21 November 2001
My son Adam and I finally completed our Lanihuli East Tramp today. Sunny and clear to start the day, but very muggy and no breeze. As I've written of the trail several times already, I won't go into detail. We left the Pali Lookout parking lot at 9:00 a.m. and reached the Puka twenty minutes later after a nice scramble. Thanks to the ropes and cables previously laid, we reached the top of the second bypass by 10:00.The fun really starts when you reach the first set of pinnacles. The tough rock climbing come, not at the large pyramid, but at the little rocky knobs in-between. The climbing opportunities on this trail are many. It tested the limits of my meager abilities.We brought one 25 ft. cable and one 35 ft. rope. We used the rope to drop down from one peak to a narrow ledge trail served by an Al Miller telephone cable laid perhaps 10 years ago but still in perfect shape. We followed the Miller Cable to the anvil rock at the washout. The dirt ravine has overgrown some in the month since we were there last. I believe it is just a wash where rocks and debris from the washout roll down the hill.I looped the knotted cable around the anvil rock and dropped it down the wash toward the contour trail I thought I could see. We discussed for a minute whether we should tie one end of the rope to Adam and one to the rock while he tried to climb up the exposed Windward side. That side had better holds. I nixed that idea and volunteered to lead down the chute and around the washout. I rappelled down about ten feet and considered how I would get across the chute and get some kind of hold. A few tufts of grass looked inviting. I made my move and found myself on the other side with a decent foothold and a tuft of grass to hold on to. I maneuvered around to the left of the washout and edged diagonally up the sheer face. I signaled to Adam that I was ok and that he should follow. I rested as he easily made it to my position.I turned and proceeded up a densely wooded area and made it to the ridgeline past the washout. Did I mention that this was a very steep face? Once back on the ridgeline, it is a slog fest through dense tangle all the way up to the top. Very grueling and slowed us down. We finally attained the true summit at 2:30 p.m. Adam cut out a lunch spot there and we rested. It was pretty much a white out so no serious views except for the occasional peek.We headed down at 3:10 and encountered no problems until we reached the washout area. That very steep part caused me to lose my hold and I tumbled ass over tea kettle twice until I self-arrested on a clidemia plant. Adam, just behind me, was laughing his ass off. He said he knew I wouldn't get hurt. Hmmm. I didn't get hurt, it was as comfortable a fall as one could hope for. There were some problems getting out of my jam, but I eventually toughed out a climb to get back in a safe position.We proceeded down with dispatch to avoid getting caught in the dark again. Certain parts are very hairy and take concentration to negotiate. We could have used another 5 ropes. I finally emerged back in the parking lot, in the dark, at 6:30. This was a beast of a climb. Technically challenging and physically taxing. Now is the time to try it if that is your wont. We saw a few circular rainbows up there. One slice of pizza cut out the bottom representing the shadow of the pyramidal peak ahead of us. The views are stupendous.