Humu’ula trail, Mauna Kea, Big Island, Hawaii, 2017
For me hiking the Mauna Kea summit alone was a touching experience with myself. I left at dusk from the visitor center with the video camera. Walking up and focusing on filming in the same time became a real challenge the higher up I got.
The heart was bouncing up my throat, my finger tips were slightly bluish, and – I felt it – the headache was waiting to kick in at any time, if I didn’t control my strides and breathe properly. Staying focused in the moment I could avoid that I got into this trouble. High altitude is always a risk, you never know how your body will react on that special day of the ascent.
It was the second time that I have done this hike. Last time with my dear friend Kjell I was underestimating the mountain, the altitude, the weather conditions, everything. The mountain is 4300m high. This doesn’t change whether your in the Alps or on Hawaii! You have to be prepared for the cold, the snow, eventually an ice storm or heavy rains with thunderstorms, strong winds, in one word for extreme weather conditions that may force you to spend the night in the mountain. Your cellular phone is not working, in the case of an emergency you may have to wait until the ranchers start looking for you. So you better register at the visitor center before you venture out. Last time Kjell and I didn’t even do that, totally irresponsible, stupid and ignorant. I am from the Austrian Alps, I should have known better.
This time I was well prepared. I calculated round about 5 hours to reach the summit (not unrealistic 3 hours like last time). But to be alone is yet still another story. I felt a bit uneasy. How would my body behave? Would I be as resilient as I expected it from me or as I was used from me to be?
I reached the summit exactly in the calculated time, shortly before 11:00 am. It is amazing for me how I managed to pace my hike.
No more to say, the video essay tells the story.
I did the tour with 11/2 liters of water, a bite of avocado, an egg and a BIEST BOOSTER. I walked 21k and climbed 1380 meters.