Saturday, December 31, 2011

Last Sunrise of the Year! Koko Crater - December 31, 2011


Last year I ended 2010 with a hike up Koko Crater.  This morning Sommer and I dragged ourselves up Kohelepelepe (Koko Crater or Pu`u Mai) to welcome the last sunrise of 2011. We pushed off from the parking lot under the cover of darkness. Surprisingly, the trail was quite busy considering it was still pitch black! Last week there was only a handful of people on the tracks before sunrise, today there were dozens.


For some reason going up the tracks was much more difficult than usual. Last week it only took 45 minutes to summit. Today it took over an hour! By the time we neared the summit we no longer needed our flashlights and could finish the tracks under the pre-dawn morning light.



There was at least two dozen people at Pu`u Mai, I counted at least four camera filming the sunrise as well. Sommer and I climbed to the top of the metal grating at the summit, but the morning dew made the grating extremely slippery. We had to slide down to get off for fear of falling in front of the other hikers assembled at the top. There was one couple watching their laptop on a landing at the summit.


After a short wait, the sun peaked above the clouds on the horizon.



The sun slowly lit the Ka`iwi Coast.



Soon we made our way down to the tracks. Before heading down I took Sommer into the bunker under Pu`u Mai.



It was absolutely pitch black in the bunker with no light leaking in from the tall ventilation shaft.




Sommer did not like being in the complete darkness and confined space, so we only spent a few moments in bunker before heading back.


We quickly made our way down the tracks. What a great way to start the weekend and end another year!

Rest of the pics:

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