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Mauna Kea Climber's Log

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wyomtnladyThe Moon  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Sep 15, 2011


Drove most of the way on our honeymoon in Hi.
Posted Nov 26, 2012 2:41 pm

MissHMade it to Mars!  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Oct 14, 2012


Ericd and I started at VIS at 6am after camping on the beach. Summited less than 5 hours later. Windy and dusty, but not as windy as the Rockies (that day anyway). Kind of how I imagine Mars, but maybe Mars in 20 years with those observatories up there! A nice couple gave us a ride back down which allowed us different views than the ascent's and to get the rental back in time so we weren't charged an extra day. Great 24 hours on the Big Island!
Posted Oct 17, 2012 2:44 pm

kevinsaMauna Kea  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Jan 18, 2000


Decided to go cool off in the snow after laying on the beach in Kona.
Posted Sep 18, 2012 12:42 am

fastlikeatortoiseMoonscape  Sucess!
Date Climbed: May 13, 2010


I can see why astronauts were considering using this area to train for the moon landing. The hike is relentless and the terrain certainly doesn't vary. Watching cars drive up and down the road off to your right is a little disheartening but a great feeling of accomplishment. Hiked from the visitor center all the way up but hitched a ride down to save my knees since I had to work the next day.
Posted Jul 21, 2012 12:22 am

AlpinistHumuula Trail  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Mar 5, 2012


Hiked up from the visitor's center above the clouds with Mark Z and John E. It was an enjoyable and memorable hike as this is my 50th state highpoint. Unfortunately, the winds were gusting to 70MPH on the summit. Thus, some of my family who drove up did not want to hike up the final summit ridge and I did not get the group photo that I wanted. However, the winds did put an interesting exclamation point on my final highpoint climb.
Posted Mar 6, 2012 5:04 pm

Holsti97Re: Humu'Ula Trail


Woo Hoo!! Congrats George. Now on to the Seven Summits.
Posted Mar 9, 2012 9:50 am

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


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


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


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


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


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

dspriceEarning It  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Jul 17, 2011


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!


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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