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Mauna Kea Climber's Log

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huskertriguyHoneymoon Highpoint  Sucess!
Date Climbed: May 26, 2016


Started at 3 a.m., from Onizuka, thinking & hoping it would be enough time to be near the summit for sunrise. My miscalculation.

Summited at 8 a.m., but this included the highly recommended side-trip to Lake Waiau. Beautiful & strange.

My lovely wife drove to the top from the visitors' center (once the road opened) with our rental Jeep Wrangler. It was a relief to not walk back down.

Beautiful day at the summit, slightly chilly, but we came well prepared with layers (perhaps even overly so).

State Highpoint #42
Posted Jun 2, 2016 6:23 pm

McCannsterState HP # 31  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Apr 17, 2016


Was a balmy 55 degrees on the summit. This was way cooler than I was expecting. Weather was perfect.
Posted Apr 18, 2016 10:46 am

gimpilatorHiked up from Onizuka  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Jan 29, 2016


We also went to the top of the following: Kilauea, Pu'upua'i, Mauna Ulu, Puu Huluhulu, Pu'uwaiau, Puu Hau Kea, Puu Kea, Pu'uhau'oki, Puu Poliahu, Puu Kalepeamoa, Kilohana, Mauna Loa.

For pictures and videos see the full trip report.
Posted Mar 25, 2016 3:07 pm

Woodie HopperRun from Onizuka visitor's center  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Feb 14, 2016

Woodie Hopper

Ran up the road to the summit (hiked steeper parts), and around the observatory complex. Tried the trail downhill a couple miles before rejoining the road. Beautiful morning with few people around with great views. Totally dry- no snow around. I felt so small, and grateful to be able to do this.

4hrs car to car from the Onizuka visitor's center. A little more than 18 miles and ~5,500k feet climbing in total.

Returned by car with the family from Kona that afternoon to see the sunset from the top!
Posted Feb 15, 2016 9:43 pm

patascentOfferings to Madam Pele  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Jan 14, 2016


Gorgeous day on Mauna Kea. Started hiking at the Onizuka Visitor Center with my boyfriend Chris and his brother Randall. The elevation turned out to be too much for Randall since he now lives in Kona, but Chris and I made it to the summit in 5 hours. Our offerings to Madam Pele, 2 rocks from the Pololu Valley, my flower lei, and a double splash of Tanqueray. The valley below was a sea of clouds but it was clear and warm on the summit, probably about 45F. The crux for us was clearly hiking the mile section of pavement near the top. Chris said the road had 27 cracks in it. We saw 3 other hikers the day we climbed and caught a ride down with a hilarious couple from Texas, Ed and Dell. My first trip to Hawaii, but not my last. My 10th state highpoint of the highest 12. Still need to visit NV and NM.
Posted Jan 24, 2016 6:48 pm

Jow#32  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Oct 27, 2015


Hiked during our 10yr anniversary vacation. Perfect weather. Slightly tougher than I thought the altitude kicked my butt just a bit. Anyways #32 state high points in the books
Posted Oct 28, 2015 2:15 pm

siekkidHoneymoon High Point!  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Oct 22, 2015


Witnessed a beautiful sunset from the top of Hawaii for my 27th state high point!
Posted Oct 28, 2015 9:49 am

MarlinHighpoint #3  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Apr 26, 2005


Parked at the Visitors' Center and hiked to the summit. Passed where ancient Hawaiians quarried stones for their adzes. Unfortunately, vandals thought it was acceptable to spray paint their names at this National Historic Landmark. Previous visitors to the summit left offerings to Madam Pele, the fire goddess. Unworldly landscape; that's for sure.
Posted Sep 19, 2015 1:59 pm

MJSWe Didn't Know It Was A Highpoint, The Real First!  Sucess!


Back in 1986 while on our honeymoon, my wife and I were looking for something different to do other than lay on the beach or the normal tourist stuff. Back then we had never heard of the U.S. Highpoints, much less knowing that we were standing on top of one of them. Almost 30 years later we don't remember much other than we weren't properly dressed, the temperature at sea-level was around 90-degrees, and the temperature on the summit was well below freezing with the wind-chill. Needless to say we didn't stay very long.
Posted Aug 30, 2015 11:37 am

teddycricket83love the Hawiian Snow  Sucess!


shoulda brought the skis instead of the snorkel
Posted Aug 9, 2015 2:49 am

ericdNo lava   Sucess!
Date Climbed: Oct 14, 2012


Camped at Stanley beach the night before. 5hr hike up to the observatories at the summit and across crater. Sunrise and an ocean breeze made this climb unique.
Posted Jul 28, 2015 3:17 pm

Puma concolorState Highpoint #44  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Sep 23, 2009

Puma concolor

Reached the summit via an eight-hour round trip hike from the Visitor's Center. Short stay on the Big Island of Hawaii ... I spent three days in Kona with the sole purpose of climbing Mauna Kea.
Posted Jul 25, 2015 9:03 am

JenniferzivicAdventure Travel Gal  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Apr 15, 2014


On vacation and decided to climb to the top! #3
Posted Jul 21, 2015 12:55 am

chilkootHP #47  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Jul 14, 2015


I'm running out of state highpoints to climb, but this sure was a beautiful one.rook my 16 year old son with me so I had someone to chase. Beautiful weather with clouds filling in the valley along the Saddle Road. Raining in Hilo, but blue skies on Mauna Kea. We were well aclimatized from climbing Mauna Loa last week, so we could really enjoy the home today.
Posted Jul 15, 2015 1:57 am

DarrenKnezekSnorkeling and Mountaineering  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Nov 21, 2008


Went on a vacation and climbed the state highpoint as well as many days snorkeling.
Posted Jul 13, 2015 10:58 am

bruno baschungnice view  Sucess!
Date Climbed: May 9, 2015

bruno baschung

Quick visit on this peak. It's a bit unclear if access to main top is allowed, tolerated or forbidden though not "officially" sunce it's a free country.

A good place to think about big bang en so on...

bruno baaschung
Posted Jul 5, 2015 9:54 am

mluRe: Some place
Dear All,

I will be on the big island for a few days, and planning to do some hiking. Do any of you know if it is possible to climb to any of the peaks during the night to catch the sunrise? I did this on Mt. Fuji a few years ago and it was unforgettable...

Posted Jun 15, 2015 7:11 am

BaarbSome place  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Apr 29, 2015


A magic all of its own.
Posted May 31, 2015 10:22 pm

MusiscaHighpoint #9  Sucess!
Date Climbed: May 27, 2015
This was a challenging, but worthwhile hike. The drive to the VIS was cloudy and misty and I wondered whether I'd be wet on my whole hike. At about 10,000 feet, I burst through the clouds on the trail to see a primal landscape filled with multicolored craters and fields of igneous rock. The altitude is the biggest challenge here, especially if you're in Hawaii for any period of time. I'd recommend acclimating a little at VIS before starting and giving yourself plenty of time to ascend. I got to the summit in about 5hr 15min while taking pictures and resting. It took me only 2:30 to get back down. This hike is worth the effort. Bring 5-6 liters of water, plenty of snacks and something warm for the summit.
Posted May 29, 2015 5:10 am

jdubGreat conditions; late start  Sucess!
Date Climbed: May 25, 2015
Celebrated Memorial Day with an earnest 1st attempt on the summit of Mars-a Kea...I mean Mauna Kea. Weather was perfect maybe even too hot but hey that's better than snow and ice. Warning: do not leave the VIS at 12:48pm with a goal of reaching the summit and making it up and back on foot in daylight - unless you're faster than me. Really didn't think I'd have time to get past Lake Waiau but when I saw the dome of the lower observatory the adrenaline kicked in and I went for the summit. It was already 5:15 when I left the lake. Hit the summit at 6:30 pm. Final tally: 5 hours and 42 minutes up with a total of 80 minutes resting time, 262 minutes hiking. But hey, I made it. Took the road back down in twilight - jogged the first 3 miles in about 45 minutes and then obliged a ride from some youngsters in a jeep as blackness fell and I was reaching for my headlamp. Some notes for future 1st timers: WATER! I went through 5.5 out of 6.5 liters. ALTITUDE! I rested every 30 minutes for water and to let my breathing adjust. TRAVEL LIGHT! My pack was about 5lbs too heavy. And dress in layers - I got that part right. FOCUS! Humu'ula Trail is monotonous, steep, the footing is not great and, yeah, it looks like Mars probably does. But the reward is worth it.
Posted May 28, 2015 2:39 am

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