Along the southern end of the Big Island a sea cliff runs along the coast then abruptly cuts inland, growing in height, heading north. This giant scarp is the result of a landslide that shed the former southern coast of the island into the Pacifc. What was left is a cliff that extends over 15 miles, exposing the layers of countless lava flows that built up the island, and leaving boulder fields beneath it.
I’ve visited this place 5 times in the past few months, twice solo, once with my partner K, and twice with friends. Here’s K working the “crimps of Kulani” project.
The climate here is the hottest I’ve experienced in Hawaii.
Jarret squeezing through the moves on Trail of Beers (v7). On this trip Jarret’s gallon jug of water opened up in his backpack. He lost about half. Not having enough water has been an issue on more than just this one trip. The heat of this place seems to always win no matter how much you prepare.
Anthony cranking on Charlotte (v4). Super fun moves on comphy holds.
Joe on the safari boulder. The line going up the black streak will be amazing, if it goes.
Panolo Koko (v8, FA). One of the best boulders I’ve ever touched. Cryptic beta, perfect landing, powerful, technical, just enough holds to make that rail climbable. And that perfect rail. On the other hand there was no wind, no shade, just blood sucking horse flies. These other factors made the process of figuring out my beta not about whether I could do it, but whether I could before I ran out of water and threw in the towel. It got the best of me on the first time, but on my last trip I got it thanks to Joe and Anthony keeping the psyche high. Photo by Anthony
Where the lava meets the lands.
Knowing that this lava flowed in 1864 is a constant reminder now-ness of the geology of the area. How recently did these boulders fall from the cliff and roll onto the lava?
Another gem amongst the talus.
The “crimps of Kulani” project. Another amazing climb that got the best of me. Thanks for the shot K!
Another one. 25ft tall. Any takers?
Kat nabbing a quick FA on one of the more striking boulders in the Waiahukini beach area. Some of the rock closer to the ocean can be loose, so take care when climbing here. A broken ankle here would be a disaster.
Alamihi Magic (v1) climbs the tallest, steepest face on this block. I wasn’t sure how I was getting off this one. (There’s a not so sketchy reverse mantle to the right.) Thanks for the shot K!
K getting ready to attempt Olivine (v3), the giant face that overlooks the beach, a perfect rock.
K on her still to be named FA (v4)?
An adorable dead crab, and a fly buzzing by.
Anthony brought his drone on this trip and got this elevated perspective of the Safari boulder, showing the “20 ft sloper” that will have to be negotiated to top this thing out. Luckily we didn’t even get close this day.
Anthony sussing out beta on Ponalo Koko (v8).
Joe leaning into the first move of Ponalo Koko (v8). This rail is one of the most beautiful features I’ve ever encountered. Photo by Anthony.
The crux of Barrel Lead (v5). Another gem of the area. Thanks for the shot Kat!
I showed this picture to my dad who said he drank this beer in the 80s. There are hundreds of old cans and other trash along this road. I always tried to take a little with me when I left.
You can’t see this boulder when you approach it from the south, so when I turned around to head back during one of my solo trips, it felt like it appeared out of nowhere. My first thought was It’s too good to be true. There’s gotta be something wrong with it — too easy, too ledgy, etc.
Turns out it was as good as it looked. The Daylight Minds boulder.
The final push up to the Daylight Minds boulder.
The light hued bullet stone of the Daylight Minds boulder.
Removing the death blocks from the top of Daylight Minds. Thanks for the shot Joe!
The hike out (after ascending the 400” cliff).
When I took this shot I was a little stressed that we were going to miss our flight. And we did, the last flight out. By some miracle, the flight before ours was delayed so much that it was arriving after the flight we missed. After reminding us how lucky we were, the ticketing agent put us on that flight, just us and two others so we were all bumped to first class. Sometimes it pays to be late.