Friday, February 26, 2010

Pali Notches

Pali Puka was so much fun we had to do the Pali Notches...
Beimes and I originally planned to hike on Friday but because of the rain were forced to wait. The anticipation was just about killing me so today’s drizzle wasn’t going to stop us. We were ready to take our chances and a little rain never hurt anyone anyway....right?
I scoped out the trail after last weekend's hike and knew there were three trailheads. Beimes and I decided to take the middle one since we figured they'd all met up at some point. The initial incline was muddy and extremely slippery. I’m sure on a drier day it’s pretty easy, but today it was next to impossible! We grabbed whatever we could: roots, branches and even grass. After many slips and careful maneuvering we managed to the end where a nice grass clearing provided stunning views of the windward side. 

We continued up the wet trail with our muddy shoes making the rock climbing sketchy. Nonetheless we made it to the top and although it was cloudy the view was incredible. Quite a bummer, however, was not being able to go to the second notch. We knew it would have to wait for a sunnier day so we sat hoping for the clouds to clear, which they did, but in almost an instant we were in total complete white-ness. 

With the clouds going nowhere we began our descent which wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. Back at the grass clearing we decided to go down a different path--the one closest to the ridge--learning the hard way that it is the best trail. There were lots of trees to keep from falling and it was more rooty so it wasn't as muddy or slippery. But...just when I thought I was in the clear, with only about 10 feet left of trail, I fell flat on my ass sliding down several feet. My entire right leg, hands, and butt were covered in mud! I really shouldn't be surprised because on almost every hike I fall or hit my head.

Although embarrassed and a total mess, I wasn't hurt so I guess a little rain doesn't hurt anyone. The view in my opinion is better from the notches than the puka, but both hikes are really fun and highly recommended. I can't wait to go back to complete the Pali Notches not just the Pali "Notch."

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