Chinamans Hat 2x
Pu'u Pueo
Kaimuki
Rocky Hill
Punchbowl Crater
Pu'u Kapu

Thu, Dec 26, 2019

With: Ryan Burd
Jackie Burd
Ryan Harriman

Etymology
Story Photos / Slideshow Maps: 1 2 3 GPX
Chinamans Hat previously climbed Sun, Dec 25, 2016

Continued...

Today's main event was a swim/climb to Chinamans Hat on the east side of the island. We'd done this three years earlier, but came back a second time because it had been one of the highlights of that trip. Afterwards, the others joined Mom for a zipline tour while I went off on my own to tag a few other short summits, keeping me busy for the rest of the afternoon.

Chinamans Hat

A fun little adventure featuring a quarter mile swim/walk from Kualoa Point to Chinamans Hat, the swim/walk dependent on the tides. We used boogie boards as floatation devices (I used the dry bag instead) and swam out in about 30 minutes. The weather was gorgeous today and the outing was popular, with several dozen others sharing the island with us though most had come over on kayaks. We landed on the rocks on the west shore, stored our gear and headed upuse trail to the summit with a short bit of class 3 just below the top. Oddly, we had the summit to ourselves for the five minutes we were up there. A larger party was making their way up as we headed down. There's an alternate class 3 route that we used to the right of the main route to avoid a bottleneck at the crux. After returning to the water we headed back, this time mostly walking our way, which we found actually easier than swimming. In all we spent about an hour and a half on the outing - good fun, this one.

Pu'u Pueo

Pu'u Pueo lies two miles WSW of Chinamans Hat, a point on the 2mi-long SE Ridge of Pu'u O Hulehule. An unsigned, hard-to-find trail starts at the end of Haupoa St in Waikane. One walks past the last house and a wall, then sort of has to find their way for the first couple hundred yards until ribbons and a good trail become apparent. The trail follows the ridge through forest understory to start, then up a steepening ridgeline with views opening up as one climbs higher. There are numerous handlines, none needed in dry conditions like today. I passed a party of three young adults on their way down. I didn't ask which summit they'd been to, but they looked a little too relaxed and clean to have reached Pu'u O Hulehule. I reached Pu'u Pueo in about 40min with a few sprinkles falling from some passing clouds. Not enough to get wet, yet enough to make a weak rainbow looking northeast to Pu'u Kanehoalani. To the northwest rose Pu'u O Hulehule, another 1,300ft higher and more than a mile away, connected by a narrow ridge to Pu'u Pueo. The trail continues over Pueo and up to the higher summit, but I didn't have the 3-4hrs that this extra effort might take - plus I'd already visited the higher summit by another route. After a short break I headed back the way I'd come, finishing before 4p.

Kaimuki

The rest of these easy summits are located on the south side of the island, near Waikiki and Honolulu. Kaimuki is the highpoint of a small, "mini park" in a busy neighborhood. The highpoint was adorned with a cell tower and, for the holiday, an electric light christmas tree.

Rocky Hill

This is the highpoint of a huge tract of land on which sits the exclusive Punahou High School, $26K/yr current tuition cost. Its most famous alumni - Barack Obama. I expected they might have equally expensive security, but that didn't seems to be the case. The easy way to reach the highpoint is via Kakela Pl on the back side, with a gate opening to the Alumni House. Though signed for No Trespassing, things seem a bit relaxed. I walked through the recycling area to find a garden and a path leading to the highpoint. There is a small view bench found there and nice views overlooking the school and surrounding communities.

Punchbowl Crater

Punchbowl Crater is home to the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, dedicated to war veterans of the various Pacific wars - WWII, Korea, Vietnam. The highpoint is found at the western end, above the footpath leading to the Punchbowl Scenic Lookout. There's no trail leading to it, but one can (maybe) find some orange flagging leading directly up to it from the east. The summit features a a hawaiian-style survey monument. Good views overlooking Honolulu and the cemetery.

Pu'u Kapu

This is a very minor summit in the Fort Shafter neighborhood. There is an empty lot between two homes to provide access to the highpoint. Climb the lava wall out front or the fence. Watch out for dogs in the house to the left. Pretty lame summit, really.

Continued...


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