Hawaii is certainly a surfer’s paradise. The holiday region is well known for meter-high waves, beaches and warm temperatures. Therefore, it’s not surprising if skiing doesn’t immediately come to mind when you hear “Hawaii”. Nevertheless, it is indeed possible. Professionals and adventurers who can’t decide between skiing and surfing will certainly get their money’s worth here.
1. The White Mountain
Hawaii’s highest mountain is called Mauna Kea, which translated means “the white mountain”. It reaches up to an impressive 4,200 m. Apart from the Mauna Los volcano, it is one of Hawaii’s most famous volcanoes. When it snows there, winter sports fans seize the opportunity to strap on their skis. Lifts as we know them are missing here. Skiers have to go up the volcano in vehicles with four-wheel drive. It is best to join together here in small groups so that the driver can change. There are no prepared slopes, only unpaved slopes. Downhill runs of up to 5 kilometres in length await ski enthusiasts. A paradise for experts and freestylers. The ski season lasts from December to the end of March.
2. Pineapple Powder
When you finally reach the top, tons of very special snow awaits you. The snow is so dry and loose that the locals call it “pineapple powder”. It is also so crumbly and fine that it is ideal for carving and snowboarding. What is missing here, however, are lifts, huts, equipment hire and accommodation. The only access road to the downhill runs is a gravel road that leads almost to the summit and primarily supplies the astronomical observatories located there. Nine nations are involved in these facilities, which are among the largest in the world.
3. Adventurous Skiing
Two problems are predominant when skiing in Hawaii: firstly, the very difficult predictability of the weather, and secondly, the security situation. According to the website of the Hawaii Ski Club, snowfall is very irregular and you never know exactly how long the slopes will be open. In addition, strong winds often blow, making it impossible to reach the slopes and ski. You either need your own four-wheel-drive off-road vehicle and some driving skills to reach the “mountain stations”, or you rent such an off-road vehicle including driver. The lava ski runs are also unpaved and material damage can occur due to the lava rocks. In addition, for safety reasons, group ski trips to the volcano are no longer offered, as there have been several accidents in the past. Often people drive too fast so that lava fields cannot be avoided. Since it is necessary to drive up to the slopes again and again by car, sometimes, depending on weather conditions, no more than two to three runs can be made daily in the approximately 100 square miles large ski area. This ski area is exclusively for adventurous professionals and experts.
4. Breathtaking Panoramas
So, if you are on holiday in Hawaii and take into account the difficulties mentioned above, Mauna Kea, with its moon-like landscape and panoramic views, is definitely the perfect place for a spontaneous ski trip – a holiday experience that will be talked about for a long time to come. After all, the landscape here is unique. The volcanic terrain, tropical forests and the sparkling ocean in the distance make skiing in Hawaii a very special experience. If this view is not incentive enough, you can go to one of the observatories to watch the stars.
5. Morning Ski, Afternoon Sun
The beauty of skiing in Hawaii is certainly that you can ski with a 360° view in the morning and by the afternoon you can relax on a beautiful Pacific beach. From Mauna Kea, you can reach the beaches of the west coast around Kona in two hours. The town of Hilo is just over an hour’s drive away. It is the biggest city on Big Island and also the capital of the whole island.