On January 23rd, astronomer and Hoʻōla Nā Pua supporter Paul Coleman took our Gala Auction winner Ed D’ascoli and his family on a fantastic tour of Mauna Kea.
Pictured above (left to right) are Edmond Sr., Mathew, Kathy, and Ed Jr. D’ascoli. They all had a great time, both Paul and the D’ascoli family. Paul gave us a recap of their of the day:
I was treated to the wonderful experience of accompanying three generations of the D’ascoli family to the summit of Mauna Kea. Ed D’ascoli successfully bid for the visit to the summit at the Hoʻōla Nā Pua fundraising gala event auction. His wife Karen and their son Mathew represented the young generations – with Mathew a mere 32 years of age. The member of the third generation, the true star of the day, was Edmond senior at 90 years young. He often put the rest of us younger folks to shame with his vitality and good questions.
The day began with us meeting at Hale Pohaku (HP), the complex at the 10,000 foot level. HP contains the Visitor Information Station, housing, cafeteria, and offices for the Astronomers on the mountain. We stayed there for about an hour as the gang got acclimated to the altitude before we continued on to the summit at 14,000 feet.
We spent the day at the summit visiting various telescopes and taking advantage of the fantastic weather with many photo ops. We actually inadvertently skipped lunch because we were having so much fun. We visited the Keck Telescope and the UH 88 inch telescope where we were also able to walk out on the catwalk for another photo opportunity.
Being at such a high altitude does take a toll on you physically since your body is working very hard to make up for the decrease in oxygen (40% less than sea level). By Dinner time, everyone was beat, so we finished the day with a refueling meal with the astronomers at HP.
Mahalo again to Ed and his family for not only the wonderful day, but also his wonderful donation to Hoʻōla Nā Pua.