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Ride Report | Mauna Kea | The Hardest Climb in the World

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Ride Report | Mauna Kea | The Hardest Climb in the World

Old 03-13-23, 06:59 AM
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Ride Report | Mauna Kea | The Hardest Climb in the World

Long story short: I've been toying with the idea of riding Mauna Kea for 10 years and last month was my opportunity to take on this epic challenge. Mauna Kea is the largest bike climb in the world, starting at the Pacific Ocean you ride a nearly non-stop climb to the summit at 13,803 ft / 4,207 m. I pulled the plug before the summit, but rode from the beach to the Mauna Kea Visitor's Center at 9,200 ft / 2,800 m and I'm proud of that effort!

Link to blog post with full ride report and featuring my margin writing skills:
https://bikesbeersstuff.blogspot.com...rld-mauna.html

I'll post a link to my YouTube edit in this thread, give me a week to slap it together.

Here a few pics to go with the short story:

The start at Waikōloa Beach



That feeling when you didn't bring small enough gears and burned too much energy on the easy parts of the ride:



Feeling good but calling it a day at 9,200 ft above the beach start and after 5+ hours of constant climbing.



The whole family jumped in the Jeep to drive to the summit at 13,800 ft ... this doesn't look like Hawai'i at all!

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Old 03-13-23, 10:10 AM
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Awesome climb!!!
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Old 03-13-23, 01:08 PM
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Nice report!! Great effort.
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Old 03-13-23, 01:19 PM
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Congrats!

Ready for another?
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Old 03-13-23, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01
Congrats!

Ready for another?
I'm a little shocked that Frau Toad is open to a revisit to Mauna Kea, but that does mean she gets to go to Hawai'i again ... so that might have some influence on her interest.

Before another trip to Hawai'i, I've got number of gravel events. Starting with the Ragnarök 105, gravel roads on April 1 in Minnesota can be interesting ... and with the snowpack we have this year, I kinda nervous about the conditions for this one!
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Old 03-13-23, 01:52 PM
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Way ta go! that's better than I could ever expect to do! It looks like the climb starts halfway easy, encouraging you to overcook yourself before the real hard stuff starts.
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Old 03-13-23, 01:53 PM
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Well also consider Mt Evans and Pikes Peak. Both in Colorado. I should have gone out to Hawaii when one of my son's was there for a few years. Now I have no other reason and my wife won't go just for me to do a climb.

Pikes Peak is still on my to-do list. But Mt Evans has a lot going for it since you can start far or near to the top with ease.
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Old 03-13-23, 02:07 PM
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Great going!!

Was it twice as hard as your training ride from Estes Park into the Rocky Mt Park? Three times as hard?
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Old 03-13-23, 02:19 PM
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That is freaking EPIC. Supercool.

So you took the Jeep the rest of the way to the summit, which is understandable... but then did you descend on your bike?
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Old 03-13-23, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Fahrenheit531
So you took the Jeep the rest of the way to the summit, which is understandable... but then did you descend on your bike?
LOL! I'm a freak in the bike world, I love a challenging climb but I'm white-knuckled descending. My buddy made it to the summit and road back down to the visitor's center because his support driver didn't have a vehicle that could go to the summit.

Originally Posted by GhostRider62
Was it twice as hard as your training ride from Estes Park into the Rocky Mt Park? Three times as hard?
It's more like a different universe! My ride up Old Fall River Rd starts with an easy 8-9 miles climbing 1,000 ft before the 8.5 mile climb up 3,000 ft. But Mauna Kea is 40 miles climbing 6,700 ft, then it gets HARD. I did a terrible job pacing the start of Mauna Kea and totally underestimated the amount of energy that first 40 miles would take.

Originally Posted by Iride01
Well also consider Mt Evans and Pikes Peak. Both in Colorado. I should have gone out to Hawaii when one of my son's was there for a few years. Now I have no other reason and my wife won't go just for me to do a climb.

Pikes Peak is still on my to-do list. But Mt Evans has a lot going for it since you can start far or near to the top with ease.
I've got a chance of doing Pikes Peak late this year before a business event in Colorado Springs, if that doesn't work out, it's still on my list!

Originally Posted by BlazingPedals
Way ta go! that's better than I could ever expect to do! It looks like the climb starts halfway easy, encouraging you to overcook yourself before the real hard stuff starts.
You nailed it, it's too easy to feel good and use too much energy too early. You really need to stay in zone 2 all the way to the Mauna Kea Access Rd, because the climb from the Access Rd to the summit is the 4th hardest climb by itself! I was humbled when we saw Cory zig-zagging the road near the summit.
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Old 03-15-23, 12:58 AM
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Well done! Very impressive.
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Old 03-15-23, 04:01 AM
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Cool ride. I've done a few 4000+ m climbing days, but not a single climb like that. Great effort!
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