OHE July 5, 1999 (Olympus-Castle)

Date: Mon, 5 Jul 1999 22:55:27 -1000
From: Wing C Ng (wing@lava.net>
Subject: Olympus Castle

Mark, Randy, Greg & FHF, and myself met this morning at 8:30 at Waahila Park to clear Olympus Castle, built by Mr. Castle's money and his plantation workers in 1910. Last time it was hiked in its entirely was during WW2, by Dick Booth and Neilsen (spel?). Yours truly rediscovered it on Memorial Day 1995, and has been clearing it SLOWLY by myself over the last 4 years.

It's good to have help. We reached the turnoff at 11:10, and got to the end of the cleared trail in another 15 minutes or so. Turns out that that is the beginning of confusion. There was no landslides so far, and there appears to be one just where I stopped clearing. We climbed over and then rounded a corner.

The trail deteriorated. So far, O.C. is nice and flat once cleared, but this section is narrow and sloping laterally. Then it commenced to climb to the ridge top. Mark and Randy were ahead, and the rest were behind, trying to see if we missed the main trail.

I saw something below and climbed down to see if that was the main trail. Disaster struck: there is no trail and the uhule covered slope is steep and bottomless! I hung onto a not-very-strong native plant (guava would be very strong, and only Dayle can dislodge one :-) ). I tried to climb back up, but the plant is not very strong and might come up of its anchor. The consequence would probably be a considerable fall ....

I yelled for help, and Greg came by, and he could not pull me up. Then I told him to pass me the parachute cord from my pack, and that failed also. Greg says move over to the right, and he himself then tried going down to my right, and ended up in the same predicament. Fortunately the right side is better and he managed to crawl back up, and then encouraged me to go right and crawl up. That finally worked and he managed to pull me back up.

I joked that it would be major EMBARRASSMENT to have to call rescue when the trail is literally inches away.

Greg says I might want to recuperate, and I heartily agree. So I sat down to have lunch and compose myself, while they all went forward.

After lunch I looked around and found a switchback going up to the crest that is remarkably flat. I thought that might be the true location of O.C.

I then went on along the familiar crest, and soon saw them way below near the Sedan Rock. They encouraged me to come down, but I refused, no point going down and coming back up later.

I returned in a leisurely manner, clearing as I went. We met at the end, and they said that they went to almost the Sedan Rock, looked below, and discovered O.C. Then they took O.C., cleared it, and came back to the spot I stopped at.

One of them will write about their heroic endeavor!!! Looks like that O.C. is now cleared from Olympus to the vicinity of the Sedan Rock. After that it contours way below the crest, in and out of valleys, reaching the Cabin, and finally Konahuanui ridge.

We speculated on the conditios of the mysterious "Cabin".

We did make major progress. Maybe we'll be done in less than 15 years that I previously estimated :-)


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