Tomorrow, a small group of us will be embarking on an outing Pat Rorie has named "The Mother of All Hikes." We'll meet just after dawn at the Manana trailhead at the top of Komo Mai Drive above Pearl City, leave most of our vehicles there, and drive over to the head of the Kipapa Trail which is in the general area of the Mililani cemetery and Kipapa Gulch off of H-2.
We'll then spend 4 to 6 hours traveling up the Kipapa Trail, which Stuart Ball in his book calls "the longest, wildest hike on Oahu." We've hiked Kipapa earlier this year and can attest to its length and wildness. Save for some use by hunters in its lower section, Kipapa sees very little human traffic. Feral pigs are the trail's main users.
When we reach the summit of Kipapa, we'll hope for clear conditions. During our trek in June, the summit was completed socked in by clouds and we were denied superb views of Waiahole and Waikane Valleys, Pat's beloved Ohulehule, and much of the windward side. Pat did Kipapa solo in August and he enjoyed these views.
But views aren't the main agenda for our outing. Our intention after reaching the Kipapa summit is to proceed south for two miles on the Koolau summit to eventually reach the summit of the Manana trail which we'll descend back to our cars and civilization. The Kipapa to Manana summit traverse, as far as we can gather, has not been tackled since Silver Piliwale and his female companion accomplished the feat back in the 1970s.
Because the crossing will be over rugged terrain and a non-trail, we expect the hike to be long and difficult. Accordingly, we'll all be packing gear for an overnight stay in the mountains. We hope to obtain water to replenish our supply at a small stream near the summit of Kipapa and perhaps at the head of Waiawa Stream, which, according to a topo map review, orginates near the summit crest about halfway between Kipapa and Manana. In the past week, we've also staged water at the summit of Manana and at a couple places further down that trail.
Pat Rorie, Pete Caldwell, Don Fox, Gene Robinson, Mike Uslan, Laredo Murray, Wing Ng and I hope to emerge on Komo Mai Drive on Sunday ready to share many tales of our adventure.
Aloha and safe hiking to all,