Sunday, April 3, 2016

Mauna Kea - our high point #37!

Standing on the summit, 13,796ft, with the telescopes in the background

It's no joke that on April 1, 2016 we summited Mauna Kea, the highest point in Hawai'i and #37 of 49 on our list!  It is a dormant volcano which last erupted around 4,500 years ago.

We started at 6:30am at the Mauna Kea Visitor Information Station at 9,200ft and 5 hours and 6 miles later were standing on top at 13,796ft.   Although you can drive to the top that would be cheating on our endeavor of bagging the state high points.  It was a long day but a very beautiful hike.  On top of Mauna Kea is a little observatory "town" with many telescopes run by different facilities.
our 6:30am start

Mauna Loa in the background - almost as tall as Mauna Kea
Lake Wai'au - a sacred lake near the top.
They used to take their newborn umbilical cords here and place them in the lake to give them "the strength of the mountain"

looking down over the trail around one of the cinder cones

our first view of the telescopes - only another mile to go!

listing of all the telescopes on top

panoramic view from the top

I just love hiking above the clouds!

Tom's a happy boy - we're on our way down with another high point checked off!
The hike down took only 3 hours as we quickly descended back into the clouds.  Successful day!

Til next time...Happy Trails!

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