Sunday, July 26, 2009

Makiki Tantalus Hike

Trails: Tantalus is a maze of interconnected trails. Many of the trails are loops. The route I took to the summit was Makiki Valley Trail to Nahuina Trail to Kalawahine Trail to Pauoa Flats. Back to the trail head, I went on Pauoa Flats Trail to Monoa Cliff Trail to Moleka Trail to Makiki Valley Trail to Maunalaha Trail.
Distance: 8 miles
Elevation Gain: 1500 ft
information courtesy of Stuart M. Ball Jrs "The Hikers Guide to O'Ahu"
Time: approximately 1:30 pm to 5:45 pm (4 1/2 hrs)
End of Makiki Heighs Dr
Sights: Sights of valleys, ridges, Pearl City area (unconfirmed), Waikiki area.

So this trail I did is actually a series of trails. I would have been lost if I didn't have the book. It was tiring. The beauty of Tantalus is that you can make up your own path, hike less or more if you like, and get to various points, Manoa Falls, Maikiki, Nuuanu Valley, and there are probably more that I haven't been to yet.

The first mile or 2 was actually one of the toughest parts. Maybe it was cause i was just starting. Just a long graded hike. A lot of switchbacks and narrow paths. There were some open points where I grabbed my first picture but they were rare.

Some really muddy points towards the summit. Most of the hike, you are covered by the forest. It doesn't get blazing hot if you just stand. Thats what the hike is for. There were couple of bamboo forests. It's always cool to walk through them. When the wind blows, you just here them knocking into each other. Just an unexpected sound for nature. I found the later climbs weren't as tough once I set a pace. It reminded me of the Moana Trail hike I did a couple months back. Not too many scenic points but I managed to grab some pics. Took about 2 1/2 hrs to get to the Summit. Quite honestly, I'm not sure what valley I'm looking at.

The descent once again was tough on my quads. Actually my feet hurt more than anything. I haven't found the best way to descend whether it's steep or gradual. It really bothers me. My toes always get jammed in my shoes (need to invest in hiking boots). It's partially due to the way I step down. I don't always go heal to toe. I think I need more fine motor control to do it comfortably. Even when I do, my toes can't help but go down. I found myself jogging down certain sections, staying as perpendicular as I could to the downward slope. It helped but I almost tripped a couple of times. Plus my balance is off with the additional weight on my back (always have at least 10 lbs of gear on my back).

So far 5 hikes on the island excluding Mariner's Ridge which we gotta go back to.

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