Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Following the fence

For Veteran's Day weekend we planned some backpacking.  Unfortunately we couldn't go because of the weather.  Instead we did an over night stay in the Waianae mountain range the weekend after. 

Saturday morning Katie, Andrew, Jay and I met at Cory's house.  Andrew was our designated driver so he dropped us off and picked us up the day we came out.  We started on the Mokuleia trailhead around 7 and trudged our way with our 25lb packs on our backs.  Garvin also met up with us on the trail head, he had brought lots of fruits, I was envious of the fruits but wasn't with his pack weight!  We followed the fence line all the way up to a place called Three Corners.  From that point you can see Mount Ka'ala, Makaha valley, Ohikilolo Ridge, Kea'au peak, Makua Valley and the North Shore of Oahu.  It was probably the best view on the entire Waianae mountain range.  We stood up there for a good thirty minutes, ate snacks and left. 

On the ridge line there was a fence we had to follow to our destination.  A cabin tucked near the Kea'au peak on Ohikilolo ridgeline.  From Three Corners to the cabin was a crumbly, craggy, fencey ridge.  We negotiated about 5 notches to the cabin which was extremely dangerous with huge packs.  If we had day packs it would have been considerably easier.  We reached our destination a little after 3 pm.  Another group of our friends headed up a different way because they had their dog Tango in tow.  They beat us to the cabin! 

We unpacked and rested at the cabin.  Did a little exploring and stayed up near the landing pad to watch the sunset.  There was also a moon rise we got to catch just before sunset.  It got dark quick and a lot of us were tired.  We made some hot meals sat around drank some whiskey and beers.  Most of us crashed out early but some stayed up to watch the moon. 

The next morning we woke up before the sunrise.  Lots of us captured it on cameras some hiked up to Ohikilolo peak.  I stayed in the cabin stayed warm because it was so cold.  After the sunrise we slowly packed up and made our way down the mountain.  We got picked up on the West side and ate at Chili's for post hike meal.

 Mid morning checking out the view.  

Jay pointing out where we need to go.
The view.  Ka'ala on your left with Makaha valley below.  Ohikilolo, the ridge we need to be on. The right side valley is Makua Valley. 

The view of Makua valley.

I thought the KST was a beast.  Check out Ka'ala in the back.  This is part of the WST.

Dropping down into a notch.  Lucky the fence was there so you could hold onto something. 

Once we reached the cabin we relaxed and soaked in the view. 

Will, Amanda and Tango the dog met up with us. 

Tango didn't have a problem conquering dirt eroded sections!

The group enjoying the sunset.  Pictured from left to right, Garvin, Will, Katie, Amanda, and Cory.

The sun went down and the goofballs came out.  Oh wait... the sky changed colors! 

Happy to be here... and warm!

The sun went down and the moon came out.  The colors in the sky still lingered after the sun went down.  

The moon was full that night.  This was our view for the evening... EPIC!

The next morning the sun rose.  

The outhouse with a view in the back of Makua valley. 

On the way out we spotted a few of these native snails. 

These were about the size of your pinky fingernail!

We followed the fence line all the way to the coast.  BTW it was HOT!  

Following the fence from Ryan Chang on Vimeo.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Veteran's Day weekend

This past weekend ushered in some rain.  Unfortunately it cancelled our backpacking trip in the north Koolaus.  Friday night I told the group it would be miserable if we went, I felt bad because we had been planning it for weeks.  So instead we went chasing waterfalls.

Saturday morning it rained and rained.  We decided to sleep in a little and get a late start.  We met at Swanzy beach around 1 pm and hit up a 300+ ft waterfall I had seen almost a year ago.  It only forms when there is heavy rain.  Near the beginning of the trail head we were greeted by a fast flowing stream.  Amanda and Will's dog Tango, led the way.  We got to the first obstacle where the group had to carry Tango up a fast flowing waterfall that was two tiered.  Cory helped out with that because he's and expert climber.  We got to the waterfall shortly after.  It was just like I remember the last time I visited except it had a little more water coming down.  The wind generated from the waterfall was making it chilly so Katie and I posed for a few pictures but went downstream to wait for everyone else because it was too cold.  We came back out the way we came and went to a restraunt with some ramen to warm us up after.

Saturday night the rain didn't let up.  We planned to hit more waterfalls!  Our first stop was in Nuuanu.  Nuuanu is notorious for waterfalls.  But the waterfall we wanted to see is really rare and only a handful of people seen it's full effect up close.  There are stories of an upside down waterfall.  We went search and we definitely found it.  

Driving up the Pali highway on Sunday it was so cloudy and rainy but through the clouds we saw it and were super excited.  We met up with a few friends.  Emma, Jessie, Will and Amanda met up and headed to the obscure trail head.  We headed Mauka for about thirty minutes and hit the wall.  The rain was falling and water was misting everywhere.  The waterfall wasn't running against the wall but instead falling and getting blown up by the wind hence, "upside down waterfall". The name is Waipuhia and we hit two of the chutes on our initial approach.  We had to hug the wall and scramble a little to hit the third and final chute.  This one was flowing well!  Sometimes the water would fall and sometimes it would be blown by the wind.  It was extraordinary to see and just VERY different than any other waterfall I had ever seen.  When we were finished watching we headed back to our cars and went to our second hike.

Our second hike was Koolaupoko Chutes.  This time we only visited chute four and one.  It wasn't flowing as well like the last time we went because we went later in the day when the rain let up a little.  As we were hiking there we could see that all four chutes were going but not like the last time we were there.  Chute four was going good, we visited there first.  On the way there I got some nasty cats claw thorn stuck in my fingers, it hurt a lot!  Passing chute three and two we headed straight to one after that.  Because it wasn't flowing as well I could actually take my DSLR out and shoot a little.  The wind coming off the falls wasn't string either.  After hiking to all of these places we decided to finish there.  Tomorrow was going to be our grinder hike.  

Veterans Day we did the "Going against the flow" hike.  I was really looking forward to it because this time around the water levels were a bit higher which made for a more challenging and technical hike.  We had a larger group this day than the other days.  Our friend Garvin decided to join us on today's hike.    We hit over eighteen waterfalls.  Most of which you have to climb or have the aid of a rope to help you up.  We celebrated at the last falls with some beer and snacks.  

Veteran's Day weekend was great even though we didn't get to do what we originally planned.  Hopefully we get to do our North Koolau trek soon!

 Friday waterfall hike.
First hike on Sunday morning.  Upside down waterfall.

The second hikes 4th chute. 

Where the water falls into at the 4th chute.

The biggest falls we saw all weekend. 

Hard to imagine the last time I was here I was being blasted by mist.

Our Veteran's Day hike consisted of climbing series of waterfalls like the one pictured above. 

Veteran's Day weekend from Ryan Chang on Vimeo.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

West Maui 2013

From Kahoolawe we anticipated coming back to Maui on Friday, at the end of the work week.  So Katie and I decided since we don't work weekends we might as well grab a car and a room to explore more of Maui. Christian and Cory decided to stay as well!  They brought fishing gear with him as well. 

When we got back to the airport I went to pick up our car and the first thing we did was head to Da Kitchen to eat.  Seth came along with us since he had booked a later flight.  After eating we decided to head to our home which Christian arranged for us.  It was free and it was more than accommodating.  We stayed in a mansion in Lahaina with a jaccuzzi, pool, grills, and a full game room!  Pretty good for free huh? 

We were pretty beat from Kahoolawe so we decided to stay in and chill.  The following day we slept in a little and decided to do a drive around the north western side of Maui.  We went counter clockwise and had a few things in mind.  The first thing was to go explore some waterfalls.  The last time we went to Maui Katie and I spotted some falls while hiking Waihee Ridge Trail we decided to check it out.  We definitely weren't disappointed, we headed makai and spotted two big swim holes 5 minutes into the hike.  Seems like a lot of locals know of this spot since there was a lot of rubbish around.  We headed down stream more and climbed down one waterfall.  The second falls was a little sketchy for Katie so we decided to hang out here for a while.  Cory explore more down stream and found several more waterfalls.  After an hour of chilling and jumping off the waterfalls we decided to head mauka.  We hit a well trodden path and after crossing the stream 13 times we hit our first waterfall.  It was tucked away, and reminded me of Kakauki falls on the Big Island.  We climbed up the side of the falls and hit a twin falls.  After climbing the falls clouds started to roll in and I reminded everyone that there is a flash flood advisory, we should head out soon.  We all decided that that was a good idea, but not after coming to a terminus at the next tiered waterfall.  We quickly snapped our pictures and booked it out, climbing down the way we came and out the path back to the car.  We probably made it out in record time!

We continued on our journey counter clockwise along the coast.  The road was a little more narrow and a lot longer stretches of narrow than the road to Hana.  The coast line reminded me of something from Ireland... or what I think Ireland would look like.  Steep cliffs down to the coastline with pasture lands and lush valleys all along the road.  Our next stop we made was Nakele blow hole.  We watched as people went down to take pictures up close but we had other things in mind.  We wanted to fish and swim in tide pools.

We drove for about 15 more minutes until a LOCALS ONLY spot.  We scaled down a cliff with some ropes.  We got to the bottom where there was a emerald green tide pool.  Katie and I swam and hung out while Christian and Cory fished.  We caught two fish and headed back home. 

We picked a few steaks and veggies.  We prepared the meat and gutted the fish.  We took the fish outside and forgot the seasoning.  With no one watching the fish outside next to the grill an imposter cat swiped one of our fish!  The whole thing was gone and we never saw the cat for the rest of the night.  To say the least we were pretty mad yet tripping out because it had never happened to any of us before. 

The next morning we slept in even later but I was set on surfing since I brought my board over.  I stopped at two places but that north swell that was supposed to fill in wasn't that big.  I settled for Hookipa and surfed there for an hour or so. 

Our Maui leg of the trip was pretty lax.  Everyone was really tired yet we all didn't want to go back to work on Monday.  Oh well till next time Maui! 

Cruising West Maui zones!

Mental jumping session

The couples gotta pose next to the falls!
Christian getting the shot!

Nakele blowhole


Emerald pool down below!

My love posing for a picture underwater

La'i, catch of the day!

After the cat swiped one of them!  

Dinner time!

Sadly I didn't get to surf Honolua.  Next time...

Hookipa with the new spring suit

Paia fish market for da grinds!

West Maui 2013 from Ryan Chang on Vimeo.