20131214 Mauna Kea 6-10K Cinder Cone Camping

December 17, 2013

We battle ourselves to find that something must result in defeat.

Concurrent in: Sheer fear of being stranded on the slopes of the most remote routes on Mauna Kea, unreachable in modern communication; listening to piercing high altitude silence at midnight, shaking in hypoxia while trail running a cinder cone segment, wonderment of fresh solitary exploration; astounded by the glimmer of Hilo from almost two miles above sea level, and contentment that I was able to successfully pull a technical 10K base camp and 33mi traverse on some of the most incredibly difficult terrain contained on this island.

Cold, hungry, stranded, injured, silent, and forced to reflect - All things I was a was afraid to commit to while pushing off the couch while planning my route.

I wasn't cold.
I had all of the food I needed.
I used a compass, map, and GPS.
I have trained for technical cold climates.
I wanted to sit with my thoughts.
I realized I had become fearful of my own mind.

Paused to see clouds swiftly shift into inversion layer.
Saw the glimmer of a historical plane crash.
Drove through black sand dunes unique to this island.
Saw city lights appear through the cloud layer for only seconds.
Plopped a tent in the middle of a cinder cone.
Stunned by a northern beam of light creating mountain shadow.
Piercing silence.
Winds whistling from the rising of the sun.
Felt presence.
Became present for a moment.

And I didn't even run out of chai or jasmine tea at 34°F.
And I'm seriously stoked that I finally can say I slept in a cinder cone.