Kuli'ou'ou Ridge

Clouds sweep over the Ko'olau
DATE: 23 June, 2010
TOTAL TIME: 2.5 hrs
PARTICIPANTS: "Barefoot" Tani, and Me

Beyond the excellent views and ease of hike, the Kuli’ou’ou Ridge receives high marks for its quick access to the Ko'olau Summit. Usually, any mention of climbing the Ko'olau involves a long, brutal walk up some wicked terrain, but this hike is a change to that trend. The constant breeze removed much discomfort from the steep uphill sections and we made the 2.5 mile climb in under an hour. At the top, the wind continued, as expected along the Ko'olau Summit Trail, and clear views of Kokohead, Waimanalo, and Diamondhead can be seen.

"Barefoot" Tani and me

Breezy walks through pine forests on top of the ridge
Looking right, I was extremely tempted to traverse the KST toward the excellent Makapu’u Ridge and descend via the Tom-Tom cliff face, but decided against it due to time constraints. Instead, I looked left at a higher peak, and saw rope. I wondered, “dangerous?” So, I did the logical thing and checked it out.

Traversing the southern portion of the Ko'olau Summit Trail

I had no idea where that is, so I decided to check it out
I was pleased to discover the route involved rock faces, narrow ridges, and extremely crumbly rock, but by the time I reached Pu’u whatever, the oncoming rainclouds obscured most of my view. So, I marked my territory and snapped some shots of the cloudy ridges. With the clock ticking and the wind picking up to about 30mph, I decided to begin our return trip.
Ah ... a challenge

Admiring the colors of Kokohead
Being risk-averse, I did the safest thing and traversed back along the narrow ridges, standing straight up with my GoPro on my head and camera in one hand, stopping along the way to take video of how high the fall could be. Due to safety concerns, I ignored all rope and scaled the rock walls with one hand while taking pictures with the other, and staying as close to the edge as possible.

Narrow walks was just what the doctor ordered

My mood improved as the rain started coming in
I will return in the future, but from the Makapu’u ridgeline as I have heard it to be the finest ridge hike on the island. Still, Kuli’ou’ou is a must hike, and possibly a rehike. And remember people, safety first!

Although the annoying fern may fourish, the Kuli'ou'ou Ridge Trail is extremely well maintained

Stairs make the final push a little easier

Bellows Air Force Base, Twin Islands of Lanikai, and Ka'iwa Ridge in the distance

Back down into the valley

No comments:

Post a Comment