February 13, 2005

snow in hawaii

On Saturday we went up to the top of Mauna Kea, the highest point in the state, where it was all covered with snow, true to its name "white mountain". Snow in Hawaii, that sounds crazy, but it is true - it is also highly convincing when you think about its altitude (13,796 ft or 4,205 m).

It was my third time being up there, but first time when there's snow. Even if I had seen snow on top of Mauna Kea from the distance, it was still pretty amazing being actually there. When we got there it was snowy and foggy, scary as visibility was so bad.

We did a bit of snowboarding (my first time ever in my entire life!) and it was fun, but since there was no lift to take you up to the top of a hill, we had to walk up. And when it is so high up on the mountain, just a bit of uphill waking is killing you... I sort of did three runs, but that was enough.

On the way back, we made a brief stop by an unsual alpine plant called silversword.

It now can only been seen at higher altitude levels on the Big Island and Maui, or so I overheard (there were a few guided tourist groups coming by). Those spiky "leaves" were really silver and looked pretty sharp. Interesting!

Foodwise, I baked some cookies in the morning before leaving. It seems that I am always making cookies for picnics... well, there's nothing wrong about it, right?

I made oatmeal-raisin and white choc & pistachio cookies, using recipes from book Neiman Marcus Cookbook by Kevin Garvin & John Harrisson (Clarkson Potter, 2003). It was my first time baking oatmeal raisin cookies from this book, and although I have used its white chocolate & macadamia nut cookies before, this time around I used their regular chocolate chip cookie recipe, replacing chocolate chips with white choc chips and raw pistachios. I first made the butter-sugar-egg mixture, divided into halves, and then proceeded as instructed in each recipes by putting respective ingredients.

I tried to make oatmeal-raisin cookies rather chewy, while white chocolate & nut cookies pretty crispier. And so they turned out, to my delight, and they were both yummy, calorific and energizing to a body tired from doing some high-altitude exercise... (and I'm all sore today).

*note: the comment problem has been fixed - my apologies to anyone who has tried to leave a comment during the last couple of days.


Anonymous said...

Beautiful photos! 

Posted by Viv

Anonymous said...

I jumped from keiko's blog and at first I couldn't recognize it is YOU even I saw your name chika!!! (I thought somebody is taking a similar photos like zo-san:)))
Now I have no idea when you are sleeping while you are working, cooking or making blogs! 

Posted by mariko

Anonymous said...

Hi! I finally fixed the comment problem of my blog, too. : )
Beautiful photos! I like the last one the best. .. Oh, and of course, the one with cookies, too! 

Posted by obachan

Anonymous said...

Hi Chika - Beautiful shots... I never imagined 'snow in Hawaii' but am now convinced after reading your post (higher than Fuji-san!). Hope you enjoyed snowboarding. I really miss snowy mountains as I'm from the north, they don't even seem to have 'hills' here... 

Posted by keiko

Anonymous said...

Hi there,

Viv - thanks!

marizo-san - good to "see" you here, too! yeah I am taking it easy with this one, not blogging so regularly, but just having fun...

obachan - I like the last photo myself, too. It was a beautiful, breathtaking view from up there.

keiko - everytime thinking of it, it still amazes me that you can drive all the way up to the spot higher than Mt Fuji! Doesn't it snow much where you live?  

Posted by chika