Ascent to Kaala-S Ridgeline on 1993-12-09

Climber: Greg Slayden

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Thursday, December 9, 1993
Ascent Type:Unsuccessful - Turned Back
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Point Reached:Kaala - S Ridgeline
    Elevation:2880 ft / 877 m
    Remaining Elevation:1160 ft / 354 m (50% left to go)

Ascent Trip Report

I was up at seven, leaving the Swiss kid in my room at the Waikiki Grand Hostel, and I got a courtesy van from out front to the office of Aloha Funway car rentals, where $21.90 got me a 1988 Nissan Sentra for 24 hours. Of course my plan was to climb Kaala, Oahu's highest point at 4020 feet, so I drove west across Honolulu on I-H1, then north on I-H2 to Schofield Barracks, a large military base. However, the guard at the gate wouldn't let me in when I stopped to ask him how to get to Kolekole Pass, where I thought I might find a trail leading north to Kaala.

So instead I drove north to Waialua where I found the road to Kaala (which I didn't want to drive anyway--I wanted a hike) was private, marked "Kapu--No Trespassing", and was in horrible shape. The trailhead for the Dupont Trail was also on private land, at the end of a bad road I drove down, and I didn't want to leave my car unattended. I thought I'd call the phone number on one of the No Trespassing signs, but decided to bag it instead. I was tired of driving around on dirt roads in pineapple fields.

So I returned to Schofield Barracks, this time driving through the gate to the base without stopping, and a salute got me in--perhaps my extra-short haircut helped, too. I found my way up to Kolekole Pass, parked, and started hiking north along the crest of the Waianae Range, with the sound of the artillery range below thundering in my ears.

However, after a couple of steep climbs and narrow ridge traverses on faint trails, I realized that Kaala was too far away and the terrain too difficult. If I had started earlier, or didn't mind burning my whole day on this hike, or if I knew that my overgrown path even continued to the far-away radar tower I could see atop Kaala, I would have gone for it. Instead, I admired the awesome views of Oahu's west shore, dominated by the green palisades of the Waianae Range, from my vantage point at about 2880 feet up, north of Puu Kumakalii. It was a typically partly cloudy, windy day.

Many years later I learned that my approach was a total no-go for Kaala and it was very unlikely my attempt would have succeeded had I pressed on.

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1160 ft / 353 m
    Trailhead:Kolekole Pass  1720 ft / 524 m
    Quality:3 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack, Mud/Swamp
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Greg Slayden
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

This page has been served 1239 times since 2005-01-15.

Copyright © 1987-2019 by All Rights Reserved. Questions/Comments/Corrections? See the Contact Page Terms of Service