In February 2021, Victor Vescovo and Dr. Clifford Kapono made the first “full ascent” of Mauna Kea from its base at -5,116m on the seafloor, to its summit at +4,207m. As with any true mountaineering expedition, it was a round trip made using only human power – with the exception of minimal electrical power for the submersibles that allows for the ascent and descent.
Following a vertical ascent from the base of Mauna Kea at 5,116 m / 16785 ft below sea level, Victor and Clifford paddled an ocean kayak 43 km / 27 miles to shore before a 60 km / 37 mile cycle to the lodge camp at 2,743 m / 9,000 ft. From there, a 9.6 km / 6 mile trek to the summit concluded the ‘first full ascent’.
The full ascent measured 9,323 m / 13,802 ft – greater than the height of Mt. Everest (8,848m / 29,032 ft).