Saturday, January 14, 2012

1/14-23/2012: On Vacation

This is a temporary post.  I've noticed that some of my photos were going dead on the early 2011 posts between the Makapu'u to Mariner's Ridge and Pali Notches to Konahuanui K1 entry.  All the missing photos are now fully restored.  Sorry for the inconvenience!

As of this entry, I am headed to the mainland for about 2 weeks to embark on a 4 day cruise to the Bahamas via the Carnival Sensation.  I hope I don't hurl chunks as this is my first cruise ever!  I'll be off island between the 14th and returning on the 23rd or 24th.


Thursday, January 5, 2012

1-5-2012: Kalihi Saddle camera salvage attempt

If two football teams were squaring off against each other in the rain and had numerous fumbles with the football throughout the game, that football would be my Panasonic Lumix ZS7 that I've lost back in July of 2011 on the Kalihi Saddle.  Not only would this camera be lost once by me, it would be lost yet again by another person as recent as December of 2011!

I told myself I would never set foot on the Kalihi Saddle (other than to do lunch outings on the powerline trail) after I completed the entire saddle. Well, it looks like I ended up breaking that vow once I heard that Pete, Duc, Ras, and Laredo, who completed a descent from Bowman into the saddle last week (last year actually!), had located and possessed my lost camera for a brief period before somehow losing it again.  It was Laredo who actually located and had it in his possession.  When I lost it, it was somewhere just after the 1st Triangle (going towards power line trail).  When Laredo ended up losing it, it was somewhere on the last down part of the ridge line just prior to Witch's Hat (again, going towards power line trail), according to him.

Upon hearing of this, I decided to see if I could fetch it myself.  I've enlisted Kevin to join me on this day as he wanted to take a look at the Kalihi Saddle for the first time.  Weather called for partly cloudy skies throughout the whole day.

The jaunt up the power line trail was uneventful and we were on the crest in little as 30 minutes.  From there, we headed towards Bowman and the section where my camera was believed to be lost.  Going up the Witch's Hat was uneventful and Kevin did spectacular on the ascent.  The purple rope was still attached and in good shape.  From the top of the hat, we took a hard glance at the remaining ridge line to Bowman.  Upon closer inspection of the Two Triangles, I've noticed that the blue and yellow webbing were still there.  However a red rope was visible on the 1st Triangle, left by Pete's crew coming down from Bowman.  The Kalihi Saddle is becoming the "Rainbow Saddle" with all these numerous colored rope/webbing!

On the other side of the hat, I've installed a yellow rope to make the descent easier, the hardest part being that 6ft vertical face just prior to it's bottoming out.  But I've recalled the maneuvers I did on my scout hike in July and quickly made it down.  Kevin proceeded down without any problems.

From here, we proceeded along the narrow, often crumbly, crest at a snail pace as we kept our eyes peeled for the camera.  At this point, I was stoked to think that I might have a chance to reclaim the lost photos I've taken during the descent of Bowman to Kalihi Saddle.  While the camera itself is obviously long destroyed by water and weather elements, the memory card, still tucked in it's compartment, might have a good chance of being intact with it's data.  I also thought about what Laredo said when he lost it.  He was "butt sliding" the last down portion of the ridge prior to the Witch's Hat when a hole developed in his shorts pocket and the camera slid out.  Not wanting to get my hopes up too much, I expected to return empty handed.  Ultimately, the end result was just that.  We reached the point where I lost my camera for the first time and there was still no sign of it.  I then called Laredo for assistance in locating it.

Heading back down, we now began to scour the town side drops of the ridge.  The drops were incredibly steep that anything falling would end up on the valley floor, more or less, but we continued our search anyway in that possible miracle that it caught a branch or a lump of grass.  We reached the area where Laredo lost it and I slowed to an almost all stop, conducting a thorough search of every possible cranny and nook that it may have gotten lodged in to.  Kevin, mean while, was already heading up to the Witch's Hat.  While I was searching, I checked on the new GoPro 2 and was bummed to find the lens area fogged up.  While the videos are watchable, it gives it an effect that we are hiking the whole thing in the clouds!

After about 30 minutes of searching, I decided that it was deemed lost for good and made the remaining climb back up to Witch's Hat.  While disappointed, at least I can rest easily, knowing that it's resting easily as well!  We retrieved the rope that we put up and made our way down the last descent of Witch's Hat, back to the power line trail to call it a day.  Post hike dinner was at Kenny's in Kalihi with Kevin and his wife!

If another group traverses this section and finds my camera, that would be still amazing that it would be acquired for a third time!  Set..  RED...  28...  Haa--  Haa--  HIKE!  ;-)


Sunday, January 1, 2012

1-1-2012: Ka`ena Point

Ever wanted to find out why lies at the very northwest tip of O`ahu?  Give this 5 mile round trip hike a try!  Neelesh and I started the new year with a pleasant stroll along the Waialua coastline to Ka`ena Point to catch the year's first sunset.  We were treated to a spectacular show with the waves pounding the coastline with such force that I can't imagine how surfers can survive a wipe out.  The waves were at least 15ft or higher!

Enroute, we encountered numerous hikers come back from Ka`ena Point.  Upon reaching the end of the 4x4 road and a gate, I was surprised to see that a fence was erected around the nature preserve.  In 2009, the last time I was here, this fence did not exist.  It's quite the eye sore.  At the point, which was filled with numerous Albatrosses, we watched the sun set albeit some heavy cloud cover in the direction of Kaua`i.  The waves however continued to pound the shoreline, higher than when we started the hike.  All in all, it took us about 45 minutes from the parking lot to the point.  After the sun disappeared, we headed back under a half moon to conclude a wonderful outing as we passed by a couple of groups with bonfires.

Happy New Year!

Hau'oli Makahiki Hou! (Happy New Year!)

With 2011 only a memory, I can't help but recall the astonishing accomplishments the hiking community on O`ahu has done in such little time, such as traversing the three Ko'olau saddles, segment hiking the entire Ko'olau and Wai`anae summit crests, and 1st documentations of Lua`alaea Windward, Lanihuli Windward, Ka`au Crater Windward, 2 Apes Talking, Bolohead Ridge, and one that was done recently as yesterday (New Years Eve) Bowman Windward!

The hiking community is growing and evolving.  More and more people are heading away from the stressful urban days at work to a full day outing on the trails.  More ground is being covered on the trails and on the internet with more information available on numerous hiking blogs, photo sites, and video sites such as YouTube and Vimeo.  Unfortunately, more HFD rescues are being reported as well.  Let's try to lower that count this year!

Another entity is also growing and evolving.  And not just in Hawai`i, but all around the world.  The GoPro has won our hearts and just about every video documentation is now made with this camera by extreme and casual hikers.  Now the company has rolled out the much anticipated GoPro 2.  If you haven't tried out the Hero 2, you're in for a treat!  Trust me!  You won't be disappointed!

I leave you with the 2011 Year in review video that I compiled together from all the various hikes (and flights) that were done this year.

Hau'oli Makahiki Hou to you and your Ohana!  May 2012 be an even better year for all of us!

Imua 2012!