Made it to the summit w/ my lovely bride. Since I probably will never get the chance to summit Everest ... I thought I would try to climb the highest mountain in the world ... if you consider it from the sea floor of the Pacific Ocean.
When we started in the dark and missed the trailhead so just hiked up the road about 3/4 of the way. After several people stopped to offer rides we finally accepted one from someone who worked at one of the observatories. Once on top we hiked out to the true summit then ended up getting a ride back to the visitor's center.
Good trail when you could see it. Lots of snow above 12,500'. Two feet of rime ice on summit. Lots of threatening clouds, visibility below 50' at times. I was relieved when the trail route joined the road. Cold, high winds on summit. I got down just before a rare hailstorm ensued. 7 hours round trip from visitor center trailhead. 13 miles round trip.
Climbed via the road.
Nice experience to travel from 0 m to 4.205 m in a very short time with my girlfriend Irene. Big Island has so many beautiful and partly unique experiences to offer - from lava to snow and from giant-bamboo to waterfalls - densley packed on this exceptional island. Note: We met a pink VW Beetle on the Saddle road... :)
No snow, but no other people either which made up for it. :)
We walked out that short little bit with high winds. I feel stupid signing this since we drove up.
A clear and excellent day, surprisingly warm (45-ish?) at the summit. Saw a number of cars driving up the summit road, but no other hikers on the trail that day. Saddle Road from Kona was no where near as bad as I expected.
Most surrealistic hike I've ever done. Topping out among those huge telescope domes is a unique experience. The crux of the climb is driving the Saddle Road.
This is an otherworldly experience. We started the day at our hotel on the ocean, and climbed to almost 14000 feet. The landscape here is truly amazing. The clouds hung at about 6000 feet the entire day, so looking out over the clouds was stunning.
15 miles round trip to the summit, and a start at 9000 feet makes it a long day. Well worth it, though. The altitude didn't really affect me much - I guess I climbed it while I was still acclimated from Colorado.
The only downside is that the final 1.5 miles forces you to hike on the road, which is kind of a bummer after having perfect solitude for 6 miles.
Trip Report: Sea to Sky
Did you go on foot the entire way from sea level?
climbed this unique volcano from the visitor's center. I felt the altitude even though I am from CO. Very out of this world experience although the trail isn't too much fun. Met my wife on top.
My friend Michelle came up with the bright idea to "hike to the summit!" ... and me being almost equaly crazy said "let's go for it!" We got to the visitor's center and hung out for an hour then began the Humu'ula trail hike at 12:30 pm wanting to make summit by sunset and hitch a ride down, and it was an absolutely beautiful day for the "trek." We both are in pretty good shape, for 47 (me) and 20 (her) year olds, but the trail ascent (steepness) and thin air made it clear that we would "never do this again!" But we did it, hiked to the summit of Mauna Kea in just under 5 hours, watched an amazing sunset and hitched a ride down with 4 crazy englishmen, and it will live in us for the rest of our lives. Thank You Michelle, because if it wasn't for your "bright idea" i would never have gone there, even living here for almost all my life. Having a fear of heights i couldn't drive up there, so hiking it was the ONLY WAY i would experience something so incredible. Now, for Mauna Loa!
I've driven up this mountain several times. It's strange to go from sea level to 14,000 in one hour. Getting up there and hiking the remaining few feet to the summit is really tough when youre not used to the altitude. I like the little Hawaiian display of arts and crafts on the summit.
The views from the summit are great. When its clear, you can see Maui and all of the Big Island. Most times the clouds are way below the summit. The last time I was up there, it was the middle of June and it was snowing!
The most popular time of day people go is around sunset so they can catch the day views and then see crystal clear night sky with no city lights.
Route Climbed: Da road.
Date Climbed: November 20, 2004
Date Signed: Nov 24, 2004 01:14 AM
Big props and much love to Cornvallis for making this a must do on our things to do in Hawaii list. Absolutely beautiful sunset. I'm ready to go back!
Drove up from the west side, Waikaloa beach area for a quick climb of the highest point in the Pacific. Started climb at the Onizuka Visitor's Center at 9200 feet. Nice day with little wind. Watch thermometer showed 57 degrees at the Visitor's Center and 49 degrees on the summit. I was the only climber on the entire trail. From rental car to summit and back to rental car was 6 hours and 30 minutes. Set a personal high altitude record, that is until I do Shasta next month. I was glad to be back at the beach by 2 PM to resume my relaxing vacation!
Yup, did that 100-ft. elevation gain thing from the parking lot (equipment: rental car/Avis map). But I redeemed myself on Mauna Loa.
It was a great day (clear still weather, not hot, not cold).
Ascent (or two ascents if you count the satellite summit of Pu'u Hau Kea) and descent went pretty smooth. After about 2-3 hours of being in the summit region I started feeling altitude sickness, and by the time I got to the main summit I was ready to puke... Which I did on the summit to celebrate the ascent.
I liked the experience of Mauna Kea and Hawaii in general. At times things look unreal in this part of the world.
See my photo-report on this at
1st highpoint summited with dad partly cloudy very windy too windy to hike to true summit. I think im going to go back someday when im old enough and hike out to the true summit
Easy walk from parking lot, but altitude was noticeable.