Sunday, February 22, 2009

Kuli'ou'ou Ridge Trail to Pu'u O Kona Hike

Today I wanted to hike, and no one else could go, so I decided to go hike Kuli'ou'ou and go along the ridge to Pu'u O Kona. I could also see if it's possible to hike from the Kuli'ou'ou summit to the Konahuanui summit. The hike is fun and I didn't think it was that hard, but other sites say it is. Pu'u O Kona is the summit the middle of the Kuli'ou'ou ridges, and the trail to it is harder to get up than the Kuli'ou'ou state trail, so I started off at the Kuli'ou'ou trail and just went past the end of the trail mark to Pu'u O Kona. There were a lot of people on the trail today, but only two of them went past the end of the trail mark. The rest went back after they got to the end of the trail mark.

When I got to the end of the Kuli'ou'ou, it was cold and windy up there, and I continued on. The first rope section had no rope anymore because someone moved the rope. The rope was useless where it was, so they did some helpful stuff by moving it to a more useful place, a climbing part along the hike. The rope part with the electric cable had a landslide, so there's a huge crater-like hole that made it a little harder to get up. The dirt around that part of the hike is really loose on dry days like today, so watch out because you can slip when climbing up, and it's a long way down.

After I got up, I found my favorite hiking fruits, thimbleberries. I found about 10 of them so I got to have a little snack along the way. Mits and I turned around at that part before, so I continued on, finding more and more thimbleberries on the way to Pu'u O Kona. The path to Pu'u O Kona can get pretty narrow and have straight drops on the right side, so it's not a good trail for people afraid of heights. Eventually, you come upon a narrow dirt path that has drops on each side, and a landslide had recently narrowed the path even more. Then, there is a steep climb with no rope, and after those, the path is overgrown, but easy. Apparently, there was a rope on the steep climb, but I guess someone took it off, oh well, I made it up anyway. You finally reach Pu'u O Kona after the climbing, and you can see the path continue along the Ko'olau summits or a path that goes back down. The path that goes down is the path that could take you up to Pu'u O Kona, but it's in the middle of Kuli'ou'ou and it's hard to climb, from what I've read.

The point of the hike today was to find out if it possible to hike along the Ko'olau summits, and it is, so I'll be returning with Maxx and maybe others to hike to Konahuanui. On Google Earth, I found out the hike would be about 15-20 miles, lots of fun to be had, so next saturday we do the swamp romp, and then in the coming months we'll hike Kuli'ou'ou to Konahuanui.

Since no one else was there, it's all scenery and no people. I got some good pics though.



You could see the other island today. I never saw it before, so today was a pretty clear day. Click for the full size and you can see the island of Moloka'i in the distance.


Thimbleberries!


The Ko'olau summits, with Konahuanui far away at the right.


A nice steep drop


That's Pu'u O Kona in the middle of the picture


Ohi'a Lehua. Pretty.


That dirt part is the narrow and landslide part.


Looking back


This part may not look steep but it was, and there was no rope anymore, which added to the challenge.


Panorama-this one didnt come out too good. i guess i need to go back and get better pics