Kaleo Lancaster - Island Trails - Manoa Middle to Wa'ahila Ridge - Konahuanui West to Mano Middle - Laie to Waikane - Visual Poems Set To Music - Extraordinary Postings That Come Closer To Capturing The Spirit Of Hiking The Koolau Mountains Than Anything Else I've Ever Seen

Photos/Pictures/Photographs - December 22, 2012


One of the most sensational hikes I've ever done is on Oahu, what I call informally the "Manoa Rim Trail," which extends from Waahila Ridge, across the spine of the Koolau Mountains, and down to Pauoa Flats, Manoa Cliffs, and Manoa Falls. Here is Oahu resident Kaleo Lancaster's headcam video of portions of this hike taken January 16, 2011: Island Trails - Manoa Middle to Wa'ahila [GoPro POV]. I lived next to Paradise Park at the back end of Manoa Valley for six years in the early 1990s. I did this trail a couple of times by myself in 1994. If I were an adrenaline junkie I would have done it more often. It was pretty much completely overgrown with uluhe fern at the time, with none of the ropes you see in the video. The wind and clouds that blasted into you off the windward facing palis and the razor's edge trails with vertical drops to either side, nearly 20 years later are still vivid in my mind. Kaleo Lancaster's blog is here. The guy is drenched in appreciation for the Hawaiian mountains. His headmounted camera (jpg) does a phenomenal job of capturing the experience, and some of the music he's chosen for the video really gets your heart pounding with anticipation. Kaleo is a great writer, too. According to his blog, he's a life guard living on Oahu. He's done an incredible service putting these images and experiences out there in the public domain. Thank you, Kaleo! May you live well, and live long! Here's an outstanding video entry and blog for "Laie to Waikane - September 1st-3rd, 2012." The video is embedded at the bottom, which can be accessed directly at Vimeo. I like the music for this piece quite a bit. For more of a focus on danger and heights, check out Kaleo's Pu'u Kalena Side Ridge, Island Trails' 2010 Video Summary, and Konahuanui West to Manoa Middle - August 25, 2012. Mahalo, Kaleo!

Above pics from Laie to Waikane - September 1st-3rd, 2012 (pdf).
The video is set to This Will Destroy You's "Threads," which is an epic "post-rock" guitar instrumental that starts slow and tender and builds to an extraordinary sensory overload crescendo.


Above pics are from Kaleo's blog post, Konahuanui West to Manoa Middle - August 25, 2012 (pdf).

Please check out a video commentary at Wired Hikers (or here), that includes interviews and a group day hike on Oahu's Poamoho Trail with bloggers Kaleo Lancaster of Island Trails, Nate Yuen of Hawaiian Forest, and Joshua Serrano of 808 Goonies.

Manoa Valley Topo

Nuuanu Valley Topo

Manoa Falls, Aihualama, Pauoa Flats map

Manoa Falls Trail to Aihualama Trail elevation chart (Paradise Park to Round Top).


I sent an email out on December 25, 2012

Dear Family and Friends:

When I lived on Oahu I used to hike along different parts of the Ko'olau Summit Trail featured in the following videos. These short uploads set to music are spectacular and approach the feeling I had when hiking them back in 1994. The videos are easier to access directly at Vimeo (as the videos appear as a string of thumbnails at the top); but if you want Kaleo's narrative you have to read it at the originating blog, where each vid is embedded at the bottom of its respective blog text and photos.


My brother and I climbed the Ko'olau Mountains in August 1994, starting at Paradise Park near Honolulu, making our way up the"Manoa Middle" ridge, across the steep Ko'olau range for a few miles, then down the Waahila Ridge to return to our starting place. The Tradewinds really gather strength when they hit the eastern face of the Ko'olaus and scream at near gale force as they fly across the summit. The following two videos of Kaleo's cover the sections my brother and I did (minus his group's insane ascent of Konahuanui from the Pali Lookout). I had done these hikes earlier by myself, without water or food, and without telling anyone where I was going. Not too smart in retrospect. But the mountains really cleared my head. :) If you are interested in more of Kaleo's amazing headcam videologues, you can see another 20 or 30 of them at Vimeo. Nothing else I've seen short of being there yourself captures the experience as well.



On 12/22/2012 I wrote to Kaleo via an email contact at his Blogspot profile page

Kaleo -

Your postings and music come closer to doing justice to the Ko'olau Mountains than anything I've experienced short of being there myself. Your island trails blog is a selfless offering that completely stoked me today. Those ridge spines with all the intense cloud and wind movement stir the senses like nothing else. You are an excellent writer, too, and the POV camera rocks in the phenomenal videos you've made.

Please tell me, what's the music track to your Sept 1-3 2012 video post (http://vimeo.com/49154370#)? Is it the group "Mono" ? If so, what track?

Sometimes gymnastics and Parkour Free Running get me stoked. Some of these videos approach the freedom and release that your communicated experience gives to people, e.g.,

Damien Walters Show Reel 2 (with awesome music accompaniment by Linkin Park, "In The End")
Amazing display of youthful agility @ Natural News

Here's a pic of my brother that I took out of Manoa Valley facing the windward side of the Koolaus. I lived near Paradise Park and did the rim of Manoa Valley a few times by myself back in 1994. In retrospect it wasn't too wise of me to do it alone. But the Koolaus helped me deal with some emotional and spiritual issues I was facing.

Thanks again!






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