Friday, May 14, 2010

Pu'u o Kila trail maintenance 2/18/2001



Kahana is broad. Kahana is green. Kahana is also home to Pu'u o Kila,
which we hiked to today. Our main objective was to clear a
loop route the club uses to acquire Kila's summit, and 17 turned out to
tend to the task. The members-only club hike will be on Sunday, March 4.

From the hunter's check-in where we started, Kila is visible toward
the back of the massive maw that is Kahana. Jay, Dusty, Roger, Mabel, and
Connie crossed the dam and headed back on the valley trail to tend to the
left-hand ridge. Meanwhile, a dozen of us headed up the watertank road
then continued down to the stream crossing by the bamboo grove to
eventually reach the right-hand (north) ridge.

Our group encountered a hunter and his dogs by the junction with the start
of the Kila trail. A dark-skinned local guy, he was friendly
and later joined us for posthike refreshments.

The route to Kila was overgrown with uluhe, which wasn't surprising since
Kahana is quite rainy and the trail likely sees light traffic, if any at
all. While our group worked our way up the ridge, we kept in
walkie-talkie contact with Jay, Dusty, and Mabel of the left-hand ridge
team. While I'm respectful in my radio conversations with Mabel, I'm
prone to firing (friendly) insults at Jay and Dusty, and
vice-versa (though I'll admit I'm usually the instigator). Jay, whose
group was using a hedge trimmer, volunteered me to carry it out after they
were done using it. Of course, I balked at the suggestion and rained down
barbs on the glib Mr. Feldman.

Later after lunch, Dusty, in response to jovial hooting and hollering I
was doing while descending from Kila's summit, barked into his
walkie-talkie, "Shaddap and start working!" Dusty has taken to
addressing me as "wimp," especially when I express my dismay for hauling
the hedge trimmer. But it's all in fun (you are just kidding, right,
Dusty?).

Even with all the walkie-talkie insults, we actually did some work. The
majority of the right-hand ridge dozen reached Kila's summit before noon,
slumping down to eat lunch there. Meanwhile, the left-hand team members
had yet to arrive, claiming heavy uluhe overgrowth was slowing their
progress. Via walkie-talkie, we encouraged them to climb to the summit
and leave what was left for our larger group, but Jay and company, perhaps
spurred on by pride, ego and/or the possibility of insults from our group,
stuck to the task. Jay also requested that we dispatch members of our team
down the ridge to help clear, and, ever the loyal helpers, we responded to
his request. :-)

For those who've never hiked to Kila, be prepared for very steep
ascending & descending up to and down from the summit. Ample
trees and roots are available for handholds but dislodged rocks can be a
hazard, especially on the descent of the upper part of the left-hand
ridge.