Pali Puka to Kalihi Valley

by kenji SAITO on January 10, 2021

Hiking Pali Puka to Kalihi Valley

Met up with Chris, Cinja and Tess to tackle another saddle this weekend. Thanks to Quan for dropping us off at the Pali Lookout. Back open for business. Photo by Chris Bautista.

Trailhead

Trailhead

Skirting the fence that was part of the border wall meant to reduce unwanted migration. Same outcome. Photo by Quan Haberstroh.

Trail

Trail

Enjoying the city lights from our perch on the pali.

Pali Puka

Pali Puka

Group photo in low light conditions.

Trail

Trail

Cinja straddling one of many blowdowns on the trail.

Trail

Trail

Climbing up the slick rocks peppered with blowdowns and shifting rocks underfoot. Photo by Cinja Strickland.

Trail

Trail

Tess climbing up to the ridge line. Photo by Cinja Strickland.

Nu'uanu Saddle

Nu’uanu Saddle

Looking ahead to the saddles. Photo by Cinja Strickland.

Nu'uanu Saddle

Nu’uanu Saddle

Catching the breaking sunrise over Olomana and Pali Notches.

Nu'uanu Saddle

Nu’uanu Saddle

Flow with the saddle and bend with the trees. Some sage zen hiking advice. Just ran out of words to write.

Nu'uanu Saddle

Nu’uanu Saddle

Climbing around the incisor rock. Photo by Cinja Strickland.

Nu'uanu Saddle

Nu’uanu Saddle

Contouring around the incisor rock.

Nu'uanu Saddle

Nu’uanu Saddle

The dense cloud cover masked the drops and the sporadic sprinkles kept the underfooting slightly moist.

Nu'uanu Saddle

Nu’uanu Saddle

Cinja climbing up the saddle with the seemingly steaming ridge line behind her.

Nu'uanu Saddle

Nu’uanu Saddle

On bended knees, we shall still continue our hike. Photo by Chris Bautista.

W

W

We could finally see the 23rd letter of the alphabet through the clouds that reduced visibility to near zero. Photo by Cinja Strickland.

Nu'uanu Saddle

Nu’uanu Saddle

Climbing up the soggy hill.

W

W

We dropped down and contoured our way around the rock faces. Photo by Tess Cochran.

W

W

Climbing up and over the last two “fingers.”

W

W

Tess making her way down the tall and skinny rock face. Photo by Chris Bautista.

W

W

Chris and Tess climbing down from the alphabet soup. Photo by Cinja Strickland.

Anvil

Anvil

Somebody saw the rock move. Good to know that ones anchor point is somewhat unstable.

Anvil

Anvil

Tess dropping down the side of the grassy cliff towards the sliver of a trail. Photo by Chris Bautista.

Trail

Trail

Climbing our way up through the thorny bushes and back to the ridge line. Photo by Cinja Strickland.

Nu'uanu Saddle

Nu’uanu Saddle

Making my way up the eroded and steep hill. Photo by Cinja Strickland.

Ko'olau Summit Ridge Trail (KSRT)

Ko’olau Summit Ridge Trail (KSRT)

Leaving one saddle behind as we traversed a couple small hills swathed in deep green uluhe ferns to our midway point. Photo by Chris Bautista.

Lanihuli Summit

Lanihuli Summit

Enjoying our no views at the 2,700′ summit.

KSRT

KSRT

The group coming down from the swirling heavens.

Kalihi Saddle

Kalihi Saddle

The clouds soon cleared and the showers stopped as we dropped down the ridge line. Everything is going to be alight now. Photo by Chris Bautista.

Kalihi Saddle

Kalihi Saddle

Hello Kalihi Saddle!

Kalihi Saddle

Kalihi Saddle

One of the few times one can stand instead of scooting. Photo by Chris Bautista.

Kalihi Saddle

Kalihi Saddle

Tess back to scooting her way down the crumbly ridge line.

Dirt Dragon

Dirt Dragon

Riding the legendary creature that was a shell of its former self. Photo by Chris Bautista.

Kalihi Saddle

Kalihi Saddle

Capturing the various modes of movement along the saddle. To each their own.

Lanihuli Wall

Lanihuli Wall

Dropping off the saddle as we contoured down the flank of the ridge line. Photo by Chris Bautista.

Lanihuli Wall

Lanihuli Wall

Crabbing our way towards the second drop. Photo by Chris Bautista.

Lanihuli Wall

Lanihuli Wall

The group coming down the last section of the “wall.”

Kalihi Saddle

Kalihi Saddle

Please keep all arms and legs inside the ride until we come to a complete stop.

Can Opener

Can Opener

Group photo under the shadow of the bulging refrigerator.

Kalihi Saddle

Kalihi Saddle

Climbing our way down the crumbly landscape.

Kalihi Saddle

Kalihi Saddle

The group making their way down to the next set of colorfully named climbing obstacles. Photo by Chris Bautista.

Kalihi Saddle

Kalihi Saddle

Always a tad trickier downclimbing an obstacle. Helps to have another set of eyes and longer legs. Photo by Cinja Strickland.

Pimple

Pimple

Climbing up the narrow and crumbly rock face. Photo by Chris Bautista.

Pimple

Pimple

Human anchor pressed into service. My nickel fee must be too cheap. Photo by Cinja Strickland.

Pimple

Pimple

Tess contouring her way around the blister of a rock pile.

Doorstop

Doorstop

Just call me Otis. Photo by Tess Cochran.

Doorstop

Doorstop

Chris tried a different way coming up, but fell back on the usual route. Photo by Tess Cochran.

Bunny Ears

Bunny Ears

Are those ears on your head or are you just glad to see us? Photo by Cinja Strickland.

Bunny Ears

Bunny Ears

There was nothing soft and fuzzy about these obstacles.

Bunny Ears

Bunny Ears

Cinja making her way towards the mushroom rock. No psychedelic experiences included, maybe just psychologically scarring.

Kalihi Saddle

Kalihi Saddle

Climbing on the edge. Edgier. Photo by Cinja Strickland.

Kalihi Saddle

Kalihi Saddle

Panoramic shot of our office view today. Air conditioning included.

Kalihi Saddle

Kalihi Saddle

The group about to contour off the ridge line. Photo by Chris Bautista.

Shark Fin

Shark Fin

Looking back at the last major obstacle on the saddle as the dorsal shaped rock became more clearly defined from this perspective. Photo by Cinja Strickland.

Powerlines

Powerlines

We saw a group of waterfall explorers waiting for us ahead. Photo by Tess Cochran.

Powerlines

Powerlines

Heading down towards the terminus of our hike. Who has the Coke? Photo by Aida Gordon.

Trail

Trail

When the people you intend to scare end up having a good laugh instead. Fail.

Trail

Trail

Group photo left to right: Aida, Lilyn, Quan, Art, myself, Cinja, Tess and Chris.

All pau

All pau

When you have too much time on your hands. Idle hands are the hiker’s workshop. Thanks to Breanna and Somphet for picking our group up and shuttling us back to our cars. Photo by Aida Gordon.

GPS Tracks

GPS Tracks

Our saddle hike covered barely three miles with new and old friends. Post hike meal at Pieology. Some of us still had to stuff our face with McFlurry’s.

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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