Ascent of Mauna Kea on 2013-01-02
|Date:||Wednesday, January 2, 2013|
|Ascent Type:||Successful Summit Attained|
| Motorized Transport to Trailhead:||Car|
| Elevation:||13796 ft / 4205 m|
Ascent Trip ReportI visited this summit on the afternoon of my Haleakala ascent: one at sunrise, one at sunset. The tiny Mokulule plane got me into Kona at 3pm and with an efficient rental car pickup, a pre sunset arrival was suddenly a possibility.
Saddle Road seems to get bad press, but is pretty good nowadays. The initial western section is a little narrow with short single-lane bridges, but the rest of its length is wide and modern, as is the section east to Hilo. The advice is to call at the visitor centre about 6 miles along the Mauna Kea Access Road for road condition information, but as I can see half a dozen vehicles ahead of me and there is no hint of snow, I keep going. The middle 4 miles is unpaved and in places quite steep. My Jeep Liberty manages without 4WD being engaged.
I park by a building opposite the start of the trail N19.82207 W155.47062 and a 5 minute walk gets me to the summit, which is marked by a cairn (N19.82074 W155.46810, 4225m)and a benchmark raised a foot above ground on a metal rod. It is notable that my GPS reads fully 20 metres higher than the expected value: this is well outside expected error range. I wander about 100m southwest along a ridge for a better view of Mauna Loa across a cloud sea. The sunset doesn't amount to much but there is a pink/orange band which sets off the observatory buildings quite nicely.
There are 20 or so folk up there including an Austrian couple and two German lads. I head down at 6 pm, wandering around the back of the observatories, finding a couple more photographic subjects before the light fails and I drive back down. The Jeep feels quite secure on the steep looser sections in 1st gear at the 25mph limit.
I head south to Hilo for dinner, with a Mauna Loa ascent in prospect for tomorrow.
|Summary Total Data|
| Elevation Gain:||114 ft / 33 m|
| Extra Gain:||16 ft / 4 m|
| Distance:||0.4 mi / 0.6 km|
| Route:||Summit trail|
| Trailhead:||Access Road near summit 13714 ft / 4180 m|
| Grade/Class:||YDS 1|
| Quality:||6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)|
| Route Conditions:||Maintained Trail|
| Weather:||Pleasant, Calm, Partly Cloudy|
| Time Up:||5 Minutes|
| Time Down:||5 Minutes|
|GPS Data for Ascent/Trip|
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Peaks: climbed and unclimbed by Rob Woodall
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