Winter in Hawaii is a great place to relax and rejuvenate. The surfing is amazing, the wildlife exotic, and the beaches are nice and warm. My family and I spent most of our time snorkeling, boogie boarding, and surfing. We did take a day to check out one of Hawaii’s only maintained climbing areas.
“The Moke” is situated on Oahu’s North shore, a short distance from the world famous surf breaks of the Bonzai Pipeline, Sunset Beach, and Waimea Bay. The climbing is on columnar basalt and is a bit slippery. The most interesting thing about the crag is the numerous parachute cords that are tied off to wooden dowels on the ground and strung through each anchor. The climbs are fully set up to lead but everyone we climbed next to only used the cord set up to pull their rope through the anchors and have an instant top rope. We were the only climbers out of 6 groups that day to lead at all. I envisioned this system at Smith Rocks and the mess it would be. I understand local ethics, but it also seems like a system like this, waters down the sport and takes any mental challenge out of the mix.
“The Moke” is worth visiting if you have an extended trip, but the surfing is where it is at. The day before we left, the report was calling for monster surf on the North shore. We were able to watch some amazing surfing at the Bonzai Pipeline, including a 13 year old kid swimming to shore on half a board after it snapped in two when he missed the drop into the pipe. Top end athletes performing in their zone is always inspiring.