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The Big Island

Fresh turns in Hawaii? Yep. There are more than just space observatories at
the top of 13,796-foot Mauna Kea. When storms roll in, 4WD vehicles line up
for the long drive to the sky where a moon-like landscape of craters and
cones awaits backcountry skiers. Who better to know than story author and
renowned ‘Volcano Man’ photographer G. Brad Lewis, who’s been surfing the
sacred pineapple powder for 25 years.

“It’s been pounding rain for days. I’m hunkered down in my home at 4,000 feet on top of Kilauea volcano, on the island of Hawaii. It’s mid-winter, and the constant rumble of thunder assures me that snow is falling above 10,000 feet. When the sky finally clears, the massive slopes of Mauna Loa are covered with snow. I go outside to my coffee patch and see that Mauna Kea has even more white gold. The radio reports that six-foot snow drifts are blocking the Mauna Kea summit road, but I gear up and bolt for it anyway, knowing how sweet the first tracks will be when it finally opens. After all, I’m in the middle of the Pacific among surfers, pineapple growers, and cattle ranchers—who minds waiting for powder?”

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