Ascent of Puu Alii on 2013-01-11

Climber: Rob Woodall

Others in Party:Duane Gilliland
Adam Helman -- Trip Report or GPS Track
PJ Klein
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Friday, January 11, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:4x4 Vehicle
Peak:Puu Alii
    Elevation:4199 ft / 1279 m

Ascent Trip Report

After yesterday's Kamakou "marathon" we make a fairly leisurely start for this "summit". We are camped at the picnic site N21.13049 W156.92148 on the dirt road two miles short of the board walk. As we are getting ready, a Hawaii State Park worker arrives. We think he might take a dim view of our having set our tents up inside "his" picnic shelter but he's fine about it. After chatting awhile he agrees to give us a lift up the dirt road in his sturdy 4x4 pickup, dropping us off a quarter mile short of the boardwalk.

We're at the start of the Pepeopae boardwalk N21.11819 W156.90818 1186m by about 10 am and walk it to its end N21.12120 W156.89639 1299m, with a fine view over steep narrow densely forested ridges, although Kamakou itself is in cloud. It's nice to be in the jungle in daylight and in less arduous conditions: I took no photos at all yesterday and make up for it today.

After the board walk, the trail continues into the jungle, flagged with blue and occasionally pink tape. Soon we turn R at N21.12219 W156.89714 and descend quite steeply, on a very boggy trail, still marked with blue tape. We reach a fence: following this a few metres L then R we soon come to a gate N21.12490 W156.89719 which we go through, then turning R we follow the inside of the fence with a steep drop / cliff top to our R.

We cross a boggy saddle and at the next summit we reach a GPS waypoint indicating the county boundary, with the first CoHP contender nearby, which is evidently a "liner" i.e. nil prominence. It's evidently on the far (E) side of the fence: there's a convenient gate: we'll do it on the way back. We continue north, descending steeply beside the fence to cross another boggy saddle, to reach the next CoHP contender which is on the fenceline at a bend (N21.13022 W156.89799, 1288m). The northernmost contender is a short distance farther on, beyond a minor dip, a few metres back (west) from the fence (N21.13080 W156.89828, 1284m). We then return to the first (southernmost) contender, and visit a few likely looking points as close as possible to the county boundary waypoint. My best estimate is N21.12838 W156.89744, 1298m, in jungle midway between fence and cliff top. The GPS puts this 10 metres higher than the other two contenders, with reasonable accuracy, and it seems therefore that the highpoint lies on the county boundary itself.

We head back along the boggy trail then the boardwalk, then walk the two mile dirt road back to the picnic site, returning at about 3 pm, in 5 hours. We de-camp, and John Mitchler and Don Nelsen arrive to take us back down to civilisation. We have a nice celebratory meal before going our separate ways.

The next day I summit Kaala, the Oahu island and county high point, before flying home.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:820 ft / 248 m
    Total Elevation Loss:1154 ft / 350 m
    Round-Trip Distance:5 mi / 8 km
    Grade/Class:YDS 2
    Quality:5 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Partly Cloudy
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:492 ft / 149 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 328 ft / 100 m; Extra: 164 ft / 49m
    Loss on way in:164 ft / 49 m
    Distance:1.5 mi / 2.4 km
    Route:Board walk and South ridge
    Start Trailhead:Dirt road below board walk  3871 ft / 1179 m
    Time:4 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:990 ft / 301 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 662 ft / 201 m; Extra: 328 ft / 99m
    Gain on way out:328 ft / 99 m
    Distance:3.5 mi / 5.6 km
    Route:Board walk and South ridge
    End Trailhead:Picnic site below board walk  3537 ft / 1078 m
    Time:3 Hours 
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Rob Woodall
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

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