Monday, August 9, 2010


From Hawaiian BU

We've promised ourselves time and again that we would eventually tackle this hike, and Chinese BU felt like Sunday was the day. I want to do this hike as much as he does, but I'm pretty wary about the possible pitfalls and dangers that accompany trekking up to Konahuanui, or as I have read "large giant balls". The tallest point of the Koolaus, I have always wanted to look down from the top at the windward panorama, look being the keyword.

As most of you intrepid hikers may be aware of, there are a couple ways to get to this point. You can take the classic route from the Nuuanu overlook, which in itself has many different trails that lead up to it. You can go up Olympus. I think there is a path from the Pali Notches which I heard is nuts. Or you can go up Piliwale ridge...which to me was NOT an option. After what Kaleo had gone through with his bees, and David with his overnight adventure, I may never want to travel up that ridge. I know that there have been people successful making it up that way, but I don't think I may be one of them.

I'm guessing that Chinese BU has been really anxious to make the summit, because there was no stopping him, even though the weather sucked. To say that there was clouds would be an understatement. It was so bad at one point that the Pali notches were covered, and there were points where Upper Lulumahu was shielded in mists. Another problem we faced was the mud..lots of it, and some puddles were shin high.

With this in mind, Chinese Bu, Daniel, Katsu, and myself started out at the Kalawahine Trailhead. By far the easiest route to the Nuuanu Overlook,we were greeted by the sounds of pig hunting dogs trying to capture some wild ones in the Pauoa woods. We joked about the Native Snail sign and how the state needs to move it every 5 years to keep pace with the snails. We bypassed the different trail junctions (which we should have shown each person in our group-more on that later) and stopped at the overlook before pressing forward.

We were in decent spirits and I was alright at that point. We were making good progress uphill, and Chinese BU was trying to find David's sleeping spot from his Piliwale adventure. (If you have no clue who I'm referring to, check out his stuff. Just Google Piliwale Ridge and I'm sure you'll find him. He's always got cool pics!) We found the spot, chilled there for a bit then started the rest of the trek up.

It was at this point that I looked up and changed my mind. I was down to travel with the crew, but the cloud cover was thick- you couldn't see a damn thing! I wasn't scared of going up the ridge, I've done a good share of ridge climbing. I'm just not cool with being blind and having sheer drops to either side of you. I told the boys how I felt about it, and they were cool with it. I told them I would wait for them, and that if they needed help, I would be there. And then they went.

Within less than 5 minutes, I lost sight of them- permanently! We were yelling at each other, but we couldn't see each other. With nothing left to do, I headed back to the overlook. I ran into 3 other hikers that were going to try and gain the summit. Let's just say that they didn't go all the way because they couldn't see it either. I will give credit to the boys though. They called me 45 minutes after we had parted, saying they had reached the first summit. DAMN!!!! Of course they couldn't see a thing, and it was pretty sketchy, but Chinese BU and Daniel were going for the next peak. Katsu was done and heading back.

It was right at that moment that I was like, either they are some crazy nutheads, or the peak was more attainable than I had ever imagined. I felt like I should have went, but I was also stuck with being safe and wanting to "see" the view from the top. As I write this, I'm still stuck on this. I'm proud of the boys BIG time for what they accomplished, yet I was nervous as hell the whole time waiting for them. The good thing was that they called me periodically to update me.

One of these calls was not good. As I told you earlier, we should have made the signs clear for each of them to follow. Katsu didn't continue with Chinese BU and Daniel, and came down on his own. He basically told me that he was looking down at Manoa Valley, and made a wrong turn at the Flats. Well, with reception terrible so I couldn't contact the other two, I told Katsu what to look for, and I made my way back to the Flats from the Kalawahine trailhead. I ran into Chinese BU and Daniel, who looked like he ran into a big piece of walking mud. They were not thrilled that we had to look for Katsu, but they were down and followed me in.

Thankfully, about 15 minutes later, he came bounding up the trail!!! He apologized that he didn't pay attention, and thanked us for coming back after him. We all hiked back to the car, and that ended our day at about 5:30, after starting at approximately 8:30 AM. I was left with a lot of thoughts, but I was extremely thankful that the boys were there in one place.

Don't worry, I'll get up to the top of Konahuanui one day. By the way, did you see how clear it was on the mountain today? I'm telling you, it happens every time!

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