Maunawili Falls

Maunawili welcomes all species of tourists
DATE: 31 May, 2010
TOTAL TIME: Depends how long you plan to hang out. Trail walk total is about 1 hr round trip
PARTICIPANTS: Many. Today was Corey, Sarah, and myself

I've never actually done any kind of hike when I was buzzing on alcohol and I tell you what, it adds a whole new dimension to hiking! Some of the pictures I took on this one pretty much looked like what I was seeing through my own eyes. Random and out of focus. This is also the first time I've actually taken pictures of the trail itself.

Left to right: Me, Corey, Sarah

A little rock jumping on the way to the final destination
Surprisingly, unlike all the other times I've walked this trail, it was extremely dry. No mud at all. Of course, I usually take the trail without mud anyway. It’s shorter than the usual route and lined with rocks. A short 30 minute hike through the woods ends in a waterfall with about four jump points ranging from 5 ft to 40 ft. Getting to the highest point requires you to climb the rocks next to the main waterfall and also the side of the waterfall above, cross the stream right above that and up a 15 foot incline, then walk over to the edge. Or you could drive up to the old maintenance bridge from the back (I'd love to find out where that starts, fucking cheaters).

Big splash from top ledge

Cool end to a warm hike

Makiki Valley Trail

Relaxing hike through tree-lined trails and fallen leaves
DATE: 30 May, 2010
PARTICIPANTS: "Weatherman" Matt, "Broken Slippa" Kathy, Ipo the Wonderdog, and me

I invited Kathy for this hike and she showed up in a sundress, slippers, and a chihuahua. Needless to say, the flip-flops were put through the test...and failed. She also brought along Matt, a no shit meteorologist. Neat.

Left to right: Me, Ipo the Wonderdog, "Broken Slippa" Kathy

"Weatherman" Matt and me

I've never done any hikes on Tantalus and I've always wanted to check out the trails. Kathy suggested we do Makiki so it was the perfect situation. Aside from slipping on mud and the walk up and down the wide ridge leading into Makiki Valley park, this one was pretty easy. The view was great from the top and the multi-colored fallen leaves on the ridge made it seem as if we were walking on confetti. On the flip side, there were parts of the trail that reminded me of the forests in Lord of the Rings. I fully expected Gollum to crawl out of some cave looking for his "precious."

Bridge crossing over a silent stream

Natural confetti; must have known I was coming
Weatherman Matt predicted scattered showers... over Oahu. Good job Matt. Just kidding. I’m sure he’s very good at what he does. Overall, it was a pretty easy hike. Great for trail running if you're coming from the park and if you’re willing to sweat good half mile uphill. It'll work you out.

Ipo was busy scouting the trail and doing headcounts of us, making sure we were all together

Walking back up Makiki ridge was a workout in itself

Koko Crater South Rim

Standing on the oceanside of the lava tube
DATE: 29 May, 2010
3 hrs

Simple hike today. Working the knee and my bum MCL. My usual hiking buddies are out of commission after last week's escapade (get well soon!), and another hiker called too late to join.

For this outing, I went up the south rim from the Botanical Garden inside the crater itself, instead of the route usually used by the HTMC which crosses the stone arch bridge up to the ridgeline. I’ll definitely try that next time. The route I took enabled me to walk the entire south ridge but the climbing and narrow ridge parts was pretty hairy. Not recommended to those who have a fear of heights. Of course, I have a fear of falling... wouldn’t recommend it to those with that fear either. I was going to attempt the north rim coming down, but that would have meant missing the Laker game. Instead, I went down the stairs.

Sitting on a rock looking down at the botanical garden on the crater floor
A little rock scrambling needed to get over that part of the rim but nothing to worry about
To finish, I meandered over to the Lanai Lookout. Okay, so I drove over there. Same difference. I wanted to check out the lava tube underneath the highway so I hopped the railing and went down the gulch across the street from the parking lot. It was a pretty neat way to end any hike in Kokohead as the tube opens up to an ocean shelf on the other end.

I’ll have to figure out a way to begin the hike from the oceanside of the lava tube and up to the Koko Crater rim next time. Good short hike, and good training ground for more advanced hikes.

Traversing the south rim to the top

Inside the lava tube as vehicles zip by on the highway above

The ocean shelf on the other side of the lava tube

Tripler Ridge - Moanalua Valley Waterfall

On top of Tripler Ridge. Left to right: Me, "Loafer" Mike, "Reef Shoes" Jason
DATE: 22 May, 2010
TOTAL TIME: 13 hrs
DIFFICULTY: Medium - Near Impossible
PARTICIPANTS: "Reef Shoes" Jason, "Loafer" Mike, and myself
REHIKE VALUE: 10! (Only because I want to conquer the hike to the saddle)

The plan: Up Tripler, traverse the Ko'olau past the Moanalua Saddle, and down the Halawa Ridge. The reality: Not so much...

The first part of the hike was freaking awesome, up until we reached the ridge leading to the Moanalua Saddle. The lookout at the top of Tripler ridge was phenomenal and we spent quite a bit of time relaxing and taking pictures. Traversing the Ko'olau Summit Trail to Pu’u Keahi a Kahoe was a blast. Jason was doing his whole crawling thing, and at one point, described the hike as, “beyond stupid.” All I heard was, “I love this hike!” and a bunch of wind.

Jason's vertigo starting to kick in

Looking back at the old Omega station atop Haiku Stairs
Beyond the old Omega Station, railings similar to the ones on Haiku Stairs were in place for a about half a mile, but eventually turned into rusted metal cables. The ridge beneath our feet was literally crumbling as we walked but I was certain it was stable enough to support the hike the whole way. That is, until the cable disappeared and the ridge really started to erode beneath our feet.

Apparently, very few attempts to traverse this portion have been successful; notable mentions include HTMC climber Chuck Godek, and Ed and Roger Breton.  It has been rumored to also be conquered by legendary hiker Silver Piliwale, and HTMC vet Dick Schmidt (dates unknown) but the reports have been sketchy at best.  HTMC hiking vet Pat Rorie failed in his attempt after being confronted with a steep dropoff. Wish I knew all of that before getting the hairbrained idea of traversing the saddle to the Halawa ridge with a pretty green crew and no climbing equipment.

Making our way toward to Moanalua Valley Saddle

These railings aren't the nice ones you see on Haiku Stairs
Instead, we descended down to the top of the Moanalua Valley Waterfall and down to the base of the falls. Our "descent" included vertical drops and a couple of uncontrolled falls. We were all seriously lucky to have survived. I escaped with the "worst" injuries including a sprained left knee and bruised ribs, all of which occurred after playing pinball with a bunch of trees during a 50ft fall. Do not attempt to hike down to the waterfall without helmets or rope.

The only reason I didn't break my back was because I had on my nice big backpack as a cushion

Making our way down to the waterfall
Okay, so another lesson learned. I did do my research this time on the 3 Ds; distance, direction, and description. I never thought to research the history of this hike. Hindsight being 20/20, I would have brought something resembling climbing equipment. Shoulda coulda woulda ....I’m a dumbass. I will return to conquer the planned route one day, but for right now, I remain defeated...

View from the Moanalua Valley Saddle crossover
Found this old airplane engine near the base of the waterfall.
Moanalua Valley waterfall which I bet it would look sick during rainy months
Mike, refilling his water bottle