Cycling le Mauna Kea Hilo

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le Mauna Kea - Hilo


Basic data & ranking

Average grade: 6.1 %

Length: 68.6 km

Height start: 1 m

Height top: 4192 m

Elevation gain: 4191 m

Maximum: 0 %

le Mauna Kea rankings

Difficulty ranking world: 1 (all)
Ranking United States: 1 (all)
Difficulty score: 368.76 what?

le Mauna Kea ratings

(5) Overall

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Description

The le Mauna Kea is situated in Hawaii . Starting from Hilo, the le Mauna Kea ascent is 68.6 km long. Over this distance, you climb 4191 heightmeters. The average percentage thus is 6.1 %.

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Profile & route

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Location info

Find all information on climbs and cycling in Hawaii and find all climbs in Hawaii on a map.

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Stories, information and comments from le Mauna Kea climbers
Story by Kip Cline from Hilo, United States, submitted on 17/10/2013
Wow! This I can see why this is the most difficult rated climb in the world. I started off in Hilo with my feet in the ocean and went up up up. I staged some food and water along the way the previous day to lighten my load, but I couldn''t make it past the visitor center with my car so I had to pack that all with me.



The ride to the visitor center isn''t bad, but it gets difficult soon afterwards. The 4.5 mile gravel road section is difficult because your tires spin all the time. After that the road is paved, but it becomes steeper and the air is thinner.



It is definitely an all day bike ride, but well worth it!
My personal climb rating:
Story by Douglas Pepelko from Reston, United States, submitted on 09/02/2013
Rode in August 2013 from the beach at Waikaloa. The hardest ride I have ever done. I have done multiple 100 mile mtb races, and a 230 mile road ride and an Ironman. This was harder. The strange thing is that the first 50 miles (up the the Visitor Information Station) are only the first half. The remaining 8 miles are the second half. It took me 4 hours to do 8 miles. I was riding 2.5 mph but had to stop several times.



Incredibly hard.
My personal climb rating:
Story by jose-Luis Arana from San Anselmo, United States, submitted on 15/09/2012
I did Mauna Kea 2 times (2007 and 2009) starting in Waimea on the Kona side at about 2000 feet. Then all the way to the top. My wife drove her car for support: liquids, food, clothes, encouragement, etc. No stops until I got to the 9000 feet. The first time I tried to keep going on the dirt on my road bike, but after half a mile I realized that I was going to walk most of the time. I got the bike in the car and jumped back on the saddle when the dirt ended (about 2 miles of dirt). It gets so steep I have pictures of me zigzagging on the bike. The second time I took a compact crank and it was a bit "easier". Still no possible to ride the dirt. It was sunny at the top and there was snow all around me. I must confess I was crying when I got to the top: no pain anymore, emotions, excitement and the altitude makes you crazy if you don''t have a heart attack. Without my wife''s support I could never have done it! The hardest ever but I need to do it again.
My personal climb rating:
Story by Luis from Areias de Vilar, Portugal, submitted on 26/10/2011
I did this climb on the 20/10/2011 and it was by far the hardest climb I''ve ever done. After having done the Haleakala 2 days before I was sure this one was going to be at least twice as hard. I rented a mountain bike and packed 2 liters of water, 4 liters of energy drinks, some food, clothes and protections for cold and rain and some money to buy stuff on the Visitor Center. After riding Saddle Road, the real climb begins and if you take it easy getting to the Visitors Center is doable. I stopped there, got some additional drinks and set off to the worst part of the climb: the dirt/sand section. This section is simply the hardest thing I''ve ever done as there are very steep sections (15%), no way to stand on the pedals as you lose traction and sometimes I had to ride on the wrong side of the road just to be able to move without falling! When I saw the tarmac again I thought I was in heaven, but no, the road is again so steep, the altitude effects started to affect me so on some parts I was just going at 4-5kph! After 6h30m of riding time I reached the end of the road and all the suffering was rewarded with the feeling of accomplishment! I was lucky with the weather as it was sunny going up and only got a bit of rain coming back.
My personal climb rating:
Story by David from Prague, Czech Republic, submitted on 10/06/2009
I agree with Phil that it is the most difficult climb on Earth. I rode from Waikoloa village. It is 85km long way.My time was 9:40 hod. The hardest part is 4-2 miles before top. Sand on road is deep. I is difficult to ride. I have to push my mt.bike.
My personal climb rating:
Story by DanMiller from Ewa beach, United States, submitted on 22/08/2009
This was a mean climb. I did it during the annual sea to stars race from sea level to the telescope at 9000. So no, not the top...past 9000, the road turns to gravel and you need mtn bike. So... the first 30 miles are ok...small sections at 18% then 5% and back... it was manageable, then the last 4 miles are average 18%. I was barely able to stay on my bike with a compact crank and a 27 rear cog... the hardest climb I have ever done!
My personal climb rating:
Story by Phil from Portland, United States, submitted on 03/08/2009
This is probably the most difficult climb on Earth. Yes, a bold claim, but Ill stand by it. What makes this climb so hard? First, its sheer size. It starts at sea level, and tops out at 4192m, or 13,753. This altitude alone can cause pulmonary and cerebral edema, regardless of how fit you are, and as you’re on an island, acclimating is very difficult. The climb is steeper as it goes along, with numerous sections well over 10% gradient, and very undulating going from 10% to 20% and back, Adding to the difficulty, the road is quite beaten up at the top, some sections old pavement, others little more than oiled dirt. There is almost no water, food or shelter above about 2,000m. Do NOT attempt to ride this without support. Finally, the weather is very changeable, and in the tropic belt. You could leave the parking lot in hot humid weather, and be riding in snow above 3,500m. The first half of the climb is shared with the climb to Mauna Loa, the other big volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii, almost as difficult. Only a handful of people in the world have actually ridden Mauna Kea from bottom to top in one push. If youre one of them, chapeau to you.
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