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Ascent of Kaala on 2016-12-15

Climber: Jeremy Benezra

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Thursday, December 15, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Kaala
    Location:USA-Hawaii
    Elevation:4040 ft / 1231 m

Ascent Trip Report

This one went down pretty much as described in other peoples’ TR’s.

If you go when its drizzling at sea level, it will be a downpour uphill, as I found out.

Follow the purple bottle caps nailed to trees on the way up. Orange on the way down. Both streambeds were still dry even though it was pouring. Heard some boars making pig/boar sounds in the valley below.

On most of the steep/bouldery sections that have hand lines, the hand line isn’t needed on the way up, though nice on the way down. On the one section of 15-20 feet of real rockclimbing, with the hard rain, the hand line was essential for traveling both up and down. Test that line before you trust it, in one spot, if the hand line breaks you have a potentially massive tumble down a near vertical forested cliff.

Ran into 3 horticulturists with a 100 foot long tape measure and notebooks and they were spouting off Latin names of plants and measuring the location. They were on the summit boardwalk and told me the boardwalk is approx. 1 kilometer long. They said they had camped at the summit plateau for a couple days. What a magical place to camp! Though that would be quite a downpour to be camping in.

I didn’t get any summit views as it was cloudy and pouring rain. On the ridgeline section I could see the mist and fog rolling up one side of the ridge and going down the other. A little bit of wind on the ridgeline.

To find the summit marker, at the summit plateau continue towards the top of the road where the road enters the gated compound. Turn left and follow the fence with the fence on your right. Go through the man-gate and continue a little ways to the summit marker.

Note signs say close the gates to prevent spread of wild goat and boar. Also it says the area isn’t safe for unleashed dogs as they have snares set up to catch wild goat and boar.

I ran into some enlisted soldiers doing a training hike. They said they saw wild avocado and papaya along the trail. I searched for them on my descent, and would have loved to take a few home for a fresh tropical snack, but I didn’t see any, just lots of macadamia nuts on the forest floor.

This was my first Hawaiian peak and it was pretty enjoyable hiking through the forest and mist, into the different vegetation zone at the summit plateau.

When I made it back to my car I looked back toward the summit and it was sunny on top. Wish I got to see those views.

732 Left TH
953 Summit (pretty grueling pace)
1022 Left summit area (after hiding from the rain under a small roof overhang to take in a snack)
1148 Trailhead (after jogging the whole second half of the decent)

2:21 up. 1:26 down. 3:47 total moving time. Approx 2.2 mph moving average
Summary Total Data
    Quality:8 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail, Exposed Scramble, Rock Climb
    Gear Used:
Rope
    Weather:Raining, Cool, Breezy, Overcast
Dumping rain
Ascent Statistics
    Time Up:2 Hours 21 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time Down:1 Hours 26 Minutes



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