OHE March 20, 2000 (Olympus-Waiakeakua)

Date: Mon, 20 Mar 2000 12:53:50 -1000
From: Patrick Rorie (prorie@k12.hi.us)
Subject: Mount Olympus Trail Clearing

Named after the Greek god Olympus, Mount Olympus is the round, massive peak between Manoa and Palolo valleys on the island of O'ahu.

On Sunday, March 12, I had the pleasure of joining a group of HTM folks in clearing this popular, ungraded ridge hike that originates at the Wa'ahila State Park in the heights of St. Louis. While the bulk of the crew started from the state park, a few hardy hikers including Carole Moon, Jay Feldman, Dayle Turner, Ken Suzuki, Charlotte Yamane, Volker "Darn Overpopulation" Hildebrandt, and Thomas Yoza began from Alani Street in Manoa Valley and ascended a spur ridge to Wa'ahila Ridge via the Kolowalu Trail. Weatherwise, the day started off with light winds and dark, gloomy clouds overhead socking in the summit ridge, but no rain fell.

For the most part we didn't have to clear until beyond the Olympus/Kolowalu junction, and even then, minor trimming of uluhe and guava was all it took due to the constant use of the footpath. Probably second only to Lanipo in terms of popularity of all the East Ko'olau ridge trails, and certainly in the top five in terms of shortest distance to the Ko'olau summit (3 miles).

Not far below the pinnacle of Mount Olympus, the two groups became one at the junction with the Olympus-Castle trail and headed west along the graded contour. Special recognition should go to Wingo Ng (no relation to Sport Center's Trey Wingo), Greg Kingsley, Randy Jackson and Kathleen Jackson for all of their hard work in reopening a section of this magnificent footpath. Prior to reaching the infamous sedan sized rock and lone ironwood, the party left Olympus/Castle and tramped along the top of the summit ridge. One by one, Dayle Turner and Ralph Valentino assisted the others up the narrow crumbly pitch to the boulder. Following a couple of stiff climbs, the hikers halted at the terminus of the Manoa Middle Ridge (aka Waiakeakua Ridge) and commenced consumption of the midday meal. By now, the winds had shifted to trades, lifting most of the cloud cover to reveal superb views of the sheer, fluted cliffs below Konahuanui, lush Maunawili Valley and triple-peaked Mount Olomana to windward. Looking east, four prominent "shoulders" caught my attention - Olympus windward, Lanipo windward, Pu'u o Kona windward, and the vertical ridge a short distance beyond Kaupo Cliffs!

During lunch other hikers approaching from the west along the summit ridge were spotted making their way toward us. Eventually, Moshe Rappaport and friend, as well as Arnold Fujioka and Thea Cousineau (no relation to former Penn State linebacker Tom Cousineau), joined us on the peak. We talked story briefly with them until approx. 12:50 p.m. when Dayle initiated the descent of Waiakeakua Ridge. Moshe and his comrade chose to accompany us, but Arnold and Thea ate lunch and then remained on the summit crest bound for Olympus. It seemed appropriate that Thea (of Greek heritage) should tramp along the slopes of a peak named after a Greek god - a rendezvous between a god and his goddess? Why not!

On the way down Waiakeakua Ridge the whole of Manoa Valley spread out before us, and the group gained pleasure from the abundance of blue sky/sunshine. As is normally the case, the tail end of the gang had to wait a couple of times for females to do their potty business in da woods, namely Carmen Craig and Lynn Agena. On the lower part of the ridge, Georgina Oka revealed to me one of her deepest, darkest secrets - her obsession with Ricky Martin - confessing that she loves watching him perform "Shake Your Bon-bon". Later, in the bamboo section, Carmen and Georgina agreed to go together to Ricky's upcoming concert in Honolulu.

The group reunited once again at a nice pool in Waiakeakua Stream, and several took a refreshing dip either in the pool or under a small waterfall a short distance downstream including Dayle, Lynn, Georgina, Jason Sunada, Kim and Judy Roy. After a brief scramble up to the State Pu'u Pia trail, the party completed the final half mile of the day's journey emerging onto Alani Street. From Alani, we piled into various vehicular transports and headed to Wa'ahila State Park for some ono grinds.


Come on out to the HTM Mount Olympus hiking event led by Kim and Judy Roy scheduled for Sunday, March 26.

Just joking about Georgina's obsession with Rick Martin. She really loves NSYNC or is it the Back Street Boyzzz? :-) :-) :-)

== Paka-trollo

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