Honolulu County High Point Trip Report

Date: February 1999
Author: Ken Jones

Got the family up Ka'ala. For those interested, I can provide some route information - let me know. Let's just say that we didn't have FAA connections and so couldn't drive the road, but Bob Packard's DuPont Trail experiences were (while impressive) a bit more than is necessary for Oahu's HP.

The "trail" we took included belaying the boys (up and down) on a short class 3 pitch, and lots of ropes and cables in place for handholds, and some rather exposed trail segments. It was a bit of a stretch for Colin (who is 7 years old), as it spends more time more exposed than any other trail I can think of (a stumble would NOT be a good idea) - but we all made it and had a good time.

Experienced mountain folks won't have a lot of trouble with this one if they know where to find the trail. If you have Stuart Ball's "Trails of O'ahu" this was the Wai'anae-Ka'ala hike. His description is pretty good, although the road is gated at about 600' elevation and 1 mile or so before the book's "end of driving," making for a 3500' gain day. It takes longer than it might look on a map (although from my perspective, it doesn't look likely that there is actually a trail on that ridge, so maybe it looks like a long trip on the map as well). Our round trip (with a 7-year-old and carrying a climbing rope and anchors to slow me down) was just over 9 hours. I'd guess 6 to 7 hours for a normal group, less if you're fast.