Kuli'ou'ou Ridge - May 8, 2008

No school today. I woke up at 4:50am and decided to do Kuli'ou'ou Ridge in Hawaii Kai. Chase and Shanoah went with me again. We started around 7:45am and ended at 11am. The ascent up was a pretty gradual climb. The switchbacks sucked, and there were a bunch of small ups and downs, but once we reached the picnic tables there was a shitload of scrambling we had to do to get to the summit; there were also some unreal views of Waimanalo, Rabbit Island, Portlock, Hawaii Kai, Aina Haina, and the backside of Diamond Head. The state trail ended at a marker, but Shanoah and I decided to take the makeshift trail along the narrow ridge that eventually meets up with the Ko'olau Summit Trail. It was really sketchy because the ridge got so narrow after the trail-end's marker, yet there were a few rope sections to help us along the way. There were also some steep drop-off's on both sides: one slip and you were done for. It didn't help that the wind was blowing strong either. Shanoah and I reached a summit point that overlooked another windward valley, and we could see the trail connect to the ridge going all the way up to the KST. Chase decided to stay behind because the winds were belting furiously across the ridge. In the distance we could see a huge rain cloud approaching and made the good choice of turning around; I had to work at 12:30pm anyway, so we headed back down the trail. Heading down was easier, of course, than going up, and the rain didn't reach us. We actually kept a fast pace and even ran a few legs of the switchbacks and made it to the trailhead in a little under 45 minutes. We've made it a point to go back up one day and reach the KST. For now we've got our sights set on the Hau'ula Uka Ridge Trail for Saturday. Here's some pictures from today's hike...

Turn right.

Lighting a fire here would destroy this place.

About 2/3 of the way up.

I don't know what the frick their looking at, but they look funny.

Cook pines.

Nice and level spot. The plants here were nuts.

Nice trail.

A dead Jackson chameleon hanging from a branch.

Getting steep.

These two fools tried to run the last set of stairs to the lookout. Shanoah's legs almost buckled. Was funny.

End of the state trail.

On to the trail past the end mark.

Chase decided to stay back.

That's my foot right on the edge of a drop.

Shanoah, on the edge. No fences or rails here.

Just to give you a perspective of how narrow it was and what I call a fucking death-drop.

A rocky rope section we had to negotiate.

Here I am going down the rope section. Shanoah took this shot with his camera phone.

The trail jogged to the left around a rock face. The drop on the left side was steep as well and dropped straight into Kuli'ou'ou Gulch.

It was really windy. Shanoah almost wanted to crawl this section.

Death-drop on a narrow ridge.

Just how narrow? Super fucking narrow. Here I am looking back and snapping a shot of a section we just passed.

Another sketchy rope section. This section had three ropes connected to rusted poles over loose dirt and rock. The top rope wasn't even a rope; it was an electrical wire.


Here's me at the top of the rope section looking toward Rabbit Island.

Top of the rope hill. What a view.

A steep dirt section.

More climbing.

And this is where we stopped. You can see the trail keep going.


Here's the continuation of the trail ridge leading to the Ko'olau Summit Trail. Over the ridge is another valley and another town in the distance.

If you look closely you can see the trail line going up the ridge.

From left to right: Portlock, Hawaii Kai, and Aina Haina.

Overlooking Waimanalo and Rabbit Island. My ISO was set too high on my camera. That's why you can barely see the ocean.


Looks like two eyeballs, a nose, and a tounge.

Pretty sure this is called he'e.

Looks like a starfish.

This was a cool plant. We called it "tree limu."

These don't look ripe, but I took a picture of it anyway.

Shot a similar coiled plant like this in Nu'uanu, but this one is brown, not green.

Pubic hair plant?

Today was a damn workout. My legs and butt are tingling, and not in a good way. Up next: Hau'ula Uka Ridge's 8-mile trek to the KST.


Unknown said...

let me know when you decide to tackle the rest of this hike. i too turned around because i was by myself.

Laycie said...

Thanks Kaleo for all of your help! Your pictures are amazing & I can appreciate your respect for the plants & wildlife. :) Aloha; see you hiking! (Looking into the Pu'u Kona via Kuli'ou'ou)

kaleo said...

howzit ryan,

i actually went to pu'u o kona twice. you can check it out by clicking on the following links.



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