Wednesday, October 03, 2007

The trail that won - Wa'ahila Ridge

If you go up St. Louis Heights in Honolulu, which is one of the ridges covered in homes, you eventually get to Wa'ahila Ridge State Park, which is this very nicely developed forest area that is quite benign looking. The family has been up there twice for picnics. However, if you start following the trail along Wa'ahila Ridge, it's actually rather difficult and so far it earns the award for being the only trail that I and my classmate could not finish.

The plan was to follow the ridge trail all the way to its end and then take the unofficial non-trail trail that goes all the way to Mt. Olympus. Wa'ahila ridge is a ridge that separates Manoa valley where the University is from Palolo Valley, which is another residential section.

Here's a view of Manoa Valley and over to Wakiki and the ocean.

And here is Waikiki and the obligatory Diamond Head shot. I don't think I've done a hiking post yet without the crater.

The trail lets you know pretty quickly that it's not going to be a school field trip. Here's a rock climb you have to do at one point early on.

As you travel the trail, you go through several stands of strawberry guava. It's actually a highly invasive species, but if you ignore that, they're yummy and sour.

This is a good picture to see the ridgeline that the trail is covering. You can see the trail peeking out about half a mile back, which is closer to the start.

Things do get rougher again. I am not sure if these next pics are on the official trail or if we had already moved off into never never land. The rope pic must be "official".

And a muddy bit. It's the problem with these mountain trails. They keep going up, and they are covered in mud.

Eventually, we came to this impenetrable pass.

Doesn't it look horribly frightening? No? No, it doesn't at all. What's going on here is that this muddy patch is about 5 feet down, so you have to hop down to it. But it's covered in mud, and 6 inches from the grass you see is a cliff. So if you don't land your jump.... I think it would be nice and safe with a little rope so that you can climb down without risking going on a homemade slip and slide adventure. I keep planning to buy about ten 5-foot lengths of rope that can be tied and left until the return trip. Maybe over Christmas.

So, since we were defeated, we took a few shots of Palolo Valley and went back.


Ello said...

Beautiful! I envy you the loveliness of nature that is Hawaii. BTW - is that you on the rope?

pacatrue said...

Why, yes, ello, it is.