Alpine Skiing in Hawaii

So, there was a news report over the weekend that there is snow in 49 of the 50 states and this is pretty rare and yes, it is probably related to global warming, it has to do with high pressure over Siberia that forces cold air south or something like that. I read the explanation somewhere but this is not the time or the place.

After the newscaster said that the only state without snow is Florida, people went crazy, yelling that there is no snow in Hawaii. I have seen the comment section of many blogs where people are literally screaming about the fact that Hawaii “HAS NO SNOW”.

Now, to all of those idiots, I will simply remind you of what you should have learned in grade school. Hawaii has very tall mountains in the form of Volcanoes and I have known since I was a kid that you could ski there after reading an article in Ski or Skiing magazine as a young New England skier back in the 80s.

Here is a quick snip from Yahoo:

Both Mauna Loa (13,679 feet) and Mauna Kea (13,796 feet) are over 13,000 feet in height and while it never drops below zero degrees on top of the mountains it does get cold enough to snow every year. The coldest temperature ever recorded in Hawaii is 12 degrees which occurred on May 17, 1979 at the weather station located on top of Mauna Kea.

In the Hawaiian language Mauna means “mountain” and Kea means “white” so the Hawaiians called Mauna Kea the White Mountain because of the snow that annually accumulates on the peak.

Technically Mauna Kea is the tallest mountain on earth and is thousands of feet taller than Mount Everest. But most of Mauna Kea lies below the ocean so Mount Everest is the tallest mountain on earth above sea level.

The snow levels on top of Mauna Kea are sometimes high enough for people to ski or snowboard. There are no ski lifts or accommodations at the top for skiers but there is a road that goes right to the top.

Meeting and event planners take note, this is pretty rough stuff so I would not plan on taking the boss or the conference attendees. No lifts (you need a 4×4), no lodge, no cocktails, no rentals and certainly no apris ski scene until you get back to the beach.

But (there is always a but), if this was an incentive trip… hmmm, the gears are turning because this could be a once in a lifetime opportunity for someone to do something really cool.

Just to prove to everyone, here is a link to alpine skiing on the Big Island and a video of some dude doing it:

Keith Johnston

Keith Johnston

Keith is the Managing Partner of i3 Events but is most widely known as the outspoken publisher of the event industry blog PlannerWire. In addition to co-hosting the Bullet List and Event Tech Pull Up Podcasts, he has been featured in Plan Your Meetings, Associations Now, Convene, Event Solutions, and has appeared on the cover of Midwest Meetings Magazine.

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