Koko crater pano

Koko crater pano
best view of the island

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Kulipeamoa Ridge hike

 I found myself with a free Sunday to do what ever I wanted!! I read about Kulipeamoa hike on the forums a few times and most said advanced hike with some lung busting sections!!
Checked google maps to see the location of the start of trail. End of Anolani rd? Back of Niu Valley? no problems!! Love google maps!
Found me nice parking space right near the trail entrance and off I went..
 You follow the road till you see the big water tank building thing. Then, from what I read you just go along the right of the building along the fence to the trailhead.
Cool part is right down that road to the right is a really huge house. What a great place to live! Right up against the forest with no one around. I saw the owner sitting on his patio playing guitar or ukulele.
 Here's the fence I was talking about. Must be popular hike since the trail is so well worn.
 Just follow the path! No way to get lost as I do on lots of my adventures. It will start to curve to the right since we are aiming to get up on the ridge.
 Shot of the ridge that had to be climbed. Didnt look that bad at all but still a nice high ridge!
 Guava trees? I hope you like guava trees since this trail (overall) had the most I've ever seen on a hike. And they go back the farthest I've encountered too. Don't get me wrong, I love them since they are super strong! Make great handholds without worrying that they will pull out of the ground.
 This shot is about half way up the ridge. I stopped her to grab a geocache along the way.
 And almost at the top. By now I could feel the burn!! In my legs that is! The day was nice and sunny but not hot. Picture perfect day for a hike! From the top you are on a ridge trail, like Lanipo so usually your stuck out in the hot sun.
 View from top towards the summit. Told you, nice day! Climb so far was about 1 mile in distance with about 1,000 feet in climbing. So, you will get a nice workout just getting here.
 Lucky!! Had lots of sections with tree coverage. Trail is still nicely marked and pretty wide. Awesome hike to take beginners on (so far).
 Found another geocache along the way. That bug is my geocaching buddy! He's carrying a tiny camera!
 Some funky looking plants growing on the ground. I could just picture them waving back and forth like Medusa's hair!
 Right here is awesome view towards Hawaii Kai. Nice spot to sit back and relax.
 Hmm, summit doesn't look that far away. And the trail doesn't have as many up and downs as most ridge trails.
 Some Ohia growing along the way. This trail doesn't have as many native plants as most other trails. Guess all that guava pushed them out.
 couldn't pass up a photo oppurtunity! black and white for the win!
 Yes, more guava...
 Still not getting much higher in elevation. Trail just really takes it's time getting anywhere.
 Ah, finally something different! Uluhe ferns to scratch your legs with! There weren't very many of these either. Usually trails are just covered in them the further back you go. And look how nicely marked the trail is!
 Trail gets a bit narrow in some parts. And, for a valley ridge trail, this one had the steepest drops I've ever seen! I mean that thing just drops like straight down! And the trail gets really skinny the further back you go. Some parts I swear are like a foot wide.
 Almost there! There is only one section near the summit where you have to really climb. See that rope section by the dirt? Thats the fun part! From under it, it goes like straight up! BUT, there is no firm footing, just loose dirt. Luckily someone put a nice new ribbon cable string thing to use as a rope. Usually I don't like trusting ropes when I go hiking since you don't know how old they are. But, with this one, you had to use it since there was almost nothing to grab onto.

Scary steep part.Here's close up of the rope section. Think my GPS said it was 100 feet?

 Ugh, couldn't figure out how to get the test to go under that panoramic shot lol..There's another geocache halfway up the hill too. Tough to dig in, open it up, rummage for the logbook, sign it, take picture and try not to slide off!

 Another picture towards the ocean. Had nice clouds coming and going to keep it cool. Trade winds were blowing, birds singing...There are a few more hills to get up before you reach the actual summit, but nothing to hard. Just nothing to grab onto since not many trees this high up.
 And just my luck! Once I finally reached the summit, the clouds came out and BAM! White out!! I didn't want to waste too much time at the summit since I had long trail to go. I didn't want to go back down the way I came .. yeah, that rope section got me so I headed off to Hawaii Loa Ridge. Checked my GPS and it was only like 1/3 mile away.
Most of the way it was nice but once I got closer, the clouds came back and BAM! Socked in!!  The KST between the two ridges was nice and easy. No huge climbs, no scary crumbly sections.
 Made it to Hawaii Loa ridge's summit. Finally took a break to eat my lunch. Had few hikers up at the summit but no too friendly and I was too tired to chat lol.
 Views were great even with the clouds.
 Think I can see Diamond Head way back there.. Lunch went by quickly and it was time to head back to my car. I didnt want to spend too much time since I had no clue where the cut off trail leading back down to Kulipeamoa trail was. All I knew was to look for a chain tied to a tree and few ribbons.
 Hmm, think thats Diamond Head....
 View of the ridge I climbed up. Doesn't look bad at all.
 Found it!! I didn't see the chain on a tree at all but saw a path leading downwards marked by two ribbons! I took GPS reading of the location so next time, you can find it easily. The trail down was just guava, guava, guava and more guava! Not much to take a picture of..
 About halfway down there was a clearing and you could see the end of the trail! Looks kinda far....
 Right in the middle of the trail, someone built this scary bed!! Think I saw episode of Man vs Wild and he made a bed just like this..
 Another neat thing I saw was this really old stone wall right in the middle of the valley. I guess long ago people lived way back here. The wall is pretty long too. Wish knew more of the history of Niu Valley..All I could find is: Niu Valley used to be a dairy farm and back then was considered the “country.”
 And finally reached the start of the trail!! Seemed like it took forever but looking at the overall stats, only 4 hours and a half hours to do the loop.
 Guess there was a lot of climbing since 3,152 feet total ascent. Not bad at all! No wonder I was so tired!!
 And my panos!! Here's one from the top of Hawaii Loa. you can see Olomana and Waimanalo beach. Bit cloudy and I think I over processed the shot. It was really flat pictures since the clouds didnt give much light.

And pano of the ridge from the summit! Nice shot huh?

Overall, fun hike. Bit scary in some parts since I went solo. I think this would be an awesome hike to do with a group. Lots of nice scenery, not that hard till the very end.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Mount Olympus via Waahila ridge trail

No, I haven't fallen off the earth or gave up.. yet! I've been doing bunch of hikes but just trying to have my gopro fun. This hike I used both cameras so finally took enough shots to add blog post.
 The start of the trail. Today I wanted to hit summit of Mt. Olympus since ive only did it once. I've been up this trail a zillion times but always seemed to run out of time.
 Time to brush off the boots and start walking!! This is one of the best trails imho. Not that super hard, lots of different scenery, lotsa of shade on those hot days and tons of people. Think I passed 30-40 people today (Sunday).
 Start of trail just follows a dirt road. Before when I hiked this, it wore me out. But, all those Koko Crater hikes etc got me in hiking shape!! Now easy as pie.... mmmm pie.
 Ooo, speaking of shade!! Today was the first time I hike this trail where there wasn't much mud at all! Guess all those sunny days finally dried it up.
 Usually I take the trail that goes straight here but being lazy guy and since my legs were killing me from my last hike up Koko Crater!! I decided to use my weight vest (with my water bottles and stuff came out to almost 50 pounds!!) going up, next day I could barely walk!
 Think this was the worse mud I've seen today! Kind of slippery so be careful on this spot!
 Now you head down a bit. Lots of roots and trees to hold on to. Just be careful of all the roots since they are slippery.
 Thats the target for this hike! that mountain in the middle background. Looks kind of far, don't it? Even tho its a ridge trail, there are tons of trees to hide under. I didn't even get a sunburn!!
 One of the many rock sections you hop down. No real climbing but still fun. Going down is the easy part.

 Few shots of the shade. Trail is pretty even with few med climbs.

 Finally view of hmm is that town? Waikiki? Manoa? But, still a beautiful day for a hike.

 And made it to the start of the Mt. Olympus part of the hike. Even tho this part of the trail isn't maintained, the trail is in awesome shape. Soo many people hike it so its perfect!

 More great scenery.... Took way to many pictures... again. Fun to try photoshop them all but I was rushed at work so could only do a quick edit..

 And now the fun begins. The trail starts to go up, up up! Not many ropes on this trail and NO stairs! Would make this trail even busier if they did this one like Kuliouou. Some parts are slippery with the mud.
 Getting closer the the end!! But still far!!
 And even closer! Now you can see the trail going up side of that ridge.
 Same view and yeah, its Waikiki etc.
 Mud stairs, my favorite... NOT! This are so narrow you end up with mud on the sides of you pants.
 Looks like finally climb.. but its not. lots of hills up and down to you finish.

 Ah, this one IS the final hill!! Just short sprint up to top! nah
 Came a long way! Too bad I forgot to put in fresh batteries on my GPS unit! No idea how far I've hiked!! That sucks.
 Right before you summit, you get nice view towards Kaneohe? Kailua? ahh just say Windward side!
 Boy the mountains on this side of the island are steep!!
 Oops, forgot to take pictures of  the hike to the Ka'au crater lookout section. It's a short hike on the KST with few narrow parts and the most mud on the trail.
 Great view of Diamond head. Wonder how far away that is?

 Last time I came here, had low clouds so made this shot really cool looking. The trail down towards this looked pretty steep  but doable. But, since my car is on this trail.. yeah, thats my excuse!

 After lots of pictures, it was time to head back. Still picture perfect day and my legs felt great. Think needed a hike to stretch them out!
 And last shot along the trail of the small cave at the beginning of the trail. I want to hide in there and scare hikers!!
And my panoramic of Diamond head to town. Wish I brought a real camera with me to get a better shot. I brought only 2 water bottles on this hike and left the camel back at home! Bad idea! I ran out of water half way on the hike back to car. But, in the car I carried my water jug full of ice water!! Life saver.