Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Pali Notches

From Hawaiian BU

Aloha to all of you out there! 2-Bu Paina wishes all of you a happy and safe 2011. It's been a crazy couple of months for both of us, but it seems that Chinese Bu has really taken the hiking thing to the next level. He has done some pretty amazing trails over the past couple of months, with what I consider to be some very unreal hiking people. Although I have yet to meet most of them, I am a fan of the love they have put into hitting the trails of Oahu and documenting their adventures for the rest of us to enjoy. These people he's hiked with have taken the torch from legends like Stuart Ball, Dayle Turner, Waianae Steve, Wing Ng, Pat Rorie, and Jay Feldman, and bring new knowledge about these precious trails for the rest of us to learn from. I may have missed a few on my roll call here, but those are the people who's work I've read either in books or online, and I know I'm thankful that they took the time to make that available to the hike-loving public. Hopefully one day, this new generation of "blogging" hikers will be given their proper love and respect.

We decided to start off the year with a relatively short, but very inspiring hike, up to the Pali Notches. There are several literary sources that talk about these unusual holes in the mountain, but we do know that it was used by Kalanikupule, the Oahu Moi, to mount ship cannons in defense of Nuuanu Valley from Kamehameha's forces. Both the Notches and the Pali Puka (on the opposite side of the Pali Lookout) provide unparalleled views of the Nuuanu Valley and the Windward coast from Chinaman's Hat to Waimanalo. We were blessed with an absolute clear Sunday, as we prepared in the Pali Lookout Parking Lot for the hike.

If you decide to do this hike, bring $3, because they charge now to park there. It seemed that the Filipino uncle that was working there had his "A" game, marking down each car's license as they came and went . We both paid without argument, took our receipts, and headed for the beginning of the trail. As you walk toward the Lookout, look to your right, and you will see an obvious path that leads up.

Although the distance to the notches is relatively short, be prepared to climb up some challenging Rock faces on the way there. In fact I have a recommendation- If you can get to the notches, maybe then you can consider doing one of the very difficult rock climb hikes like Bear Claw, Piliwale, or Kawiwi like Chinese Bu and some other steel-faced hikers just did. (Go check out Kaleo's blog for info on that one. I think it's kinda nuts!)

One of things we talked about going up this trail was how in the world did Kalanikupule get those blasted cannons up there! We figured that there must have been a whole army of guys at the top that somehow pulled it up there, but it's an amazing accomplishment, no matter how they did it. After dealing with the climb and the serious drop to your left, we got to the top of the first Notch, and the view was majestic! From that point, you can see the whole valley, making it an ideal choice for the cannons.

We decided not to venture any further, but we looked ahead at the ridgeline leading up to Konahuanui. Chinese Bu busted out his Binos, and what we saw, well lets just say if you told me I had to get to Konahuanui, and the way from Pauoa Flats and the way from Olympus was blown to bits, I would choose Piliwale. And I seen all your guys Piliwale videos (that's crazy what you guys have done!) But this way to Konahuanui? INSANE!!!!!!!

I've heard the story that Mr. Pete Clines has done it. (Some of the stuff that I've read and heard he's accomplished should not even be published!) I read that blog from Martyna and Allegra and how high they got on their second try. But peeps, I pray for anyone trying to attempt that thing without ropes or some type of support. There are safer ways than that to get to the Koolau's highest peak. But I guess some people want the challenge. And I'll be here to support and root for your success.

For all of you that want a challenge that can be accomplished in a short amount of time with a great reward at the end, hiking to the Pali Notches is a great choice. Hey, I just reread an old article online from Wing Ng- in it he claims that he may have discovered a 5th path up to Konahuanui. Need to do more research on that!!

oh BTW, Chinese Bu is talking about hiking a place I've always wanted to explore, but I was told by several people I trust that the path was overgrown and hard to discern. Looking forward to exploring it!

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