Paul Hirst - Climbing


Climbing and Mountaineering

Well, I don't get to do too much of that these days, basically because the rock that the forms the island of Hawaii where I live is too geologically young to be really suitable - it's very brittle, which doesn't inspire confidence in gear placements, and it's also very rough and sharp, so you're likely to do yourself a lot of damage if you fall off. Also it's quite fragile, which makes falling off from time to time due to collapsing holds likely. Not ideal, as I said.

On the more mountaineering side, Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa do offer some possibilites, especially when they're covered in snow and ice. There's no long difficult routes though as both volcanoes are shield volcanoes meaning that their sides at at a fairly gentle slope that you can generally walk up without too much difficulty. There are some steep cinder cones on both mountains which can provide enjoyable short steep snowslopes in the winter months. These are, of course, made somewhat more challenging by the altitude, especially if you've just come up from sealevel and thus aren't too acclimatised.