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Monday, July 24, 2017

Hapapa to Kanehoa (almost)

June 11, 2017

Today's original plan was to go tubing as it rained all of yesterday (Saturday) and the forecast called for more of the same today.  So, with our tubes packed and everything waterproofed, our crew was set for some epic tubing in Wahiawa Hills.  However, when I woke up at 5:30 am to check the stream gauge, it was with great disappointment that I had to text the crew that tubing was a no-go.  :(  Bummed as heck, I went back to sleep, waiting for someone to suggest a backup hike.  Finally, around 7:30 am, we decided to try Hapapa to Kanehoa, since Schofield opened up Kolekole Pass.

We decided to meet at my house at 8:15 am and carpool to schofield.  Once everyone arrived, we booked it over to Schofield Barracks and arrived at the trailhead by 8:45.  In less than 10 minutes, we were geared up and ready to hit the trail.

Within 10 minutes, we reached the Hapapa meadow that overlooked the beautiful Lualualei Valley.

After a few photos, we pressed onward, picking up the start of the Honouliuli Contour Trail (HCT), and the ridge leading up to the summit.  Once we found it, I my heart sank.  It was so steep, I wanted to cry.

Nonetheless, we pushed on until we finally reached the summit line.  When we topped out, we found ourselves faced with our first obstacle: the notch #1.  It was "serious" time!

Steeling up our nerves, we descended the first notch and carefully made our way up the other side.  When we topped out the view was spectacular!

We caught our breath and gathered ourselves as notch #2, the more technical of the 2 notches, lay just ahead.  In less than 10 minutes from the first notch, we encountered the 2nd notch and it was down to business again as a fall here would be fatal.

Once we got everyone safely atop the notch, we booked it up the rest of the ridge, making it to the summit of Hapapa in just over an hour.

The summit view from Hapapa was pretty spectacular.

We took a break and enjoyed the beautiful views.  Everyone took turns taking pix with the views, but Troy & Michelle stole the show with their pose:

After our photo shoot ended, we gathered our gear and readied ourselves for what lay ahead.  Gazing ahead towards Kanehoa, we mapped our route along the Waianae Summit Trail (WST) and determined where we needed to get to: the pointy triangular peak to the left of Pu'u Kaua (the prominent peak in the center of the pic below).

The trek towards Kanehoa was a lot more overgrown that we anticipated.  However, we followed the fence line, in what turned out to be a wildly scratchy and exhausting trek towards Kanehoa.

In a little under 2 hours, Troy, Bernice and I (Aprille & Michelle decided to wait in a nice clearing to rest) reached the "pimple", the peak that was 2 peaks away from the peak we were trying to get to.  lol.  When we reached the pimple, I was like, "What the hell?!!!"  It was so overgrown and steep, I began looking around for an elevator!

After almost cramping every muscle in my body, we topped out on the pimple and what lay ahead almost made me crap my pants!  First, we were still MILES from Kanehoa and lying right before us was a rocky crag that brought back images of Pohakea Pass!

Since our turnaround time was upon us, we reluctantly snapped a few pix and turned around and heading back to where Michelle and Aprille were waiting for us.  Joining back up with the 2 ladies, the 5 of us sped back toward the notches as the skies threatened rain.  We wouldn't want to down climb the notches when they're wet, so we wasted no time in getting out.  Once we successfully passed the notches, we returned to the meadow for a group photo, then headed back to our car.

We ended our day at our favorite Wahiawa eatery: Dong Yang Inn.  Another epic day in the mountains with my favorite hiking crew: OAG!!

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