Even though this wasn’t technically a trip, it was a vacation for me. My friend Tommy was visiting and I arranged a pretty epic 10 day Hawaii vacation for him. Tommy’s in great shape, so I figured that I’d start him off strong, with a trek up the famed Olomana. I neglected to tell him several people have died on the trail in recent years and to ask if he had a fear of heights, but oh well. We were off!
Olomana is kind of rough on regular days. But we chose to do it on a particularly wet and muddy day, making it all that more challenging.
So yup, it was a little more slow going than normal due to all the mud. It was Tommy’s first full day though, so we got caught up and talked story. I actually met Tommy while we were both traveling through Europe. I took him on a custom bike tour of Munich that you can read about here.
Olomana is a mountain on Oahu’s east side that consists of 3 different peaks. The peaks get progressively harder the further you go, with the first being the easiest, second being a little more difficult, and third being the hardest. I’ve only ever done the first peak, which is what we did on this day.
Of course we stopped for selfies along the way.
There’s no way around it, Olomana is basically just a long uphill climb. There’s really no straightaways or downhill on the way to the top. It’s just up, up, up. That being said, you get to a certain point where there’s a lot of rock climbing and ropes, which I just love.
I think this is right around where Tommy started second guessing me.
I shot this because I can’t stand this kind of stuff. I really didn’t think it went without saying that you shouldn’t graffiti on rocks. I guess not. People, when in nature, there’s no need to spray paint the rocks. Or trees. Or anything in nature, really.
We encountered a massive swarm of bees about half way up the trail, so we had to get off the path and climb on these big beds of pillowy pine leaves. In this pic, Tommy’s scoping out the bees, located off to the right.
The ropes and rocks that I love oh-so-much.
Tommy, on the other hand, wasn’t such a fan.
There’s a lot of laua’e on this trail. Reminds me of Kaua’i.
And then Tommy met his Everest. This pic doesn’t really depict it well, but this section is a little hairy in that this rock just drops off hundreds of feet on either side. I climbed up to the top and looked back to see a very hesitant Tommy. I assured him he could make it, but I think the heights got the best of him. Knowing that there was an even hairier part up ahead, and that his mom would probably kill me if I killed him on his first day in Hawaii, I didn’t push it.
Tommy insisted that I keep going, as the top was just a few minutes from Everest. So I pushed on through and was treated with a stunning view. The clouds were just parting as I made my way up to the top.
There he is! Right where I left him, happy as ever =)
I really did feel awful about making this hike Tommy’s first experience in Hawaii, but he said he had a ton of fun anyway, and I believe him!
Before Tommy came out, I was trying to decide between buying a GoPro or upgrading the Watershot Housing for my iPhone. I made the mistake of opting for the Watershot, which is inferior to the GoPro in a number of ways. I eventually ended up getting a GoPro and am way more stoked on it. Still, look at this pic. I seriously have nothing to complain about.
After the hike and beach, we went to Beatz’ house to brief the crew on our little adventure. In other words, Tommy told them all about how I tried to kill him on his first day in Hawaii =) But that’s nothing. Wait til you see how I tried to kill him the other 9 days he was here …