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Brushy field
After crossing a few more thick, brushy sections (one with an actual tunnel through brush), we came to some even more spectacular cliff-edged sections of trail. We were getting increasingly-favorable angles on the valley as we descended along the ridge, and that, combined with the more open lookouts made for excellent picture opportunities.
Surfacing Whales
Red Hill
Gathering Clouds
A Heavenly Trail
Foliage Tunnel
Wonderful Glade
I am at a slight loss for words as I attempt to describe the stupendous views we got as we hiked down Kalepa Ridge. The land to our right simply dropped away at a precipitous angle, giving us the most wonderful aerial views up and down-valley. The fluted walls characteristic of the Na Pali coastline were in full view across Kalalau Valley; directly below us we could see the tops of our own razor-sharp ridges leading down to the valley floor; We could now see the strip of Kalalau Beach down below, and realized that we were probably only a mile away as the crow flew from where we stood just two days before. It was completely awesome to have this novel angle at which to see all of this great scenery.
Winding along the edge
Isolated Lama Trees
Lama Trees above Kalalau Valley
The topography of Kalepa ridge was such that we would have a period of flat walking, then a steep grassy descent down to a new, lower level, and then more flat walking. Eventually, though, the ridge started to narrow - it was no longer flat-topped, but started to become a true knife-edge, although the western side was still less steep and still forested. Our sense of being thrust out into the open air increased as we descended.
Undulating Ridge
Another perfect path shot
Down a steep prow
It wasn't long before the slopes on the left side of Kalepa Ridge soon became open, and we were now on a true knife edge. At a small grassy knob, we stopped and observed the next section of ridge: a short saddle with no grass at all - just red volcanic soil, hard-packed, with a moderately steep drop on the left and an extreme one on the right. On the far side was another grassy point open on all sides. I felt we could safely make it, but Jenn and Brian weren't so keen.
courtesy JInnes
Becoming knife-edged
Andrew on open point
Above the Nakeikionaiwi Cliffs
They decided to stay, and I decided to go. Stepping foot onto the bare soil, I found that it was quite grippy and not at all crumbly. Even so, I couldn't help but step gingerly as I made my way across the forty or so feet of exposed ridgeline. Arriving without incident on the grassy point beyond, I had a quick glance further down-ridge and decided nope - I don't think I'll go any farther (it gets narrower, steeper, and even more exposed).
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[ Return to "A Hawaiian Kaleidoscope" Home page | Introduction | Mildly complicated journey | Visit to Pearl Harbour | Downtown Honolulu | Kaua'i - The Garden Isle | Na Pali / Kalalau 1 | Na Pali / Kalalau 2 | Waimea Canyon & Kalepa Ridge | Maui - The Valley Isle | Exploring Kaupo | Haleakala Sea-to-summit 1 | Haleakala Sea-to-summit 2 | Haleakala Sea-to-summit 3 | Haleakala bike descent | Maui beach & snorkel | Flight to Big Island | Hawai'i Volcanoes NP | Mauna Loa Backpack Prep | Mauna Loa Climb | Mauna Loa Descent | Paniolo Greens | Hapuna Beach Park | Pu'ukohola Hieau | Sunset at Hapuna Beach | Ph'uhonua o Honaunau | Farewell to Hawaii | Supplemental: Kalalau Trail | Supplemental: Kalepa Ridge Trail | Supplemental: Kaupo Trail | Supplemental: Paliku to Haleakala Summit | Supplemental: Mauna Loa via Observatory Trail | Supplemental: USS Bowfin and Missouri | Hapuna Beach Sunset | Hawai'i Flora and Fauna | The Blue Pilot | Video Clip Index | GPS Data ]

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