Sunday, January 6, 2008

Matt, What is Kalapapa and what is the height of the cliffs around them? - Auntie Vicki

Hmm. I'm going to split this response into two categories. What I know before I resort to research and then, of course, the researched one.

I believe Kalapapa is a town in Hawaii that used to be a leper colony. As for the height of the cliffs, no idea.

Here's what I have gleaned from the web:

Kalaupapa is now a national park dedicated to preserving the story of forced isolation of those afflicted with Hansen's Disease (Leprosy) from 1866 to 1969. (NPS.GOV) As outside diseases were brought to the islands, the Hawaiians felt that isolation was the only solution. Kalaupapa was the perfect solution because of its unique geography. It was surrounded on three sides by the ocean and the peninsula was cut of from the rest of Molokai by the tallest sea cliffs in the world. ( At their highest point they are 3,300 ft above sea level. (



Neil said...

Matt: the height of the cliffs at Kalapapa is 1884 feet. We felt every foot on the back of a mule. It was a great experience to meet the Branch President who lived there.

Big Red Cat said...

I bet. 26 switchbacks! That is a lot of turning around. I've found several different sites that anecdotally mention the highest point of the cliffs being anywhere from 800 meters to 300 stories with roughly translates to 2700 to 3000 ft. This seems to corroborate the Wikipedia number of 3300 feet. Other sites only reference the elevation from the trail head to Kalaupapa where the elevation drops 1800 ft.

But I've never been there! So I'm jealous.