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I’d rather not hike the Stairway To Heaven again in Oahu, mud slides, howling 60 knot winds, – my 2nd HASH hike

(Pictures at bottom – borrowed – during day time – I did it at night!)

Well, hello, I can say hello because I am still alive somehow after hiking 8 hours on the tiny tops of the Oahu mountains going from honolulu to Kaneohe/kaliua. It all started out as a fun garthering right? A true HASH eagles trail? “?” I thought I was just going to do a turkey trail since I wouldn’t say I was in great shape to be hiking for hours without water, but I did. Fatigued within 3 hours of the trail and being a little bit sick for gulping down a beer just recently earlier I came to the conclusion with others that this “stairway to heaven” just had to be the next very top peak ahead of us. We were all definitely wrong and very surprised when we crawled up that peak to declare ourselves HASH warriors and found ourselves 3 mountains short of “stairway to heaven”. The sun began to set and worries crept up our shirts, being that it was getting quite colder at 5000 ft high, having no water, and it being the first time any of us had hiked the man-made trail. In the dark we used the city lighted to keep crawling up mountain tops of 40-60 kt winds blowing at us and then sliding down in the misty muddy trail. We basically had to fall the muddy trail to reach stairway to heavens post at the top, an abandoned cement structure. We started to make some fire thinking we might have to stay overnight. Now their are still at least 10 that didn’t even make it to the first peak where a person was waiting to see who is last. To this day I don’t know if they made out alive like myself because the next day at 9:00 AM none of them reported back so I suppose Bigfoot got them before they could get back. As for myself and the 3 others 1 eventually took off down the “stairway to heaven” steps without us. Then around half hour later the rest of us 3 figured we might as well go for it and take the scarey extremely dangerous steps down as well so we can take nice hot showers as our motivation. You have to imagine all of us soaked in dry mud everyone on us, sprained ankles, rists, sore leggs, thirsty throats, and hungry bellies. On top of being dehydrated did I mention it was night with 40-60 kt winds and we chose to go down these 180* degree steps down (2000 steps I hear) called the stairway to heaven? Did I also mention many people have died on these dangerous steps and the trail is closed down??!!

Well you must of thought I was panicing, but I was actually laughing the entire time I fell over 100 times in the mud spraining all my muscles. I figured if I fall over the side of this steep mountains I might as well die laughing. The my friendly hikers infront of me definitely thought I was going crazy and maybe that was one of their main concerns and reasons to get off that mountain with or without me. We we started going down the steps it finally hit me that I still had a heights problem. My legs started to cramp up really bad and started shaking uncontrollably. All I could tell the rest of the group is to keep going and not stop. I was defintely going nutts, but under these harsh circumstances I kept my fears in control. To discribe the “stairway to heaven” trail in hawaii it is basically like a ladder going straight up with some regular very steep steps. The majority of the trail is straight up and in our case going straight down 5000 ft elevation to sea level. I can’t describe how scarey it was going down it in the dark, being afraid of heights, and ready to pass out because I didn’t have any water after vigorous hiking for 6 hours in the hot sun.

When we finally arrived at the bottom of the mountain no one waited for us so we either get lost in another black forrest or try to hitch hike on the highway. We make it to an highway exit and find a call box. After a period of waiting and showing our thumbs we stopped a cab and got a ride back to our cars. We were all so happy and so exhausted. This was definitely my first REAL HASH hike. I didn’t expect it to go this far, but I was defintiely excited and happy to be alive from this epic adventure! I was able to go to Hawaii on a 3 year vacation because of One24. Check the website out I’ll put you on my waiting list.

Images borrowed from Backyard Oahu:

For more information on the Stairway to Heaven trail and to see pictures of what I had to go down in the dark click here.

For more pictures click here. information on the stairs going up the mountain.

Haiku Stairs, stairway to heaven

Haiku Stairs, stairway to heaven

7 responses

  1. Jason

    Where are you getting your facts at?
    I’ve never heard of anyone dying from this hike?
    It’s only 2310ft at the highest elevation, it took me and my group of 30 year olds not great hikers 1 1/2 hours to reach the top of the trail and only 1 hour to get back down. Of course by your pictures the trail was not maintained like it is now. It’s a complete clear path now and only 5 out of the almost 4000 new metal steps are missing.

    February 7, 2012 at 6:14 am

    • Jason, I lived there for 3 years. There have been deaths there which is why the locals lock the stairs that are left. My own group, 10 got a helo to be lifted off the top! It is dangerous. Yes, if you are safe you should be fine, but if weather changes on you with mud slides or slipping on the vertical heavenly stairs you will likely encounter a life/death experience.

      February 26, 2012 at 3:29 pm

      • Actually, they are illegal due to the neighborhood disturbance created by hikers. The complaints from residents have left the trail closed. As well as the multiple entrances that cross/cut across private lands to reach the actual trail. It was maintained after some time only to be closed down, if I’m remembering correctly. There are few deaths, that I’ve heard or know of (if you have proof otherwise, I’d be interested in reading). I know that Olomana tends to get some deaths from people falling off or something. The recent happened due to the guy having a heart attack or stroke while hiking, not necessarily due to the hike itself. Usually I’d say it’s decently safe, if you’re in shape and knowing what you’re doing. Definitely be and act safe and there is definitely a higher chance of hurting yourself it is really wet and raining.

        September 21, 2012 at 8:01 am

  2. This is so over exaggerated..yes its hard but its STAIRS with rails…

    December 31, 2013 at 8:48 am

    • lol. its crazy when it gets windy up there!

      June 4, 2015 at 10:23 pm

  3. This piece is an overblown bit of nonsense.

    March 10, 2014 at 7:28 am

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