Crag Check: Makapuu Point

Mick Cross Topping Out

Mick looking down from the top of Makapuu Point.

Some climbing locations become destinations because of the aesthetics of the rock, or the ultra-classic rock quality; others become so due to the environment. I recently took a trip with my family to the Aloha State, and during our stay on Oahu, we made the 45 minute trek down to Makapuu point, on the leeward side of the island.

I’ve done a little bit of coastal climbing in California, but I’ve never experienced anything quite like this. The rock wasn’t the most epic, and the climbing itself wasn’t exactly anything to write home about, but there was something epic about placing a .4 Camalot 300 feet above the crashing surf. Boasting 2 trad and 4 sport routes, Makapuu point is a location that makes it worth bringing your rope, rack and draws with you on your next vacation (or business trip) to Honolulu. In addition, every route is easily top-rope accessible, so if you’re not super confident on lead, that’s ok, you can still take advantage of this spectacular location.

On Belay

Kyle Cross belaying Parker on “The Stemming Route”

Parker On Lead

Parker flashing the 5.8 “Arete”

We laced up 3 routes while at Makapuu, and spent about half the day taking turns climbing, belaying, and exploring the exposed cliff faces of the area, out toward Makapuu lighthouse. Each person in my family climbed at least 1 route, including my mom, who stemmed up a 5.7 in her running shoes like a champ, and my 11 year-old sister Elanor.

After Makapuu Point, we drove to the exact opposite side of the island to jump off the Black Rock of Waimea Bay, and boulder on the beach. Sorry, no photos of that. We suffered from dead-battery syndrome. As far as I’m concerned, if you don’t bring your climbing shoes to Oahu, you’re missing some of the best stuff on the island.

We also spent 7 days in Kauai hiking, paddling, and surfing. I’ve included a couple of those pics here in case you’re interested.


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