Koko crater pano

Koko crater pano
best view of the island

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Hiking Olomana on my birthday.

Today (April 28th) was my birthday and I had no weddings to shoot,  so its hiking time! Where to go hmmm, where else, Olomana!  Haven't been there in a long time so perfect hike. Think this is my 11th time since this is one of my fav hikes.

I parked by the bridge and this time, all the cars were on the left side. Guess cars that park on the right side have higher chance of getting your car getting broken into. Remember to leave nothing in your car when you go hiking. Don't give anyone reason to break in your car. I even leave my doors unlocked since I have nothing in my car.

Time to head to the guard shack. Super friendly guy working there. Such a boring job just sitting in that little house all day by yourself.
 Took the entrance by the guard shack. I dont like walking wayyy over to the other entrance. This one is shorter getting to top but way harder since its all up a steep hill.
 And there she is, Olomana!! The first half isnt that hard, just the part that goes straight up is killer!! But since you are under all the trees, you really can't tell that your going almost straight up!
 Met two first time Olomana hikers so I had some company. Hi Katy and ugh, forgot his name!! Starts with a "K", and Katy called him KK? ugh, I'm totally rotten with names.. But they were so cute and energetic!! Not me....
 My big problem was I just did Koko Crater yesterday and my legs were tired!! I did steps, then 1/3 way down west rim, then back up and half way down the east rim. Not too long in the hike and they left me in the dust lol
 Got to the 2 big rocks dying of exhaustion! I was dragging my butt up by now. Think since I havent hiked that much lately, my body got fat and lazy! See my big gulp? It's almost gone! And Im still at the easy part of the hike.
 Olomana's three poles?  Soon the trail will start going up fast.
 Getting steep and steeper as I went. By this time I was like 10 steps, squat down and gasp for breath lol.
 Reaching the rock sections finally. Thats my fav part of Olomana, climbing up the rocks.
 Ropes? I don't need no stinking ropes!! Not that many people so far on the trail. Met 2 or 3 couples heading down. Havent see the 2 kids so far..
 Oo, do I see some light in the forest? Could it be I'm near the top?
 Whew made it!!! Perfect day with nice, overcast conditions. By now all my suntan lotion was in my eyes even tho I just bought a new bottle to use that said wont sweat off lol.
 I finally caught up with K&K at the top. Had few other haole boys enjoying the view at top of first peak. After short rest, I was going to show them the memorial plastic jar of the poor guy who died few months ago, but it was gone!! And the other plastic container in memory of another guy was gone too! What kind of person would remove it? I bet they just tossed it over the side. Some people really have NO class.
 Looking over there, sure makes me with I just did the Lanikai pillboxes instead. Doesn't that water look awesome?
 And made it to the second peak already. Had few people at the top. One girl just chatting on her cellphone since her husband went off to the third w/out her. Smart girl!!
 This was the most fun part of the hike, going down the second peak!! I went first and got video of Katy coming down.  She was gung ho! Poor thing made it to the tree and right there, she fell on her back. Glad she had grip on the rope. Only bruise was to her ego and we all had good laugh.
 This section was way more slippery then last time I did Olomana. You have NO footing at all and I did same at Katy, just butt slide it down to bottom.
And made it to the bottom of the second peak!! There was a group going down in back of us. After short time, one turned back and headed back up. Then, short time later another gave up. Since it drops over 300 feet like straight down, it will really make you think "is this worth it?"

And sorry but that's my last picture.... I usually take a ton but I was having more fun with my gopro camera and was taking only video..

you can watch it here.

We all made it to the top pretty quickly and the two kids were beyond happy!! I was glad to get to share in their enthusiasm! We shared some crackers and water, took few pictures, then headed back.
Overall it took us little over 4 hours round trip and worth every second.  Nothing better then hiking with a bunch of people who are out there to just have fun!!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Lanipo w/scarycrossover to Wiliwilinui

Had a lucky chance to go hiking Apr 1st with  the 7D crew and the HMSA crew. They planned going up Lanipo (tuff hike by itself), then cross over to Wiliwilinui. I've never did that crossover and didnt think I would try since I'd probably run out of time.
So, night before I went on Geocaching site to look up all the ones I havent done. Start was gonna be super early so even went to bed early!!

 We all met at 7am at the Lanipo trailhead. Some came later since they had to stage cars at Wiliwilinui's start. Today we were going to have 15 hikers!!!
 Found our 16th hiker, but the ladybug decided to leave early. Don't see too many spotted ones lately, mostly see the shiny black ones.
 Started off as a beautiful day! Nice blue skies...BUT, if you've ever done Lanipo, you don't want sunny skies!! Most of the trail is a ridge hike with NO tree covers. But as we started, the clouds started rolling in, saving my tender skin!!
 Time to head off!! I was quickly last in line, trying to find the first geocache... Ugh, didnt find it since I was rushing to not fall too far behind. Most fun about being in a group is being in that group lol.
 Caught up with the pack, well part of the pack. Some of the stronger/quicker hikers took off splitting the group in half.
 If you look in the first "valley", you can see the faster group leaving us in the dust! We have a long, long way to go!! 3.5 miles one way... well, maybe not that long, but since I havent hiked in about a month....
 Came upon the bench in memory of Steve. Good advise too, wish I listened to them all the time.
 Aida getting her camera ready for her zillion pictures!! Still beautiful day for a hike. And I had lotsa nice company!
 Gotta grab my shot of Diamond head, don't I? Didnt realize we was just right behind it. Thought more towards Hawaii Kai direction.
 Lanipo has nice bunch of mixed trails, rocks, ridge, forest, mud, hills, valleys on and on. Part about doing Lanipo is the amount of ups and downs. Its up one hill, then down it, up another hill, down it on and on. Takes me usually as long to the summit as it does back to my car.
 By now you can see Waikiki and diamond head. We are making a pretty good clip with me slowing down to try find the 4 or 5 geocaches.
 Uluhe ferns!! and more Uluhe ferns! Tall ones, short ones, thick ones and thin ones. Glad I wore my beat up jeans or my legs would be scratched up. Think half our group wore short pants!!
 Lots of photo opportunities along the way. Sometimes I wish I brought my regular camera and not my point and shoot.
 Now we have an Uluhe fern hill to climb! I felt sorry for some of the girls because the ferns were taller then them! So far we got lucky and no mud..... yet!
 haha now I have a fern/Waikiki combo! We are getting pretty far along. Was bit hot and humid, so my suntan lotion ended up in my eyes.. like always. But not that super hot since I had my super big gulp with me. By now think all the ice melted.
 Passed the half way mark and now its starting to get a bit tiring. I was mostly in the rear of the pack, but by now I've found the last or second to the last geocache before the summit. Funny thing was as I was signing the log books, I kept seeing someone signed Apr 1st too! Someone in the group ahead of me was doing the geocaches, without me!!!
 Awesome view of Ka'au crater and its waterfall. There is a big crack in the crater wall that the water flows down into the valley. And yes, Ka'au is still on my bucket list.
 By now its getting steeper and muddier!! Aida's doing great, she's not that muddy yet! And she didnt put on her micro spikes!
 Clouds were getting lower and lower. Oh oh...
 Now its uphill climbing. and that means climbing up and down some pretty muddy spots. Not many sections with ropes, but you really dont need them. As long as you take your time, you should be okay.
 Oh oh, looks like whiteout!! Bummers since the view at top is awesome! Perfect view of Olomana.
 Careful on your way down, few parts are really slippery! I slipped few times but didnt fall!!
 And heres my buggy with the last geocache at the top. Somehow I was so busy doing my geocache and talking to the group of cachers (small group of 3) that I didnt take any pictures!!! Well, not much to take picture of since it was a whiteout.
I was surprised to see some fellow geocachers doing this trail, or any trail. This one hasnt been found in soo long, didnt expect anyone to find it but me!! lol And I didnt find it, I was busy trying to eat my lunch, get the mud off my shoes, chat with everyone and do some group shots to even find the cache. When I looked up, they had it on the ground! Easy one for me lol...

By now it was decision time! Who's gonna go to Wiliwilinui and who will go back down Lanipo. I was gonna go back down Lanipo since it was getting bit late and usually I try to get home by 2pm so I can get ready for work. BUT... everyone decided to do the ridge walk!! I didnt wanna be the only spoilsport so off to Wiliwilinui I go!!!!

 Not much to say bout the hike along the ridge... it was just terrifying! Scary!! Muddy and slippery with a long, long way down if you made mistake!! lol I was taking my time and making sure I had good grip on some plants  before I took step. Every time my foot slipped, I'd scare the life out of the girl in front of me!!

Oo, side story time!! By this time, we met another hiker going along the ridge, except this guy was like a hiking god!!  Chase Norton was doing a hike that no one has done before! He hiked the whole Koolau's from Pupukea all the way to Makapuu!! 7 days or so to finish it solo, non stop! We got a chance to chat for while since he was stuck behind our large, slow moving group. At the time, I didnt know how amazing his feat was, I just thought he was a crazy hiker camping on scary ridges, grabbing water from streams, and being like bear grylls! And I should have gotten an autograph!!

Now Im being left behind since I was trying to find a long, lost geocache that hasn't been found in years!! I did my best and I couldnt find it either lol. As you can tell, the clouds never went away so no good views of Waimanalo, but glad it was white out. It would prob make it more scary when you can see how far down the drops are!!
 Getting closer to the power poles that are close to Wiliwilinui. This ridge hike was a lot longer then I thought it would be. The pack stayed pretty much packed together since no one wanted to rush along this one!
 Had chance to get shot of the super fun, friendly girls! They totally made it crazy fun! If you ever get chance to go hiking with them, dont pass it up!!
 Yay, at the poles already!! By now since we were going at such a slow pace, I had tons of energy left!!
 Last hill to summit!! Can't believe we did it!! Lanipo all way to Wiliwilinui!!  We didnt spend too much time at the top and just headed to the cars.
Like I said, I had a ton of energy by now so I took off down the trail trying to do my Koko Crater run!!  Only problem is its darn muddy and slippery by I made it down to the swing in less then 30min. could have gone lot faster but errr whats the fun of hiking in a group if im all alone??
and final stats: 6.46 miles total (felt way longer), climbed 3,486 feet!!  oo 7 hours hiking!! and prob half was talking and geocaching!!

once again Id like to thank everyone for an awesome, fun hike!! Hope can get to go hiking again with you guys!