Friday, March 28, 2014

Rat chutes

On Prince Kuhio day, Cory, Katie, and Jay were off.  We all decided the night before to be outside exploring as usual.  Unexpectedly again, rain clouds rolled in and dumped some heavy rain over the Ko'olau mountain range.  It foiled our plans to check out some of the northern gulches to practice rock hopping in our new tabis. 

Instead we checked out some waterfall chutes that were running.  The valley has a rich history of being the valley of the rat.  Some mo'olelo has instances where these rats would trick people into falling into the pools and drowning.  Unfortunately we didn't see any rats so none of us drowned. 

We visited at least three chutes out of over fifteen that day and they were all flowing.  By the end of the day all were down to just a trickle if not dry.  These chutes drain really quickly so the opportunity to see them are slim.  We were lucky to see them on such a good rainy day.

Preparing to climb up a small waterfall to get to the main chute.

The first tiered waterfall we visited. 

On our way up to the best looking waterfall the stream flowed through some rocks. 

This waterfall drops multiple times.  We spent a lot of time here taking pictures. 

Rat Chutes from Ryan Chang on Vimeo.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Winter '13 - '14

Just wanted to compile a video together of all the places I've been since Novemberish and March.  Winter is winding down and it's been pretty good.  Our trip to the Big Island during Thanksgiving was extremely fun, hiking and exploring an island I hadn't been on since I been to Waimanu in 2011.  The rest of the video was mostly waterfalls and canyoneering deep in the Ko'olau's.  It's pretty amazing to see the streams of the islands flowing through the forest cutting a path to the top of the Ko'olau ridge trail.

It's been a really rainy season with 4 or 5 straight weekends of rain.  Finding waterfalls that don't normally flow everyday has been at the top of my list since I've started hiking.  There's been a lot of scouting during this season and going back to places we had already been to numerous times just to get past obstacles and to go deeper.  One project I was working on was scouting a stream people don't usually go up.  The first time there was just to see if there are waterfalls.  The second time a bigger group and a bigger payout with an end at a large waterfall, trying to probe up a right contour trail to go higher but with the afternoon sun setting we headed out.  The third time here was the last time.  We headed up to the last point and actually contoured left and made it above.  We kept going and going with some navigation with topographic maps and google earth we reached the Ko'olau summit!  It is probably the best waterfall loop here on this island.

Other places I visited were a few falls in Nuuanu that I hadn't been to.  It wasn't that great of a flow but it's good to know that it flows year around and is probably a spring that's feeding it.

We backpacked twice.  One of them was a route that I had gone on back in 2011ish but in reverse.  It's good to see that the Ko'olaus are getting some love with all the groups going up there and working on rare and native plants.  Learning from snail and plant expert Nate Yuen along the way is a plus.  The other time was in the Waianae mountains.  That overnighter completely changed my mind on the Waianaes.  I always thought the Waianae's were some where hot and miserable and not much to see but shrubs and dry plants.  In the upper regions there is a huge forest and lots to see there.

Our latest adventure was tubing which could be found here.

Surfing was the last thing I added to the video.  This winter I surfed a little up on the north shore, not as much as I would like but enough.  I surfed a bunch at Ehukai with a huge sand bar!  I also surfed up on the North East side of the island for the first time.  Let's just say that place is a gold mine for empty great waves if the conditions are perfect.

Winter '13-'14 from Ryan Chang on Vimeo.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Perfect for tubing

The brunt of the cold front hit us Friday through Saturday giving us scattered showering throughout the weekend.  Ever since Friday I've been watching the stream gauges figuring out what I wanted to do for the weekend.  Waterfalls or tubing?  The heights for North Fork Kaukonahua stream on Sunday were prime for tubing.  The last time I went tubing the height for the stream wasn't ideal for it and made me not want to do it again for a while.  Fast forward to almost a year and I got a real bad itch to finally understand what all the rave was about, tubing down Kaukonahua stream.  Besides the stream heights being at the perfect level the sun came out and made for a not so chilly ride down the stream. 

Joining me were Cory, Amanda, Will, Lynne, and Katie.  We've been holding off on tubing until we had it perfect like Sunday.  We met in Wahiawa and started hiking around 9:45 a.m.  We set up our finish line and made our way to the end of the Wahiawa loop trail where the stream meets the trail.  We blew up our tubes and had our first sips of alcohol to give us some courage to brave the rapids.  After going through a several rapids we'd stop and take pictures.  It gave us a time to enjoy each other company and take more sips.  Near the half way point there was a section of rapids where we could do it over and over so we could get the perfect instagram picture.  Taking several pictures and dancing to music we never knew our other friend Garvin would come around the corner.  We were all happy to see that he could join us.  The last stretch of the stream was quick.  We flew through the rapids and I suggested to do it again but, it was getting late and the stream height was already dropping.

On our way out since this tubing expedition has been so popularized by blogs and videos such as this one we found a BUNCH of rubbish and tubes just lying around on the trail.  My group and I were quite disgusted at the fact that people can't even take out their trash and tubes so we decided to pop a few and deflate them and carry it out ourselves.  I stress to all of you that read my blog and watch my videos that if this kind of stuff continues, we won't have any of these trails open or nature to enjoy because of the disgusting filth people leave behind.  If you see rubbish anywhere try and pack it out, even if it's not yours.  I'd very much appreciate it.  After picking up we headed to Dong Yang Inn to get our Korean grind on.

On a happier note enjoy the pictures and video! 

All pictures were taken by Katie unless otherwise stated. 

Katie and I picked up a few extra back up tubes.  You never know if your main tube will pop going down stream. 

Most of us had loungers while Lynne had a little more expensive floating device.  Lounger can be bought at Walmart for under $20, beers not included. 

Most of the time you are relaxing and floating down river. 

The group relaxing and taking a break after the rapids. 

Cory took this excellent picture of me going through some of the rapids. 

Dong Yang Inn kalbi meat chun combination plate.  Grinds after tubing. 


Tubing Kaukonahua from Ryan Chang on Vimeo.