To follow up on my queries about Hawaii, here's what I found out when I went!

Yes, there IS rock climbing in Hawaii, though you really have to seek it out. As someone else said in the earlier post, you wouldn't go there just to climb. But, if you find yourself sick of drinking Mai Tais on the beach, and want to haul out your rope, there's definitely a place for you to do it.

Thanks to Mike from Climb Aloha (the climbing store), I got myself a partner and headed out to the Mokuleia Wall on the North Shore. It's probably about the same length of drive as the NYC-Gunks trip, although for people in Hawaii, this is a really long drive! The trailhead is right across from Camp Erdmann, and you just park by the side of the road. (Watch out for break ins.) For those of us slobs who are used to walking to the cliff from the West Trapps Lot, the approach to the Mokuleia Wall is really stiff! It totally spanked me - quite steep and scrambly. Plus you're in the sun--bring twice your normal amount of water, so you can survive the approach!

When you get to the top, you'll see a wall with lots of string hanging off the anchors at the top. The routes have been set with nylon string tied to stumps of bamboo at the bottom. Attach your rope to the string end, pull the string through the anchor, and voila, instant top-rope! (The only thing is you can't check out the anchors themselves if you use this system, and I would think the salt air from the beach would erode the bolts faster than usual...) The local website says there are about fifty routes (all single pitch, needless to say). They're all bolted, most in the 5.10-5.13 range, with a few 5.8s and 5.9s. There's a box in the center, which contains the now-outdated route map, and a bunch of rugs you can take and borrow to lay your rope and stuff on. (Please don't steal the route map, and return the rugs when you're done!) Contrary to what you might expect from a volcanic island, the rock is quite hard and smooth. Even I, hand-jamming wimp of the universe, was able to get in a few good jams in the smooth cracks. And there's a terrific view of the beach (into which you can plunge as soon as you've descended the aforementioned horrible approach). Before heading back to town, be sure to stop in Haleiwa for some "shave ice" from Matsumoto's.

Rockclimbinghawaii.com has all the local resources, including a link to Climb Aloha. I found out once I got there that the "store" is really a guy named Mike who put up a whole slew of routes out at the Mokuleia Wall, found he couldn't afford to keep putting up routes, and so sells gear for the sole purpose of maintaining the routes. Pretty cool, eh?

Anyhow, that's the story. Anyone planning on being out there at Christmas/New Year's who wants to climb with me?

Carissa