Writing a long, drawn out description of the hike I did on Sunday will do no justice; you have to do the hike yourself to appreciate the lofty views and treacherous sections that is the Haiku Stairs -- or most commonly known as "The Stairway to Heaven." Think of it as a massive roller coaster track: the only thing is that the track is lain out on a narrow and extremely steep ridge that you're walking on. The Haiku Stairs has a lot of history surrounding it's 66 years of existence. Check out the following link for an in depth look at the stairs: http://davewjessup.smugmug.com/.
Seven of us accomplished the hike on Sunday: Daniel Napoleon, Anthony Czumalowski, Allan Soliven, Chris Prado, Ian Diaz, Shadow-Kamaka'u'ole Koko, and myself. Ian and Chris had done the stairs before, but I had proposed a variation of the hike. I had never done the stairs before, so I was very excited to say the least. My plan was to hike up the stairs and descend into Moanalua Valley via Moanalua's Middle Ridge. The middle ridge is famous for its narrow sections and towering views overlooking the ridges to the north; the ridge is also one of the routes for the Pu'u Keahi a Kahoe loop, a loop that I completed in June 2008.
Because there are guards that patrol the Haiku Stairs trailhead from 6am to the afternoon, we got off to a 5am start. It was so early in fact that we hiked in the dark with flashlights. There are multiple ways to get to the stairs, and the one Chris showed us seemed to be the safest way without getting caught. The street that we parked on was Kuneki Place. There is a concrete canal that we had to follow in order to get to a discernible trail. Google directions to Kuneki Place. It's easy to find.
It took us about an hour-and-a-half to reach the top of the stairs. From there, we pushed off in misty clouds and shin deep mud along the narrow Ko'olau summit toward Pu'u Keahi a Kahoe (elev. ~2,800 ft.). The view going down the middle ridge was spectacular. It is definitely one of the most beautiful southern Ko'olau ridges. The initial part of the ridge is so high that it dwarfs all the ridges to the north.
We completed the hike in exactly five-and-a-half hours. Daniel had the idea of doing the trail again with a different route: we would climb down (turn right at the stairs top out) to Kulana'ahane and head out on that route. I've acutally done research of that route, and from what I've found, no one has any evidence of doing it. Probably because the ridge looks mental, and Daniel is...well...mental. With that said, though, I'd definitely do this hike again. The views are one of the best in the island. I'm not posting much pictures, but there is video of the hike that should suffice.