Kaena Point to Pu’u Kaua

by kenji SAITO on September 1, 2018

Hiking Kaena Point to Pu'u Kaua

Met up with Analyn, Anne, Chris, Cisco and Ferlino to labor our way in the mountains this weekend. Thanks to Jasmin for waking up at an ungodly hour to drop us off.

Trailhead

Trailhead

Walking in the footsteps of the trains that once circled this part of the island.

Ridge

Ridge

Making our way up the rocky ridge line.

ArtByEoin

ArtByEoin

The pill boxes have eyes. Photo by Cisco Quintanilla.

Kaena Point

Kaena Point

Is it time to use the red light or the white light?

Golf ball

Golf ball

Too early for tee time. Photo by Chris Bautista

Sunrise

Sunrise

Silhouetted against the morning sky. Photo by Anne Fai.

Grazing

Grazing

Nothing to see here. Mooove along.

Blue Flash

Blue Flash

We were able to capture her in slow motion due to the absence of motorized vehicles. Photo by Ferlino Carinio.

Kuaokala Trail

Kuaokala Trail

Leaving the road behind us.

Kuaokala Trail

Kuaokala Trail

Chris looking out at the Waianae coastline.

BSA 162

BSA 162

Sun out. Sunscreen on. Photo by Cisco Quintanilla.

Guava Tree

Guava Tree

Branch to mouth. No middleman here.

Kuaokala Trail

Kuaokala Trail

Enjoying the broad and flat jeep road while we can. Photo by Chris Bautista

Kuaokala Trail

Kuaokala Trail

Looking out from the tree lined trail. Photo by Chris Bautista

Shark Fin

Shark Fin

We put our packs down for photoshoot #1.

Kuaokala Forest Reserve

Kuaokala Forest Reserve

Looking across the tree topped ridge lines. Photo by Anne Fai

Kuaokala Trail

Kuaokala Trail

Stepping down the eroded rocky section.

Kuaokala Trail

Kuaokala Trail

Back on the jeep road, with a communications tower seen in the distance. We have four bars.

Kuaokala Trail

Kuaokala Trail

Chris taking a nap on the trail. We have four zzzz’s.

Makua Rim

Makua Rim

Looking into the historic valley that has yet to be scrubbed free from her military scarring.

Pahole

Pahole

Entering 685 acres of protected native fauna and flora.

Not potable

Not potable

Break time. Photo by Ferlino Carinio.

Makua Valley

Makua Valley

Trying to get the synchronization down for photoshoot #2. Photo by Chris Bautista.

Waianae Summit Trail (WST)

Waianae Summit Trail (WST)

Back to our regularly scheduled program of hiking.

Fruit Pickers

Fruit Pickers

We came down the ridge hoping to pick some juicy Tangelos. Our stomachs were sorely disappointed.

Da Glove

Da Glove

The KST has its boot and the WST has its glove. Photo by Cisco Quintanilla.

Three Corners

Three Corners

Time to go from vertical to …

Three Corners

Three Corners

… horizontal. Photo by Analyn Baliscao.

Three Corners

Three Corners

Lunch break with views. Some of us were too tired to take in the views. One was never too tired for photoshoot #3. Photo by Ferlino Carinio.

Ridge

Ridge

Dropping down to the road that winds its way to the highest point on the island.

Fence

Fence

Swinging over the fence line. Photo by Ferlino Carinio.

Hairy Ball

Hairy Ball

Singular, not plural. What happens when you don’t clear the fence. Photo by Chris Bautista

Road Trip

Road Trip

The road was extremely punishing this time around. Frequent breaks were the order of the day.

Weeping Wall

Weeping Wall

Free water. Just bring your own bottles. Filter optional, but highly recommended. Photo by Chris Bautista

#78

#78

The end of the very long road.

Mount Ka'ala

Mount Ka’ala

Setting up camp at the highest point on the island. Photo by Chris Bautista.

Mount Ka'ala

Mount Ka’ala

Communal dining while Cisco and I snored the night away. Photo by Ferlino Carinio.

Mount Ka'ala

Mount Ka’ala

Jumping for air at our 4,025′ camp spot. Our morning departure was slightly delayed by photoshoot #4. Photo by Chris Bautista

Ka'ala Bog

Ka’ala Bog

Stepping foot onto the boardwalk that winds it way through 1,100 acres of moss covered trees and native plants.

Ka'ala Bog

Ka’ala Bog

One can’t escape the mud in here, it’s inevitable.

Ka'ala Bog

Ka’ala Bog

One can’t seem to escape the fence line as well.

WST

WST

Leaving the bog and heading down the muddy ridge.

Boulders

Boulders

Slipping my way down the rocks. Photo by Chris Bautista

Boulders

Boulders

Study in concentration. Hand there. Foot there.

Hammerhead Worm

Hammerhead Worm

“Landshark” bipalium searching for its prey. Photo by Anne Fai

Boulder

Boulder

Put your backs into it and tell the photobomber to pitch in as well.

Get a shell

Get a shell

What? Take a picture, it’ll last longer.

WST

WST

Back on the fence line. Photo by Anne Fai

Hobbs Junction

Hobbs Junction

Melts in your mouth, not in your hands. I think its the other way around. Photo by Anne Fai

Trail hazard

Trail hazard

The attack of the terrifying inch worm with its looping gait. Pull out the magnifying glasses for this one and use your earplugs.

WST

WST

Climbing in and out of the gap. Photo by Chris Bautista

WST

WST

Ferlino climbing up a short and steep rocky section.

Pu'u Kalena

Pu’u Kalena

Heavenly, as in the clouds, views at the second highest peak in the island. Photo by Ferlino Carinio

WST

WST

We left the 3,504′ summit to go down the overgrown ridge that soon yielded to eroded patches of ridge line populated with pine trees.

WST

WST

The smell of garlic shrimp seemed to be coming up from the valley or was it simply the collective stink of the group?

WST

WST

We finally got a view. Better late than never. Photo by Analyn Baliscao.

Mountain views

Mountain views

Mount Ka’ala and Pu’u Kalena also cleared up for our viewing pleasures.

WST

WST

We wrapped up photoshoot #5 and went down the spur ridge.

Scareface

Scareface

Say hello to my little friend. Photo by Chris Bautista

WST

WST

Going up the dike and … Photo by Analyn Baliscao

WST

WST

… coming down from the dike. Photo by Analyn Baliscao

WST

WST

We left the ridge and headed down towards the manmade pass that was blasted out of the mountains in the mid-1930s.

Pu'u Kailio

Pu’u Ka’ilio

Cisco looking at the crumbly pile of rocks that makes up the forbidden mountain.

WST

WST

Watching the clouds lazily drift across the mountainous landscape as we made our way down.

Kolekole

Kolekole

Sliding our way down the raw and red terrain that lives up to its name. Photo by Ferlino Carinio

GI Joe

GI Joe

The lone surviving toy soldier. There could be other survivors out there.

Exit

Exit

We could smell the fried chicken and hear the carbonated soda fizzing or was I just hallucinating?

Kolekole Pass

Kolekole Pass

Enjoying ice cold soda at the lowest point in the Waianae Mountains. Shout out to Matt for bringing us the refreshing beverages and Louisiana chicken.

Kolekole Pass

Kolekole Pass

I guess red beans and rice can be explosive.

Kolekole Pass

Kolekole Pass

Setting up camp and preparing for photoshoot #6. Drone photo by Matt Vidaurri

Camp Kolekole

Camp Kolekole

All the greatest American and Filipino hits were being sung tonight.

Camp Kolekole

Camp Kolekole

The karaoke gang migrated to somebody’s tent to have her join in, but she was busy washing herself with the extra water.

Camp Kolekole

Camp Kolekole

Our morning departure was once again slightly delayed by photoshoot #7.

WST

WST

Heading up the densely packed tree lined trail.

Nature recycling

Nature recycling

Going up the corridor of paperbark trees.

WST

WST

Matt at the top of the trail before it dips back down into the notches.

WST

WST

Taking in the views. Photo by Matt Vidaurri

WST

WST

Looking back at the West side. The best side.

WST

WST

Cisco climbing out of the notches.

Rorshach Test

Rorshach Test

Mother Nature has a good sense of humor or some peoples minds are in the gutter. Photo by Matt Vidaurri

WST

WST

Cisco and Matt on their way to the summit of Hapapa.

WST

WST

This spider web was not even catching the dew drops, let alone any appetizing bugs. Location, location, location. Photo by Matt Vidaurri

Pu'u Hapapa

Pu’u Hapapa

Group photo at the squared 2,883′ summit left to right: Ferlino, Cisco, Matt, myself, Anne, Chris and Analyn. We sat down for photoshoot #8.

WST

WST

Leaving the fifth highest peak on the West side.

WST

WST

Following the fence line through the ridge line.

Bon Appetit

Bon Appetit

Finger food. It goes down slowly. Photo by Matt Vidaurri

WST

WST

Making our way down to the rock edifice that dominates and straddles the ridge line.

WST

WST

Climb or contour? Photo by Cisco Quintanilla

WST

WST

Protruding rocks provided temporary relief from the cloying overgrowth.

Pu'u Kanehoa

Pu’u Kanehoa

Time to fly the drone again for the last time and our final photoshoot of the hike.

WST

WST

Headed towards the most overgrown section of the WST.

Nobody better lay a finger on my butterfinger. Oh, wrong candy bar.

Nobody better lay a finger on my butterfinger. Oh, wrong candy bar.

It was still hard, even after three days. Somebody should go see a doctor. Photo by Cisco Quintanilla.

WST

WST

Bushwhacking our way through overgrowth …

WST

WST

… upon more overgrowth. Photo by Matt Vidaurri

WST

WST

Climbing out of the overgrowth as the clouds started to roll in towards the mountains. Photo by Chris Bautista

Gorilla Heads

Gorilla Heads

Making our way to the two obstacles known as Gorilla Heads or Kryangles. Photo by Matt Vidaurri

Gorilla Heads

Gorilla Heads

O Christmas Tree. 113 days left. Photo by Chris Bautista

Gorilla Heads

Gorilla Heads

Chris going up the little head. Photo by Matt Vidaurri

Gorilla Heads

Gorilla Heads

Cisco at the top. Photo by Matt Vidaurri

Gorilla Heads

Gorilla Heads

Chris dislodged a couple loose rocks climbing his way up the big head.

Gorilla Heads

Gorilla Heads

The grey clouds started to dislodge rain upon us as made our way up.

Gorilla Heads

Gorilla Heads

Ferlino bringing up the webbing on his way up.

Gorilla Heads

Gorilla Heads

Matt climbing his way down the backside.

WST

WST

Climbing our way up to the interrupted fence line.

Gorilla Heads

Gorilla Heads

Looking back at the rain showers sweeping the Waianae Mountains.

WST

WST

Matt muscled his way up the slick section of rocks and threw webbing down for the rest of us.

WST

WST

Slippery when mossy.

WST

WST

Contouring our way through the overgrowth as we avoided …

WST

WST

… the old vertical fence trail. Photo by Matt Vidaurri

WST

WST

Climbing up the near vertical fence as it cut a swatch through the tangled mess of uluhe ferns.

Pu'u Kaua

Pu’u Kaua

Time and weather were not on our side, so we made the difficult decision to descend from the 3,127′ summit.

Trail

Trail

Leaving the third highest peak on the island.

Trail

Trail

Clouds clearing over agricultural lands that are slowly being developed into farm lots, off-grid and often unregulated housing.

Trail

Trail

I should have brought my cardboard box, or at the very least my spikes. Photo by Anne Fai

Trail

Trail

Chris riding the timber log ride at Kunia’s Berry Farms.

Kunia

Kunia

Dimming the lights as we walked down the road past the slowly growing trailer village filled with a chorus of barking dogs.

All pau

All pau

Our 26 mile three-day hike that was filled with laughs, great views and good company; came to an abbreviated end in the farmlands of Kunia. Thanks to Lee for picking us up and bringing chilled Coca-Cola. Post hike meal at Zippy’s. You can’t go wrong with oxtail soup, unless it’s too expensive and then you fall back to the Zip Mein.

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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