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Thread: Mauna Kea 11-28-09

  1. #1
    Senior Member TMax's Avatar
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    Mauna Kea 11-28-09

    I was just going to submit this under trail conditions, but there's no way to do that for Hawaii (what's up with that Darren???) so here's a brief trip report.

    What a great day. Hikethe115 (aka Dawn, aka M&M) and I are out in Hawaii and hiked this incredible state's highpoint. After a fairly long drive, we wound up at the Onizuku visitor center at 9200 feet. After a lecture from one of the rangers (who stood firm by his belief that just because we were experienced at climbing 14ers in Calif, Colorado, etc... we were still naive newbies who couldn't possibly understand the dangers of climbing a nearly 14000 foot mountain in Hawaii) we headed up to the first parking area on the summit road. From there we wacked over to the hiking trail. It was a beautiful day, quite sunny with warmth in the sun but cold in the wind. Having slept the last couple of days in a condo right on the ocean, we certainly weren't acclimatized. Climbing up, every time my heart rate would get running high, I'd nearly vomit. So I had to slow my pace way down to avoid that nasty possibility. There's one steeper section that takes you up to a fork in the trail at just above 13,000 feet where you can continue to the summit or head over to Lake Waiau. We walked over far enough to take a look at the lake but opted not to give up the elevation to go down to it! Then you walk around Pu'u Hua Kea (thankfully not up and over it!) and lose some elevation until you come around a corner and BOOM there are views of the telescopes. Mauna Kea has a number of extremely large telescopes on the summit that are really quite attractive to view.) Then you join up with the summit road again and take a LONG switchback that spans nearly a mile to get up a pretty steep section. Now hiking with an experienced AT thru-hiker has it's benefits as Dawn "yogied" a ride for us up this section. Then you have a short down and up to the true summit where there's a shrine of sorts with all kinds of interesting things left there. There were some small patches of snow which made me feel a little more at home.

    Walking down, the clouds lifted up out of the valley and started to cover the mountain. We decided to take the road back down rather than disappear into the fog.

    I understand that the ranger's are dealing with a lot of people with all different experience levels and are trying to keep them from getting into trouble. However, given the fact that this was the easiest nearly 14,000 foot mountain I've climbed, the ranger's warnings seemed even more over the top!

    Highpoint number 36 for me.
    TMax
    Going where the wind don't blow so strange
    Maybe off on some high cold mountain range.
    Robert Hunter

    www.tmax-n-topo.com

  2. #2
    Senior Member Puma concolor's Avatar
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    Nice report TMax and congratulations on another HP. I did the exact same thing at Lake Waiau when I was there a couple of months ago. It's funny that even though it is only 100 or 200 feet descent to the lake, it just seems like way too far to drop at that point in the hike. Pretty lake but I'm not going all the way down there!

    Cheers.

  3. #3
    Senior Member audrey's Avatar
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    What no pics? I had to google those places to see what you were up to. Wow!

  4. #4
    Poobah Emeritus darren's Avatar
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    Google? You don't need no stinking google...

    http://www.vftt.org/HI/071113-Big-Island/index.htm


    So what is that....like 5 site members on top of Mauna Kea in the last few years? Coolio.

    Aloha

    - darren

    ps: rumors are there will be a 6th soon....man, we are going to have to put up a VFTT summit sign on that peak....or at least a secret hidden VFTT geocache
    Last edited by darren; 12-01-2009 at 12:11 PM.
    Kūlia i ka nuu

  5. #5
    Senior Member WinterWarlock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by darren View Post
    Google? You don't need no stinking google...

    http://www.vftt.org/HI/071113-Big-Island/index.htm


    So what is that....like 5 site members on top of Mauna Kea in the last few years? Coolio.

    Aloha

    - darren

    ps: rumors are there will be a 6th soon....man, we are going to have to put up a VFTT summit sign on that peak....or at least a secret hidden VFTT geocache
    I'm headed there the first week of May...sounds like I need to wear my VFTT shirt for the top! Too bad we don't have any flags or banners, like the Moosejaw ones.
    The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over.

    Hunter S. Thompson

  6. #6
    Poobah Emeritus darren's Avatar
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    Have fun. Post pix when you get back.

    Aloha

    - darren

    ps: we are at 6 now, so you will be 7...
    Kūlia i ka nuu

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