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Mauna Kea - Elevation 13,796 Feet

Big Island, Hawaii - Dec. 2007

When most people think of Hawaii, they don't typically envision snow but up above 13,000 feet elevation, the summit of Mauna Kea gets snow capped each winter. this year, the snow came earlier than usual thanks to a Kona low which is a deep low pressure system that caused the National Weather Service to issue blizzard warnings for the summit.

Mauna Kea is also the tallest mountain in the world, taller than Mount Everest. If you measured the height of Mauna Kea from its base, deep below sea level, it would top out at over 33,000 feet compared to Mount Everest which stands at just over 29,000 feet. Most of Mauna Kea lies below sea level.
Snow in Hawaii - Mauna Kea

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A rare, clear glimpse of Mauna Kea.

There are 13 telescopes residing at the summit.

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The other worldly landscape along the road that leads to the summit.

Ancient cinder cones are evidence of past eruptions.

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We had to wait partway up the mountain in order to acclimatize and prevent altitude sickness.

A fogbow, similar to a rainbow.

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Rime Ice was frozen to almost everything at the summit.

Sunset at the summit.

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Onlookers enjoying the freezing cold sunset.

The weather conditions were frigid cold with very high winds.

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Two of the 13 telescopes at the top.

Snow capped cinder cones.

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Dwindling light before we headed back down the mountain.

The starry sky with Mauna Kea in the background.

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Mauna Kea as seen from 11,000 feet up the side of Mauna Loa.