A Windy, Cloudy Hike Along the Ko’olaus

When I started this blog, I had intentions of also doing some Hawaii posts, in the event some non-local readers wanted to see what life in the islands is all about. I haven’t been very good about it, for which I apologize. I’ll try to do better, starting now. This post is about a hike I did a while ago with my friend Tiff (aka TiFunk). I won’t name the hike, only because it is a little sketchy in some parts and I don’t want to be responsible for anyone falling off a cliff (and trust me, these cliffs are steep). Let’s just say this hike is somewhere along the Ko’olau mountain range, which is like the spine that runs down the middle of the island of O’ahu. It’s a short trail that leads to this little lookout (that just so happened to be clouded over on the day we visited). pukz (1) (Small)

You can see in this pic how precarious this trail (and my friend Tiff) are. pukz (2) (Small)

It does, however, offer a lot of really nice views along the way, since you’re pretty much just walking along the edge of the cliff the entire time. pukz (3) (Small)

This is the mauka (or mountain) view, looking inland.pukz (4) (Small)

This is the makai (or ocean) view, the opposite direction of the photo above.pukz (7) (Small)

The Ko’olau Summit Trail, more commonly known as “KST” is pretty long and very sketchy in a lot of parts. It’s so long, in fact, that only one person (at least in recent history) has ever done the entire summit from start to finish, and it took him 8 days. pukz (5) (Small)

This section of the trail that we were on probably represents the more easy sections of KST, and it was more than enough to let me know that I don’t really want any part of the rest of it. It wasn’t even that dangerous, relatively speaking, but it was windy and high enough for me. Here’s Tiff, looking over the edge of a 300+ foot cliff.pukz (6) (Small)

The day that we went it was pretty shrouded in clouds, which is pretty typical for most mountain regions in Hawaii.

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This was my sketchy little tripod set up for the day. I basically had my Lumix propped up on my portable tripod.

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It was kind of a precarious situation because it was reallllly windy and my tripod is reallllyyyy flimsy. Here’s Tiff, tripping out on just how windy it really was. pukz (10) (Small)

So basically I would set my tripod up on the ridge like this, hope and pray that the wind wouldn’t send it careening down the face of the mountain, set the timer on 10 seconds, then scramble my way down this ridge … pukz (11) (Small)

and over this ridge to where Tiff is standing …pukz (12) (Small)

So that we could take photos like this.

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We also spent a lot of time hanging over the edges. Because hey, why not live life on the edge. (Sorry mom!)

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We hung over the edge so long that the clouds parted for a bit .. pukz (15) (Small)

And then they came back …pukz (16) (Small)

She’s a little bit crazier than I am, this one.

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Long before the ubiquitous “Selfie Sticks” and its GoPro equivalent, the “GoPole,” I had this: My makeshift selfie stick that was pretty much my Panasonic Lumix mounted to my portable tripod. pukz (18) (Small)

I mean, it worked 😉 pukz (19) (Small)

Something about waterfalls and steep cliffs are just so mesmerizing. pukz (20) (Small)

So after a whole lot of messing around, we got to our final destination. Here’s a shot of me with the clouded background. pukz (21) (Small)

And here’s a shot of Tiff as the clouds briefly parted for a semi-view. pukz (22) (Small)

And then the rain started to come, so we started the scramble back down. As much as I don’t recommend this hike if you’re: 1) Afraid of heights; or 2) Not so agile on your feet, I reallllly don’t recommend it in the rain, for anyone. It’s slippery as heck in the rain, and one wrong move could send you hurtling in the wrong direction.

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Oh, this is called the curse. It’s an invasive species plant that you’ll find on all Hawaii trails, and I always take a picture of it on every hike and give a shout out to my boy Baby Kekz, my clip-and-drip partner. pukz (24) (Small)

More views on the way down. pukz (25) (Small)

Okay we can stop for another pic before the rain comes down. pukz (26) (Small)

Okay maybe just oneee more.

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I don’t remember what we were thinking here. Probably, “what are we thinking?!”  pukz (29) (Small)

And that’s the end. Happy Hiking everyone!pukz (30) (Small)

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