Pu’u Ohulehule Northwest to Northeast Ridges

by kenji SAITO on April 25, 2021

Hiking Pu'u Ohulehule Northwest to Northeast Ridges

It was time to raise the bar or at least get the juices flowing on today’s hike. Or as somebody put it “get back in the windward ridge game.”

Trailhead

Trailhead

We all met up in Kahana Valley where Matt surprised us with 808 Random Hikers T-shirts that he had made in Korea. Group photo left to right: John, Cisco, myself, Aida, Allison, Ryan, Quan, Enrique, Marilyn, Narissa, Lilyn, Matt and Tessa. Lucky 13.

Kahana Valley

Kahana Valley

Passing through Hawaii’s only public ahupua’a or subdivision of land.

Trail

Trail

Enjoying the wide open and dry trail while it lasted.

Dam

Dam

Some of the group took their shoes and socks off so as not to get wet. You guys know there are a couple more stream crossings? Photo by Matt Vidaurri.

Dam

Dam

All swing and no splash.

Trail

Trail

Welcome to the jungle.

Trail

Trail

Soak, rinse, repeat. Photo by Matt Vidaurri.

Trail

Trail

Matt gave an impromptu speech on the importance of promptness and then Chris showed up. The definition of irony.

Trail

Trail

Allison looking at True Manana and Two Apes Talking. Photo by Aida Gordon.

Trail

Trail

Last stream crossing for some of us. Photo by Tessa Bugay.

Trail

Trail

Somebody was feeling good about themselves. It would not last for long.

Trail

Trail

Pushing our way through the patch of uluhe ferns that dominated the trail. Photo by Tessa Bugay.

Trail

Trail

The group climbing up the first of many hills.

Trail

Trail

Verdant valley views behind us. Photo by Allison Banks.

Trail

Trail

We could see the saddle for the mountains. Photo by Allison Banks.

Trail

Trail

You guys don’t take 5 or 10 minute breaks? Who’s in charge of this hike? Oh, the death marcher. Photo by Tessa Bugay.

Kahana Saddle

Kahana Saddle

Group photo, left to right: John, Aida, Narissa, Chris, Marilyn, Matt, Cisco, Allison, Quan, Lilyn, myself, Enrique, Tessa and Ryan.

Kahana Saddle

Kahana Saddle

Tessa belting out another rendition of Ms. Lonely.

Trail

Trail

Enrique scrambling up the steep hill towards the summit.

Trail

Trail

Gaining elevation with each step that we took. Photo by Lilyn Avendano.

Trail

Trail

Lilyn pulling herself up. All those hours in the gym were finally paying off.

Trail

Trail

Allison climbing her way to the summit. Photo by Aida Gordon.

Pu'u Ohulehule Summit

Pu’u Ohulehule Summit

What’s going on here? A) Matt is slaking his thirst by drinking the water pooling in Ryan’s poncho. or B) Matt is administering a mountain massage with a happy ending.

Pu'u Ohulehule Summit

Pu’u Ohulehule Summit

Photo bombers in the rain. Kahana was living up to its reputation as one of the wettest valleys on the island.

Pu'u Ohulehule Summit

Pu’u Ohulehule Summit

Group photo at the rained out summit. Zero visibility. We sat out the summit as rain saturated the area around us. Ideal conditions for climbing an unknown ridge. Whose ideas was this?

Trail

Trail

We waited until the rain clouds blew over and then we separated into the hardy and the foolhardy groups.

Northeast Ridge

Northeast Ridge

Somebody in blue said this ridge is not that bad. Famous last words. Photo by Chris Bautista.

Northeast Ridge

Northeast Ridge

Time to break out the webbing. Photo by Matt Vidaurri.

Northeast Ridge

Northeast Ridge

Pushing through the woody climbers as we made our way down the ridge. Photo by Tessa Bugay.

Northeast Ridge

Northeast Ridge

Descending from the clouds as we had to be mindful of the abundant dead trees and branches that broke off under our grasp. Instead of braking our descent, they could have easily accelerated our descent. Not a good thing.

Northeast Ridge

Northeast Ridge

The ridge became narrower as the views got better with each drop we did. Photo by Lilyn Avendano.

Northeast Ridge

Northeast Ridge

Matt climbing as rocks got dislodged with each step. Luckily no rocks were dislodged during my climb down. Photo by Lilyn Avendano.

Northeast Ridge

Northeast Ridge

Chris hugging the sliver of a ridge as he climbed his way down.

Northeast Ridge

Northeast Ridge

Somewhere in the mountains, there is elevator service. We also saw the hardy group going down the Northwest ridge from our precarious perch. Photo by Tessa Bugay.

Northeast Ridge

Northeast Ridge

Just call me Otis. Photo by Matt Vidaurri.

Northeast Ridge

Northeast Ridge

The rest of the group waiting their turn to climb down the webbing secured with an existing anchor. Photo by Tessa Bugay.

Northeast Ridge

Northeast Ridge

The rolling rocks had rolling rocks on this ridge. They definitely gather no moss here. Photo by Matt Vidaurri.

Northeast Ridge

Northeast Ridge

Matt checking out the next drop. Photo by Lilyn Avendano.

Northeast Ridge

Northeast Ridge

Going down. Photo by Lilyn Avendano.

Northeast Ridge

Northeast Ridge

Keeping my distance from the spiked shoes.

Northeast Ridge

Northeast Ridge

Drop after drop. Do we have enough webbing? Photo by Lilyn Avendano.

Northeast Ridge

Northeast Ridge

Bye bye. For reference’s sake, I was talking to an inanimate object and not a living person. Photo by Lilyn Avendano.

Northeast Ridge

Northeast Ridge

Straddling the skinny ridge. Photo by Tessa Bugay.

Northeast Ridge

Northeast Ridge

The rest of us scooted down on our bellies, whereas Chris let his feet do the walking. Perhaps it had something to do with the beer belly. Perhaps not.

Northeast Ridge

Northeast Ridge

Matt lowering himself down using the lip of the rock as an anchor.

Northeast Ridge

Northeast Ridge

It was just a hop, skip and slide for Lilyn. Photo by Matt Vidaurri.

Northeast Ridge

Northeast Ridge

Contouring and climbing my way up for what passes as a pile of crumbly rocks topped with skinny trees and dry grass.

Northeast Ridge

Northeast Ridge

Tessa making herself comfortable as she hunkers down for the oncoming inclement weather. Photo by Lilyn Avendano.

Northeast Ridge

Northeast Ridge

We temporarily suspended all climbing as we watched …

Northeast Ridge

Northeast Ridge

… the rain showers slowly march in from the ocean and saturate the ridge and us with its watery cargo.

All clear

All clear

Tessa ready to start hiking again after the brief burst of H20. Photo by Chris Bautista.

Northeast Ridge

Northeast Ridge

Matt climbing down the last drop for the day.

Northeast Ridge

Northeast Ridge

Traversing the moss carpeted ridge line punctuated with trees of varying density and depth. Photo by Chris Bautista.

Northeast Ridge

Northeast Ridge

Approaching the Kualoa ridge dominated by the peak of Kanehoalani.

Northeast Ridge

Northeast Ridge

What’s going on here? A) I was so happy to find out that Matt’s test came back negative. Not saying what kind of test it was. or B) We were bucking the stereotypical roles while re-enacting the 2005 movie helmed by Ang Lee.

3 Corners

3 Corners

We took our individual and collective photos at the intersecting spot with sweeping views of the mountains, valleys and ocean.

Trail

Trail

Is this the way to the gardens?

Ka'a'awa Valley

Ka’a’awa Valley

Bench with a view. What a view. Photo by Matt Vidaurri.

Ka'a'awa Valley

Ka’a’awa Valley

Bye bye. Inanimate object. I think I can speak for the group when I say that the Northeast ridge is one of the hardest trails we have done in recent memory. Photo by Lilyn Avendano.

Cow Patty

Cow Patty

When you got to go, you got to go. Photo by Matt Vidaurri.

Jurassic Park

Jurassic Park

Watching out for droppings from the winged reptile. Who let the animal out? Oh, what long nails you have!

All pau

All pau

Where’s the beef? Thanks to Aida, John and Quan for picking us up on the side of the highway. Photo by Matt Vidaurri.

GPS Tracks

GPS Tracks

Our adrenaline adventure that took us over old and new grounds clocked in under six miles. Glad to have done it with this bunch of friends. Thankful that everybody made it down safe, albeit the minor mishap of the out of towner that tumbled down and landed on the skinniest person. Post hike meal at Kenko-ya as the other choices were closed or did not offer dine in service.

Note: I have been made aware that some hikers have been using my blog as a hiking guide and getting lost on the trails. Please note that this blog was made to document the hike for the crew(s) that did it. That is why some of my comments will seem to have no relevance or meaning to anybody outside of the crew(s) that hiked that trail. My blog was never meant as a hiking guide, so please do not treat it as such. If you find inspiration and entertainment from these hikes, that is more than enough. If you plan on replicating these hikes, do so in the knowledge that you should do your own research accordingly as trail conditions, access, legalities and so forth are constantly in flux. What was current today is most likely yesterdays news. Please be prepared to accept any risks and responsibilities on your own as you should know your own limitations, experience and abilities before you even set foot on a trail, as even the “simplest” or “easiest” of trails can present potential pitfalls for even the most “experienced” hikers.

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