Ascent of Mauna Kea on 2018-01-13

Climber: Jeremy Benezra

Others in Party:Wife
Date:Saturday, January 13, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Summit:4x4 Vehicle
Peak:Mauna Kea
    Elevation:13796 ft / 4205 m

Ascent Trip Report

Drove here from Waikoloa village. At the visitor's center, rangers make you park and wait 30 minutes to acclimate to the altitude. We parked, used the bathrooms and jumped right back in our car to head up. They don't really have a process to check how long you stayed.

Our rental Jeep wasn't psyched with the altitude or slope of the road beyond the vistor's center, and was pretty loud. A 4wd vehicle is a must. A car would have a hard time. We drove just about as far as we could and parked next to the tour buses, a little bit higher than most of the non-tour buses parked, right next to one of the giant telescopes. Already the view was great as we were fully above the clouds.

From there, the peakbagger app showed we had a .2 mile journey to the summit. Though there was snow on all north facing slopes, the trail across the saddle from where we parked to the summit was easily visible. I've climbed at a higher altitude than this before, but since I came from sea level just a couple hours earlier, I noticed the altitude much more.

The summit is marked by a pile of stones with some flowers and coconuts and such on top. My wife found the benchmark marker, a bit SouthEast of the pile of stones, maybe 15 feet away. Its not the large marker I normally see, just a small black marker a little bit larger than a quarter, kind of hard to find.

We timed it perfectly for sunset. I'm not much of a sunset guy but at this altitude it was pretty awesome. Our summit photos are pretty stellar. Also I took the opportunity to peg my wife with a snowball. I never expected to throw a snowball in Hawaii!

My 2nd Hawaii COHP and my 2nd State HP.

Lava flows and fish tacos for dinner!
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Snow on Ground
    Weather:Cool, Clear
Cloudy below, clear on top

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