Mauna Kea - 13,796 feet


Summited on 6/03/03

Mark on the summit of Mauna Kea on 6/03/03 Christy on the summit of Mauna Kea on 6/03/03

We visited Mauna Kea while we were taking our 10th anniversay vacation in Hawaii. We rented a 4WD vehicle so as not to have any trouble making it to the top (which of course is against the rental agreement!). I wanted to climb the whole way from the visitors center, but leaving Christy there for many hours while I climbed didn't seem appropriate. Plus she wanted to go to the top too! So we spent an hour at 9,000 feet acclimatizing and then headed for the top. The 4WD in low mode could make a steady 20 mph but that was about it. It was totally cloudy and then we burst into clear sunshine. You park next to one of the telescopes and then have to walk down about 200 feet and then up another 300 feet or so covering probably about 1/2 mile. The high point is the obvious marker on the next hill. Having been at sea level a few hours ago it was easy to become light headed, but overall we didn't have any trouble. We left an offering to the shrine and headed back down. I wanted to see what the trail was like so I hiked an hour or so up from the visitors center and then came back. We stuck around that night for the nightly stargazing event, which is definitely worth the time. We finally got cold, the temperature was in the low 40's, and headed back for the beach.

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