Date: Wed, 21 Oct 1998 19:51:09 -1000 From: MARK SHORT (MARKESHORT@worldnet.att.net> Subject: Kuliouou Summit hike
Today I played hooky from work. I left about 10:30am with the goal to return on time for a 2pm meeting. I have been wanting to hike along the Koolau summit for some time now. I've been up a few ridges but always turned around after reaching the summit. Kuliouou seemed like a good first choice, it looked clear and seems to be well traveled.
I stopped at the park in Kuliouou Valley and changed clothes, then proceeded to the trail head. Starting at about 10:45 I set my turn around at 12:00 in order to make back to the office by 2pm.
The lower portion of the trail was hot & dry, passed two mountain bikers about 3/4 of the way to the shelter. Stopped at the shelter for about 3 minutes to drink & eat three crackers. Pressed on wanting to make it to the end of the hike described in Stuar t Ball's book. Passed the camp site & soon came to the low vegetation area near the summit, Hawaii Kai sparkling below.
Passed a group of hikers sitting & eating at the summit and was sorry not to be able to stop & talk a few minutes. It was already noon so I also passed my turn around time. I reasoned that going down would be quicker so on I went.
The stretch along the summit was everything I had hoped for. It was clear, with views to windward & leeward. Molokai & Maui were clearly visible in the distance behind me. I knew I may not have time to make it to the end of the hike but I had my eye on th e next peak which would give me views up the entire windward side of the Koolau range. Made it here and continued a bit further, wanting very much to continue to the next peak, which looked like the highest. Is this the end of the descibed hike? I'll have to check my book when I get home. It was now almost 12:30 so I sat down to savor the view a moment & tried to call my son to tell him what he missed. If I had binocs I'm sure I could see my house in Kaillua.
The views were just like the picture in Start Ball's, Hikers Guide to Oahu.
I am now definitely hooked on summit hiking and it was with a sense of sadness that I turned off the summit trail to go back down to Kuliouou.
I did make back to my meeting only about 5 minutes late.