My hike plan was to do the Bowman Trail on Sunday, but no one had the courage to blast a 12-mile trail with me. Sunday passed with no hiking, and Wednesday came along with nothing to do in the morning before work, so I decided to do Mau'umae Ridge with Chase, Shanoah, and Lauren.
Mau'umae Ridge is a tough ridge hike at the top of Maunalani Heights. The trail starts off with a gradual descent down a rocky, unshaded ridgeline that has to be climbed on the way back. With our 8:30am start the open ridge was cool and manageable; the hike back was a different story. This onset of the unshaded ridge is probably what makes Mau'umae one of the most hellish trails on the island; the trek back on the unshaded section of the ridge was a scorcher, and it was so bad that I almost fainted.
The middle section of the hike is pretty overgrown and is need of some trail maintenance; our legs were getting thrashed by uluhe ferns and other pokey plants, but despite all of this the trail served up an endless amount greenery and lushness.
After three-and-a-half miles of hiking we passed finally reached the peak of Kainawa'aunui (elev. 2,520 ft.). From the lookout we had a mean view of Mount Olomana dead ahead, and a wide panorama of the windward side. The lookout was cool and windy and was a perfect place to sit and eat our lunch. It took us two hours and fifteen minutes to get to the summit, and it took us 2 hours to get back down. Usually with hikes like this the descent time is faster, but Mau'umae Ridge is a brutal rollercoaster trail that gives you the same workout going up and down the summit.