Friday, October 8, 2010

Hamama Falls

How could we have lived in Kaneohe all our lives and
never have heard of Hamama Falls? 

Coincidentally while searching for another falls in Ahuimanui, Beimes came across this hike. Starting at the end of Waihee Road (the first left after the bridge in Kahaluu), Hamama Falls is an easy 3 mile roundtrip stroll. Once through the hole cut in the locked fence we continued on the dirt and gravel path. Running water could be heard almost entirely throughout the hike and to my surprise mountain apple and guava trees lined some parts of the trek. After a few minor inclines and only about thirty minutes we were standing below the gorgeous Hamama Falls. Another beautiful day, another beautiful hike...

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Maakua Gulch

Over a month without a single hike sucked!!! 
So of course I was really looking forward to today.

Not wanting to take on a strenuous or dangerous trail Beimes and I decided on Maakua Gulch. Originally we were shooting for Piliwale but with the lack of hiking this past month I knew that would have to wait. In fact, the more I contemplate attempting one of the most treacherous trails on the island, the more I realize it’s probably just not for me. Is the experience of summiting Konahuanui from the windward side worth the risk, especially when it can be reached from a much safer path? Do I really want to take the chance of falling to my death or having to call search and rescue for a HIKE? I know, I know, you only live once BUT there is much more than just my life at stake...
Supposedly an easy 6 mile round trip hike, Maakua Gulch is located off Hauula Homestead Road (near the Hauula town sign). Ryan, Kiele and their son Kamuela also joined us for today's adventure, and met us around noon for what we assumed would be a quick and effortless hike. We parked our cars along the road fronting the yellow gate which leads to the trail head and not at Hauula Beach Park like most sites and books suggests. We continued along that road past the Hauula Loop trail and Maakua Ridge hike to the road's end which contains a water pumping station. Some pretty cool Uncles were at work and let us walk through the usually fenced area.
*On any normal day one would just have to walk past the station to the right where there are signs warning about the dangers that lurk ahead. Maakua Gulch is actually closed indefinitely. The tragic Sacred Falls incident, and potential rock falls and flash floods make the trail too risky. In all honesty, it probably wasn’t best that we attempted Maakua Gulch considering yesterday’s rainy weather, last night’s rain, and this morning’s showers, but with submerging blue skies and Kiele’s forecast of dissipating clouds in Punaluu we decided to still go.
As we walked along the distinct trail exiting the station, we passed a pretty nice size boulder and then through a viva (strawberry guava) grove. However, our smooth sailing quickly came to an end as the trail vanished. We were forced to determine our own path and opted to follow the riverbed but soon found ourselves ducking beneath hau trees. Back and forth across the dried up stream we trekked trying to find a prominent trail but with no success. On a few occasions we did have the luxury of walking on dirt but majority of the time was spent carefully maneuvering the bed's rocks.
About thirty minutes later we reached the highly anticipated mountain apple grove. To our delight the trees were still in full bloom. Loads of apples laid splat on the ground and more glistened on the branches waiting to be picked. The fresh, juicy fruit was such a treat especially since the last time I can recall eating it was in elementary. We continued along as we munched away and longed to hear the sound of water. The valley started to get narrower and the walls began to creep up around us. It was a sight to behold but an even greater feeling to be sandwiched between such steep and lush walls. 
Finally we heard trickling and figured we were almost there! Or so we thought! We couldn't have been more wrong as the trail snaked deeper and deeper and deeper into the valley. Maneuvering the now mossy, wet, and slippery rocks made the hike much longer than usual and was quite frankly, damn irritating. As each bend neared I prayed it was the last one. 
After what seemed like forever, two and a half hours, we reached the swim hole. We swam across the first area and up to the second...jackpot! A stunning waterfall awaited us including a rope to ascend it. We climbed up and jumped into the fresh water. Ryan even did a couple of swan dives. And while cold, it was extremely rejuvenating but best of all it was secluded!  It was more beautiful and fun than I imagined and made every step of the hike worth it! Talk about lucky we live Hawaii!!!
Our return hike was much faster, about a half hour shorter, because we noticed more maintained paths, many of which are located on the right side of the riverbed when heading in. A key trail that we missed would have saved us a lot of time. It is located at the widest part of the bed where a huge mango tree stands. Rather than walk up along the rocks, head straight across it. The path is not marked with a ribbon but if you take a minute to look for it, it is easy to find.
We eventually reached our cars at 5:00 pm. The 6 mile, easy rated Maakua Gulch took a total of five hours! Rather long in my opinion was awesome. I don’t know if I really liked Maakua Gulch or if I was just super stoked to hike. It was probably a combination of both. The cumbersome trek is definitely outweighed by the abundance of guava and mountain apples, fun swim hole, beautiful waterfall, and gorgeous sights. We'll definitely be back on a sunnier day with more time to play away and maybe even a camelbak or two of Red Bull-vodka.


Sunday, August 22, 2010

Tarp Surfing


Zeke turned 7 and I figured it was time to buy him a complete. A real skateboard, not one from Walmart or already put together, but one where HE picked out his deck, trucks, wheels, and even screws. I was pleased when at APB we found a green Element-mini, Speed Demon trucks and wheels, and Lucky Hardware (7 black screws and 1 green one).
He was so stoked he rode it the minute we left the store.
After calling just about everywhere to find the largest blue tarp on the island we headed to Home Depot and got a monster 40 by 60.
I decided not to have a party for Zeke, well not a huge party but more of a small get together with his cousins to keep the cost down...
$250 Complete Head to Toe:
Skateboard, Backpack, Hat, Shirt, Shorts, and Shoes on order
$175 Blue Tarp
$45  Pizza
$15  Drinks
$25  Goodie Bags
Total: $500ish
So much for saving money for our Disney and Vegas trip. 
Five hundred dollars for a day of tarp surfing and swimming at the pool! Kind of ridiculous when I think about it, but seeing the kids faces and knowing it’ll be one of those memories they’ll tell to their children made today all worth it.   
On the other hand, getting the tarp to cooperate was a bit tricky. Depending on the wind we pulled either diagonal of straight. Majority of the time three of us pulled to create the largest, nicest wave. The wind was so strong it was next to impossible to pull the tarp alone. 
Just as I finished getting some pretty cool shots of the kids it started to rain so I borrowed what little clips my 8 year old niece took with my brother’s 4g. The HD sucks or something.
Regardless everyone had a blast and we're definitely going tarp surfing next weekend.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Pali Notches and Beyond

It’s been a while since our last hike and it’s feels like forever since I’ve seen Beimes. 
To back track, Beimes came across this blog: Hiking on Oahu with Martyna and Allegra, and we soon realized that hiking beyond the second notch is possible. The first time we did the Pali Notches we did not go past the first one so going beyond the second one was definitely on our list of things to do. Thus it was decided upon as the first hike of my new school year. Thank goodness for Statehood Day. 
Today was beautiful. The entire Koolau Mountain range was clear and Konahuanui was visible. It was a great day to do the notches.
Or so we thought...
No clouds meant that the winds were strong, in fact blustering. Beimes’s hat blew off, on several occasions we were literally pushed aside, and on our ascent back up the second notch the rope fluttered in the wind. I have never, ever seen rope fly in the wind as I did today. Needless to say the hike beyond the second notch was unnerving and challenged my fear of heights. It’s never the sheer ridge-lines that get to me, it’s that damn rock climbing and in this case rock descending. The wind did not help as I inched my way down the second notch. I clearly remember thinking, What the hell did I get myself into and at the same time You can do this, you’ve done worse. Slowly but surely I finally made my way down thanks to Beimes aiding me. 
The trek beyond the second notch wasn’t nearly as terrifying until we reached the knob. I decided to ascend it while Beimes tried to go around it’s base, but because both of us knew that today wasn’t the day we wanted to die we sat atop satisfied and called it a day. We could see a white tank hanging from a branch on the vertical ledge marking someone’s conquered feat. I wonder if anyone has gone farther and actually made it all the way to Konahuanui. What a story that must be.
I think I’m pretty much done exploring the Pali Notches. If I ever attempt to make it to K1 I’d have to go all the way because there is no way I could descend that insane ledge, but who knows what else the hike beyond entails. I personally don’t think the risks outweigh the experience so I’ll wait for someone else to post their incredible accomplishment and live vicariously through them.

Venturing beyond the second notch was fun. I can't wait for our next hike which I hope is soon, and secretly wish for some furloughs.


Friday, July 16, 2010

Haiku Stairs Camp

As I was loading up pictures to Facebook I came across this:
Stairway at night...catch the city lights, get some sleep, watch the sunrise. Sounds fr!ken awesome! But before committing myself I texted Vance a buco-billion questions: Camp or hike? Party Hardy all nighter? Tent? Beers or Hards? If I was going to be stuck on the top of the Koolau Mountains overnight I wanted to know what that entailed. Luckily Vance wasn’t trying to pull an all nighter with tons of booze. I don’t think it’s a good idea to get nuts on top of that mountain, he texted. I agreed! Shas said she was in and what a relief it was to know that my bestie would be joining me. Beimes was going too so that made me feel better. The more definitely the merrier.

The next day Shas and I went shopping to prepare for our mission. We walked around Walmart picking up the necessities, and as we debated long and hard about carrying a bulky sleeping bag to the top of the mountain Shas had the greatest idea, “Let’s take an inflatable raft and blanket.” Perfect! It’s not bulky, and it’s way more comfortable than sleeping on the hard ground. With that settled we finished up our shopping still unsure if everything would fit in a backpack. Shas went to Sports Authority to find a real hiking pack but I went home to squeeze in a nap. I got about an hour of rest, and although short, it was much needed for our midnight trek up thousands of stairs.
10:00 pm
The weather looked good so I started to pack my bag. Heavy jacket, jeans, blanket, poncho, headlamp, flashlight, bandaids, camera, tripod, water, booze, floaty, blanket, toothbrush and toothpaste, cell phone, snacks...I hope I’m not missing anything I told myself. 

12:00 am
Shas was running late, and to top it off got pulled over for speeding. I was beginning to have second thoughts about the overnighter but we made it to Vance’s, and not a surprise, Beimes was running late as well.

1:00 am
Vance, Beimes, Vince, Naomi, Shasta and I left for Haiku Stairs. As we parked, another car pulled up. I guess we weren’t the only ones with this great idea. What a mood killer it was to have two strangers intrude on our adventure, but that didn't stop us.

1:30 am
I took my first actual step, just one of many to come. The hike to the first platform is always killer but tonight with a twenty pound backpack, it was insane! I don’t even know how many times I took a break, but I do know there were several times I wanted to hurl my pack over the rails.

2:15 am
Platform one accomplished in the clouds.

2:45 am
Platform two completed in more clouds.

3:15 am
Satellite reached still in the clouds!

We were finally there, sitting in the bunker, trying to keep warm from the wind and blowing up our inflatables. Beimes even set up Vince’s hammock. With our sleeping situation set, we busted out the food or should I say candy. From chocolate to Sour Patch Kids to beef jerky to Won Ton Chips, we had it all! Everyone must’ve been on a sugar rush with all that junk. The sweets did come in handy though, especially to chase the hards or cranberry juice and vodka that tasted more like cough syrup..SPK (Sour Patch Kids) back! Fortunately, Vince had this cool gadget which boiled water in two minutes so there was even some cup-o-noodle going around.
4:45 am
Before we knew it the sun would be coming up. With less than an hour left of darkness we turned off the headlamps and tried to get some sleep. The inflatables were comfortable especially since Beimes was such a gentleman and let me use his sleeping bag. He even pumped up my floaty. I guess that makes up for leaving me to walk around with ferns in my hair on Puu Manamana
But it wasn’t long before visitors woke us up. They must have been surprised to see our ridiculous set up. I peeked out from the sleeping bag not wanting to miss the sunrise but all I could see was white. Still in the clouds! No view meant no rise and definitely no reason to get up. It was 6:15 am! I rolled over and tried to get more rest, but it was freezing. The wind and rain whipped through the doorway. Additional hikers came and left, and in our unsuccessful attempts to get some zzz's we finally began to pack up. Luckily there wasn't a line of twenty other hikers in front of us so the descent was quick. 

9:00 am
We were done!!! Exhausted but accomplished. Disappointed but happy. WE WERE DONE!
Although we left with no view of the city lights or sunrise, climbing Haiku Stairs at night is definitely something I've always wanted to experience and...
What an experience it was!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Puu Manamana II

I woke up to the sound of pitter-patter. Great...rain. As I looked out the kitchen window I could see nothing but white. I contemplated texting the crew but it was 6:30 am. As I debated whether or not waking them, to my surprise Beimes texted me, It’s raining at my house. Not a shocker, it’s always raining at “the second wettest place on earth.” Since Beimes was up I figured Justin was, too. The weather’s not bad in Lanikai, he responded. So I went to look out the balcony window and sure enough blue skies were headed towards Kaneohe. If the weather looks good at 8:00, were on, I texted the two of them.
Eight o’clock rolled around and the weather was pretty awesome. It was hard to believe that just an hour ago even the base of the Koolau Mountains was shrouded with clouds. We got ready, drove to Kahana Valley, parked along the highway, and began our adventure. At about 9:15 we turned at the trailhead marked by telephone post 79 and headed to the Crouching Lion. I don’t know why but today I was extremely tired. The hike from the base was exhausting. I dragged myself up, and couldn’t wait for the rock climbing to begin, quite the opposite from the last time. As we took pictures we could see rain coming. What a spectacle it was to watch the cloud approach and feel the wind shift. We waited patiently for it to past and as it lightened began the ascent on the infamous ridge. From what I remembered of Puu Manamana it was unbelievably terrifying. I waited for the hike to get steeper and crazier but as I climbed each rock face I realized it wasn’t nearly as scary. Puu Manamana got nothing on Anamolo.  It was, however, a lot of fun and definitely thrilling!
We reached the “Safer Bypass” and sheer ridge without much thought, and began the second phase of the hike navigating through the trees, mud, and fern. “Is this the mud you’re talking about?” Beimes asked. “You won’t have to ask when you see it,” I responded. Sure enough there was a lot of mud! The ferns were no joke too, and how irritating it was to have the head high uluhe scratching my arms and neck. A few ferns even got stuck in my hair, and Beimes was kind enough to let me walk around with them! 
After an hour of misery, we finally began the grueling descent. The path was slippery and felt exceptionally long. This time I found it to be rather annoying, and have no idea why I thought it was so much fun the first time around. I couldn't wait to get off the mountain. It would take another hour before we'd walk on flat ground, a total of five hours and fifteen minutes to complete Puu Manamana. 
I really doubt I’ll be doing the hike again. For sure, I'll be back to trek Puu O Mahie Ridge. The rock climbing and sheer drops are exhilarating and riveting like nothing else, but then I'm turning around. Forget the mud and ferns! The rest of the hike is just too taxing.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Koko Crater

Originally Beimes, Justin and I planned to do Puu Manamana but bad weather conditions forced us to choose another hike. I was pretty bummed as we all tried to think of an alternative because the entire Koolau Mountain Range was in the clouds. Just when everything seemed point less, Justin suggested hiking Koko Crater. My newfound sadness turned to excitement for I have seen many pictures of its backside and know it to be HTMC’s traditional New Year’s hike. I couldn’t wait to ascend the rocks and Koko Crater’s rim. 
Cara and Nate decided to join us as well, and we all met at Koko Head Tracks. We then drove to the Blow Hole Lookout. From there we crossed the street, and walked over the guardrail to head up one of the ridges. Although we weren’t sure which one to ascend we knew once on top we’d be able to see where the trail led. Sure enough a faded dirt path showed the way, and soon the famous natural arch came into view. I was stoked to climb the bridge but stayed behind to take pictures of the view. One by one everyone gunned the arch’s rock face. Only Cara was left as I neared, and it was then I noticed there was no rope to aid in the ascent. I tried to guide Cara up but she was not used to climbing rocks, let alone smooth rocks, nor trusted herself to run it. I soon realized I would need to find her an alternative route if we were going to complete this hike. I peered over the edge and noticed a path along the side. Although I really, really, really wanted to be on top of the arch we made our way down the left side and walked under it.  Cara and I headed upwards, and climbed up a white rock face meeting up with the rest of the crew. Needless to say I was super disappointed, but what a feat it was for Cara and I commend her for making it.
We walked through some shrub making the steep trek to Koko Crater’s rim. It was, indeed, a workout but the views of A.D’s, Hawaii Kai, and Hanauma Bay, and nice breeze made it all worth it. Plus with the bunker in view we knew we were almost done. Upward we continued maneuvering the rim’s rocks. Some we climbed, others we walked along side or under, and a few we jumped off of. It definitely broke up the monotony of the trail, and about thirty minutes later we were sitting nicely on top Koko Head's bunker enjoying the view. We took a lot of pictures and a much needed rest before heading down. It was nice to know that in another 10 minutes of all downhill we’d be done!
Koko Crater was a pretty fun hike. I'm sure on a clear day it's hot but luckily today it was cloudy. The beautiful natural arch, rim trek, gorgeous views and easy descent make it one I'll definitely do again.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Pali Puka II

Love Pali Puka BUT Love Her More

Monday, June 21, 2010


ANAMOLO...Olomana backwards. YES, we did it!
Today Beimes, Justin and I conquered Olomana’s third peak from the back. It was a thrill, even scary as shit at some points, but well worth it. I wish I took more video and had my GoPro wrist camera charged for this one. It is a hike I will probably never do again, and as a single mother of two probably shouldn’t have done to begin with.

Initially we planned to do Bowman but because of time constraints decided on Olomana reverse. We have all completed the infamous third peak from the front and would agree Olomana to be one of Oahu’s more challenging trails. The hike to the first peak is killer, and the ascent and descent of both the second and third peak requires careful footing and the use of many unmaintained ropes. It also includes sheer drops definitely testing one’s fear of heights. But NONE of that comes remotely close to the climb up Olomana’s back.

Before attempting this hike we each tried to research information but came up empty. All we knew was it could be done. Luckily, Justin, a fire fighter stationed at Waimanalo, had the chance to check out the Maunawili Ditch Trail while on duty. He knew it led to the Matterhorn. Having just completed Maunawili Demonstration Trail also helped because we had an idea of how the trails connected.
Once again we parked our car at Justin’s friend’s house in Waimanalo. We exited the property, took a few short cuts through the forest, one which included the Old Kailua Ditch Trail (marked by a yellow, foam arrow), and met up with the Maunawili Ditch Trail cutting off a good 10 minutes. The trail eventually led to a fork where the left path is the Maunawili Demonstration Trail. We continued on the middle path (the Ditch Trail) through some posts and weaved through more forest steadily gaining elevation. We did enjoy a few declines only to walk up again.

About 50 minutes later we finally reached the ridge. We got our first glimpse of Waimanalo but still were not at the base of the third peak. We trekked on through a nice grove and emerged at our first real incline. The terrain was gravely and included no ropes providing a hint of what the third peak entailed. I grabbed onto the brush and imagined descending this on our return trip. I could see myself slipping and sliding and holding on for dear life. That soon changed because once on top I realized I was about to descend the slope’s back. It was sketchy but fortunately no one fell.

We continued along, and as we neared the peak’s backside could see the challenge ahead. Right away we would be using a rope to aid in our ascent. Unmaintained ropes again, and worse, we had no idea when they were last used. I stayed at a clearing to video Justin’s climb and from observing how long it took him to reach the rubber tree I knew it was no easy task. He continued up the second half of the rock face and took even longer! I was in for it. While Beimes continued up, I climbed to the rubber tree. Oh how I loved that rubber tree. I could hear Justin giving Beimes pointers on how to ascend the rocks, and as I approached the area received the same advice.
“Make sure you get good footings. Hold the rope but don’t put all your weight on it,” Justin said.
So there I was almost spread eagle against this huge smooth rock with no crevice or crack, balancing with each foot on an adjacent rock. I knew the next step was to place my left foot higher and use the rope in my left hand to pull the rest of my body upward. Only problem is I’m right handed and I know my right arm is stronger than my left.
“I don’t think my left hand will hold my body weight,” I told Justin.
“Just bring your left foot higher,” he replied.
I told myself over and over again to move my left leg, but it wouldn’t move. It just wouldn’t.
“You CAN’T bring your leg up here and bend it? I thought girls were flexible,” he said sarcastically.
“I am flexible, Justin. I can lift my leg vertically in the air but how can I bend my knee at shoulder level?” I answered back.
I brought my right leg back and stood on the little ledge shaking out my left foot.
Try two. I placed my right foot on the opposing rock. With both legs split once again I grabbed the rope with both arms and placed my weight onto it as I lifted my left leg and then right which was nearly as vertical as Justin explained earlier. With my right foot planted firmly on top, I let go of the rope and pushed myself up. I was finally done!


Or so I thought. There were THREE more insane, vertical, rope requiring, sheer drop climbs. I never put so much trust into ropes and I know I shouldn’t have, but we didn’t have any other choice. When looking from the side, Olomana’s backside is much steeper than its front. The rocks are also larger which means there are less cracks and grooves for grabbing and balancing. If that isn't bad enough, the rocks are crumbling which makes for a lot of gravel. In fact, as I balanced with the rubber tree on the first rock face gravel poured out from around it. I am not sure how much longer the lovely tree will remain intact. At another point, as I tested the strength of a rock to help pull myself up it gave way.

A little over an hour and a half into it and we were almost there. We could see the top of the third peak. All we needed to do was get over the last hump. Justin placed his foot in the rope’s noose and tried to get up but couldn’t. Beimes gave him a lift and Justin still took some time getting up. Oh wonderful I thought to myself. I knew I was going to have to step on Beimes and trust Justin to pull me up. And I do trust both of them, but standing on a platform with sheer drops to both sides hundreds of feet in the air means, like earlier, my body will not listen to me. So close and wanting to finish, I stepped onto Beimes and reached for Justin. He pulled me up with ease and I was on top without a second thought. I have no idea how Beimes got up but with Justin’s aid the three of us were on top of the third peak. In one hour and forty-seven minutes...
We conquered Olomana from behind!


During our ascent we realized there was no way we could go back the way we came. Actually, Beimes and Justin probably could do it, but that was a risk I wasn't going to take. We agreed the return trek would be like rappelling but without harnesses, and there was no way I was going to trust putting ALL my weight into those unmaintained ropes. So we headed out the normal way, down the third peak, up the second, and down the first. The climb up the back of the third peak made the rest of the hike, in regards to fear factor, zilch. It seemed exceptionally easy and on narrow ledges I found myself running. It was, however, a killer on the calves going up the second peak. We took a nice break at the first peak and completed the hike in about three hours. (To think we actually thought we were going to climb up and down Olomana's back in two, what fools!)

Olomana in reverse is in one word: EPIC.
I am so grateful to Beimes and Justin because without the two of them this and many of the other hikes I have been on would not be possible. Thanks guys!!!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Konahuahui via Kalawahine

Konahuanui is a hike to the two highest peaks in the Koolau Mountain Range. K2, the second highest peak reaches an elevation of about 3,105 ft., while K1, the highest peak reaches a height of about 3, 150 ft. Although the first half of the hike via Kalawahine is not difficult, the second half is often overgrown and extremely muddy, requires the use of ropes, and contains portions of massive drops. However, the strenuous climb is definitely outweighed by its priceless views unlike any other.

Today Justin, Laura and I trekked to the two peaks praying that with some good planning and a little bit of luck we would get to see what so few have been able to: Konahuanui’s summit view in its entirety. At about 8:45 we meandered along Kalawahine through a well maintained and rather leveled path. The shade and cool breeze made it a nice stroll. We continued on, turning left at the Pauoa Flats junction, and then through a beautiful bamboo grove. We watched the rooty ground careful not to trip, and contoured through more forests until reaching the Nuuanu Lookout marked by a bench. We took a quick break as we enjoyed the views of Nuuanu Valley, Pali Puka, and Pali Notches. 
A faint trail past the bench marked the beginning of Konahuanui. The path was overgrown like many sites advised to keep inexperienced hikers from venturing into. However, after several yards the path returned to a well graded trail. We were fortunate, especially Laura who had on running shorts, that HTMC recently cleaned it because there were no uluhe choking the path to scratch our legs. After much more meandering, we finally came across Lulumahu Waterfall. At first we weren’t sure if it was the falls because only rocks were exposed, but as we neared, it was clear that today we would not get to see the “secret” waterfall for it was dried out. We trekked on quite disappointed about missing the much anticipated falls but our thoughts quickly shifted for that is when the real hiking began. We looked ahead to the ridge we were about to climb, and could tell that it was going to be muddy, slippery, and taxing. We took on one incline after another. Some portions of the ascent, two in particular, made me exhausted just by its appearance, and the once clear path now became overgrown and dense. 
Slowly but surely we finally made it to the cloud covered K2. Justin ventured on and as I followed wanting desperately to be atop of K1 he came back saying the mud wasn’t worth it unless there was a view. So we returned to K2 to take a few victory shots and a much needed rest. As I sat in the clouds trying to visualize the view, I asked if that way (pointing) was Kaneohe. Justin and Laura laughed as it was town side. I’ll be the first to admit I have a horrible sense of direction, and go figure because even now I can’t grasp what we should have seen. In the midst of the teasing the whites cleared and we could see the windward side. I don’t think we were ever more excited and that was it. We were headed to K1!
With K1 in sight we pushed through the mud, and the harder we tried to avoid it, the more we got covered by it. In my desperate attempt to stay clean I grabbed onto leaves and branches but it was useless. At one point my foot slipped and I couldn’t see my shoe, not even my ankle! But that didn’t stop us, and we ventured on through the insane mud and on-and-off again showers. On our way up we could see Kailua and the Mokulua Islands, and Waimanalo, Olomana, and Rabbit Island. The three peaks never looked so small. Directly below was a deadly drop and a distinct path part of the Maunawili Demonstration Trail. We could just imagine what the view from up top entailed, and about 30 minutes later finally made it to K1!!!
The clouds were in full effect and we couldn’t see anything. I called my mom at home to look at the summit and predict weather or not the clouds would clear, and immediately she could not believe we were anywhere near clouds because it was such a beautiful day. She figured they would blow over as they were moving rather quickly. So we prayed and hoped for some kind of view, and explored the peak as we waited. A trail to the right veered off into the whiteness as well one to the left but that one was ribboned off. I am not sure where the trails lead to and I have no desire to find out. Even a frog statue sits atop K1 signed by many hikers who have reached the summit. I wondered who would carry such a peculiar object all the way in. 
After more waiting and wishing, a white, rectangular shaped object far below came into view. As the clouds dissipated I recognized Pali Lookout’s parking lot and...a white tour bus. I could not believe how high we were! In addition, every so often the sun shown so brightly it was hard to believe we were in the clouds. I have been in the clouds many times before but never has the sun felt like it was right there. 
Unfortunately the clouds remained and we left without a view. Although the descent was much faster than the climb it was just as crazy. I have no idea how many times I fell and everything was covered in mud! To be back on Kalawahine was a relief, and we ran out majority of the way so that Justin and Laura could make it to the NBA finals on time. In a little over two hours we were back at our car. 
A total of 5 hours and we successfully scaled the highest peak in the Koolau Mountain Range. Although I dread the mud, and believe me, there was a lot of mud, more than I have seen on any other trail, I know I will climb Konahuanui again because I have to see the view from the summit. I just have to!