For the record, I've been up to see the snow at Mauna Kea three times prior to today. The first time I was about 2-3 years old, and I can still vividly remember lying down on the floor of my father's Blazer and crying because I had thrown up (from altitude sickness). My second trip up to see the snow was better- two friends (Chris & Bobby) and I had just graduated from high school, and after a trip to see the lava flow in the morning, we impulsively decided to see the snow in the same day. I had a terrible earache on the way down, but was otherwise fine. My third trip was about ten years ago with my family & Rich. I got sick at the top and had to walk back down early to ease the pounding in my head. So needless to say, my mountaineering track record is far from Sherpa/Nepalese Porter status.
But I have to say, today's last minute trip was seamless from beginning to end. Once we hit about 7,000 feet in elevation, we took 5 breaks on our way up to the top (13,000 feet) so that we wouldn't subject Ryan to any unnecessary altitude sickness.
|The drive up is always a bit surreal/otherworldly when you can see volcanic craters covered in snow.|
|One of our many rest stops on the way up...I am hidden behind that outcropping of rocks...doing, um...nothing. Nothing at all.|
|Mommy & Ryan|
|Daddy & Ry Ry using a "Hawaiian sled" to slide down the slopes together.|
|Someone wisely figured out a much less laborious way to get back up the slopes.|
|Two of the cutest keiki at 13,000 feet- Ry and his favorite snow bunny, Naomi!|
|Our first snow day as a family...amazing and unforgettable.|