Waianae Summit Trail Attempt, Day 1, Kaena Point to Mount Ka’ala

Starting in the dark so we can not draw too much attention in our dubious hiking.

Early morning lights, the top is Kaena point and it’s light tower, and below is looking back towards Waianae.


Slinking through the hunting trails east of the military installation.

Can you spot a Kenji hiding in the bushes?









Ridges still partially enveloped in the misty air.










If you look hard enough above, you might see a slight part in the vegetation, yeah that’s our trail -_-



High five for nearing towards 3 points, we sit and enjoy a small break while taking in the dramatic views.



Photo above is the ridges we had walked already, just a little way to go till we get to Ka’ala!

“Hurray a road!” 1 hour later, “This road is bullshit.”



One lone yellow tree in a forest of green.






Our humble roof for the night, we did our best to protect against the wet but it inevitably got a few of our things soaked.

Great view…







Top of Ka’ala at night, from the summit!

Write-up below.

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Waianae Summit Trail Attempt, Day 2, Mount Ka’ala to Kolekole Pass

Morning meal prep, Kenji with his pho, and me with biscuits and gravy mountain house.

Consulting GPS way points to set us off into the bog, very rugged, muggy, overgrown and a challenge to navigate. I for the first time ever, actually had to pull out my compass and make sure we were heading towards the correct ridge.


Kenji up to his calf in a mud patch. We finally found the ridge an hour later and started descending the steep traverse leading away from Mount Ka’ala.



Thanks to Kenji for holding up the rock so I could pass.



Took every natural snack opportunity I could find.



Kenji leading through some of the more technical sections.







I thought it was an urn, Kenji said it was left by surveyors.

A moment of relaxation before we ground on.


Shaka stride!




I grabbed onto a moving stick, ended up being a Jackson’s Chameleon. Invasive apparently, but I’m not going to off the cute lil gal.

First sighting of Kolekole pass, we ended up doing a bit of bushwhacking through the jungle to get to the road. We passed a bunch of signs telling us that we had just trampled through an active impact zone for mortars and could have potentially stepped on unexploded ordnance. Great…



Kenji and I scoping out old bunkers on Kolekole road while we wait for my girlfriend to pick us up.

Sushi & nigiri with fresh caught Weke

Here’s the delicious dinner I had to myself last night. The girlfriend is out of town so I grabbed my gear and swam around the ocean for a while. All I wanted was one fish for dinner, but I stayed out for hours just swimming around the beautiful reef.

Here’s a Weke (pronounced vekay aka the square spot goatfish) that was caught off the shore on South Oahu in Hawaii. I’m pretty new to spearfishing and while the pros don’t usually bother with these small fries, I think they’re delicious and one is more than enough for a complete meal. They swim around in schools of like 20-50 and if you’re patient enough you can pick off a decently sized one. This guy is just under a foot long (they get 16 inches so I’ve heard), and it’s delicate meat so I fillet it carefully as it cuts like budda.


A little irregular but who’s taking score. I de-boned it with some fish tweezers too.

I mixed together a spicy mayo sauce to add with one half of my weke after dicing it up a bit. Above I have a 2-1 ratio of mayo and sriracha, with a tsp of sesame oil and lemon juice.

Just mix it together for deliciousness!

I cut some thin strips with the other half of the fillet for some nigiri (strips of fish on rice, as opposed to rolled up which is sushi).

Getting everything sorted for the sushi roll.

I’ve found that using a sushi press is a lot easier than fudging with the sushi mat thing, just layer in the goods, press it down, and roll it over the nori.


I probably pressed it a bit too hard.

But who cares, because it tastes the same anyways!! It’s filling, delicious, and cool that I was able to take it from the sea to the table myself.

Bushwhacking through a new ridge, Nu’uanu Pali

I had taken my roommates dog on part of this hike, until I realized it was over his head. Beyond steep ridge sections lay what two able bodied men who had turned back mentioned as ‘hog trails.’ I had a pack full of all I needed for a day long trek, and found that the ‘hog trails’ disappeared into overgrown, and unidentifiable paths. It was up to my preexisting knowledge of these ridges to find a way through back to the trails. The Nu’uanu Pali area is some of the more lush and gorgeous forests I’ve seen on the island, and it was cool to bushwhack through some of it.

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Check out this new 3d photo deal, took it half way up this unnamed spur ridge.

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I didn’t know what to make of this remnant of civilization. Looked like an old concrete slab with a rusted post at the top. I wonder how long it’s been hidden under the brush? This is after walking through the bush for about ten minutes to a point where the view opened slightly to Honolulu.

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Without a doubt the largest woodfan mushroom I’ve ever seen, wonder how huge they do get.

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Some people were busy beautifying these trails, lovely planks eased the path through densely rooted sections.

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Nice map I had passed along the way identifying a lot of the trail systems in these hills. I was on my way to the antennae atop the Manoa ridge.

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And then I made it to the tower, a two or three hours into the hike.

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Just as I was contemplating jumping over the barbed wire to climb the tower. Time to head back after the day’s summit victory.

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Barely visible in the middle of the photograph is the tower I just came from.

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The valley in between Pali and Manoa, looks like a good new place to explore.

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I made it back to the Judd trail, and back to the scooter for a lovely cruise home.

Forest bathing near the Judd trail

A coworker recently told me about ‘forest bathing.’ And from my quick internet search it’s basically the same thing I call a nature walk except with a less linear goal. The idea is to get lost in nature and just enjoy the sights, smells, and foliage around you. It’s something I try to do everyday in some capacity, the other day it was a motorcycle ride through the Tantalus loop, motorcycle bathing maybe? I took Jake out on the trail today so he could get in on some of this hippy forest bathing stuff.

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Nu’uanu Reservoir nature walk

Not too from home I have access to a luscious rain forest where the nature walks are the best. Up the Pali Highway, in a popular hiking trail usually taken to explore the Lulumahu falls, exists much more. The areas surrounding the Nu’uanu reservoir are a place where I often take unknown paths that branch off main trails to find lovely little places where we are alone to our thoughts.

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Fragrant spice ginger plant (‘awapuhi) with pretty tan flowers.

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There are many paths that zig-zag through this bamboo forest path. They are shaded and somewhat spooky!

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Baby bamboo shoot growing from the ground.

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Stream funneling into this man-made drain, a little more movement since recent rainfalls.

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Parts of the Nu’uanu nature walk loop trail were filled with water.

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Tall grove of trees shading our path.

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Little band of birdies took flight around us.

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