Sunday, January 31, 2010

Makapuu Moon Rise

Supposedly the largest full moon of 2010 was on Friday, January 29. Unable to make it that day, Justin and I decided to watch the moon rise on Sunday. Although it was cloudy and there were on and off again showers, we hiked to Makapuu still hoping to see a beautiful moon. The rise was scheduled for 8:23.
Getting to the top at 8:00 we played with the camera settings and functions trying to figure out which would best. As we finished taking some photos of Waimanalo, I noticed an orange glow on the horizon. We walked around the gated platform and sat on some rocks trying to get a better view of the moon rise. Just when we were about to get the money shot, the camera died. I desperately removed the batteries hoping to get ONE picture! No such luck!
So we sat there, taking in the spectacular view, and it was actually nice NOT trying to capture it from behind a lens. 
Thinking about it, there was no need for a picture because that moon rise is one I’ll never forget.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Lanipo III

Lorenzo came back to Hawaii for a couple of weeks. I couldn't possibly let another decade pass before he got to see what we should have seen some 12 years ago.
Lorenzo, Joe, BK, DZ, and I started our trek at 9:30. Besides the vog, the weather conditions were great. We trudged (actually I trudged and Lorenzo glided) along the ridges. Although I did Lanipo twice last year, it didn't seem any easier. Up the final incline to the summit we hiked, and no clouds meant no white. At the peak we could see the east side of the island from Kualoa to Waimanalo. We enjoyed the view and as fate would have it, clouds from the south side made there way over the Koolau. Our hike to Lanipo would not have been complete without a trek through some white. The boys had fun braiding headbands and painting themselves with dirt. They even came up with some type of "caveman" language. It definitely kept our spirits up as we couldn't wait to complete the hike. When we finally finished, we sat and lay sprawled out on someone's lawn. DZ moved to find a more comfortable spot and that's when it hit us. He actually stepped in some dog sh*t. Pretty hilarious! Not so funny was the nice aroma he unsealed. DZ kindly used the home owner's hose to wash off the poop before we cheered to a drink. Beer never tasted so good.

DZ, BK, Lorenzo, Joe, and Me

Monday, January 18, 2010

Lanikai Pillbox Sunrise

Never did the Lanikai Pillboxes so we thought it would be nice to watch the sunrise from the bunker. Being a holiday, lots of people had the same great idea. Some teenagers even thought it would be nice to blast Disney music while we waited. The ridiculous Hakuna Matata, interrupting the peaceful morning I had in mind, definitely tested my patience.
At about 7:00 yellow crept over the horizon. What we thought were clouds kept the sun from striking against the blue ocean. Knowing the rise was going to be a “forgettable” one we left Hakuna Matata and ran out.
Luckily, Justin stopped and turned to look at the ocean. There we saw bright orange rays peaking over...Molokai! We quickly took out our cameras and tried to get a decent shot.


Clouds or Molokai?

The “forgettable” sunrise turned out to be a memorable one after all...

Friday, January 15, 2010


Olomana’s steep ascents, narrow, rocky pathways, and ridge line gives it its advance rating. Nicknamed “Oahu’s Matterhorn,” Olomana’s hike out is just as difficult as its hike in.
Justin and I parked near the bridge before the entrance to Luana Hills Golf Course, and walked along the road to the trailhead. Fifteen minutes later we were under a canopy covered path and began the steep incline to the first and highest peak. Having worked my legs at the gym on Tuesday and hiked Heart Attack Hill yesterday, my quads were on fire as we climbed further. After 45 strenuous minutes and a few rope sections, we reached the top and enjoyed the panoramic view.
Eager to tackle the third peak we descended the first and was at the second in no time. However, by the looks of the descent from the second to third peak we knew it was going to be no easy task. Immediately there was a rope that vanished off the edge of what seems to be a vertical drop. Peeking over we noticed that the entire trek down required the use of a line. The thought of leaving my life in the fate of "unmaintained ropes" was to say the least daunting. Slowly but surely we carefully made our way down the loose dirt and gravel trail.
With the second peak behind us we looked up at the third. Driving past Olomana, the third peak does not seem steep but standing in the saddle definitely provides a different perspective. The trail is pretty much rock face, and requires rock climbing and walking on narrow paths with potentially deadly drops to both sides. I took my time maneuvering the ascent and did my best not to look below. I wondered if pushing my fear of heights was the best new year’s resolution to make. Needless to say I was extremely pleased to finally reach the top. We wrote a note in the pad located in the military box, rested, and admired the Ko`olau Mountain Range trying to locate the different summits.
For me rock climbing up isn’t as scary as going down so descending the third peak was, in my opinion, the most nail biting. It was grueling just watching Justin, and once again I was forced to trust the unmaintained ropes. Luckily, the decline wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. However, as I turned to look at the climb back up the steep second peak I couldn't help but feel exhausted. We carefully pulled ourselves up top, walked back to the first peak, and ran out.
Five miles and four hours later we were back at our car. We definitely felt accomplished for completing our first "advance" hike and were stoked that we finished it one hour faster than the average/estimated time.
Today I realized there are two types of hikes. Cardio ones and/or dangerous ones. Both are challenging in their own ways. Most of the hikes we did last year required physical exertion but I wouldn’t consider any of them risky. This year, especially after doing Olomana, I’m hooked on “advanced” hikes and look forward to taking on more treacherous and demanding trails. Pu`u Manamana here we come!

Looking Back

Looking Ahead

Second and Third Peak from the First

Third Peak from the Second

Notice the rope vanish off the edge.
(Looking down the second peak with back towards the ocean.)

Key Hole

Happy 4th Birthday Zephen!

Third Peak Descent

Second Peak Ascent

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Waimano Pools

Having to take the day off for an afternoon appointment, of course I wanted to spend the morning hiking. Shasta, Justin, Vance and I decided to check out Waimano Pools. The beautiful tiered waterfalls and pools outweighed the rumors of “Heart Attack Hill.” We began our trek at the end of Komomai Drive, Pearl City, past the water tank, and along the red dirt. After about a mile in, at the crossing sign, we descended right and that is where we got our first glimpse of the incline we would face on our way out. The added roots did not make the walk any easier and so we casually made our way down. When we finally reached the bottom of the hill, the trail headed left, down more, then up, and back down again. 
Upon sight of the pool but no sound of water, I was absolutely disappointed. Water merely trickled from the larger upper pool into the lower one. We scoped out the large pool and realized even at its fullest it would only be waist deep, if that. Of course there was no gorgeous waterfall like of the pictures we had seen on the internet. Shasta, Justin, and I debated whether or not to go swimming thinking heavily about the potential leptospirosis lingering in the stagnant water. Vance on the other hand jumped in without much thought and said he’ll take his chances. Sitting on a rock, thinking about the hike in and trek back out, I thought What the heck? and decided to go for it. Shasta and Justin must've been thinking the same thing because they got in too.
Little did I know that jumping in would be a-whole-nother story. I have jumped off many rocks before but my last jump was 8 or so years ago. Looking down at the pool that was not far away, by any means, still played with my head. I decided to jump from a lower place first. The water was bone chilling and I shivered but it was fun. I had to go back and jump from my original position. I stood there for a while, and finally forced myself in. I probably should have taken a small running start because my toes lightly brushed the bottom of the pond.
We stayed about an hour and began our ascent out. Having worked out at the gym two days before did not help with the hike up “Heart Attack Hill,” but it actually seemed shorter than the trek down. 
Overall the hike to Waimano Pools was fun. I would definitely recommend going after a heavy spell of rain so that the falls are flowing.

Smaller Lower Pool

Heart Attack Hill

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Haiku Stairs

First hike of the new year..
With a group of 12 our efforts to start at 5:00 did not happen. At about 6:15 we finally reached the trailhead and began to climb the stairs. Although this was my fourth time climbing the stairs I was excited to watch the sunrise from up top. I knew there was a slim chance that we'd make it in time but my hopes soon diminished because there were just too many hikers. (In addition to the 12 of us, there were at least 20 others on the stairs.) We finally made it to the satellite but cloud coverage meant there was no sunrise and absolutely no view. Descending was probably the longest and worst I have ever seen. It took over an hour to get to the bottom.  
Great company means it was still fun and as always a great workout, but I'm never hiking Stairway to Heaven on the weekend again!

The Crew: 
Beimes, Vince, Vance, Cara, Kingston, Waylon, Jen, and Me