Peace and Serenity Found
As beams of light from the setting sun burst through clouds, the pair of triumphant hikers bask in their glow on a summit in Hawaii’s Ko’olau Range.
A recently submitted picture on National Geographic captures the moment of massive accomplishment.
Through sheer dedication and self-motivation, Liz Barney and her partner conquered their dream of climbing up the Ko'olau mountain summit.
The Road to Success
Their success story didn't come easy as the two had previously tried to climb Ko'olau Summit before many times but had failed to do so.
In addition, they had prepared rigorously and trained for one year for the thru-hike.
I'm sure we can all relate to their story when we face our own unique personal challenges and taste defeat on multiple occasions.
Take another look at this image and be inspired!
If you haven't heard of the Ko'olau mountains, take a look at the brief synopsis below.
Hiking The Ko'olau Mountains, Hawaii
Location: The Ko'olau mountain range is located in the island of Oahu in Hawaii. The summit hike can be done from the north tip of the mountain to the South East coast.
The mountain range is not your typical hike. It's a massive volcano that began erupting an estimated 2.5 million years ago. The mountain tops off at Konahuanui at 3,150 ft above sea level.
To get to the Ko'olau mountains, you must use the Honolulu airpot and stay in Oahu. The trails are accessable from Waikiki by city bus.
When to Hike: The hike can be done all year round as the weather varies very little in the tropics.
The winter months can have little rain while the summer months can have heavy rain. This is not a hike you want to do when it's raining. However, the weather changes very fast so don't be worried if it's cloudy when you reach the summit.
Summit Hike: The ultimate Ko'olau Mountain experience is hiking along the summit ridge as seen above.
The main Ko'olau ridge line is nearly continuous, with three major gaps that are nearly impossible to hike and should only be attempted by those extremely experienced in hiking in these mountains.
This is a totally different breed of hiking than you find nearly anywhere else. In the Northern Ko'olau hiking the ridgeline is a extremely pleasant experience, as the Ko'olau Summit Trail (KST) is a nice contour trail that runs near the summit ridge, sometimes on the windward, sometimes on the leeward side of the ridge.
Hiking Terrain: Expect mud and lots of it, but the views and the forest areas are absolutely spectacular.
In the southern Ko'olau there is no nice contour trail, rather hikers simply bushwhack along the top of the ridge crest. Mileage is essential meaningless, and long pants are mandatory.
Hiking the ridge crest is a serious undertaking, but if you are comfortable with the exposure this is a totally unique experience.
It is hard to believe when staying in the crowded sprawl of Oahu, but the Ko'olau summit region is in many areas quite remote.
The End of the Trail...
Whether or not you have hiked or will hike the Ko'olau Moutain range, take note of the beautiful story that Liz Barney told.
Her story unfolds how success isn't defined by reaching the summit, but rather it's the persistence, perseverance and "I can do it this time" attitude that guides her to the summit.
If you can dream it, you can achieve it...