13 January 2013

Olomana - 8 Nov 2003

I didn't get a chance to go for a run this weekend, due to the way things worked out.  Instead, here's a trip report that I wrote up a year ago, for a hike that happened almost ten years ago.  I was visiting my brother out in Hawai'i, where he was stationed.  He wanted to show me some of the local hikes, so we did Olomana and Rainbow Falls (on two separate days).  The latter was interesting because we hiked down to it almost the entire way, since we started at the Pali look out.  The former was interesting because it was my first and only real experience on an arête.  Both of the hikes were simply fantastic.  I'll do my best to get a picture or two scanned; the sunset peeking through the peaks across the valley was truly fantastic.  I've never seen anything like it.

Olomana.  To this day, the word still makes me smile.

Don and I got a late start (nothing new there!) and made our way over to the Golf Course / Country Club where the start of the Olomana trail is.  I remember stopping by the Marine Corps or Navy store, grabbing bottles of water and probably some snacks, and then driving along numerous back roads (Oahu seems to either be back roads or major highways) until getting to the country club.

We nodded to the guy at the gatehouse (who evidently was used to ragtag hikers walking through), and turned off at the Olomana trail.  We wound our way through the woods, stopping to check out a large hollowed out tree (banyan?) and eventually making our way to what I think was a large sand pit.

This marked the start of the ridge, and from this point on, we walked on an ever narrowing ridgeline.  It was literally like walking on the edge of a knife in some spots.  As we made our way up, we encountered a short rock face - roughly 15' high - with a few ropes tied on to assist with the ascent.  Don and I decided to forgo the ropes and just climb up with our hands.  I believe we even made a sport of it, but I don't recall who won.

We pushed onward, and eventually made our way to the first summit: a long, narrow strip of land with amazing views all around.  We stayed long enough to watch the sun set through the mountains to the west, sending out amazing rays of light.  I took some pictures, but none of them even come close to the sheer splendor of that moment.

We headed back down in the dusk and made our way back to the car.

The trip back was, for the most part, uneventful.  There was enough light for us to make our way, and we had made it past the worst of the elevation before the dark was complete.  As we were coming out of the woods, though, we heard a rustling on our right.  Something followed us almost the entire length of the road from the trailhead back to the gatehouse.  It stayed off to our right, and we could hear it walking in the underbrush as we walked.  Given the high number of feral cats this is the most likely suspect.  Tales of spirits abound on those islands, though, especially on the peaks.

I considered posting the Rainbow Falls report as well, but in reading it over, I think that there's more to the story than what I had written last year.  It'll have to wait until I can get the rest of it down.

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