Saturday, September 27, 2008

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Koko Crater

Koko Crater is becoming a popular training spot for me. I hiked it with Ed at around 1:30pm when the sun was high above and the scorching heat was nearly unbearable. The heat got the best of me and I had my worst time climbing up. I started feeling dizzy right before the bridge. When I took my first rest, I was lazy to keep my heart rate up. I tried to relax too soon and too abruptly, and consequently, I started feeling nauseated and dizzy. After hiking this trail many times before, I was surprised that I was losing my composure and began to entertain my doubts. I was reminded of Na Pali.

Oh yeah, I saw a bare-footed guy climbing up. Bear in mind, it was hot and the trail is mostly dirt with wood planks from the rail track. So bizarre!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Koko Crater

Slowly making progress.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


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by welikehike

Lanipo was suppose to be a warm-up for the upcoming Pu'u Kalena hike. But, the unexpected heavy rains and a late start impeded us from reaching the summit.

A group of 14 hikers turned into 5 when Laarnie, her 60-year old friend, Bryan, Jerome and I met at Valley View Drive. We arrived at the trailhead in Maunalani Hts. at around 1pm. The trail starts at a slight and comfortable incline; then, it drops steeply and goes up again. It repeats itself a second time showing no mercy to our respiratory-challenged friend.

The climb was like any other climb we've done elsewhere, but no one can deny the scorching heat accompanied by the soft winds and humidity. It consumed our water supply as we drank more and more and our sweat began to soak our shirts. Moments later, the day turned dark after heavy clouds creeped over the sky. It was then that I began to show some concerns. We passed the mid-point mark towards the summit when it finally hit us hard. The rain was not going to stop and our sweat-soaked shirts were now soaked with rain. We thought since we were already wet, we can continue on with the hike. But the condition of the trail ahead brought doubts in our minds, so we decided to turn back. It didn't make sense to risk it when were certain of no view at the summit. On our way back, we were stepping on miniature waterfalls that followed the trail. It was much cooler going back. Perhaps, somebody prayed to take the heat away. That prayer was certainly answered. On the way back, we could hear a man from a distance calling out to something. We believe that it was a boar hunter calling out to his lost dog. Although we didn't conquer Lanipo, this hike was worthy of an exciting and adventurous experience.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Koko Crater (via natural arc)

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I remember the first time hiking on this side of Koko Crater, I was a nervous wreck! And surprisingly, it didn't scare me this time around. I guess all the hiking I've done since then has mentally nurtured me and gave me a lot more confidence. I anticipated my past traumatic experience would trigger the fear within. But everything was fine and comfortable, no sweaty palms, no rapid heartbeats. I looked around and thought 'this is not it! It was a lot steeper the last time.' I guess fear can alter one's perception of steepness.

After we crossed the arc, there were more rigorous climbing to do. Just when we thought we left danger behind us, the trail got more exciting and dangerous at the rim. There were some rocky narrow sections with no vegetation to break our fall. It's funny how Laarnie, James, and I would would stop at the most vulnerable spots just to take a picture. The other two hikers probably thought we were crazy. It took us about an hour and a half to get to the highest point of the rim. We ate our snacks and James cunningly offered his Gatorade to lighten his load for the trip back down.

James' confidence dramatically improved since his first Oahu hike. He ripped through danger as if he was spiderman. But on our way down, just when he was having fun with his confidence, gravity decided to take him on a ride down the steep path just passed the natural arc. His momentum almost had him crash into Laarnie, and worst, nearly led him off the edge of the cliff. All I can do was watch in agony as his survival reflexes controlled his every action. Luckily, friction brought him to a halt and we all laughed in great relief.

In Stuart Ball Jr.'s book, it stated that this trail is suitable for intermediate hikers. I absolutely disagree! Although it's about 3-miles long, there are areas along the trail that can surely traumatize a beginner/intermediate hiker or someone who has fear of heights. The trail is mostly dry and rocky and its surface is relatively rough giving a good grip even on the steep inclines. However, take note that some areas do have loose gravel and there are no ropes to hold on to.