From Honolulu, take H1 west. Continue west on route 93 for about 6.6 miles after the freeway ends and continue to Waianae town. Just after the Waianae shopping mall take a right on Waianae Valley Road. After 2.5 miles the road splits into separate single-lane tracks: Take the left one marked: "Dead End". Carefully continue another 1.1 miles and park at the locked gate. Important: The locals will drive down this road like its a one-way so be wary - I nearly had a head-on with one of them on the way up! The first mile or so of your hike is up this one-lane mostly paved water system access road.
Once at the end of the road, take the obvious trail up the hill. After another ¾ miles you will encounter a shelter with a picnic table: Continue up the ridge to the right of the table and shelter. In a short distance, take the left fork away from the ridge trail. Follow this mostly traversing trail for about a half mile, crossing a dry streambed along the way. At an area of native ti plants and another very small (usually) dry stream crossing angle up the hill to the left of the stream. This path starts to climb steeply without benefit of switchbacks and reaches the ridge in another 1/2 mile.
Turning right at the ridgetop, you will see the powerline crossing a few feet in front of you. Here’s where the route gets more interesting. Continue along the ridge in a direct line to the peak eventually getting to the first in a long series of fixed “ropes” consisting of all manner of garden variety materials: Nylon and polypro utility rope, dog leashes, phone cord and even a short section of cotton clothesline! Be careful, test pull beforehand and enjoy! Brian Jenkins did this climb in June of '06 and reports that gloves would be useful due to frayed cables. Good idea anyway since gloves give a better grip on wet ropes. Most SP-types could probably get up this class III/IV ridge without the assemblage of ropes but they are handy when the trail is wet and very handy for the steep, slippery downclimb: A slip and fall off the ridge could easily be fatal.
Once on top of the summit plateau there is a very handy boardwalk across the swampy wet summit plateau. This eventually leads to the communication tower compound on the opposite side. On the left of the road leading into the enclosure find the unlocked gate that gives access to the grassy area just outside the compound. Continue around the outside to find the highest point and better views.
This route is 7.2 miles RT with 3,500 vertical feet of gain.
Torrential downpours can occur here, especially later in the day so be prepared with rain gear. The sun can be brutal, too, so a hat and some sunscreen is a good idea. Good boots for the steep, (always) muddy sections and a pair of light gloves to grasp the ropes may be helpful. (they will be wet almost all the time).
If you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.
The poster incorrectly attempted to phonetically spell the name of the Valley this route begins in. The valley is called Waianae, and the trail/route is known as either Waianae-Kai or Waianae-Ka'ala Trail
Posted Sep 29, 2009 5:07 pm
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"And I've got the sunburn to prove it!"