Mauna Kea: An Interesting Ski Vacation Destination
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Mauna Kea: An Interesting Ski Vacation Destination

Mauna Kea is a very interesting ski vacation destination that snow sports enthusiasts can visit anytime of the year. This volcano located in Hawaii is standing 13,803 feet above sea level and is even higher than the renowned Mount Everest of the Himalayas, making it the tallest mountain in the whole wide world. Its height from the base of the ocean floor up to its peak is estimated to be 33,500 feet tall, making it at least three times higher than Mount Everest.

Records suggest that that last time Mauna Kea erupted was 4600 years ago. It has since remained dormant but it is feared it might erupt again soon. Compared to other more active volcanoes in Hawaii, Mauna Kea’s eruptions don’t occur too often even in the distant past but scientists are always on the lookout for signs of its potential recur.

Volcanoes are not typical spots for ski vacations, but people in Hawaii and in nearby places consider this Mauna Kea a perfect spot for skiing and snowboarding. While it does not always have fresh snow, its summit is practically snow-covered, making it an ideal spot for skiing and other snow sports. Its snow-capped summit appears to live up to its name which means “White Mountain”.

Mauna Kea’s high elevation and relatively dry environment makes it a popular and preferred place to study the skies. As a matter of fact, at least 11 countries have built their own 13 large telescopes on top of Mauna Kea since 1964.

These state of the art telescopes make up one of the largest and UNIQUE astronomical observatories in the world today. The observatory itself is already an interesting site to visit but guests are strongly encouraged to check with physicians before eventually heading up the summit, where oxygen is said to be 40% less than the air at normal sea levels. Visitors to the observatory are also advised to acclimatize to the altitude and not risk going immediately up to the peak. Those in poor health, pregnant women, as well as individuals who have heart or respiratory problems are also advised not to go beyond the observatory’s Visitor Information Station (VIS) that is located at 9,200 ft. above sea level.

Mauna Kea is not only visited for its highly interesting summits. Vacationers looking for other fun and thrill adventure can go to its lower slopes for hunting, hiking, sight-seeing, and bird watching. Nightly stargazing programs as well as escorted summit tours are available. All these and more makes Mauna Kea one of the few must-visit ski vacation destinations.


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