My Hawai`i sojourn has come to a close after eight rich years. I have witnessed the battle toward and near completion of a Ph.D; the birth of two amazing, intelligent and hard-charging boys; and for me the trials and triumphs as an ultrarunner and critical care RN.

Our lives have been touched deeply by our friends and family here in the islands and I am continually amazed by the warmth and generosity of the Hawaiian and local people.

To bid a fitting farewell to my life in the islands of Hawai`i I planned and completed the Big Island Traverse (BIT). An approximate 160 mile, unsupported fastpack on the island of Hawai`i. The route traversed the island from sea-level on the southeastern shore, beginning at Holei Sea Arch; ascended Mauna Loa (13,677 feet) and Mauna Kea (13,796 feet); and eventually descended to sea-level on the northwestern shore, ending at Spencer Beach Park and Pu`ukohola Heiau. To my knowledge this variation had not been done. It was a great success - A Hui Hou.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Big Island Traverse - Just the Facts

The Big Island Traverse was an epic adventure through the realm of the gods providing us with ample opportunities to push our physical and mental limits. My mind reels and my body aches as the full gravity of our journey emerges into consciousness. There were good times had and lessons learned and there are stories to tell, but not today.

Travel Day #1

Start - 1745 on May 19, 2010
End - 1230 on May 20, 2010
Route - Ascent from Holei via Chain of Craters Road to Escape Road to Crater Rim Trail to Mauna Loa Road to Pu'u ula'ula.
Time on feet - 18:30
Distance Covered: ~42 miles
Elevation Change- Sea-level to 10,035 feet

Travel Day #2
Start -0600 on May 21, 2010
End - 0130 on May 22, 2010
Route - Ascent form Pu'u ula'ula to Mauna Loa Summit with descent of the Mauna Loa Weather Observatory Road to Pu'u Huluhulu
Time on feet - 19:30
Distance Covered: ~37 miles
Elevation Change- 10,035 feet to 13,677 feet to 6,632 feet

Travel Day #3
Start -0830 on May 22, 2010
End - 1630 on May 23, 2010
Route - Ascent from Pu'u Huluhulu to Mauna Kea Access Road to Onizuka Visitor's Center to Humu'ula Trail to Pu'u Wekiu (Mauna Kea Summit) with return descent of Mauna Kea Access Road to Pu'u Huluhulu and descent of the Saddle Road to Mamalahoa Highway to Waimea to Kawaihae Road to Spencer Beach Park.
Time on feet - 32:00
Distance Covered: ~79 miles
Elevation Change- 6,632 feet to 13,796 feet to sea-level

Total Time: 94 hours and 30 minutes
Total Time on Feet: 70 hours
Total Distance: ~ 158 miles
Average Packweight: 23#


  1. Brian

    Very impressive numbers! I don't think I've ever hiked more than 6 or 7 miles in a day. I'm planning to do some longer hikes this summer since I'm injured and can't run right now.

    Did you take any photos during your adventure? Would love to see them posted if you did.


  2. Thanks Dan! I took many and will be posting a report soon. My wife and two boys just moved to CT from Hawaii, thus my time has been spent getting plugged-in. I am looking to run VT 50 and/or Stone Cat. Hope you heal soon!