There have been a lot of bad press surrounding the Hawaii hiking community, as of late. Over the last three days, there have been four reported incidents of hikers in distress and and two of those incidents resulted in death. 70-year-old Paul Yoon fell between 20-50 feet from the scenic lookout at Mariner’s Ridge on Saturday and 23-year-old Elizabeth Tarpey fell roughly 300 feet from the steep and narrow Puu Manamana trail the following day. In another incident, a 33-year-old man and 13-year-old girl experienced minor injuries from an off-the-beaten path waterfall trail in Manoa, known as Waiakeakua. And on Monday, seven hikers had to be rescued from the Kaau Crater trail in Palolo when they were run off the trail by wild pigs. All four of these trails are non-sanctioned hiking trails.
Kahtoola, the brand behind the popular MICROspikes, sent me a tee and some stickers. Thanks guys! MICROspikes were designed by Kahtoola as portable ice traction gear. Think lightweight and easy to put-on crampons. Considering these were made for icy terrain, why would I even mention this product on Exploration: Hawaii. Hawaii isn’t really known for snow, sure, but local hikers have adopted the use of MICROspikes when hiking the muddy terrain of the Koolau Mountain Range and other trails throughout Hawaii.
On April 1, Georgia born Chase Norton completed an amazing feat of fortitude, strength, and bravery. Norton became the first person to hike the entire length of the Koolau Mountain Range on a single try. His journey began on March 25 as he embarked from Pupukea and ended on, of most days, April 1 when he descended the Makapuu end of the Koolau mountains. It often takes people months, years, or even decades to complete what Norton did. Impressively, he was able to do it in seven days with minimal gear.