VIDEO: Summer snow in Hawaii, high on Mauna Kea

VIDEO: Summer snow in Hawaii, high on Mauna Kea
Big Island Video News

Video by David Corrigan | Voice of Stephanie Salazar

Snow on the summit of Mauna Kea: it’s not exactly a rare sight during a Hawaiian winter.

But how about in June?

With just a few days removed from the official start of summer, the summit of the Big Island’s biggest mountain was covered by white after a passing thunderstorm dropped inches of ice at the 13,000 foot level.

Noteworthy weather for Waimea resident Pam Akao, her daughter and her friends…

“It was hailing in Waimea!” said Pam. “I dont know if it has to do the with the world climate change, or what.”

The Mauna Kea Access Road was closed for a period this weekend, but by Sunday afternoon, the summit was open to the public once more.

Employees on the roofs of the summit observatories worked to clear as much snow from the telescopes as possible before nightfall.

The roads were in good condition, and although the mountain was quiet for a snow day, there were still some brave groups who ventured up.

The snowy slopes were not ideal for sledding, but it was difficult for Akao and the kids to resist going down on their bodyboards.

Their second run illustrated the dangers that can be present on the mountain. Hitting one of Mauna Kea’s large rocks is an easy mistake to make.

Luckily no one was hurt, but it was a reminder that this sort of recreational use of the mountain has its pitfalls. It is also important to keep in mind the altitude: respiratory issues, frigid temperatures, and snow blindness are all potential problems at 13,000 feet above sea level.

And what’s a trip to the top of Mauna Kea without bringing a little snow back down, where Hawaii enjoys its typical climate… at a warm 80 degrees.


  • David

    Looks like good fun. This proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that Hawaii has everything.

    Don’t you just love Hawaii:)

    David Cummings.

  • TThor

    “World climate change”..? Must be the global warming playing tricks with our minds! Al Gore come explain this!!!

  • Juju

    There is always snow on that mountain. Global Warming….Pffft. “Despite Hawaii’s tropical location, during several past ice ages a drop of only a degree in temperature allowed snow to remain at the mountain’s summit through summer, triggering the formation of an ice cap”

  • Ken

    Man I miss Hawaii so much.

  • Anonymous

    global warming…not!

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/Melekaii=t&source=web&cd=4&ved=0CDMQtwIwAw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3D1JFdl_o1Sb8&rct=j&q=youtube-melekaii&ei=zjHuTaWWCYr2sw melekai joe

    Well we all see the weather with great awww… Hope we see a change for the better in time..

  • http://www.drudgereport.com Matt Drudge

    See? This proves there’s no global warming. Now, back to selectively featuring videos of black people fighting. NOT RACIST!!! I JUST REPORT THE TRUTH!!!!!

  • Joe Filmmaker

    Looks like another Hawaiian snowjob. Irony from God himself.

  • Al Gore

    Snow in hawaii? it has to be global warming… Yes, I know we just came out of one of the coldest winters, but dont you understand that it is all the global warming that is acutally making us colder.

  • CalBob

    Don’t you love that global warming!

  • Melvin

    “It was hailing in Waimea!” said Pam. “I don’t know if it has to do the with the world climate change, or what.” Someone just had to add that into the mix, didn’t they?

  • Jim50

    “It was hailing in Waimea!” said Pam. “I dont know if it has to do the with the world climate change, or what.”

    OK, here’s a clue then. Man-Made Global Warming is a HOAX. Now you know.

  • cliff

    perhaps…thanks to geoengineering …..chemtrails over the islands in the past few years???

  • Barry Bin Inhalin

    Is that Al Gore & Tipper ready to slide in the snow?

  • yeahright

    I love how the kids are already indoctrinated on “climate change”. Can you say politically motivated boys and girls? I knew you could.

  • Hamish

    Yes, Hawaii, the middle class vacation destination fantasy! Brewing with anti-american nativist sentiment and surly Japs.

  • Tim

    Hail during a thunderstorm. Huh, whodda thunk it?

  • Guy Posting as Matt Drudge

    I’m an idiot.

  • l

    we love hawaii

  • Markangelo

    Funny a Boogie board 4 a Snow Sled

  • Houston

    We were just there two weeks ago and stayed at the Fairmont (5-23 thru 5-27). You would kill to go there. :)Could see observatory on top of the mountain from the resort on the beach. Loved it and great place to vacation.

  • Marbran

    This isn’t newsworthy. Hawai’i is touted as one of the few (maybe only) places in the world where a person can spend all morning snow skiing, then all afternoon water skiing. Of course Mauna Ke’a will get snow if the conditions are right; it’s nearly three miles high.

  • http://www.familysurvivalcenter.com Jill

    I don’t personally believe in the Rapture or 2012 but, hurricanes, tornados, flooding and HEATWAVES are still very real threats. At this very moment, people around the world are faced with life threatening and life changing events. For them, it is the end of the world, no matter how local or personal it may be.

    People should prepare for the worst by storing food for up to a year or more, putting together bug out bags to keep by the door and have a plan worked out ahead of time:

    Those who have found themselves confronted by earthquakes, tsunamis, radiation, tornados and floods in the recent few months past certainly would have benefited by some planning and preparation ahead of time. Watch out for power outages due to increased use of air conditioning!

  • JM in San Diego CA

    It has nothing to do with Global Anything! Al Gore and his British co-conspirators have been thoroughly discredited by real scientists with real numbers.

    This snow is just an amusing irregularity.

    PS: For Marbran: My home also enjoys the distinction of snow-skiing & water-skiing in the same day. We have skiing on several mountains about an hour’s drive inland from the coast. I love both of our homes, yours and mine. I was just on Mauna Ke’a in April, visiting the Keck Telescope (and its neighbors) with a tour group. They still had some piles of snow from their last prior storm.

  • Al Gore also

    Back when I invented the Internet I had no idea that someday it would prove how much I’ve been lying over the years as I’ve built my silly political career on an issue I really know nothing about. But hey, whatever makes government bigger makes it better, right?

  • Kevin Day

    Now do we really want governments believing they can control the climate? By taxing us and then doing god knows what with the money, no less? Hint: very little would ever be spent on actually controlling the climate; more like overseas healthcare, abortion on demand, global gun control, etc., etc.

    The truth is, government crooks have no more idea what is causing climate change now than monkeys did during the last ice age. The assert that man is causing it (this time only?). A premise based solely in the fact that Man is the only animal that pays taxes.

    MMGW is The Ultimate Scam; taxing the air we breathe.

    Machiavelli would be proud of you Al Gore! You truly know how to rip a guy off.

  • Dave

    Awesome video , wish I was there .

  • joe

    Actually, this is exactly the cause of global warming.

  • Amanda

    I lived on the Big Island, there is NOT snow on Mauna Kea all year round – more often than not there is no snow on the summit. And it has nothing to do with global warming or not, this is the way it has been on Mauna Kea for eons.

    Why so many negative comments and false bs on here?

    Hawaii is an incredibly beautiful & mostly natural place.

    Our world is changing, whether it is from global warming/cooling, war, environmental destruction, exploitation, corporatization, and/or many many many other things, and whether we like it or not.

    We should learn to cherish what is beautiful in our world instead of using everything as a reason to make a rude and/or unfounded comment, or before we know it, there will be nothing beautiful left.

    Take some time to read the stories of the ancient Hawaiians and you will learn more about this beautiful place. I highly recommend the books of Herb Kane.



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