Ascent of Mount Olympus on 2010-08-24

Climber: Ben Lostracco

Date:Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Mount Olympus
    Elevation:2486 ft / 757 m

Ascent Trip Report

An exhilerating climb up the Wa'ahila Ridge to a very lush summit ..... 6 miles, 4 1/2 hour RT.

Mount Olympus summit is located on the Ko'olau Range north of Diamond head, my source of information for this climb was Stuart Ball's "The Hikers Guide To O'ahu" and the USGS, Honolulu Quadrangle, 7.5 min series Topographic Map.

From the TH parking in the Wa'ahila Ridge State Recreation Area (above St. Louis Heights), the Wa'ahila Ridge Trail follows/climbs the Ridge generally northeast, over a number of good knobs, to the Ko'olau Range Ridge Trail where a right turn brings you to the summit. The well used dirt Trail for the most part is steep on both sides of the knobs, and moderate in between. Some scrambling is required, especially higher-up where the dirt Trail is wet/badly eroded (luckily ropes are provided).
The Trail is not difficult however special attention must be given where necessary (rocky, rooty, narrow spots), when wet it is muddy and slippery as was the case today. I found today to be an exhilirating climb, I came out pretty muddy (I wore shorts).

The Ridge is tropical with beautiful lush vegetation, of note are the tall Cook pines and the strawberry guava trees (I had my fill). The summit itself is especially lush and dense with fairly tall vegetation. The views in all directions through the vegetation/clouds/mist are of course superb. During our two week stay in O'ahu the Ko'olau Range for the most part was always engulfed in ever changing/moving clouds and mist. I left the summit after having lunch.

Get on the H1 expressway eastbound and get off at exit #25A, King Street. Turn left underneath the expressway onto Wai'alae Avenue and at the second light (Chevron Station) turn left on St. Louis Drive. Drive up St. Louis Drive through the Heights and towards the top make a right on Peter Street followed by a left on Ruth Place at the bus turnaround circle. At the end of Ruth Place enter the Wa'ahila Ridge State Recreation Area (posted) and drive to the top end of the parking and the TH.

Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:2806 ft / 854 m
    Extra Gain:700 ft / 213 m
    Distance:6 mi / 9.7 km
    Route:wa'ahila ridge trail to koolau ridge trail
    Trailhead:wa'ahila ridge state recreation area  1080 ft / 329 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail

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