned and wanted to be sure of assisting the search and rescue effort should it be needed. Happily we all arrived safely, once again guided by the kindly (but temporarily disabled) hand of our founder and SoleMate John Hall.

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