Wa'ahila Ridge - August 13, 2008

The Wa'ahila Ridge trail is a three mile hike to Pu'u Awaawaloa. Awaawaloa is also known as Mount Olympus. Kulani, Kia'i, Chase, and I got to a 7:30am start at the trailhead at the top of Saint Louis Heights Drive. The weather was sunny with a light breeze, and the summit was clear of clouds. You couldn't ask for a more perfect day to trek to the Ko'olau Summit.

The Wa'ahila Ridge trail is wide, well trodden, and easy to follow. There are a few steep descents in the beginning that have to be climbed on the way back, and there is also some rock climbing involved, but nothing too major. We worked up a hell of a sweat, but the sweat was worth it once we reached the summit.

At the top of the summit there are views of Waimanalo and a hidden, extinct volcano named Ka'au Crater. There is also a great view of the highest peak in the Ko'olau Range: Konahuanui. The hike to Konahuanui can be reached by turning left near the suumit of Mount Olympus. The ridge walk to Konahuanui's twin summits looks pretty darn narrow. If I didn't have to work this day, we would've trekked it to Konahuanui, but that hike will have to wait.

After cooling off and having a quick lunch at the top, we headed back down the ridge. The hike took us about four hours to complete; I thought it would've took longer, but we made good time for me to get to work.

Looking back at Wa'ahila Ridge with Manoa Valley to the right and Kulani en route to the peak of Awaawaloa.

Kia'i and Chase pushing up the last big hill to the summit.

Here's Chase on the narrow summit ridge with Pu'u Awaawaloa behind him. You can also see triple-peaked Olomana in the background.

Looking back on the summit ridge, and Kulani trekking. Behind Kulani in the top right corner of the picture is where the summit ridge narrows and climbs up to Konahuanui.

There's Konahuanui, the highest peak in the Ko'olau Range at an elevation of 3,150 feet, taken just below the summit of Awaawaloa.

And here's Konahuanui again, this time from Pu'u Awaawaloa.

*If all things go as planned, I'll be hiking the 12-mile Bowman Trail to 2,740 foot Pu'u Kahuauli with Shanoah this Sunday. It's considered to be one of the toughest trails on the island, so keep checking back for an update.


Anonymous said...

Nice blog and pictures as well! Did you ever hiking Bowman? We did it yesterday. It was amazing! Perhaps you can join our group?

Unknown said...

Yeah fun stuff, but wanted to provide some feedback on your identification of the snail you encountered on Olomana: Not an endangered tree snail. It is an endemic Hawaiian snail, but in a different family than the tree snails, on Oahu those are all Achatinella, all endangered, the one on the pic is called an AMBER SNAIL, in the family Succineidae. Most p[eople refer to them as "succineids" (pronounced "suck-sinay-ids").


Brenden Holland
UH tree snail biologist

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