Gene and Alan da Surfa's New Trail

Thursday February 6th, 2014

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This trail will lead to the end of the HTMC Kea`au hike high on the ridge between Makaha and Kea`au.  As w/other CHASM hikes this post is for "our" eyes only and not the general public.  Today Gene, Colorado Alan and myself took off from the towers around 7:20 a.m.  Sky's were overcast and humidity high but lucky no rain all day.  The stream was still running in the middle of the H-4 section and we had to work around it.  When we got to what is normally the first crossing Alan and myself went up a bit to the "old" crossing as the rocks there are bigger and dry and as we had not put on our cleats we didn't want to slip.  Being younger and braver Gene took the new crossing.

As we were early and didn't expect any BWS trucks we took the old third crossing as it too seem "dryer" than the H-5 crossing.  Here are two shots just above that crossing.

We then took the normal road by-pass trail past the "tree house" and the "icy pond".  We passed the turn off to Pear Gulch and kept to the straight ahead trail.  In a few minutes we were on the road and followed it as Gene says 225 paces to the trail head.  If  you have a different stride than Gene or just can't count that high go to the second cement cable box on the right.  The trail begins on the other side of the road across from the box.  At first the climb is a bit steep but soon flattens out a lot.  After about 10 minutes of hiking and a little clearing we came to this stone wall.  It's interesting in that it combines both the Tahitian style w/vertical placed rocks and the Hawaiian style of laying the rock on their sides.  The wall is quite long but we didn't explore it's ends.

Gene and "Surfer Alan" did a pretty good job of clearing and marking (orange ribbons) so we just did some touch up and I added more ribbons where I thought they were needed.  This ridge is pretty darn wide and kinda of "flat" (side ways) with a steady elevation gain that is not taxing on muscles or lungs.  My two partners were ahead of me 99% of the time as I was stopping from time to time to add more ribbons.  There were some really old orange ribbons tied at waist  height which I often moved higher and easier to see.  The middle section has a number of pink ribbons that just sort of appear out of no where and keep going for quit a while before turning off to the right.  We just kept pushing higher.

We reached our highest point for the day on the top of this huge pohaku.  There is this little "cave" under it.  The top of the pohaku is clear of vegetation and is about 12 by 20' in size.  It offered a great view up toward Ohikilolo and all the way to Mt' Ka`ala, Pueo Falls and Teddy Bear. 

We spent the next hour and a half having lunch and clearing the view toward Mt. Ka`ala.  Check out this short video.  Kind of a before and after of the view.

 

The now cleared view toward Mt. Ka`ala and Pueo Falls.

Shortly after the above photo was taken clouds rolled in over Ka`ala

Turning around 180* you get this view.  On the left is the end of HTMC's Kea`au hike and the high peak to the right it Ohikilolo

Better and closer look at Ohikilolo

Growing in a little depression on top of the huge Pohaku are these plants.  I believe the fern is native and the other w/small leaves is a pepperomia know as Ala`ala wai

nui.

Just a bit below and next to the pohaku was this native known as Moa.

Gene found some cool mushrooms today.

And to sum it all up, here is a map and a Google Earth view.

 

Thursday February 13, 2014

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Well we didn't summit last week and although Gene, JohnnyG and Colorado went back on this past Tuesday the trail is not complete.  Today it was just Gene and I.  We left the towers around 7:30 and pushed onward doing little clearing as we had done a pretty good job the other week.  We reached the big Pohaku where we ended last Thursday.  It was only 9:30 but I was pooped.  Today we didn't put on our spikes and so that wait was on my pack as well as 180' of webbing and a rain coat.  We took a 1/2 hour break and at 10:00 we pushed onward crossing a small gulley and climbing to the crest of the next ridge which we then ascended.  The ridge in the center of the picture is the one we crossed over to.  On that ridge we would head toward that higher patch of green.

 The center ridge is mostly dry loose dirt in the lower section and fairly steep.  We switch packed up toward that first clump of trees.

 

Since Gene had to turn back at 11 a.m. we only went up to a small shady spot just above where Gene is standing.  We reached this spot about 10:30 and decided to take another break before heading back down.  To lighten my load we hid the webbing up there.  No sense carrying it all the way down and then back up.

  

The ridge w/the big pohaku is in this picture and you can see why we crossed over to the one we were on.  It just sorts of reaches a high point and then goes down ending at a cliff just out of the picture.

 

While sitting at our 10 o'clock break spot I took a few pictures.  I spotted this interesting ridge with what looks like another and even more crazy "Bolo Head".

 

The peak on the left is Ohikilolo.  Bolo Head is just out of the picture to the right.

 

Around 10:30 we headed back down.  A bit more dangerous going down than up.  The soil is loose and dry and gravity is pulling you down and adding that to your downward motion makes me think some webbing would be good there.  Back at the big Pohaku at a touch after 11.  Gene took off to take care of business and I sat down for lunch.  Around 20 minutes later w/lunch done some dark clouds began to roll in from the north and the weather report mentioned rain in the afternoon.  I thought it might be early so I headed back down....well it never rained and as I got lower it began to get hotter.  I found some little mushrooms on the way down and took some pictures.

  

A chopper was flying for hours bringing down the fence building crew from Pear Gulch.  I didn't want to walk the road w/all that noise so I couldn't hear a car coming and so when I reached the wall..Photo taken last week. I decided to follow it Makai and see where it went and if it would be a good route up and down.

 

Followed it a few hundred feet as it became less and less looking like a wall.  I guess time and the elements washed away sections.  I did come to a point were it turned down hill as seen in this picture.

 

I followed it down hill (toward the road) for about 200 feet and then it kind of ended at a couple of large boulders.  From there it was really overgrown and I had to bust thru brush and small thin vines.  Pain in the ass.   I came out on the road just about 300 feet above the point where we'd cut back into the bush to follow the stream trail.  It took me 2 hours from the lunch spot to my truck an the towers.  Spotted a dead Monarch Butterfly in the bed of the truck.

 

This map shows today's adventure.

 

And here is the Google Earth image.  If you look at this and the one above you can see we got alittl higher than last week.

To be continued.  My sister will be coming in next Thursday and leaving the following Thursday so I'll be out of action for 2 Thursdays and everyday in-between.