Sunday, May 16, 2010

Ahiki Makai -- 8/19/2000


Date: Sun, 20 Aug 2000 18:29:18 -1000
From: Dayle K. Turner (turner@hawaii.edu)
Subject: Ahiki Makai

I enjoy exploring. Ditto for my hiking colleagues Wing Ng and Steve Poor. I'm not overly motivated and conscientious about proposing new exploratory adventures, but Steve is always brimming with ideas. Yesterday, he suggested we poke around the makai side of Mount Olomana to see if we could find a way up to Peak 2, also known as Ahiki (Peak 3 is Pakui). And lo and behold, we found a way although we stopped a couple hundred vertical feet of the goal when we dared not climb any further without aids. 

We met at 8:45 on old Kalanianaole Road, headed up the route we recently opened to Olomana Makai, and then veered left down a path we call "The Three Little Pigs Trail." No, the three pigs aren't Steve, Wing, and I. The name refers to a sign we found on the ridge. It says, as you've likely guessed, "Three Little Pigs." Who put it there and what three pigs are being referred to is a mystery. But it seems that the sign leaver also hacked out a trail up to the ridge from the Waimanalo side of the Olomana Makai Ridge. 

So we three followed this trail down and it led us to the bottom of a ravine. We crossed a small dry streambed, then climbed up a spur and then cross-sloped through a helluva gauntlet of bushes, vines, and bothersome flora. As you might expect, this interlude wasn't pleasant. 

  What was pleasant was that our cross-sloping ordeal led us to (surprise) a wide motorcycle trail at the edge of the spur. We followed the spur and trail mauka toward Ahiki (Peak 2), hoping it would go way, way up. It went up a good ways but then terminated at the 800-foot level (altimeter watch check) where the ridge began to narrow and steepen. 

So we pushed and chopped our way up the spur, taking the path of least effort. After about an hour, we eventually made our way to the base of a broad rock band just above the 1200 foot level (the summit of Ahiki is 1480). Steve and I ate lunch there (for me, my usual fare of Vienna sausage and peanuts). Meanwhile, Wing was further down the spur, continuing to climb. 

After lunch, Steve and I poked around 10 to 20 feet above our lunch spot and decided not to climb any further. The route might have been climbable but neither of us was motivated to give it go. Maybe another time. And maybe best done from the top down with some strong, long cables. Or maybe we'll leave well enough alone and call it unclimbable. Or more simply, what's the point? 

On our way down, we met Wing, his trusty lopper in hand. He continued on up to eat lunch and check out where we'd been. Steve and I continued down the spur, clearing away branches and brush as we did. After reaching the motorcycle trail, we headed down it, passing junked cars, trash, and the like. Steve cursed the inconsiderate louts who dumped stuff in the area. We eventually emerged on Old Kalanianaole Road on the makai side of which was a white fence with blue trim. The significant thing about this fence is that there is no house behind it. Maybe someday there'll be house, but as of Saturday, nada. 

To get back to where I'd parked my car, Steve and I walked back on the road for .6 miles (I drove back to the spot afterward and checked the distance with my odometer). On the way, we passed two horses in a corral. A fruit-bearing mango tree grew next to the corral and my question about whether horses eat mangos was answered when Steve picked up a fallen fruit from the ground, placed it on a fencepost, and we watched one of the horses stride over and eat it whole. Wow. 

After the .6 mile walk, we drove to a nearby 7-11 on Kailua Road for cold drinks and a snack and when we returned to check on Wing, we found him 100 yards away from his car. My motivation for returning to look for Wing was not only to make sure he was okay, but to find out if he'd found my hat which I'd lost somewhere along the way, most likely during the bash-and-crash cross-sloping segment. No dice. 

So that'll mean a return to the area for more exploring and also to search for my lost hat. I'll offer a reward of a can of Vienna sausage to anyone who finds my hat and returns it to me. It's a wide-brimmed boony type made of supplex material. Color is greenish-gray. Columbia brand. Mahalo.