I met up with local hiker Alex (Alika on Summitpost) for a quick hike up Pu’u Konahuanui. We had a great time hiking up and talking about things. Climbing was a huge topic, as he’s getting into that in college in Boulder. Alex also explained a lot to me about rare plants and how they get protected in the islands, particularly on army land. For example, an area with wild rare plants to be protected will often be fenced, because wild pigs root up everything. There is a crew of local guys who put in the fencing, which is often in remote wilderness, on steep and dangerous terrain. A job benefit is that they get to hunt all the pigs left inside the fenced area. Pig hunters in Hawai’i have so many interesting stories.

Amazingly, we made it to the summit before the usual clouds drifted in, although the view northeast was usually obscured by a cloud, and as we hung out up there, traversing the ridge to the main summit, the cloud kept trying to spill over to the south side of the ridge. From the main summit we could look steeply down to the Pali lookout, and across to Kaneohe and more Ko’olau Range peaks. What a cool place!

I resolved to get some cleated shoes like Alex, they seem custom made for these slippery slopes. My tennis shoes were utterly devoid of tread, so I pretty much wallowed in the mud on the ridge and part of the way down. Whew, was I dirty! “Be one with the dirt,” Alex said, or something similar!

Anyway it was great to meet Alex, and get some ideas for future trips. I’ve got 2-3 steep ridges to climb next time around. Mahalo!