Mahalo to Aqua Hotels & Resorts for supporting Unreal Hawaii this week. They would like to invite you to come enjoy Oahu’s southeastern coastline for the views from Koko Head Crater and the Makapu’u Lighthouse.
I’ve always wanted to see Koko Head from this angle.
You see, I like guns.
The thing is, I don’t own any. But, Reanne’s friend John has a bunch. Big ones. And he offered to meet us at the range and let us shoot them.
If you’ve ever hiked up Koko Head during the day you know where this place is. It’s inside a smaller crater between Koko Head and Hanauma. You can hear the guns firing during your entire hike up the stairs. It’s unsettling and for the entire hike you need to remind yourself to have faith in humanity. And now that I’ve been to the range I can confirm that yes, hikers are totally within firing range. But, I’m happy to know that there are several range attendants on duty that monitor the shooters with eagle eyes.
On this day Reanne’s friends John and Jeff generously let us shoot their custom built rifles. They taught us the rules of the range and showed us how to handle and aim the weapons. We had a blast. Get it? A blast.
Here’s another video from Island Trails that I just had to post on the blog. I didn’t do this hike and had nothing to do with creating this video. But it’s some of the most impressive hiking footage I’ve seen and I wanted to share with you the crazy stuff extreme hikers are doing here in Hawaii.
I will warn you though that this video may cause sweaty palms and an increased heart rate. But hopefully, it will also make you want to run out of the house and get on one of the many great (and maybe safer) hiking trails in Hawaii.
Kaleo’s description of the video:
Hiking Bolohead Ridge on May 5th, May 8th, and August 14th, 2011 on Oahu, Hawaii. This exclusive video is a compilation of footage collected from three separate day scouts on a spur ridge connecting from Waianae Valley to Oahu’s highest mountain peak, Mount Ka’ala (elev. 4,025 ft.). Bolohead Ridge was named by Steve Rohrmayr because of a prominent ridge feature resembling a face with a bald head. In recent memory, no one has completed the ascent or descent of Bolohead Ridge to or from Mount Ka’ala. It was scouted by Steve Rorhmayr (waianaecrider.com) and Dayle Turner (.hawaii.edu/~turner/ohe/ohe.html) in 2001. The ridge features very narrow ridge sections, extremely steep grades over loose dirt and crumbly rock, and is only trodded on by pigs and goats. It is one of six known routes to Mount Ka’ala, the five others being the Dupont Trail, the summit ridge from Pu’u Kalena, the Kama’ohanui trail, the Waianae-Ka’ala trail, and the summit ridge from Three Corners.
On this past full moon we went out to Makapu’u to do some nighttime rock climbing. The crew this night was Lance, Angie, Pat, Reanne and Cory (the master of moonlight photography). We climbed from 10pm to 1am and it was super bright out.
While our surroundings were totally lit up by the moon, the crag (rock face) was in the shadows so we needed headlamps. (Most headlamps come with a red light you can use when you want to see in the dark without constricting your pupils. Turn the light off and you’re eyes will still be adjusted to seeing in the dark.)
The winds are calm at night. The last time I climbed here during the day, when you got to the top where Jen is above, the winds were whipping around at close to 30mph.
This was my first time top-roping at night. With the full moon out and a headlamp on it was easy to see the holds. But coming down takes some getting used to. Once you reach the top and are about to be lowered down, you can’t see anything below you. You feel like you’re being lowered into an abyss. It’s pretty cool actually.
We’re hoping that on another occasion the moon will rise more to the East so that it will illuminate the crag. That would be awesome.
We went out to the Town Boulders one night last week. Justin (Volcanic Rock Gym), Hiro and Nick sent three different lines on the same boulder. It turns out my camera battery was dead so I decided to just take some video. I shot, processed and cut the video entirely on my iPhone. Pretty amazing what you can do on an phone nowadays …
Strong winds during the day form lines in the sand.
During the winter months, huge waves crash against the cliffs. The ocean engulfs the beach and carves caves into the young rock. In the summer, the caves offer shelter from the sun and wind.
Walk along the Na Pali Coast to the end of the beach for an amazing view.
But, don’t do what Cory’s doing here … you’ll give your friends a heart attack.
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When I got back from Kalalau I went to get a haircut. I told Hayleen, the lady that cuts my hair, about my trip and she said that Kalalau was one of her favorite places. She didn’t do the hike but she was able to see the Na Pali Coast from a cruise ship. She told me that when the ship got to Kalalau it slowed down and did a U-turn. Then they told everyone to go out on the observation deck. When Kalalau came into view the entire boat went silent. There was not a peep out of the couple thousand passengers on the deck. She said that even the babies were quiet. And then, after a few seconds passed, all you could hear was a barrage of *click-click-clicks* from cameras.
As you walk down the beach in Kalalau you feel like you’re in a different world. This was my favorite part of the trip. We walked the beach both days we were in Kalalau. We tried to soak it in as much as possible knowing that it would be quite some time before we would ever return.