Even though I did 4 14ers in the 2 weeks prior I was a bit lightheaded on the short hike from the parking area to the summit. Amazing what a week at 0ft will do for the acclimatization. Oh, and I drove the road in a Dodge Caliber.
Ok, it was a short hike up the highest point from the road so I figured I could survive in beach shorts. Boy it was cold for Hawaii! While gone, Park Ranger knocked on window to ask my wife if our infant child was ok. Pictures at http://www.willhiteweb.com/state_highpoint/hawaii/mauna_kea_161.htm
I drove up the road after finishing my hike up Mauna Loa. Mauna Kea was still covered in snow about 13000ft. It was 35 degrees at the summit. Took about 10 minutes to walk to the summit
Couldn't have had a better day. Long hike in the deep snow left over from the storm the week before. Who knew Hawaii had snow like this? A lot of locals at the top enjoying the snowboarding and skiing.
We called the information line in the morning and found that the road had been cleared to the summit. Amazing! So we headed up and found that we were not the only ones wishing to use their holiday to drive up to Mauna Kea. Huge numbers of vehicles, many of them big 4WD pickups being used to haul snow back down the mountain. We finally got to the top where we found fog, high winds, and whiteout conditions. We bundled up, talked to a couple of guys who seemed interested in going with us, invited them to come along even though they weren't prepared. They did want to come along, so we led them over there. Without GPS we wouldn't have been able to find the summit, but with it we found it easily after struggling through the deep snow. Never saw a view, unfortunately.
Actually Kelly and I drove up to the observatory (4,198 m/13,796 ft), then we started hiking and summiting all of the small peaks of this huge volcano.
We had an awesome time and weather. We didn't know we could find snow in Hawaii, we didn't use eye protection, so Kelly got snow blindness. We drove down to Hilo Hospital were she got medical attention.
Didn't do the hike, but scrambled through two feet of fresh snow from the observatories just to make a point of actually being at the top. A ranger was watching my friend and I with concern as we had just driven up from Hilo and hadn't bothered to change out of our shorts and sandals!
Drove up with my dad. Nice daddy-daughter peak. Plan to return and do the hike.
Great day with family
Hiked the Mauna Kea trail, which was great! It was a tough hike mentally, but I made it through. When I was going up the final part of the road, the ranger drove up to check how I was doing. I appreciated that. I was thinking of hitching a ride back down, but I hiked back down as well. All right, 39 State highpoints. There was still a bit of snow left on the final ridge, so I can say I touched snow in HI in June. How cool is that?
While I did reach the summit I cant say I climbed it. My brother, my mom and I drove up from Hilo just in time for the sunset. Going from sea level to the summit in about 2 hours I really felt the altitude. Went down to visitor center and star gazed. Not so much of a climb but it was an amazing trip.
Beautiful day. Interesting to be playing on the beach in 80 degrees, then be playing in the snow in 37 degrees. Due to time contstraints had to drive up instead of hiking but hopefully return again for the hike. Wonderful views.
We had to get past the visitor center by 5:30 before they closed the road so we drove up Saddle Road from Kona at about 70 MPH. They told us to acclimate for 30 minutes there!...pah!...we flew through and went straight to the summit. Saw the sunset, it was awesome...look at my pictures.
CLIMBED ON RETURN LEG OF CRUISE TO MIDWAY WITH WIFE AND RAY HARRINGTON
We slept in the back of an SUV at the Visitor Center the night before. The visitor center bathrooms (with hot water) were left open overnight. That's high end trailhead camping! The observatories were an awesome sight.
After 3 failed attempts during my lifetime (family members getting altitude sickness, dense clouds) I finally drove up on a clear day with nothing to impede the short walk to the summit. The view was nice...not too much different from where you drive to, but nice to actually bag the summit.
See trip report, a little light altitude sickness did me in so turned around at ~11,700' or so.
The Most awesome sunset!
hiked up the Mauna Kea trail with my girlfriend, breaking her elevation record in the process. We really enjoyed this hike and how we got a nice workout midway through our ocean-focused vacation. Did not see any other hikers on the trail, but did see plenty of tourists and grad-student-types at the observatories near the summit. Pretty cool! Check out the Kona brewery if you're on the island.
My wife and I debated allocating the time to do this. On the last full day of our trip we woke to an unusually clear day and decided to head up. After the summit, we checked out a few observatories - cool. Both the University of Hawaii and the W. M. Keck Observatories allowed minimal entry and had informational posters (W. M. Keck also had a video). Glad we did it.