Thursday, September 08, 2011


Olomana is a landmark formation of three steep green peaks jutting skyward between Waimanalo and Maunawili. It's best known as a difficult but fun hiking trail. It's less well known as a traditional and revered waypoint for hang glider pilots at Makapuu. Of course, strapped into their sleek high performance rigid aircraft, they can glide there from Makapuu without bothering to find lift on the way, but dangling beneath our slow and ungainly floppy sacks of air, we need to exercise a bit of strategy if we want to get there. Today, surfing under a fairly low cloudbase, five pilots headed over the flat lands of Waimanalo to explore the mythical soaring destination that is Olomana.

The clouds were a bit low for long distance but still great for some flat land thermaling under the clouds to Olomana. Mad Dog led the way, floating back to Puu O Kona and riding the cloud bellies from there to Olomana. Maui Doug and Gary and I followed, and we gaggled up at Puu O Kona to figure out our options. Most of us ended up flying above Olomana, and we ended up scattered at various locations around that area: Mad Dog landed at Hoomaluhia, Doug landed at the Olomana golf course, Gary landed at the Maunawili Falls trailhead, and I landed at Keolu Park after another fun but failed attempt at flying to Lanikai. Duck followed soon after, for his first flight above Olomana, and landed at the VFW cemetary.

Thanks to JK and Gaza for the retrieves!

Roll call: Allan, JK, Kevin, Bradley, Scooter, Nightshift, Bonnie, Frank, Doug, Gaza, Mad Dog, Thom, Flash, Duck, Jim, Five-0 Mike, and anyone else I left out. Not everyone flew, but most did, for many happy hours.


Thom said...

Wow, coffee read on my first cup, thanks.

I followed as far as Puukona but started getting cloud suck and bailed back to Makapuu. I arrived at the base of Iron Woods at about 600'. Iwas able to bench back up to watch Duck head out on his one ticket.

Cloud base got lower so I stayed local with One-Eye, Chili, Kevin and 5-O

Duck said...

It was my first flight to Olomana, and it was fun trying to figure out the, what a different kind of flying. Thought about going to the back range, but the idea of flying towards a mountain in the clouds did not seem right...landed out at the vet cemetary in Kaneohe.