Olomana’s steep ascents, narrow, rocky pathways, and ridge line gives it its advance rating. Nicknamed “Oahu’s Matterhorn,” Olomana’s hike out is just as difficult as its hike in.
Justin and I parked near the bridge before the entrance to Luana Hills Golf Course, and walked along the road to the trailhead. Fifteen minutes later we were under a canopy covered path and began the steep incline to the first and highest peak. Having worked my legs at the gym on Tuesday and hiked Heart Attack Hill yesterday, my quads were on fire as we climbed further. After 45 strenuous minutes and a few rope sections, we reached the top and enjoyed the panoramic view.
Eager to tackle the third peak we descended the first and was at the second in no time. However, by the looks of the descent from the second to third peak we knew it was going to be no easy task. Immediately there was a rope that vanished off the edge of what seems to be a vertical drop. Peeking over we noticed that the entire trek down required the use of a line. The thought of leaving my life in the fate of "unmaintained ropes" was to say the least daunting. Slowly but surely we carefully made our way down the loose dirt and gravel trail.
With the second peak behind us we looked up at the third. Driving past Olomana, the third peak does not seem steep but standing in the saddle definitely provides a different perspective. The trail is pretty much rock face, and requires rock climbing and walking on narrow paths with potentially deadly drops to both sides. I took my time maneuvering the ascent and did my best not to look below. I wondered if pushing my fear of heights was the best new year’s resolution to make. Needless to say I was extremely pleased to finally reach the top. We wrote a note in the pad located in the military box, rested, and admired the Ko`olau Mountain Range trying to locate the different summits.
For me rock climbing up isn’t as scary as going down so descending the third peak was, in my opinion, the most nail biting. It was grueling just watching Justin, and once again I was forced to trust the unmaintained ropes. Luckily, the decline wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. However, as I turned to look at the climb back up the steep second peak I couldn't help but feel exhausted. We carefully pulled ourselves up top, walked back to the first peak, and ran out.
Five miles and four hours later we were back at our car. We definitely felt accomplished for completing our first "advance" hike and were stoked that we finished it one hour faster than the average/estimated time.
Today I realized there are two types of hikes. Cardio ones and/or dangerous ones. Both are challenging in their own ways. Most of the hikes we did last year required physical exertion but I wouldn’t consider any of them risky. This year, especially after doing Olomana, I’m hooked on “advanced” hikes and look forward to taking on more treacherous and demanding trails. Pu`u Manamana here we come!
Second and Third Peak from the First
Third Peak from the Second
Notice the rope vanish off the edge.
(Looking down the second peak with back towards the ocean.)
Happy 4th Birthday Zephen!
Third Peak Descent
Second Peak Ascent