“Met this guy Ryan, from Cali, he’s going to do the entire summit trail one crack, 8days. Safe travels Ryan, remember Poamoho.” – KST Worker Left This For Me In The Poamoho Cabin Log
It would all be worth it to leave all the frivolous worries and stressors that society throws at you behind and start a new life over new up here.
I opened my eyes. I was in denial. I didn’t know if I had even really slept. It was an ongoing battle of fighting the soreness in my shoulders, the pain coming from my toe and my body not being fully comfortable on a sleeping pad. For someone who has spent as much time in the mountains over the past few years, you think I would get used to the entire sleeping in wilderness thing by now. Truth is, I haven’t. Two of my biggest fears are the fear of falling, and sleeping alone in the wild. Yeah, I know right? Guy who swims in massive waves, goes on surf expeditions to the most remote places in the world, and has a fully functional awesome cabin to shelter him from the elements and he can’t sleep because he’s afraid of who knows what.
It was 4:45am and I had at least until 6:45 before I had to make a move. I shut my eyes again. I drifted somewhere in-between conscious and the unconscious. 5:45 rolled around. Ok, maybe now that it’s starting to get light outside, whatever ghosts or scary movie characters that are lurking outside the cabin can’t harm me. Whatever I’m fast, I can make it to Poamoho in 4-5 hours I’ll sleep until 10 if I can, anything so that I can actually get some sleep and give my body a proper rest….. No Chance.
I honestly had second thoughts about continuing.
7:30 am: Ok, I’m up. FML. At least the weather is nice and sunny and the wind is whipping through the mountains. Today should be dry and cool. These are essentially ideal conditions for hiking these sections. I honestly had second thoughts about continuing. I wasn’t really feeling it. I once again, like all the previous trips, wasn’t getting much sleep while up in the Ko’olaus. Which, in theory, could be potentially really dangerous. I also was starting to notice a severe pain in my foot, which in turn made me question why the hell am I even doing this in the first place. I told myself once I got moving and started to make it to Poamoho my attitude would change and I would become excited again. Well, I was right. I left the Koloa Cabin by 7:45 and was back on the summit trail. I made quick work of the section between Koloa Cabin and the Poamoho Cabin. Even though I woke up late, if you can even call it that, and started later than I wanted to, I still made it the cabin by 12:45. It roughly took me 5 hours to complete the little over 7 miles or so. I wasn’t moving too fast or too slow everything felt in sync today. Once again, I took time to mark the trail where it needed to be, took mental notes and took some photos. I also found the cabin Beau and Shane said they found on their last trip through this section.
As I started to come within 2 miles of Poamoho the rolling hills begin to give way to narrow vertical cliff lines. You leave the entire bushwhacking behind and now it becomes a game of nerves and balance. It’s hard at times though to concentrate on where you’re walking because everything around you looks like a damn postcard. The views are breathtaking and second none. I quickly was reminded why I do this and put myself through all this bullsh*t. I was giddy again and the aches and pains disappeared. If there ever was a heaven on earth this is it.
The place has changed a lot. I didn’t really know what to make of it. It was in ways hard to digest. What used to be unprotected sheer vertical drops, are now protected by gates and fences all put in place to keep invasive pigs and other unwanted pests from destroying this magical place. It’s ironic to think that in order to keep a place looking majestic, we have to tarnish it with hideous man-made objects.
I reached the cabin and took care of my usual chores. Filtering and treating the water from the rain catchment is always the first priority. Next my focus is quickly turned to reading through the cabin log and getting a laugh seeing what other people’s experiences are. Shortly after, emails and check-ins are taken care of in order to let people know I am alive. Once all of this is complete, I turn to the beautiful helipad that sits above the cabin and stretch; listen to music, and down my food rationing for the day.
While the past couple of days have been fun and relatively easy, tomorrow has to be the biggest day of my life.
The novelty of short days is behind me and toying with the narrow summit ridge is beginning to loom on the horizon. Tomorrow is a grueling 14-16 mile day filled with ups and downs. So far, the weather has been unreal. When you see my photos later you’ll know what I mean. But everything up to this point means absolutely nothing if I can’t get past the next three days. The weather looks unbelievable for the next couple of days as well. I don’t think I have ever been up here during a forecast like this. Winds look light enough and chance of rain is low to none.
The thought of saying f*ck it all to life and its responsibilities and just staying in this cabin for the rest of my life is so tempting. There is not much more one needs in order to find happiness in life than the incredible views of the sunrises and sunsets that this cabin offers. There’s a rain catchment that you can get water from and I’m sure if you got desperate enough you could learn to eat rats. :) It would all be worth it to leave all the frivolous worries and stressors that society throws at you behind and start a new life over new up here.
As the sun starts to set on the Waianae Mountains once more, I once again am reminded of how lucky I am to live the life that I do. Everything is where it should be, and so am I.