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Mt. Olympus via Wa’ahila Ridge Trail

January 9, 2011

Hiking is one of the many things I never do as often as I’d like. So when my family visited over Christmas I took the opportunity to con my brother and sister into waking up early for a trek up the Wa’ahila Ridge Trail. Our goal was the summit of the impressive-sounding Mt. Olympus, which lies at the back of Manoa Valley. The timing of the hike was not ideal – it had been raining steadily for the past few days, and the day of our hike was no less damp. This rendered the trail, which Stewart Ball in his Hikers Guide to O’ahu characterizes as Novice/Intermediate, somewhat more challenging than anticipated. There were quite a few passages up and down rocky slopes and root-covered inclines that, slick with moisture, required a bit more concentration to navigate. Unfamiliarity with the trail magnified our trepidation, but we made it as far as the second knoll that precedes the final ascent, which provided some spectacular views of both Manoa and Palolo, as well as Diamond Head and Honolulu off in the distance. Knowing the trail from there on would intensify in difficulty, we called it a day, and retraced our steps, feeling plenty a sense of accomplishment. Some other day – a sunny one – I’ll head back to go for the summit.

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