by Kurt Heilbron
This is a hike I have contemplated doing for a long time but never got around to it. Well, my ribs have healed from my last trek at Ohulehule, I'm ready to get back on the trail again. As usual I packed my food, water, cellular phone, etc., and headed t o Olomana just 5 minutes from my home in Kailua. The weather looked okay. There were some clouds and a good breeze going. After checking in with the guard I parked my car outside and walked in towards the trail. I found it and started heading up into a tropical jungle. The trail was muddy with water running down it. In less than 10 minutes it started to rain...Hard! I mean, it came down real hard. I took out my raincoat and put it on and headed up the trail which was now a ditch of running water. I probably should have turned back at this point but I really wanted to do this hike. I pushed forward through the wind and rain like a scene from a movie.
I reached the first rockface section, now a waterfall, and headed up the face of it. No problem! Still raining I pushed forward until I reached the vertical rock section just a few feet from the first peak. The rope there is in the wrong place. I neve r even used it. Instead, I climbed up the side and over the top. I reached the first peak in about 50 minutes. The views were unbelievable. The rain had stopped by now and the sun started to come out. I took pictures wherever I could.
Clouds started to roll in so I decided to head for the second peak. I got there in about 10 minutes. Again the views are good but not as good as the first peak. The clouds started to roll in again and were so thick that I couldn't see anything past twe nty feet. I knew the third peak was there, I just couldn't see it. I waited by the trail to the third peak for 15 minutes waiting for the weather to clear. Finally the clouds cleared a bit but the rain was starting up again. I took a picture here of t he third peak. I call it the "Should I or shouldn't I" picture.
The descent down the second peak is a bit hairy, especially when its wet and raining hard. I managed to get down and started up towards the third peak. There is a rockface with a hole in it that you must negotiate. It isn't that bad but you still need to be careful. After climbing on the slippery rock faces I made it to the last rockface right before the peak. The rockface I had to climb was wet and slippery. I kept slipping off it. Finally, I made my way up and to the top. I made my phonecalls an d decided to eat lunch. Ah..How nice it was. I stayed there for about 20-30 minutes. The weather cleared and I was able to get some good pictures. I knew the hike back wasn't going to be easy.
After a prayer, I headed back towards the second peak. I started down the rockface from the third peak. I decided to drop my sack below to make things easier on the descent. Well, it managed to roll about thirty feet down the hillside and luckily stuck on a tree. So, I had to go down this hillside and retrieve it. Yes, it was dangerous and scary. It's the hillside that faces your back when you climb up the last rock face to the third peak.
Anyway, the rain started again and I found myself scaling my way to the second peak, this time on a waterfall of mud. Heh. I paused here for a bit to regain my composure and headed back to the first peak. I rested there for 10 minutes and decided to hea d back down before the rain got worse. Going down was like going down a mudslide. it was actually kind of fun. I had my CD player the entire hike. Heh. I reached the bottom and made it out at around 5:30 P.M. Total time for this hike 5 hours. Fifty minutes to the first peak, 10 to the second and about 1.2 hours to the third.
This hike was very difficult because of the weather conditions. I found some parts just as scary as Pu'u Manamana (like the third peak). I think if it was sunnier it would have been different. Still, I enjoyed this hike and look forward to doing again in the future. The third peak is definitely for experts only. The descent from the second peak to the third as well as the rockfaces that must be climbed, make this a very challenging hike.