Mauna Kea - KinnisonPhotography

Mauna Kea - The Highest Mountain in the World...from the sea floor

January 19, 2015

Looking off toward Maui

Sunset from Mauna Kea

This shot was taken just at sunset. 

That's Subaru on the left, the mighty Kecks in the center, and NASA on the right. You can just see the Kohala Mountain poking through the clouds, then the ocean, then Haleakala on the Island Maui standing proudly.  The temperature was a mere 40 degrees at the time of exposure and keeping the batteries charged at such a low temperature is always a challenge.  It took the better part of 2 hours to drive from the Hilton Waikoloa Village to the summit.  When I arrived there were several tour vans already on site or headed up the last 7 miles of gravel road.  Because of the altitude, lack of oxygen and the dryness of the air, you're advised to hydrate or risk dehydration, dizziness and altitude sickness.  Once the sun had set I stayed long after to gather night shots and by the time I started my trek back down I was that last person outside the telescopes. 


The Geography: Mauna Kea ("White Mountain") is a dormant volcano on the island of Hawaii, the largest and southernmost of the Hawaiian Islands. It is located about 300 km (190 miles) from Honolulu, which lies on the island of Oahu. The highest point in the Pacific Basin, and the highest island-mountain in the world, Mauna Kea rises 9,750 meters (32,000 ft) from the ocean floor to an altitude of 4,205 meters (13,796 ft) above sea level, which places its summit above 40 percent of the Earth's atmosphere. The broad volcanic landscape of the summit area is made up of cinder cones on a lava plateau. The lower slopes of Mauna Kea are popular for hunting, hiking, sightseeing, and bird watching in an environment that is less hostile than the barren summit area. For more information about the site go HERE

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