Explorer | 20 pts
Pu’u Piei: Not for the faint of heart
How many people can you fit on a match head? The answer: Just about as many on the peak Pu’u Piei.
This small peak is located just above the Kahuku side of Kahana Valley. The steep ridge climb takes you to an awesome lookout where one can see beautiful views from Kahana Valley to Laie. But don’t be fooled into thinking that all this beauty comes without a price. You climb over 1,700 feet in a little over a mile and the last part of this hike is a hairy, free handed climb up a vertical pinnacle. I would rate the hike as suitable for intermediate climbers, with a danger scale of moderate. So as with everything use extreme caution and listen to your conscious. There is no shame in turning around if you don’t like what you see. To get to the trailhead, go to the Kahana Valley State Park. Turn right into the valley and head mauka till you get to the green orientation post. There you can park your car. From the parking lot you can see a sign indicating the trailhead. Follow this trail not deviating onto any of the side driveways. It is a very easy trail to follow, as it is maintained by the park service. Continue across a small stream and up hill a little bit to the ancient fish shrine Kapa’ele’ele Ko’a (literally black bark cloth) on the right. Ancient Hawaiians would offer the first of the catch at this shrine to insure a good catch. Pass this landmark following the trail till you come to a small landslide to the left. Follow this up through some ironwoods, continuing up the ridge. This part of the trail is a little ambiguous, so more or less aim for the ungraded ridge spine and you should be fine. You will see directly up ahead the small pinnacle Pu’u Piei to the right of the range summit.Once at the base of the pinnacle, shuffle to the left side where you can ascend to the top. The most beautiful things in places that only those who put forth the effort can find them. This is one.