Located on the Windward side of Oahu and overlooking the town and beach of Waimanalo, Kaupo Clifffs average 1300 ft. asl and actually comprise of eight steep flutes of the Ko'olau range.
Francis J. led me primarily on cliff #2. This was for the most part scrambling, technical and advanced / extreme. It was for me both exhilarating and yet at times terrifying due to the fact that hand and foot holds were loose or crumbling. Having done this before, Francis guided me at the tricky sections, and instructed me to "palm" my way without putting all my weight while negotiating fragile terrain. THIS IS A CLIFF ... so take your time ... negotiate every move ... test hand and footholds ... and concentrate cuz a fall here could be your last ! Come to think of it I shit my pants more on this than doing Mt. Olomana's 3rd peak ... vimeo.com/27903824 or Pu'u Manamana hike ... vimeo.com/29671734. This was again one of the gnarly hikes whereby I learned to use "fear as fuel" !
There is no "trail" to the base of the cliff ... perhaps kept obscure for a reason. We contoured several of the ridges before actually beginning our ascent up #2. Most rock faces on the way up were minor but tricky to negotiate (for me) due to the crumbling terrain. Upon reaching an extremely steep face we contoured over to cliff #3 where we continued the ascent.
I was relieved when we reached the summit where we chilled and soaked in the incredible views of the coastline and the Ko'olau. Took a right for a very brief jaunt along the Ko'olau Summit Trail (KST) to meet up with the Kamiloiki Trail, leading us down to Hawaii Kai. The views of Koko Crater were amazing, never having seen it from this perspective as the sun was setting, casting shadows on it's fluted flank.
The "Pahua" Heiau (sacred place) at the Kamiloiki trailhead bears significance ... see the following info./video to learn more (to-hawaii.com/oahu/ancientsites/pahuaheiau.php and maunalua.net/Pahua_Heiau.html).
Video taken with the GoPro Hero2 HD headcam, edited with iMovie. I will re-edit this using the much higher quality Final Cut Pro before the New Year.
Note: iMovie degrades certain scenes / washes out during the upload process. The main objective however is to document the hikes. All time lapse sequences will be collaborated into a single high quality movie using Adobe Lightroom.
Music: "Open Up" by Breakage.
If you're a non-resident / first time visitor or novice hiker, start with the easy - intermediate (maintained) trails and graduate yourself on subsequent visits. Do yourself a favour and purchase Stewart Ball's "Hiker's Guide to Oahu" ... it's your best and most valuable resource. Do your homework and study topo maps, weather forecasts / radar / sunset times. There are numerous blogs and media posted frequently by local experienced Oahu hikers (these folks are super-friendly and will give you directions and advice). Wear and bring proper gear and don't forget lot's of water and a fully charged cell. If hiking alone or with others, tell someone where you're hiking and keep in touch. Above all there's no shame in turning back if you don't like what you see ... better to stay alive and continue on a subsequent visit. You are solely responsible for your own safety and the risk you take. Hikers, including locals have gotten lost, suffered serious injury and even died while hiking these trails, so be careful. Mind your insurance coverage limitations as well.
Last but not least ... RESPECT THE LAND! Stay on the trails, don't litter (in fact if you come across any and are able ... take it out with you). Do not unneccessarily disturb the flora, understand and respect historical / cultural ethics, wash, brush or bag your boots upon completion of the hike, and do not intentionally tumble any loose rocks / boulders from ridges as there may be hikers / hunters on trails below or houses that you are unaware of. Be a SAFE, CONSIDERATE and RESPONSIBLE hiker. Enjoy and bask in the privilege of being able to hike some of the most beautiful and unique trails in the world ... you'll be rewarded ... and get addicted ;-)
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