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Wall Names

ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi 

A message from Kanaka Climbers:

The HiClimb wall names were given by Kānaka Climbers a Native Hawaiian led and ally supported nonprofit which aims to encourage a more ethical and responsible outdoor community.  We named these walls in ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi to remind us of the importance of speaking of places in the first language of the land. Like the names of most towns and streets throughout Hawaiʻi, we hope speaking/hearing in/about ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi helps create an inclusive space in which diverse cultures are honored as they have been in Hawaiʻi for generations. We hope this encourages conversation and  more respect for the Hawaiian language and culture.


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Paʻakai Wall

  • Paʻakai simply means salt.  We honor the wall with the name Paʻakai because before Kakaʻako was built, it was a marsh land used by the community to produce sea salt among other things. 

  • Using ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi to acknowledge the traditional uses of ʻāina (land) is a PONO (good) way to honor the history of a space. 

Nupa Kai & Nupa Uka Section

  • Nupa means deep cave. This is the deepest of caves, so you’ll need to keep your head up on your way out and watch out for other climbers. In Hawaiʻi, navigation is relational instead of using cardinal directions, where uka or mauka is upland or to the mountain and kai or makai is seaward. 

Paniolo Section

  • Paniolo means COWBOY. In 1798, Hawaiians developed ranches with help from Mexican vaqueros. [This three-walled area reminded route setters of ranching corrals or rodeos; the story reminds us of the diversity of contributions to the history of Hawaiʻi.]

Pōhaku Wall

  • Pōhaku means rock or stone. Pōhaku are sacred in Hawaiian culture, and are used to make structures such as ahu (altars), heiau (temples), hale (houses), kiʻi (images) as well as many kinds of tools. 

Moʻo Wall

  • Moʻo translates to lizard, reptile of any kind or even a dragon. For the climbing community who is familiar with the Mokulēʻia crag, we have climbed the dragon theme routes. (Don't forget to sign the required DLNR permit to climb here at

  • Mokulēʻia is the proper name for the area, shortening Hawaiian inoa (names) removes the mana from the inoa. 

Pali Wall

  • Pali translates to cliff. But we choose this name to honor the amount of time climbers spend on cliffs and steep mountain sides. 


  • Lēʻahi is the iconic postcard backdrop for Hawaiʻi.  We honor Lēʻahi as the inoa (name) for Diamond Head as it is well known worldwide.  The reason why Lēʻahi is named this is because the shape of the mountain resembles the dorsal fin of an ʻahi.  There are many moʻolelo about Lēʻahi, we hope you feel inspired to uplift these traditional names and to learn these stories. 

Nalu Wall

  • The wall design was inspired by the shapes of the waves. Nalu refers to the waves and surf, but can also mean to ponder and think. For like the ebbs and flows of the ocean, so are the same for thoughts. Stay paʻa (firm) with your thoughts while you climb the Nalu wall. 

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