OHE September 5, 1997 (c)

From: Wing Ng (wing@lava.net)

I bought the newspaper and read the story.

He hurt his legs and his cell. phone got damaged by water. So he just stayed somewhere near the headwaters of Sacred Falls and waited, until a tourist helicopter found him.

That would only be an hour's hike from top of Poamoho, or less.

Didn't Dayle & Co. flag KST all the way from Kipapa to Pupukea?

Reply From: Dayle K. Turner (turner@hawaii.edu)

In May, we didn't flag at all from Poamoho to Laie. Actually, I did put one pink ribbon (a we-were-here-gesture) on the metal stake at the junction with Castle; otherwise, no other ribbons were tied--no time and no one wanted to expend the energy.

In late July, Pat put up some ribbons on a few of the lee sections between Poamoho and Schofield, and key points around tangles on Waikane were also marked on that same outing. But the stretch between Waikane and Kipapa is virtually ribbonless.

In early August, we also flagged the segment between Laie and Pupukea fairly substantially.

So you gonna go up and mark the ribbonless sections, Wing? :-)

Reply From: Kirby D. Young (kirbyd@teleport.com)

An article about the ex-missing hiker made it in the Star-Bulletin online edition for Sept. 5, a help to me since I'm on the Mainland. It's a bit vague about his injuries (swollen leg from a fall in Kaluanui Stream above Sacred Falls). It seemed to me from reading the article that he mistook Castle Trail for Laie or Malaekahana Trail, as his intended windward destination was Malaekahana State Park. The confusion is a little odd, since he apparently cell-phoned friends saying that he could see his destination from a summit vantage point. Looking at a topo map, I do notice that the trend of several of the windward ridges beginning at about the Castle-KST junction point towards Malaekahana Park (!). Maybe without a map this oddity in the topography led him off course from Laie (?) Trail (though Castle Tr itself doesn't really begin its descent in this direction).

Reply From: Dayle K. Turner (turner@hawaii.edu)

On Sat, 6 Sep 1997, Kirby D. Young wrote:

> Maybe without a map this oddity in the topography led him off course
> from Laie (?) Trail (though Castle Tr itself doesn't really begin its
> descent in this direction).  

Traveling on the Koolau Summit Trail, the distance from the top of Poamoho to Castle is about 2.5 miles. When we hiked this route in May, we needed three difficult hours to cover the span. About halfway to the junction with Castle, the summit trail--after a steady northerly tack--veers northwest away from the summit crest. It's at that point that one can easily be confused, particularly if the area is socked in with clouds and one is mapless/compassless. I say this because after several miles of contouring on the crest, it would seem natural to continue along it. And even with crystal conditions, that is what we did.

Fortunately, in quick order we determined we had gone astray. Plus, Pete Caldwell had a topo map clearly showing the KST veering to the lee of the crest. That being the case, we made an adjustment in our course and picked up the trail again and continued on to the junction with Castle then later to Laie (the entire 6-mile KST crossover took us six hours).

My guess is that Rasmussen kept following the crest north, eventually reaching the point above Sacred Falls where he could advance/retreat no further.

It's hard to determine if he had planned beforehand to follow the route he did or if he planned to continue on the KST to descend Laie. Whatever the case, he's fortunate to have made it out okay.


Reply From: Kirby D. Young (kirbyd@teleport.com)

Yeah, your idea is simple and makes sense regarding going astray at the sudden bend in the KST. (Continuing along the edge of Punalu'u valley, right?)

Was their a write-up on this adventure? I guess you keep a digest on your web page of OHE posts. I'll check there... I did this traverse a little over 20 years ago (oh, man). I swear we covered this in about 2 hours, and that was with a hardy, but _far from speedy_ hiker. Just highlights the point about the deterioration of the KST over the years in your recent OHE threads re: Kipapa, Pupukea, etc. (also did the Pupukea end of the KST about then. It was in ok shape, maybe better than Poamoho/Castle as it was drier).

You make it sound as if you were making a course adjustment in a grassy field! It all sounds very, very difficult. And a bit sad for the KST.

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