Pu’u Ohulehule Southeast Ridge to Pu’u O Kila

by kenji SAITO on June 25, 2017

Hiking Pu'u Ohulehule Southeast Ridge to Pu'u O Kila

Started at the crack of dawn with Chris, Lee, Mia and Yoly to hike a loop that I have been wanting to do for quite some time in Kahana Valley.

Trailhead

Trailhead

We all piled into Chris’s van to drive to the dead end road and kept a low profile to avoid disturbing the neighbors.

Waikane Valley

Waikane Valley

The trail was surprisingly obvious, a marked departure from my last visit.

Waikane Valley

Waikane Valley

Approaching a homeless shelter?

Pride Rock

Pride Rock

Bucket loads of hikers and tourists make the short hike up to this rock, to gaze upon … Photo by Chris Bautista.

Pride Rock

Pride Rock

… the stunning scenery of lush valleys, topped by rugged peaks and shimmering glassy waters.

Pride Rock

Pride Rock

Group photo left to right: Chris, Lee, myself, Mia and Yoly.

Southeast Ridge

Southeast Ridge

Proceeding past the tourist scenic spot. Photo by Chris Bautista.

Southeast Ridge

Southeast Ridge

Approaching our second dike of the day.

Southeast Ridge

Southeast Ridge

Hello there! Photo by Chris Bautista.

Southeast Ridge

Southeast Ridge

Climbing up the dike that keeps the encroaching overgrowth at bay.

Southeast Ridge

Southeast Ridge

Dangling legs above the treetops. Photo by Yoly Bedford.

Southeast Ridge

Southeast Ridge

Lee coming down the dike. Photo by Chris Bautista.

Southeast Ridge

Southeast Ridge

Looking out towards the three peaks of Ohulehule, Manamana and Kanehoalani.

Southeast Ridge

Southeast Ridge

The exposed rock ridge served as a firebreak lane through the suffocating overgrowth.

Southeast Ridge

Southeast Ridge

Churning the moss covered landscape.

Southeast Ridge

Southeast Ridge

To climb or to contour the looming dike?

Southeast Ridge

Southeast Ridge

How do I climb up this thing? Photo by Yoly Bedford.

Southeast Ridge

Southeast Ridge

Hiker see, hiker do.

Southeast Ridge

Southeast Ridge

Mia, Lee and Yoly; three monkeys on the dike. Photo by Chris Bautista.

Southeast Ridge

Southeast Ridge

We contoured to the left of the dike as the pitch of the ridge became more pronounced.

Southeast Ridge

Southeast Ridge

Capturing the views now in case we lost them at the top.

Southeast Ridge

Southeast Ridge

Yoly following the rope through the thick overgrowth.

Southeast Ridge

Southeast Ridge

Climbing on the more exposed Windward side of the ridge.

Southeast Ridge

Southeast Ridge

We had to climb over, under and through the thicket of trees that populated the ridge.

Southeast Ridge

Southeast Ridge

At last, free of the overgrowth!

Southeast Ridge

Southeast Ridge

Spoke too soon.

Southeast Ridge

Southeast Ridge

Using trees, roots, vegetation and the occasional rope to climb up.

Southeast Ridge

Southeast Ridge

Barreling and brushing past through the overgrowth.

Southeast Ridge

Southeast Ridge

Pushing up the last major climb to the summit.

Pu'u Ohulehule

Pu’u Ohulehule

When you’re hungry, two twigs will double as chopsticks.

Pu'u Ohulehule

Pu’u Ohulehule

Group photo at the 2,228′ summit.

Pu'u Ohulehule

Pu’u Ohulehule

Sweeping views from the top.

Northwest Ridge

Northwest Ridge

Once the multiple photo shoots were done, we took our leave of the summit.

Northwest Ridge

Northwest Ridge

Looking ahead to the saddle that will connect us to our final summit destination.

Northwest Ridge

Northwest Ridge

Climbing down the steep descent.

Junction

Junction

Taking the trail less trampled as we detoured off the ridge.

Saddle

Saddle

The overgrowth on the Southeast was tame compared to this section. It was uluhell quicksand.

Saddle

Saddle

Exhausted and spent on the trail. Photo by Yoly Bedford.

Saddle

Saddle

Treading carefully on the insane and unchecked overgrowth that masked the many false drops on the ridge.

Saddle

Saddle

This ridge was sorely in need of a trail clearing.

Saddle

Saddle

Threading our way through the brittle and decaying ohia trees.

Pu'u Koile

Pu’u Koile

Looking back at Pu’u Ohulehule from the 1,613′ summit. Photo by Yoly Bedford.

Saddle

Saddle

Chris looking out to Pu’u O Kila. Photo by Lee Shreve.

Saddle

Saddle

The saddle has become demonstrably more eroded from our last visit. Dirt and rocks became dislodged with each step that we took on certain sections. It was like playing Jenga on the mountains.

Saddle

Saddle

Yoly making her way down the crumbling and shifting pile of dirt and rocks. Photo by Chris Bautista.

Saddle

Saddle

Looking out towards the peaks of Piei and Manamana overlooking Kahana Valley. Photo by Chris Bautista.

Saddle

Saddle

The sound of music was singing in the mountains. The earth was moving below us, and it wasn’t from that kind of satisfaction. Photo by Chris Bautista.

Pu'u O Kila

Pu’u O Kila

We scribbled today’s date and our names on the log in the jar and plopped down for a well deserved rest. Photo by Lee Shreve.

Pu'u O Kila

Pu’u O Kila

Group photo at the tree trimmed 1,520′ summit.

Kahana Valley

Kahana Valley

Dropping down from the studio sized summit.

Kahana Valley

Kahana Valley

Enjoying the views of Pu’u Manamana and True Manamana on our way down.

Kahana Valley

Kahana Valley

Following the river of uluhell downstream.

Kahana Valley

Kahana Valley

Double Rainbow.

Kahana Valley

Kahana Valley

The group walking out the valley.

Kahana Valley

Kahana Valley

This is not the trail exit. Photo by Mia Garrison.

Kahana Valley

Kahana Valley

That’s the dam exit.

Kahana Valley

Kahana Valley

One of many trails that crisscrosses the wettest valley on Earth. Photo by Lee Shreve.

Kahana Valley

Kahana Valley

Damming the water for our group photo. Playing in the shallow end.

All pau

All pau

Group photo at the end of our bone crushing, exhausting but soul lifting hike.

GPS Tracks

GPS Tracks

Our hardscrabble hike registered only six miles of punishing overgrowth and crumbly ridges. Is the GPS tracking working? Really, that’s all? Great hike with a fun crew. Texting instructions for Pizza Hut. Post hike meal at Zippy’s. This is becoming a habit. Local habit.

Note: I have been made aware the 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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