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Sunday, June 2, 2019

Kulepeamoa Loop

June 2, 2019

A few days ago, my aunt asked if I could take some of her "friends", who were visiting from Arizona, on a hike.  Of course I said yes.  What I didn't know was that these "friends" were people she met on the flight back to Hawaii a few days ago.  lol.  Anyway, I got the contact info and confirmed this hike with them.  Joining me on the hike was Aprille, my coworker, Rose, and our new friends Jennifer & Danny. 

We started out at 8:30 am and headed into the valley.  About 10 min in, we began our ascent up a spur ridge to gain the ridge crest of Kulepeamoa.  We gained over 700 feet in elevation in a couple hundred yards. 

Needless to say, I took a TON of breaks!!  However, once we reached the ridge crest, the hike in was fairly mild for a while.  We stopped frequently to take in the views that had opened up all around us.

As we neared the back portion of the ridge, the ascent became a lot steeper and relentless.

We were also blessed to see some rare native plants beginning to blossom.

About 3/4 ways up the ridge, we reached a rocky dike section that presented some awesome photo ops!!

The higher we climbed, the more majestic the views were.

Almost to the top, we reached perhaps the intimidating section of the hike.  The rope climb up a narrow section of ridge. 

Once past this obstacle, we had a few false peaks to traverse before reaching the summit.

Upon arrival at the summit, we were greeted with a huge white curtain.  Seems to be a trend lately :|
However, while we relaxed with some snacks and stories, the veil of clouds began to lift.

We took the opportunity for some pics then began to make our way across the summit to Hawaii Loa Ridge. 

When we reached the summit of Hawaii Loa Ridge, the clouds had lifted enough for us to enjoy a magnificent view of Waimanalo.

A few hundred pix later, we decided to make the long trek out.  At least Hawaii Loa is a state trail and very well maintained.  The views were also gorgeous!

At a key junction, we steeply made our way back into the valley. 

After what felt like forever, we finally reached the bottom of the valley and hurriedly made our way out.   A little over 7 hours later, we made our exit and took our new friends to Rainbow drive in for some local food and more great conversation!! 


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