Date: Mon, 26 Jan 1998 18:39:51 -1000
From: jarrod kinoshita (jarrodk@hawaii.edu>
Subject: Olympus

I did Olympus trail clearing this past sunday. About 20 hikers gathered at Waahila St. Park at 8am. About half fo them didn't do the cross-over. At about 8:15, I followed Dayle and Nathan up the trail. I didn't hike for a while and am one of the slower ones so I thought I could use the head start. I think the rest of the group started at about 8:30.

It was a farily clear day, there was a little hazy because of the "vog", but still nice. Good thing it was somewhat cool too because there was little or no breeze during the entire hike. After about 15 min. I lost Dayle and Nathan who were way ahead of me. 15 min. later, Pat, Ralph and another guy came flying past me.

One thing I like about Olympus is that the trail is in faily good condition and required no clearing until the junction with the Kolowalu and summit trails. It's a freeway. To my surprise, I only took an hour to get there. The junction is also much improved. The last time I went up Olympus was in 1986, I believe, the summit "trailhead" was somewhat obscure. You had to know that there was a summit trail to find it. Today the summit trail is obvious and easy to find.

The summit trail is also clearer than I remember it. A lot more people seem to be hiking it, keeping it open. There are a few steep ups and downs but not bad on a whole. Someone also built a neat "tree ladder" which each rung is tied together by wire. It's like something you would see made with rope and bamboo on Giligan's Island.

20 mn. after I left the junction, I took a break in a shady area after a farily steep climb. That's where Deborah Uchida Ken Suzuki, Mae, and a few others caught up with me. I was surprised to see Mae there becasue I didn't see her at the park. I later learned that she had come up from the Kolowalu trail and was very tired. From the rest spot, I took in the views of the summit and some soft breeze. Using my binoculars, I could see Naomi and Chirs (they started at 7am) near the summit.

From this point on, I did some work on the trail, mostly cutting up uluhe. 15 min later, I stopped briefly at a clearing and Gene Robbinson comes flying past me with his new short hair.

Finally, an hour from the junction, I stop for a some pictures of the ridge and watched those that had started the cross-over. From behind comes Jason Sunada, who also came up from Kolowalu. He said it took him an hour to come up Kolowalu to the first summit!

In half an hour, I at the summit watching all the crazy hikers doing the cross-over. I could see two groups of 4. One was about 10 min in front of the other, about a thrid of the way to Konahuanui. I was amazed at Jason's speed. By the time I made it to Olympus, he had caught up with the first group. Mae, and a few others were also watching the cross-over gang onj their journey and saying that they have a long day ahead of them.

Half hour later, I decided to go over to the 2nd summit. It was a nice 10 min hike and had much better views. To the left was the windward side with the three peaks of Olomana. To the right was Kaau Crater, Palolo Valley, Diamond Head and Honolulu. It was a great lunch spot. Straight ahead was the Kaau Crater summit, Lanipo, Walalae Nui and Wiliwilinui Summit in the distance. After a good rest, I headed back to the first summit and again watched the cross-over hikers through my binoculars. They were a little less than half-way across on a short saddle, where it seems like they just finished lunch.

At 1pm, I left Mt. Olympus and made it back to Waahila Park at 3pm and enjoyed cool refreshments with the trail clearing gang.

Til next time,

Jarrod


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