climbing Mauna Loa - part 2 - Red Hill to the Mauna Loa summit cabin
May 24, 2012Public
Photo: On day 3 we are all up before sunrise for an early start.
Photo: Today, Stuart and I go 11.5 miles to Mauna Loa Cabin (altitude gain 3,215 ft.).  The trail was re-routed after the sign was made, accounting for the slight increase in distance.
Photo: Marcia will go back down.
Photo: While I say goodbye to Marcia, Stuart gets a head start.
Photo: Today's trail passes an almost never-ending series of vents and cones.
Photo: Inside this vent, cooled lava resembles cake frosting.
Photo: This unnamed cone is  surrounded by lava ...
Photo: ... from a more recent eruption.
Photo: Lava even breached its walls and filled its crater.
Photo: Up ahead, Stuart reaches another group of colorful vents ...
Photo: ... and collapsed lava channels.
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Photo: This formation looks like the Sphinx.
Photo: Here's the Sphinx from the other side, looking back toward Red Hill.
Photo: I catch up with Stuart ...
Photo: There's no end to the colorful vents ...
Photo: ... and other odd formations, such as this giant cow-pie.
Photo: The next large cone is Pukauahi.
Photo: Lava from Mauna Loa's 1984 eruption surrounds it.
Photo: It lies at 11,000 ft. The cabin is at 13,250 ft, so we've gained almost 1/3 of the altitude already--encouraging but deceptive. The trail get increasingly steep with altitude.
Photo: The next landmark is classically-shaped Dewey Cone (at left). Dewey Cone dates from 1899 and is named for Admiral Dewey who commanded the US fleet in the Battle of Manila in 1899.
Photo: And beyond Dewey is red-topped Steaming Cone (elevation 12,000 ft)
Photo: A large lava channel issues from Steaming Cone.