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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Nukohe -- by Pete Clines


May 2003.  I haven't posted anything for quite a while, but I thought this hike was worth mentioning. Spoke to Patrick Saturday night to congradulate him on his Haleakala climb, and he put the idea of Nukohe ridge in my head.  Knowing that I couldn't commit to meeting him for the Bowman portion of the day, I told him I would likely try Lanihuli and look for him at the top if he came up Nukohe.
Sunday morning at 10:00, I parked at the end of Kalihi Street and followed the access road a short while before climbing a spur ridge to the extended Kamanaiki trail.  No ribbons on the spur ridge, but signs of an old trail for the first 2/3 of the way up (perhaps I lost the trail for the last 1/3).
 
While continuing on Kamanaiki extended, I came upon one, and later three more members of the Sierra Club.  They decided to pass on the summit due to being low on water.  ( I myself finished the day with no water and two cramped hamstrings due to the heat and lack of cloud cover.) While approaching lanihuli summit, I watched what I believed to be the Nukohe ridge to look for Patrick. 
Waited at the summit for about 30 minutes to have lunch, and then decided to descend Nukohe to add some adventure to the day, and also check on Patrick's progress.
Found the ridge to be vey steep, with lots of uluhe to slow me down - but it also provided some safety.  With the initial steep sections over, I branched right whenthe ridge forked and it wasn't too long before I got to the exposed cable sections that Patrick mentioned.  VERY dangerous here, with sheer drops and terribly loose rock, but I took it slow and negotiated the sections without incident.  I don't plan on doing this one again because of the condition of the cables(especially one at the very top that if pulled too hard might bring a large rock down on your head!) and the pieces of rock that I dislodged.  Poked around at the bottom of the ridge before finding some fresh pink ribbons (some torn down)and eventually coming out on a more defined trail with a water pipe along it.  
Nukohe Cable section photo by Jason Sunada
Got back to my car at the end of an exciting 8hour hike.  Talked to Patrick ~10:00 to confirm his safety, and then hit the sack.
One last thing about this ridge - I wouldn't recommend it, but as I told Patrick, if you are planning to do it, now is the time since there is a faint swath to follow through the thick stuff.  
-Pete Clines

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