Aiea Ridge to Upper Waimano

by kenji SAITO on January 13, 2019

Hiking Aiea Ridge to Upper Waimano

We paid a visit to the mythical meadows that never fails to impress first time and repeat hikers alike. Never say never.

Trailhead

Trailhead

Thanks to Rocky for dropping Analyn, Chris, Cisco and myself off at the top of Aiea Loop Trail, which saved us a bit of walking. It was 0630 and Mother Nature still hadn’t turned on the lights.

Aiea Ridge Trail

Aiea Ridge Trail

Catching the sunrise on the trail, as it was going to be a beautiful day in the mountains. Famous last words. Photo by Cisco Quintanilla.

Aiea Ridge Trail

Aiea Ridge Trail

Looking at the H3 snake its way through Halawa Valley and burrow itself into the base of the Ko’olau Mountains.

Landslide

Landslide

Over time, I expect full railing support to be put into place on this particular section. Safety first.

Aiea Ridge Trail

Aiea Ridge Trail

Embrace the mud, as you can’t escape it for long.

Pu'u Kawipo'o

Pu’u Kawipo’o

The summit looked promisingly clear from our flat topped 2,441′ hill. Empty promises. False promises.

Aiea Ridge Trail

Aiea Ridge Trail

Dropping down to the powerlines as the clouds started rolling in. Never fails. All one can do is laugh. Forced laugh.

Aiea Summit

Aiea Summit

Group photo at the now socked in 2,805′ summit, left to right: Chris, Analyn, myself and Cisco. At least the sign is still here.

Ko'olau Summit Ridge Trail (KSRT)

Ko’olau Summit Ridge Trail (KSRT)

Making our way down to the second set of powerlines to discover that the homeless tent has left the mountains.

KSRT

KSRT

Wrap around Windward views as the winds temporarily pushed the rain clouds away.

KSRT

KSRT

Looking back at Aiea summit.

KSRT

KSRT

One can never get tired of these views. Photo by Chris Bautista.

KSRT

KSRT

Somebody didn’t have their mountain legs today, so slow and steady was the plan of the day.

KSRT

KSRT

Cisco coming down the cardio inducing ridge line.

KSRT

KSRT

Chris standing next to a tree that was more moss than ohia?

KSRT

KSRT

Making our way down the ridge in the shadow of Kalahaku Teeth.

KSRT

KSRT

Taking time to stop and smell the salmon lehua flowers. Does it smell fishy?

KSRT

KSRT

We could see the summit for the meadows.

Waimalu Meadows

Waimalu Meadows

Sliding our way down into the cloud soaked meadows.

Waimalu Meadows

Waimalu Meadows

Somebody was not particularly impressed with the mythical meadows. Perhaps it had something to do with the passing rain showers.

Waimalu Meadows

Waimalu Meadows

One last look at the meadows before our departure. Still not impressed?

KSRT

KSRT

Raindrops are falling on our heads. And just like the hikers whose feets are too big for the trail. Nothing seems to fit. Those raindrops are falling on our heads, they keep falling.

Waiau Summit

Waiau Summit

Passing the summit with the tortured trail that leads one down to the gated community of Wailuna.

KSRT

KSRT

Spotting the scarred mountainside that marked the end of our hike.

KSRT

KSRT

Analyn and Cisco making their way to the summit to join us.

Waimano Summit

Waimano Summit

Leaning over the edge to get our group photo at the 2,160′ summit.

Waimano Trail

Waimano Trail

Heading down the seven mile graded trail. Photo by Chris Bautista.

Waimano Trail

Waimano Trail

The rain that had teased us in the mountains had not trickled down enough to engorge our stream crossing. No complaints here.

Waimano Trail

Waimano Trail

Cisco making his way up the trail to the light at the end of the tunnel.

All pau

All pau

Black tongues marked the end of our KST grinder hike that covered 14.5 miles through rolling hills and passing rain cloud showers. Mahalo to Lopaka for picking us up and graciously allowing us to ride in the bed of his truck so as not to pollute his cab. Post hike meal at Alley Restaurant where inspirational stories were passed around over steaming bowls of oxtail soup.

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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