OHE August 8, 1998 (b)

Date: Sat, 8 Aug 1998 22:48:26 -1000
From: "Dayle K. Turner" (turner@hawaii.edu>
Subject: Konahuanui to Olympus TM

First off, congrats to Wingo and Steve Poor for reaching broken tooth between Noname and Kawiwi. The good Lord (and everyone on OHE-L) knows how many times you've tried. :-)

While those guys were exploring the Waianaes, Paka Rorie and I did maintenance work on the summit section between Konahuanui and Olympus today in preparation for next Saturday's HTMC Super Hike, which we'll co-coordinate.

We left my car on Alani Drive where the Kolowalu trail comes out and drove over to the residential area right before Paradise Park in the new pat-mobile. We began hiking just before 8:30 and, using the bamboo shortcut (by-passing Manoa Falls), Aihualama, and Pauoa Flats trails, arrived at the Nuuanu lookout in an hour.

After a short rest, we began the climb to Konahuanui 1 (3105), reaching the apex of the Koolaus just before 11. One of the amazing things about the ascent was how the clouds seemed to lift the further we proceeded upridge. That is, when we started at the lookout, the first big hill was socked in, but when we reached its top, the clouds had retreated upslope. And when we reached the top of the next pu'u (2218), the clouds had lifted even further. And by the time we reached Konahuanui, the top was clear. Amazing.

After another short rest for water and machete sharpening, we began the crossover, methodically hacking away at clidemia, fiddlewood, and uluhe encroaching on the summit swath. We also relished the great views to windward, especially of triple-peaked Olomana and the Maunawili Valley below. When we spotted hikers on the demo trail, we yelled and waved to them.

By 1:30, after descending a series of pu'u, we reached the distinct bowl-shaped hill on the crest (2480). There we rested and ate lunch, resuming the crossover/clearing at just before 2:00.

Well, there was a bunch of clearing to do, and there was just Paka and I, so we moved along, albeit slowly. We put ropes up at the ironwood section (~2000) and at the crumbly slope leading up to the "true horror" sedan-sized rock. Actually, since the HTMC never acknowledges putting up climbing aids of any kind, let me rephrase the previous statement by saying that there are now a couple of sections of ropes on the ridge that weren't there when we began. Yeah, that's the ticket.

I had a bit of eye-opener when the casing of the cable at the sedan rock shattered in my hand and sent me sliding downward 10 feet in a second. Fortunately, I landed square on my feet on a 2-foot wide area. Ahh, it's better to be lucky than good. :-)

We plowed on, hacking away steadily while fighting off fatigue. At about 4:00, the clouds rolled in, depriving us of the great windward and leeward views we had all day. We finally reached Wing's re-opened section of Olympus-Castle at 4:40 and the Olympus trail itself at 4:45. After a 10-minute break, we began the descent to Woodlawn and Alani Drive via the Olympus and then Kolowalu trails.

We were pau by 6:30 (10 hours), and I celebrated by eating two hotdogs and glugging two super-sized drinks.

Mission accomplished.

--DKT (still working on the Mauna Loa write-up)

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