HONOLULU (KHON2) – From surfing to snowboarding, Hawaii has it all. Mauna Kea on the Big Island experienced a lot of storms this winter season, covering the summit with a blanket of snow. One resident took his snowboard for a ride and told our sister station KHON about this fun memory.
The National Weather Service told KHON that there have been 13 initial issuances of a new Winter Storm Warning or Winter Weather Advisory for Mauna Kea/Mauna Loa. That is 13 separate events since November 1.
With this much snow, many have taken advantage and enjoyed the slope of Mauna Kea summit by making snow creations, skiing, sledding and snowboarding.
For one Big Island resident, his Mauna Kea snowboarding started seven years ago. Camaaron Castillo said this year has been way more consistent with snow on Mauna Kea compared to last year and it’s “some of the best snow I’ve boarded on.” He describes the snow as a little icy but the sun makes it softer.
Castillo has gone snowboarding in many places in California like Big Bear, Mammoth, and Snow Summit.
When asked which he likes better he said, “Mauna Kea for sure,” because it’s not man-made snow and the views are amazing.
Castillo said the route is “pretty short, depending on how you ride.”
If people are looking for speed, it is a quick route but if people want to cruise back and forth, it can take about five minutes.
We checked with the University of Hawaii on whether snowboarding is allowed or not.
According to the Hawaiʻi Administrative Rules, chapter 26, Public and Commercial Activities on Mauna Kea Lands:
20-26-39 Snow play.
a. Skiing, snowboarding, sledding and other similar winter or snow sports may be restricted to maintain public safety and welfare, to prevent damage to resources, and to minimize conflicts among visitors.
b. Skiing, snowboarding, sledding or other forms of snow recreation or snow activities may be prohibited in specific designated zones or areas in order to maintain public safety and welfare, and protect resources.
c. Formally or informally organized contests, meets, or competitions, snow play tours, or other similar events for skiing, snowboarding, sledding or other forms of snow recreation or snow activities are prohibited.
d. Operating a snowmobile, an all-terrain vehicle, or other motorized vehicle used for snow recreation is prohibited anywhere in the UH management areas.
e. Towing persons on skis, sleds, or other sliding devices by any motorized vehicle is prohibited.
The University said the restricted areas are marked off and rangers are on site as well.