OHE October 17, 1997

From: "Dayle K. Turner" (turner@hawaii.edu)

Because of a touch of the fever early in the week and a pile of work from school thereafter, I couldn't find time to get out and grab some exercise from Monday through Thursday. Since I had some free time today, I knew I had to log some trail time. Damn it felt good to sweat. :-)

The trail of the day was Olomana, which is about 10 minutes by car from my home in Kaneohe. The weather was good for the outing--partly cloudy, some decent trade winds, low probability of rain.

One bugaboo for me about Olomana is car security near the trailhead. As anyone who has hiked Olomana knows, that access road just off the main drag is not the safest place to leave a vehicle. Granted, my car has never been ripped off on the previous visits to that locale, but I never feel good about leaving it there. With visions of car thieves pillaging my car dancing in my noggin, I decided to leave it on Maunawili Road, in front of the first house on the left. Seemed safe enough. We'd see.

The walk from my car to the guardshack for the golf course (Laguna Hills?) took five minutes. The local guy at the shack was cool and after giving him my first name, I continued along the road. In about ten minutes I was at the trailhead to Olomana. There are two new metal signs at that point, one announcing "{-- Olomana Trail" and the other stating a more ominous message: "No Hikers Beyond This Point" in reference, of course, to the road to the golf course.

The trail looked as if it's seen a modest flow of traffic in recent weeks and it was moderately slick although not muddy except for a couple of spots. The HTMC gang will be clearing the trail in December so unless some other group or kindred soul tends to the task before then, be prepared to duck a bit under some Christmas berry tangles and to push through some moderate growth of laua'e ferns and other assorted trailside brush.

After the initial traverse through the slick, dark forested section, I reached the well-known ironwood grove and the eroded slope just beyond it. I always enjoy hiking through that area because there never fails to be a nice breeze coursing up the slopes at that point and the sound of that breeze blowing through the branches of the irons is comforting.

The climbing commences in earnest after the ironwoods and I took my first break at a large pohaku with a nice view spot hacked out through the Christmas berry on the left. A bit of dizziness, a racing pulse rate and a cascade of sweat were evidence of my lack of exercise during the week. Several large glugs of water, a cool breeze, and five minutes of rest helped.

The next obvious landmark on the climb is the sizable rockface that is best ascended on the right since a goodly number of roots and footholds are located there. I went up without a problem save for some heavy breathing and sweat dripped on the path.

The trail ascends more moderately thereafter and in about 10 minutes I was at the rockface right before Peak 1. Cables/ropes weren't hanging there as they have in past but climbing the rocks can be accomplished without them, and that's what I did.

In a couple minutes I was on the summit of Peak 1, enjoying the panoramic view that Olomana climbers all rave about. For lunch, I dined on some MRE grub (BBQ pork and rice). Yum. Thanks, Ralph.

I spent most of my time there looking at the Koolau Range, including Piliwale Ridge (looks menacing), the ridge up to Olympus (looks possible), the ridge up to Lanipo (aka Dick Davis's ridge), and the ridge up to Pu'u o Kona. I thought about the folks who've done these and wondered if I ever could muster enough nerve (or insanity) to try them.

The answer today was "No" but as the saying goes, tomorrow's another day. :-)

I only spent 20 minutes on the top, and after giving my tradtional two arms overhead salute and accompanying whoop, down the mountain I went.

Right by the ironwood grove, I passed a lone hiker heading for the top. "Is it a good trail?" he asked.

"Damn good," I smiled in reply. He seemed to like my answer.

The capper to a good day was when I returned to my vehicle and found it unmolested. Total door to door time: 2.5 hours.

Aloha and safe hiking to all,


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