Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login

Site Notices
12/6/2019 7:27:02 PM
Posted: 2/27/2007 8:40:59 AM EST
posted this in hometown but I figured most of you don't go to the Alaska/Hawaii forum... figured I'd put it here for all to enjoy....

I posted on sunday from the top of the Haiku Stairs here in Hawaii...

Some history:
Beginning in 1942, contractors for the U. S. Navy began construction of the Haiku Radio Station, a top secret facility that was to be used to transmit radio signals to the Navy ships that were then operating throughout the Pacific: "One more item was needed to give the Pacific fleet full striking power: absolute certain means of radio communications with headquarters at Pearl... A giant sending station must be built that would reach not only to the waters of Australia and the Indian Ocean but also to every Allied submarine submerged, especially if she were on the bottom of Tokyo harbor." (Excerpt from Builders for Battle, Woodbury 1946).

To transmit such a powerful signal, the Navy needed a transmitter of greater capability than was then possible with vacuum tube technology. They therefore decided upon an Alexanderson Alternator, a huge device capable of generating powerful radio-frequency signals, and requiring an antenna of heroic proportions.

In order to obtain the necessary height for the antennae, it was decided to stretch them across the Haiku valley, a natural amphitheater surrounded by high ridges. To accomplish this, they needed "easy" access to the top of the ridges, so they installed a wooden ladder, then later, a wooden stairway, up the mountain. (Those who had made the climb before the installation of the ladder referred to it as a "sissy climb.") Once the cable car was in operation, most workers preferred to ride the car to the upper hoist house rather than enduring the tedious climb up the stairs. Some remnant parts of the wooden ladder may still be seen beside the metal steps. The radio station was commissioned in 1943.

The Radio Station at Haiku Valley was inactivated in 1958 and began to function as an experimental OMEGA radio-navigation station. A new antenna was stretched across the valley in 1971, and the Coast Guard moved into the station in 1972.

A concrete block building on the main ridge (the "upper hoist house") was the upper terminus of a cable car that was the primary means of moving men and equipment up and down the mountain. In the building one can see the rusted remains of an engine that powered a secondary (smaller) cable system used to transport materials from the upper hoist house to the CCL building (the Communications Control Link Station) at the top. The CCL building housed equipment that provided emergency communication back-up for the ground link with Pearl Harbor, Ford Island Naval Air Station, Wahiawa Naval Radio Station, and Lualualei Naval Radio Station. The microwave antennae still visible on top were used by the Air Force from1954 until 1963 for an "unattended microwave relay station." Later the permit was transferred to the Coast Guard and the Marine Corps Base in Kaneohe. They used the unit as a passive transceiver to relay fire alarm signals between MCBH Kaneohe Bay and the Federal Fire Department at Pearl Harbor.

Until the roof was removed, the upper hoist house was a welcome refuge from quickly-moving showers so common on the slopes. The only roofed shelter now available is the CCL building at the very top.
(From: http://www.friendsofhaikustairs.org/)

What they are:
The stairs are comprised of approximately eight-foot-high segments which are interlinked by hooks and anchored by spikes driven into the mountain side. A pair of hollow steel-tube railings, an average of 18 - 24 inches apart, are bolted to each segment. The step spacing is very manageable, but one should realize this is equivalent to about a 60 - 90 minute continuous work-out on a "stair-climber" machine.

The grade of the ascent ranges from completely flat to nearly vertical. However, the majority remains above a 45-degree gradient. The ascent pauses at six flat spots along the spur with these highlights:

The first "step" has a metal ammo box (with logbooks) attached to the right-side railing.

The third "step" (elev. 2,480 ft) has an abandoned concrete structure which houses the antenna's winching equipment.

The sixth "step" is the peak called Puu Keahi a Kahoe (elev. 2,720 ft). On it is an abandoned concrete structure on which is mounted a pair of parabolic-dish antennae.
(from http://www.backyardoahu.com/index.html?haik1.htm)


The stairs are closed to the public... the area is fenced off but there are holes....


now for the pics.... click for full size



little tough to read the sign... it says:
ENTERING
U.S.C.G. OMEGA STATION
FOLLOW SPECIFIC
SAFETY PRECAUTIONS
SEE YOUR CONTRACTING SAFETY SUPERVISOR
FOR WORK PROCEDURES
with RF hazard simbols on the bottom of each side




looking back on H3 from the stairs... less then 1/4 the way up...



lots more to go....




getting up there now...





about 100 bikes went by on H3...pretty impressive from up there...






Looking at the view- to the north... chinaman's hat, the Marine base.... wish it was a clearer day




At the first landing looking back down the stairs....


and up...



me on the first landing with K-Bay in the back...






The upper lift house.... when the station was operational they had a lift going between the base and this point- this is all that's left of it....



Looking to the top of the trail from the lift house- clouds were starting to come in at this point...




Kaneohe and Kailua from half way between the lift house and the top...







At the relay station- top of the trail...



And yes, I was REALLY on AR15.com....

I'll get more when my buddy gets back from the field...


-Roth
Link Posted: 2/27/2007 8:51:47 AM EST
Sounds like fun. Watch your step, don't slip...
Link Posted: 2/27/2007 8:57:24 AM EST
Looks like a fun trip, thanks for the cool pics!
Link Posted: 2/27/2007 9:00:05 AM EST
great pix man that looks like one hell of a place to be.
Link Posted: 2/27/2007 9:04:39 AM EST
F-in cool.


Looks like a good hide out if the Sh*t hits the Fan
Link Posted: 2/27/2007 9:06:14 AM EST
way cool i wish more poeple would poststuff like this. i never new this was there. thanks for the history lesson.
Link Posted: 2/27/2007 9:06:27 AM EST
[Last Edit: 2/27/2007 9:07:24 AM EST by 82ndAbn]
Link Posted: 2/27/2007 9:06:50 AM EST
I think Magnum P.I. filmed an episode there once.

Cool pics.
Link Posted: 2/27/2007 9:09:48 AM EST
Awesome. I would love to take that climb.
Link Posted: 2/27/2007 9:12:49 AM EST
[Last Edit: 2/27/2007 9:17:40 AM EST by q3131]
I hiked to the top of the Stairs from the other side about 10 years ago before they were repaired.
You can go up the Tripler Ridge Trail behind Tripler Army Hospital. Its a good 4 miles of steep, rough trail to the Koolau summit at . An even worse trail follows the Koolau summit north for about 1 mile to the old Omega station you have pics of at Puu Keahiakahoe.
I went about 1/3 down the Stairs until I came to a missing section that prevented further decent.
Link Posted: 2/27/2007 9:22:22 AM EST

Originally Posted By q3131:
I hiked to the top of the Stairs from the other side about 10 years ago before they were repaired.
You can go up the Tripler Ridge Trail behind Tripler Army Hospital. Its a good 4 miles of steep, rough trail to the Koolau summit at . An even worse trail follows the Koolau summit north for about 1 mile to the old Omega station you have pics of at Puu Keahiakahoe.
I went about 1/3 down the Stairs until I came to a missing section that prevented further decent.


really? wow, i'm gonna have to find that trail... go all the way across the island- that would be an awesome 2 day hike.....

-Roth
Link Posted: 2/27/2007 9:29:29 AM EST
[Last Edit: 2/27/2007 9:45:30 AM EST by q3131]

Originally Posted By NUCdt04:

Originally Posted By q3131:
I hiked to the top of the Stairs from the other side about 10 years ago before they were repaired.
You can go up the Tripler Ridge Trail behind Tripler Army Hospital. Its a good 4 miles of steep, rough trail to the Koolau summit at . An even worse trail follows the Koolau summit north for about 1 mile to the old Omega station you have pics of at Puu Keahiakahoe.
I went about 1/3 down the Stairs until I came to a missing section that prevented further decent.


really? wow, i'm gonna have to find that trail... go all the way across the island- that would be an awesome 2 day hike.....

-Roth


Pick up Stewart Ball's "The Hiker's Guide to Oahu" at any bookstore. I still have a water-stained 1993 version sitting on my shelf.
It is the absolute bible of Oahu trails with complete directions and topo maps.
If the Tripler Ridge Trail is still open to the public, it'll be in the lastest edition.

Next time you drive by Tripler, look for 2 lone, very tall Norfolk Island Pine trees standing together on a hilltop directly behind the hospital. The trail follows the ridge those trees are on. You'll actually walk right under them.
The lower section of trail just behind the hospital is all guava. It'll be extremely overgrown and barely passable unless someone did some trail clearing lately.
Link Posted: 2/27/2007 9:56:46 AM EST

Originally Posted By q3131:

Originally Posted By NUCdt04:

Originally Posted By q3131:
I hiked to the top of the Stairs from the other side about 10 years ago before they were repaired.
You can go up the Tripler Ridge Trail behind Tripler Army Hospital. Its a good 4 miles of steep, rough trail to the Koolau summit at . An even worse trail follows the Koolau summit north for about 1 mile to the old Omega station you have pics of at Puu Keahiakahoe.
I went about 1/3 down the Stairs until I came to a missing section that prevented further decent.


really? wow, i'm gonna have to find that trail... go all the way across the island- that would be an awesome 2 day hike.....

-Roth


Pick up Stewart Ball's "The Hiker's Guide to Oahu" at any bookstore. I still have a water-stained 1993 version sitting on my shelf.
It is the absolute bible of Oahu trails with complete directions and topo maps.
If the Tripler Ridge Trail is still open to the public, it'll be in the lastest edition.

Next time you drive by Tripler, look for 2 lone, very tall Norfolk Island Pine trees standing together on hilltop directly behind the hospital. The trail follows the ridge those trees are on. You'll actually walk right under them.
The lower section of trail just behind the hospital is all guava. It'll be extremely overgrown and barely passable unless someone did some trail clearing lately.



great- i'll have to check it out- at the top where does the trail come out... I was thinking up the stairs, camp up top then finish the trail the next day....

-Roth
Link Posted: 2/27/2007 10:00:10 AM EST
outstanding
Link Posted: 2/27/2007 10:11:16 AM EST
Tripler Ridge Trail joins the Koolau Summit Trail about 1 mile (maybe less) south of the Omega station. You'll have to pretty much bushwhack your way to the Omega station. The Koolau Summit Trail is not maintained. Its extremely overgrown, very steep and narrow. One wrong step and you'll wind up in Kaneohe 2000 feet below you.
Deep mudholes, strong wind, rain, cold, and zero visibility are the usual conditions on the Koolau Summit.
Have fun.
Link Posted: 2/27/2007 10:12:14 AM EST
Great picture tour NUCdt04

And thank you for posting them in a manor
that us 56k tards could enjoy


GM
Link Posted: 2/27/2007 10:43:53 AM EST
Those are some awe inspiring picks.


Must have been one hell of a climb.
Top Top