Reading all the postings about the dangers of driving up to (and down from) the summit of Mauna Kea have got me asking myself: Is it even worth it? Here's what my plan has been: I thought that the summit, with its sunsets and top of the world feeling, would be a great place to propose to my girlfriend. We are going in August this year. We will be there during a new moon and during the Perseid meteor shower, so we will be stargazing at the VC regardless of what we end up doing. I have the 4WD already reserved for the summit. Now I'm thinking that all the hazards involved in going to the summit are not even worth the sunset we may (or may not) get. Since it will be in August, I'm wondering if we will even get the kind of cloud formations necessary for the kind of smashing sunsets that I've seen in pictures from there.
We're both pretty informed about the hazards and if we go all the way to the summit, we have two acclimation stops planned and I plan to drive as carefully as I can in the proper gears on the way down (no brake-riding!).
But again, all this (as well as reading about the recent fatalities up there) has got me wondering: Is it worth it? For all I know, all those great sunsets that I've heard about may be in the winter time. Whatever we decide, stargazing at the VC is still a must for this trip.