To the Top of Mauna Kea* – Tallest Mountain in the World

by brian on October 25, 2008

When you think of Hawaii, you think:

Beaches
Sun
Pineapples
Fruity Drinks with umbrellas in them

So when I told people I was taking a tour to Mauna Kea* here on the Big Island the comments were:

Make sure they give you a coat!
Man, it was cold when I went up there.
I know you didn’t bring a scarf but…

*Mauna Kea is the tallest mountain in the world as measured from the seafloor at 33,000 ft high. From sealevel it is 13,796 ft high.

I was with a group of 10 others and the tour guide as we made about an 1:15 trek up to the dormant volcano.

First stop along the way was a waterfall.

Our tour guide Keoki was born on the Big Island and went to school nearby.

 To the Top of Mauna Kea*   Tallest Mountain in the World

He said that when they were kids, they used to dive into this waterfall after school.

 To the Top of Mauna Kea*   Tallest Mountain in the World

Next stop were the Kaumana Caves, where lava once flowed through from the surrounding volcanoes.

 To the Top of Mauna Kea*   Tallest Mountain in the World

 To the Top of Mauna Kea*   Tallest Mountain in the World

 To the Top of Mauna Kea*   Tallest Mountain in the World

Continuing on we reach the Mauna Kea Visitor Information Center. We have to stop here for 45 minutes because now we are 9000 ft above sea level and we need to get our bodies readjusted to the altitude. The air is thinner and high altitude sickness is a real concern. Symptoms include dizziness, nausea and shortness of breath. The sign at the Center makes you want to stop.

 To the Top of Mauna Kea*   Tallest Mountain in the World
Once we leave the Visitor Center, another stop as the search for E.T. continues at the Very Long Baseline Array telescope site.

Phone home E.T!

 To the Top of Mauna Kea*   Tallest Mountain in the World

 To the Top of Mauna Kea*   Tallest Mountain in the World

Finally after another 20 minutes of riding we reach the top. And it is COLD! The tour company provides jackets and gloves and you absolutely need them. I did not see a thermometer but I would guess the temps were in the 30s-40s.

But at sunset the view is magnificent from 13,000 ft up…

Mauna Kea Observatory

 To the Top of Mauna Kea*   Tallest Mountain in the World

The white fluffy stuff? Clouds… To the Top of Mauna Kea*   Tallest Mountain in the World

 To the Top of Mauna Kea*   Tallest Mountain in the World
 To the Top of Mauna Kea*   Tallest Mountain in the World To the Top of Mauna Kea*   Tallest Mountain in the World To the Top of Mauna Kea*   Tallest Mountain in the World To the Top of Mauna Kea*   Tallest Mountain in the World

 To the Top of Mauna Kea*   Tallest Mountain in the World

 To the Top of Mauna Kea*   Tallest Mountain in the World

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

jamalwalden October 26, 2008 at 10:19 PM

Hmmmm… dormant volcanoes and warning signs? I think you’re a braver man than I, Mr. Peters… :-)

Jamal

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