Monday, September 5, 2011

Wahiawa Hills

From Hawaiian BU

I went nuts at Sports Authority last night. Bought me a brand new pair of shoes, new Camalback bag, and the most important of necessities, thick hiking socks! All my stuff was breaking down, and I needed to be ready for the next hike with the college students, Wahiawa Hills. Several students had previously mentioned that they wanted to see a river, so the closest thing in my head on Oahu was Kaukonahua Stream. I figured 5 miles, up and down some hills, and a cool swim spot, that would be perfect.

Now usually we don't hike far from the Koolaus, but the capability to see the Waianae Mountain Range from the trail really got me thinking that I should get my okole up earlier than usual and get out to the Westside. It was right around 9 AM that myself, Chinese BU, and the college gang pushed off from the end of California Ave, and adventured into Kaleo Lancaster's backyard.

I was very thrilled to have Chinese BU along for this one, because he had done this about a year ago with Kaleo. I'm thinking that he would be able to handle all the complicated junctions one encounters as they progress throughout the hike. On the safe side, I had my copy of the Ball book with me, and a printout of Kaleo's directions from his site. The crazy thing about this was that the book and Kaleo's directions didn't match, and Chinese wasn't exactly reassuring when we came to questionable junctions. I guess I'll have to forgive him, since it has been a year plus since he last did it.

With those challenges in front of us, let me share this with you- this is a testing 5 mile hike. Going the route described in Kaleo's directions leads you to this punishing climb up a ridge that is choke-filled with Uluhe. Each of us got scratched up all over our arms and legs as we ascended this portion of the hike. Footing was tough because you couldn't see the ground, and it was wet from the light drizzle coming down on us. Getting to the top of that ridge led us to another junction, which turned out to be the alternative way to come up to that point. We figured that out because two ladies and their dog, which we had passed previously before the first stream crossing, had beaten us up the ridge.

We kept on walking through the trees until we got to this epic view of the Koolaus and took a break there. We turned right and down the ridge, eventually hitting the swim spot at the bottom. That water was as cold as some waterfalls I've encountered! After spending nearly an hour playing around in the stream, we geared up and returned to the trail. We were instantly greeted by another heart-pounding climb up a ridge with Uluhe on both sides. At least this portion was more clear than the last one.

With the knowledge that we were going to grind some Dot's sizzling Hamburger Steak afterwards, we pushed through and methodically made our way back to the critical junction of the whole trail. If you decide to do this hike, please take someone with you that knows the way. It's so much easier. I know I gave Chinese BU a hard time here, but once we got past the first climb, he knew where he was going, and everyone felt better (except for his occasional jokes about going the wrong way!).

One more thing I should tell you before I sign off on this one- That long hill you had to descend in the very beginning that reminds you of the "Heartattack Hill" from Waimano Pool? You gotta climb that thing to get out! And I will say, its my opinion that that hill is just as challenging, if not harder than the one you face at Waimano Pool.

I know it's not a waterfall (besides the hidden one you find at the bottom of the first hill), but I like the swim spot at Wahiawa Hills. I'm very thankful for the new equipment I got, especially the socks. All of us kanacked out at Dot's, and there were alot of happy faces at the end of this one. Hopefully you get a chance to go visit this workout sometime soon. But make sure to bring a guide!

Catch you all on the trails. Aloha!

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