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Big Island Fun Snow boarding and Mauna Kea hiking Checklist and Basic Guide

Snow Boarding on the Big Island of Hawaii - Video and Recent photos >>

Snowboarding webcams, weather forecast, current conditions and road status - >>

 

Do not bring these things with you up the mountain.

  • Loose trash in your car. High winds blow the trash out your door when you get out at the top.
  • Pregnant women or children under 16 years old (Due to atmospheric conditions at summit).
  • Anyone with high blood pressure, heart or respiratory conditions (see above).
  • Scuba divers with less than 24 hours before their last dive.
  • Don't bring any drunk people (or stoopid people for that matter).

Things to bring with you on any snow boarding trip on top of Mauna Kea.

  • A four wheel drive vehicle.
  • A properly layered under garment set with a water-proof shell (cold weather gear).
  • Sunglasses or goggles.
  • Sunscreen
  • A hat or stocking cap.
  • Boots
  • Candy bars or Power bars.
  • Water (It's best to start drinking lots of water the day before your trip.)
  • Empty cooler to collect free ice.
  • A buddy that can go get help.
  • Extra gloves and any extra equipment you feel like loaning your snow boarding friends.
    • Extra t-shirts, socks, stocking caps or hats, hoodie or jackets.
    • Extra water or chocolate.
    • Extra snow board and snow board boots.
  • A flashlight.

Tips for your trip up the mountain.

  • Drive slow. Even new cars can overheat from the climb.
  • Make sure you stop at the Onizuka Visitor Information Station
    • Get a Mauna Kea Visitor Guide (free)
    • Get hot chocolate (cheap but no longer donation-based)
    • Take a look at the sun with the telescope
    • Spend an hour and acclimate.
    • Get all your snow board gear on. (It's more difficult to do so at elevation)
    • Get in some more water.
    • Check fluids in your vehicle.
    • Let your vehicle run for five minutes after you reach the Visitor Station.
    • Ask about road and summit conditions.

Signs to watch out for at the top of the mountain.

  • Sleepy or lazy behavior
  • Headaches, nausea, dehydration
  • Shortness of breath
  • Impaired judgment or impaired reasoning
  • If you or anyone you see is experiencing these symptoms, get down the mountain.

Tips for driving back down the mountain.

  • Go slow, don't try and keep up with any tour vans. (They have special brakes.)
  • Stop at one of the two parking lots on the way down if your brakes start to smell.
  • To keep from burning out your brakes, do the following;
    • Put your vehicle in it's lowest gear.
    • Press the brakes hard and firm often but also let off the brakes often to keep them cool.
    • Do not keep your foot on the brake pedal for more than ten seconds at a time.
  • Turn on only your parking lights as you approach the visitor Information Station on your way back down. If it's after sunset, there will be star gazing tours going on.
  • Stop at the Visitor Information Station if you suspect your brakes need cooling. They also have a great video that starts a little before sunset if you get back in time.
  • Stay awake. Many people don't get tired until the drive back down the mountain after the 5,000' mark -at the crossroads. Keep your friends awake when they're driving you back down the mountain. The shoulders of Saddle Road are very unforgiving.