Wiliwilinui - June 14, 2008

I had planned to hike to Mount Ka'ala this day, but no one was up for it. I decided to go solo up Wiliwilinui Ridge: a much easier hike than Ka'ala. I arrived at the trailhead around 8:00am and proceeded up the dirt road at the end of the culdesac. The rain turned off and on, making the road muddy at some parts. Initially, the summit looked socked in with clouds, but as the hike went on the weather cleared. The majority of the trail follows a dirt road used by 4x4 trucks and eventually ends at a vehicle turnaround. At this turnaround is where the ridge hike begins. From here the trail narrows, and the hike to the summit is less than a mile. The start of the ridge reminds me of the level section at Kuli'ou'ou Ridge. The last section to the summit is steep, muddy, and rutted, and there are some long ropes to help the ascent. A television transmission tower sits atop the summit. Just past the tower is a view that overlooks most of the windward side. The trail continues on to the left or the right; to the left is Pu'u Lanipo, and to the right is Hawaii Loa Ridge. I saw a higher peak to the right and proceeded on the summit ridge. The summit ridge trail was narrow and heavily overgrown, but it was there. Once I reached the top of the unnamed peak, I looked for a spot to eat my lunch, but there was no where to sit because of the heavy vegetation. I continued along the trail a little more and saw that the summit connector continued past Hawaii Loa Ridge, Kuli'ou'ou Ridge, and ended at Makapu'u. I could even see where Shanoah and I hiked up to Pu'u O Kona. The cliffs looked mental from where I was. It would be awesome to connect some peaks from the summit ridge; maybe next time. I ended back at the culdesac four hours later. It would've been shorter, but I took my time taking pictures and listening to music on my phone's MP3 player. It's a really easy hike, and it's great for beginners. For novices, the last steep section with ropes makes it feel like an accomplishment once the top is reached. The total distance of the hike is about five miles round trip.

Start of the ridge at the vehicle turnaround.

There's the steep section to the tower.

Less than a mile away.

Walking to the lookout. The tower is behind me.

The end of the state trail, but not for me. Just behind this sign is the summit trail.

I continued on the next peak over (top right).

I like drops.

Almost there.

Looking back at the ridge I just hiked, with the Wiliwilinui tower in the left portion of the picture.

And this is where I stopped. The trail continued on following the ridge, but doing it by myself didn't sound like a good idea that day.

Here's the unnamed peak I hike to from turning right at the lookout. To take this picture I turned left at the lookout.


Wailupe Valley.

Wailupe Valley with my fish eye lens.

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

There's the tower, and there's Waikiki.

From the top of Wailupe Valley.

Solid view. The mountain in the clouds is Konahuanui: the highest mountain in the Ko'olau Range. That steep ridge on its side is called the Piliwale Ridge: considered to be THE most dangerous hike on Oahu. It goes up 3,100 feet in less than four miles. I'll have it up on the blog by the end of summer.

Olomana. Shanoah, Rio, and I did it about three weeks ago. You can check it out by clicking the following link. http://kaleolancaster.blogspot.com/2008/05/its-end-of-may-and-ive-done-lot-of.html

Rabbit Island. In the top right of the picture you can see Kuli'ou'ou Ridge turn left to Pu'u O Kona. That ridge to O Kona is no joke. Super narrow and super dangerous. Check out that hike here. http://kaleolancaster.blogspot.com/2008/06/puu-o-kona-via-kuliouou-ridge-june-11.html


I've read up on this flower, and it's an alien species of plant. It's not native at all. It's kind of like a weed, but it's a nice flower. Is that a grasshopper? Doesn't look like one.

*I've got so much hikes I've been itching to do. Look for Mount Ka'ala from Waianae, Lanihuli via Kamanaiki, and hopefully, Pu'u Kalena in the coming weeks.


Anonymous said...

AWWWWesome! I just got back from Wiliwilinui this wet drizzly foggy morning. I started the trail at 7:30am by myself. I hike in LA but it aint nuthin like Hawaii. So when I got to the base of the end hill on Wiliwilinui, to look up at that tower I couldn't see it in the thick clouds. It was fuzzy and grey and wicked windy up there. I saw that there wre no built out steps and I decided not to do that last steep climb; to slip or get blown over. I am so glad to see what I missed on your blog! I can't believe you went on past the trail. I want to go hiking with you! Oh, but that foto of your feet hanging over the edge makes me shiver. Peace, Mish

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