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Mauna Kea Climber's Log

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MattKFrom the Visitor Center  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Aug 22, 2011

MattK

What an awesome hike from the visitor center. Except for a few people that drove to the top, we had the mountain to ourselves.
Posted Nov 29, 2011 3:14 pm

wyomtmanRally  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Sep 15, 2011

wyomtman

Rental to the top and ran over and touched the summit in the dark, COUNT IT!
Posted Nov 7, 2011 3:18 pm

SocorroThe easy way  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Jun 6, 2008

Socorro

Been to the top but it didn´t take much effort. Definitely coming back to do the entire hike. The mountain´s shadow on the ocean is incredible.
Posted Oct 26, 2011 12:45 pm

MMclimbhighHumu'ula Trail  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Oct 21, 2005

MMclimbhigh

Climbed the trail under full moon light. We were on the summit for an epic Pacific sunrise. Highly recommended
Posted Oct 7, 2011 2:58 am

xpdaSnow!  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Mar 19, 2008

xpda

It snowed!
Posted Aug 10, 2011 3:24 pm

dspriceEarning It  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Jul 17, 2011

dsprice

After two nights of locally brewed beer in the happy little resort town of Kona, the temptation to drive to the top was hard to resist. I wanted to work for it – to feel that I had earned the summit, and I knew that if I drove to the top, I would have to return again some day to do it “right.” Voting against me were my own body, happily relaxed in the driver’s seat of the rented Jeep, and also my hiking partner, Kurt, who wanted to grab a quick picture and race back down for some more Lava Man Red (Kona Brewing Company) before our flight that evening. We settled on a compromise.

Instead of the 6-mile hike (4,600 feet gain) from the visitor’s center, we hiked from the parking area at Mile Marker 5.0 on the Summit Road, elevation 12,000 feet. This compromise option saved at least two hours, and still provided a 3-mile hike (1,976 feet gain) all at the higher elevations of Mauna Kea. We talked to a Park Ranger who agreed this was a good option, and showed us where to cut across from the Summit Road to the Mauna Kea trail. The hike was entirely uphill, and as happy sea-level dwellers, the thin air made this one of the most difficult hikes in recent memory. This is a deceptively miserable climb, especially when the azure waters of the coast are such a short drive away, mocking you for your exertion. “Why not take off the hiking shoes and put the sandals back on? The beer is pretty cold down here…”

Mauna Kea’s views and volcanic geology are intense – well worth the effort (even if you drive up). But don’t take this mountain lightly. If you can run to the top from the visitor’s center, you are one of an elite group of world-class athletes, and you should probably be professionally sponsored. If you hike to the top, you should be steely-eyed, have plenty of food and water with you, and you should be ready for a high-elevation stair-climb that sucks the wind out of you and dares you to earn the summit.

Hitched a ride down. A word of caution: don’t be so eager for a ride that you jump into the first rickety old SUV with squealing brakes that comes along. The drive down can be worse than the hike up if the kind people who pick you up have the Angel of Death in their car as an additional passenger. (Dodged another bullet in the name adventure!)

HP #4.
Posted Jul 18, 2011 5:40 pm

zoomlocorun and swim  Sucess!

zoomloco

run from the visitor's center; hitched down. took a swim in the lake on the way. a cold summit.
Posted Jul 16, 2011 5:28 pm

hikelasvegasdizzy at the top  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Dec 5, 2004

hikelasvegas

after we got out of out tour van, we had to climb up 200 ft. MAN, 200 ft. is a long way when there is NO AIR up there... :)
my FIRST HP, #1 for me, # 10 for hubby
Posted Jun 21, 2011 1:36 am

bajaandyBeautiful!  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Jun 19, 2011

bajaandy

Nice drive! Fun to "summit" this mountain only a week after one of the Cali 14ner's. Low on fuel, and cap locked on tank caused a vacuum which turned on the low fuel indicator. A bit worried until back on the road to Waimea and gauge began to show fuel again!
Posted Jun 20, 2011 2:37 am

klwagarbeautiful day  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Apr 16, 2011

klwagar

and a bit of snow too. A grueling climb :) all fifteen minutes of it
Posted Apr 21, 2011 2:09 am

kteichertHP #23  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Mar 7, 2011

kteichert

Started shortly after the visitors center at parking lot #1. Wasn't too excited about the switchbacks, so I got off the road and went up the ridge. Bad idea. Was scolded by a ranger for endangering the waima bug habitat. Apparently you learn about those at the visitors center, which I bypassed. Oops. He gave me a map and showed me the ice age trail. Summitted. Some snow. Amazing views. Absolutely ecstatic. Got some great pics. Amazing trip.
Posted Mar 8, 2011 1:13 am

Dennis PoulinNice Drive  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Dec 5, 2010

Dennis Poulin

Beautiful day for a drive and short hike.
Posted Dec 18, 2010 8:00 pm

runbyu1Tough Run!  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Nov 22, 2007

runbyu1

Ran up the trail from the Visitors Center---great trail! Definitely taxing and the Altitude certainly gets to you on top. I always feel it a bit around 10,000, but up above 13,000 is a new level (experienced this a bit on Whitney as well). Took some awesome pics and really cruised the way down---fantastic experience.
Posted Nov 8, 2010 4:00 pm

PJ921016 mile hike (one way)  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Oct 22, 2010

PJ92101

The actual hiking trail is called "Humu'ula Trail" and starts a couple hundred yards up the street from the Eliison Onizuka Visitor's Center on the left side of the street. I am in decent condition (ran a marathon a couple month's before this hike) and have hiked Mt Whitney and Halfdome and this is not an easy day hike. I'd consider it moderately difficult. The hiking trail is 6 miles (while the road is 8 miles) to the top. The first 2.5 - 3 miles on the trail are the most difficult with several steep sections. The first half of the hike is also through soft sand which made it more difficult to get your footing on the steep sections. I started at 9:15 am and the temperature at the visitor center was 65 degrees. It took me just under 5 hours to reach the summit where the temperature was about 40 degrees (according to their website). According to my Garmin, there's about 4600 ft of elevation gain over 6 miles, with the steepest sections occuring in the first half of the hike. The best way to describe the terrain is a moonscape of lava rocks and sand. There are no trees, so you are exposed to the sun the entire hike. Bring sunscreen and lots of water. I had a 100 oz. camelback and used up all the water by the time I reached the summit. That's when I decided to catch a ride on the way back down to the visitor's center (rather than hike it). Why not? You're in Hawaii for rest and relaxation. Enjoy the ride down!
Posted Oct 29, 2010 2:33 pm

WinterWarlockBeautiful day  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Oct 21, 2010

WinterWarlock

Drove to the Observatory area and walked to the summit...first time over 10,000 feet, so definitely felt it.
Posted Oct 25, 2010 2:43 pm

BrookTroutLeipharthitchhike & glissade  Sucess!
Date Climbed: May 21, 1986
In 1986, I could not rent a car with fuel injection, so my Asian rental car gave out at 9,500'. I hitched a ride to the top and walked up the snow field. It was warm on top and I glissaded down (have to bring skis next time). HP #19. Got all 50 in 2002.
Posted May 20, 2010 3:17 pm

mrchad9Great tour of the telescopes  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Nov 30, 2003

mrchad9

Drove all the way up, only intended to spend a couple hours but the staff was so informative and friendly we stayed until after sunset touring the telescopes, learning about the work there, and enjoying the views.
Posted May 9, 2010 3:38 am

bechttFrom Visitor Center  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Mar 29, 2010

bechtt

Had the 4WD but decided to hike the 4600'. Unbelievable views and weather. Plan was a twofer but I managed to make myself car sick driving the one lane road to the Mauna Loa trailhead. Next time.
Posted Apr 1, 2010 10:13 pm

MlaskyFirst thing on the agenda  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Mar 21, 2010

Mlasky

First full day on Hawaii activity. Coming from Idaho it seemed appropriate to do the hike first thing before we fully acclimatized to sea level. Hiked from the visitor center. Just a very long hike. Only 1/2 of the nine that started out that day summitted. We started at 10:30 a.m., which is a lot later than we normally do. We adjusted our start time to come down later and closer to the program start for the star gazing at the visitor center. Unfortunately the gazing was a no go because the cloud bank didn't recede lower than the center, which apparently it usually does. Trail up and road down. What a treat to summit the tallest peak in the world, counting all the underwater size of course.
Posted Apr 1, 2010 6:08 pm

NJTripperYeah.. I cheated...  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Jun 24, 2007

NJTripper

... took the tour bus to the top of the road. But I did have to climb the side hill to get to the actual USGS marker! (so... I'll have to go back some day to 'earn it')
Posted Mar 6, 2010 11:44 pm

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