From album: HAWAII
Haiku Stairs ("Stairway to Heaven") are actually over 3900 steps (a series of ship ladders anchored together) that cling to an extremely narrow and steep ridge on the windward face of the Ko'olau range, overlooking Kaneohe Bay in the distance. The stairs are officially closed and are illegal to hike. I will not mention here how we got to the stairs due to the sensitive and illegal nature of access to them and of climbing them. Read more at the following links ...unrealhawaii.com/2010/05/haiku-stairs/
After climbing over 3900 steps to the summit (elev. 2800 ft.) and totally drenched in sweat, we proceeded through misty clouds along the narrow spine of the Ko'olau range to the never-ending Keahi a Kahoe trail, leading us down the backside of the range along the tall thin ridge (the old "Tripler") into Moanalua Valley ... breaking through the clouds as we did. The trek along the spine was ethereal and awesome.
Note: most people ascending the stairs go back down them, and hiking along the Ko'olau spine is not recommended for inexperienced / novice hikers ... weather can change drastically, it's usually very muddy and windy, and you can lose your balance and go over the side if you don't know what you're doing. A good summary of the KST in Section 1 at examiner.com/article/oahu-s-gnarliest-trails.
We got lost at least once trying to find the #14 side-trail to the valley floor from the Keahiakahoe / Tripler Ridge trail, our legs buckled from exhaustion by the time we hit the dirt road, and I was too tired to continue filming past the landslide section. This hike took us approximately 12 hours to complete.
Although this was such a long and gruelling hike ... this was for us our most epic and memorable hike on Oahu. There's just something sentimental about this hike in retrospect.
Footage was taken with my GoPro Hero HD camera mounted on a headstrap.
Edited with iMovie (approx. 12 min). Some scenes sped up to show more footage.
Music: "Unwound" podcast and Markus Schulz.
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 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 risks 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 ;-)