Koko crater pano

Koko crater pano
best view of the island

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Hawaii Loa Ridge with H.O.T.

Today was a fun hike. I got to finally go on a hike with a bunch of fun people from the hiking group H.O.T.(HIking Oahu Trailblazers). We all went to Hawaii Loa Ridge trail  on a cloudy day. Perfect day to go there so again, no sunburning!!
Start of the trail! I've been up here hmm 5 times or so. Always a fun hike but usually muddy and slippery! I've ruined a few pants up here!
And off we go... had a great turnout, almost 20 people! Now thats what you call a group!
Even tho it rained pretty hard night before, the trail was mostly mud free. The group were all in great hiking shape and I ended up at the back of the line...
We had a long line of hikers just zooming up the trail. I was in back snapping my ton of pictures.
 The line started getting a bit more separated as the  faster hikers started to pull away from the slower.
Over cast days just work out perfectly when you are on top of the ridges. Even taking pictures is easier!! Great lighting!
After not too long, we hit the dreaded stairs!! If you like stairs, you will love Hawaii Loa Ridge but if you are like me, you will end up hating stairs!! lol
Looking back towards the ocean, we came pretty far. This trail is a pretty fast pace until you hit the stairs. Id recommend hiking pole, micro spikes, and some gloves! Unless you like slipping alot.
You can tell how muddy it is!  Going up muddy trails isnt as bad as going down them! The further up the trail you go, the steeper it gets and the muddier and slippery it gets!

Had to take at least one shot of Diamond head! Nice and sunny looking over there.

Almost getting to the top!! Still great day but just by luck, my camelpak hose came out and it didnt work ugh. I had my two litres on my front pouch so had ton of water but just irritating carry that thing and it not working lol.
A tree screaming black/white shot!! Still didnt come out like I wanted tho... guess will have to try again later.

And made it to the top!! Since I was bringing up the rear, I got to take a ton of rests so by time I got to top, I was like I didnt even hike!! Loved it!
 And stats to the top, little over 2 miles with 1700 feet in climbing. Not that bad.
When we reached the top, I was wondering where the rest of the group disappeared to.. Then I looked to the west and saw..
There they are!! They were waiting so long they went of exploring!!  Looked pretty steep and muddy to me ...
Weather started to look worse so we headed down the trail. Thats the part I was dreading, going down all those slippery, muddy steps! Just was wondering how long would i get before I'd go splat!! And right off the bat, took a few steps and whooosh... lol slipped but caught myself with my hands!! Only counts as a fall if your butt hits the ground!!
Oh oh, the lead group is leaving us behind already!! If you look closely, you can see them in the middle of the shot. Boy are they fast!
She's trying to be careful on the slippery spots!! One wrong move and ...... mud!!
Few parts had a nice breeze blowing so really helped. Hmm, somehow Im at the rear of the pack again!!
Once you get pass the steps, its pretty smooth sailing! Except when you reach the slippery roots!

If you look at the top of the picture, you can see how far ahead the leaders are!! Think they had on running shoes!!

Still muddy but not that bad. I dont think anyone fell during the hike. Some muddy okoles from butt sliding down some parts but nothing bad. Great group!

 She giving me the smile of encouragement!!  All the people in this group were soo friendly! If you want to join a fun group, sign up with them!!
I think I can see the end of the trail!! I kept telling them that and no one believed me after while!!
To me I see two heads, one on left is looking slightly to his right and the one of right side is whispering into his ear! Or am I too tired on the hike and seeing things lol
And final tally for the hike: little over 4 miles and almost 2,200 feet in climbing! Great workout on a nice day!
 Id like to thank all the members of H.O.T. for letting me join them and having a great hike. Can't wait to go out with them again. Now if only I didnt forget my hiking sticks in the back of that truck lol.

Friday, August 19, 2011

steps up, bridge down, bridge up, steps down..

trying to get my legs in shape so went up koko again and took my longer version going down the stone bridge. Not as crowded as last time i went but still plenty of company on the way up. Took me 25 minutes to top. yeah im slow..
always trying to find something new to take picture of so this blog isnt that boring ....
uneventful trip going round the east rim but i did see two young guys coming up from the bridge. Chatted a bit then down i went and up they went. Glad it was a windy day so I didnt bake in the sun that bad.
Shot of the stone bridge. Again some parts are pretty steep and with nothing to hold onto, makes it fun!
This time i went all the way to the bottom looking for a geocache i didnt do for a while.

View of the trail back up. Super nice day and the climb up is more fun!!
I wanted to see how fast i could get up the trail to the rim from the start of the bridge.
about 13 minutes! Could have done faster but i was pooped from the other half of the hike!
saw this branch growing outta the rock and thought it looked like a hand or some creepy wooden creature climbing out of the rocks!! lol must be tired
and made it back to the top. had to get at least one pano shot in.. i was going to add my gps shot of the whole trips log but forgot to take the shot. by time i remembered, i was at home already.. oh well..

Wailupe trail, sorta....

Wanted to do a different hike today so decided to try Wailupe since never been there. Not that hard to find, just go down West Hind Drive in Aina Haina, then go hunting for Hao street. I had to ask mail lady where it was lol.
Just go around this gate and off you go! Beginning of this trail is an old dirt road. Must be fun riding on it because its soo rocky.
Going is pretty fast since its pretty even and no real climbing. Bummer part today was I forgot my GPS at home! That sucked and I was too lazy/late to go back and get it.
When you on this trail, watch out for doggy presents since hunters go up here. Hate stepping in it then finding out after you get in your car!
View towards my goal. Looks pretty far away and I didnt have that much time today.
Most of the trail is under leaf cover so not sunny hot, just humid, forest hot. I was getting nice and drenched by this time. Glad I brought my camelbak and a few extra liters. I even brought my super big gulp and my hiking stick since I knew was gonna have lotsa slippery roots and mud.

Only problem with this trail is there are a lot of trails running off the main, and some are pretty well worn so easy to mistake for the main.. like I did!! Had so many turning off the trail, I didnt know which was the correct one. So, I just followed the ones that went off to the left, BIG mistake!! Trail started going up hill pretty steeply, but i was far from the summit.. Finally my "trail" came to a dead end with just a rockface in front of me. It didnt look that bad so up I went, BIGGER mistake!! Seem the new "trail" I was on wasnt a trail but some spur leading up to the Wiliwilinui trail. By time I figured out I was lost, I was up way to high on some really crumbly rockface to go back down. My poor big gulp committed suicide and I didnt realize it, but so did my hiking stick!!
This is the spur, ridge what ever you call it that I went up. The rocks just crumbled when I tried to grab onto them to get up. The plants were scratching my arms up everywhere, and when I was climbing, I had no way of knowing how much higher I had to go or where I was going.

Finally reached spot I could catch my breath and boy I climbed pretty high. I'm not kidding when I say it was scary!! One wrong handhold and down I would fall! Had to check and double check my handholds and footholds before I made any moves so took while to get up.
View from where I started. I didnt get that far before I was in trouble yeah? lol

Finally got to near the top and had to do some ridge crawling/walking to get across these crumbly rocks. Hard to tell in the picture but had drops on both sides. After crossing this part, I reached another dead end. The path was blocked with guava trees and there was no way thru them. I had to squeeze thru them, climb over them, crawl under them...till I finally reached the Wiliwilinui trail. I was thinking about going all way up that trail, walk along the ridge and go down Wailupe. but I had no clue if there was any way of knowing where that was. Luckily, on the way up the trail, I saw a trail going back down the ridge to bottom. I followed it and it was marked with a zillion ribbons! Thanks to whomever did that! No way to get lost !!
Made it back to bottom and the trail was well marked with ribbons still so off I went.

Came to a nice, thick bamboo forest and followed the trail to the back of the valley. Maybe I can reach the summit.. or maybe not.
Crossed a dried up river bed and again the trail kinda went poof on me. Had to backtrack a bit and found it again.
And I reached my end. I couldnt find the trail any further to the back of the valley. I was running out of time so decided to try find my way out. Followed a trail on the east side of the valley and again, the trail ended on me. backtracked to the way I came and finally found my way back to the dirt road.

One of the few times you could see anything except leaves.
Almost back to the start of the trail and I smelled something stink. Looked around and saw this hanging on a tree. Gross..
Thought hunters supposed to bury that crap...
I was almost at the beginning of the trail when I decided to go look for my hiking stick. It's my favorite one so had to at least try. Followed the trail I went on and found my mistake. Supposed to turn right at the first intersection lol. Went all way back up till the rockface deadend and looked around. No luck.. darn it! So, if any of you reading this find my stick, email me!! lol
At least learned a lesson, dont forget your GPS, make sure you know where the trail goes or bring someone who knows and if you bite off more then you can chew, turn back before its too late!! I swear if I fell off that dumb mountain, no one would have found me for years!!! lol