I had something to do early morning, and so was ready only 10 am for the Sunday hike. Last week I did 2/3 of Maunawili trail, and so I'd do the other 1/3, starting from Waimanalo side.
Weather was beautiful, mostly clear, cool and with breeze. Took 1.5 hours to get back to my lunchspot last week (when I started from Pali hairpin turn). I fooled around with a side trail for 45 minutes or so, and then had lunch, looked around, and turned back.
It occurred to me to go back to the saddle of Aniani Ridge, and then climb it to the backside of Olomana.
We cleared this trail back in 1989 two times. The second time was just me and Phil Booth, who wielded a huge chainsaw and cut all the intruding branches, some up to a foot in diameter.
I was slightly apprehensive about a work of man that is 8 years old, i.e. how clear the trail is 8 years later.
Turned out to be very good. There are orange ribbons at every turn. I don't know if they were planted back in 1989; if so, it would be amazing longevity. The trail itself is mildly overgrown but definitely passable with some work, which I performed.
The trail goes up several minor humps and eventually comes to the cliffs on the backside of the 3rd Peak of Olomana. With clearing, it took 2.5 hours to get there from the saddle. I climbed up partways and sat on a rock that is the last level spot on the knife-edge ridge that starts to ascend vertically at that point. Falling off either side would be a drop of at least several hundred feet. It concentrates my mind enormously, and brings me into communion with the Budhisattvas.
Return to the saddle took a lot less time, only 1 h. 10 min., and from there it's another 20 minutes to the trailhead.
It is a short, mostly easy hike, with some steep spots. But the main attraction is to admire the vertical needle of Olomana right there at its bottom. Going beyond definitely requires ropes.