JJ's Tribute to Haleakala

Haleakala National Park


Maui, Hawaii


The Mountain: Haleakala


Did You Know?/ Haleakala History/ Weather/ Shield Volcanoes/ Biology/ Photos/ Home

This webpage describes the volcano I love.
Haleakala is it's name and it is grand.
Maui, Hawaii is my home. Windsurfing Maui
and hiking the mountain are my passions.
This webpage is dedicated to that mountain
and the park that maintains it's beauty:
Haleakala National Park.




Haleakala National Park is controlled by the National Park Service
under the U.S. Department of the Interior. The park comprises some
of the most pristine and rare wilderness found on the planet. More than
30,000 acres stretch across the park land here on Maui, from the
summit of Haleakala volcano to the coastal areas in Kipahulu at
Alelele, Lelekea, and `Ohe`o. The land is subject to a climate of extremes:
from bitter chilling cold at mountain-top to the damp and muddy
rainforest at the littoral. Here I've found peace and solitude,
friendship and merriment, a knowledge and kinship for the
plants and animals of East Maui, and my home. I live in Kula,
Maui and I call Haleakala National Park my neighbor and fellow
conservator. Hopefully I can share in some small way, a virtual
glimpse into this love I have for the volcano and life of HaleakalA,
House-of-the-Sun.



Home/ Weather/ Shield Volcanoes/ Biology/ Photos/ Links

Did You Know.....?



Home/ Haleakala History/ Shield Volcanoes/ Biology/ Photos/ Links

Haleakala Weather

Hawaii weather is extremely changeable and more so
on a large mountain like Haleakala. Generally the
tradewinds blow from the East to North-north-east
75% of the time and make Haleakala wet on the
windward-side and drier towards the leeward. Some
of the wettest areas in the world are found on East
Maui. Upper Nahiku, outside Hana, measures 365
inches of rain per year.....definitely wet rainforest!
Weathermen call this rain 'orographic', a response
to wind, moist air, and mountain that produces
upslope and coastal venturri funnelling. VoilA....Rain.
When the ambient air temperature drops to the level
termed "dewpoint" rain can result, and often does in
large amounts on Haleakala. Too, as one goes upslope,
the temperature can drop 3 degrees F for every 1000
foot incline making a summit experience very icy. One
must prepare for hot and cold and wet and dry to feel
the volcano in every aspect. Climates on the mountain
include rainforest, cloudforest, dryland forest, montane
bogs, subalpine grassland, subalpine shrubland, alpine
cinder desert, and subarctic aeolian. Rainfall varies
dramatically in short distances. The summit gets 40
inches of rain per year while 7 miles away at Paliku
cabin they recieve 150 inches per year. Park Headquarters
measured 18 inches rainfall in one day January 1980.
The climb from sea-level to summit has the same number
of life zones as one would experience on a drive from
central Mexico to Alaska. Uncommon but possible
are blizzards and snow, hurricane force winds and gale.
It may be stormy in Kipahulu and the most beautiful day
ever in Kula. Wind, ocean moisture, and mountain play
key to the Haleakala weather. The tradewinds blow, and so
for windsurfers that means.....Maui becomes Mecca.



Did You Know?/ Haleakala History/ Weather/ Biology/ Photos/ Home

A Shield Volcano is Born

Hawaii has shield volcanoes vice composite/strato or
rift volcanoes found elsewhere. While 95% of the world's
volcanoes erupt along edges of tectonic plate crust
rock, the Hawaiian ones happen "mid-plate" from a
hot-spot, or upwelling plume of magma from within the
earth's mantle. Plate tectonic theory says the crust
slides over the hot-spot and so is born the Hawaiian
islands conveyer-belt style as they inch Northwestward.
Hawaii is unlike other volcanoes. Shield volcanoes
are more relaxed and are not considered as dangerous
as most other sorts. Haleakala is believed to be
in the third stage of activity, termed the "rejuvination"
stage of shield volcano development. Eruptions are rare
or infrequent, possibly beyond our short human life to
witness come active. The theoilite, a basalt, predominates
in a variety of elemental compositions, and in a
rainbows of colors. There are painted deserts atop
Haleakala volcano for this reason. And if ever I should
see this volcano erupt, I know that will be a very
extraordinary day. So vulcanism yields soon to erosion
and the volcanic rock yields to coral reef and the
island evolves. The volcano is born and lives and dies
as any one of us but in a period of eons and lasting
eternities. And Haleakala is a youthful adolescent with a
few younger siblings and many kupuna (elders). Come for
a walk with a proud member of the Hawaiian family, this
mountain, a trek through the crater, or to the tropical
rainforest of Kipahulu.



Did You Know?/ Haleakala History/ Weather/ Shield Volcanoes/ Photos/ Home

Haleakala Lifeforms

As one goes up the mountain there is a tendency
for life variety to decrease. Fewer plants and
animals occur as you ascend, true, but they become
more the natives than the introduced species. Native
types seldom are found between the strand (coastal)
areas and the low foothills to 4000 foot ASL. Where
humans are located with habitaion, development, roads
and elsewise there are mostly the Polynesian and
Western introduced varieties. Native land organisms
are typified by
plants , insects , and birds. The
ocean provides the best view of native Hawaii fauna
so a scuba dive or snorkel is definitely a good
choice if you are interested in native organisms. The
ocean remains 99% undisturbed. Land biota is distinct and
runs around 86% endemic native species, those singular to
the area. Most remote islands possess high endemism
in their life species because of evolutionary trends
with regard to isolation and adaption to those very
separate environments. Island life, without human
contact, typically develops into a social structure
where everything is slowly balanced and brought to
a biological equilibrium. No grazers or predators,
as we generally think of, are found here naturally.
So then the grazers and predators are insects , birds,
spiders, and land snails but no large animals are seen.
Mammals are represented by the o`pe`ape`a (Hawaiian
hoary bat), the endemic Hawaiian Monk Seal or
`Ilio-holo-i-ka-uaua, and whales and porpoises. The
variety is poor, but variety within the type usually
is great. This is what I call "belly biology".....
Get used to small things swimming, crawling, hopping,
and flying and you'll see more of Hawaii. Then you
may be fortunate to spy an endangered Hawaiian bird,
perhaps one of the remaining honeycreepers or the
Hawaiian goose, the Nene. A bird-watching experience
in the summit district of the park will provide some
of the rarest sightings on Earth. Too, you might see
the Haleakala Silversword in brilliant bloom, or the
near extinct Haleakala Sandalwood tree. Perhaps if
luck runs your way you might come past a Haleakala
Flightless moth or the swift and miniscule Wolf Spider
scrambling in seemingly lifeless volcanic cinder.
Hawaiian life has always struggled, and persisting
against the adversities is truly a Hawaiian way.
However life is fragile too and many forms
have passed to extinction in Hawaii. 75% of all
extinct birds and plants in the USA are found in this,
the 50th state. More than half our forest birds and
land snails are extinct, and this pattern may hold true
for thousands of insects never to be described. Before
we know it exists, peculiar life in Hawaii may vanish.
So support the conservation activities of the NPS,
and Nature Conservancy, and Sierra Club. They're there
to slow and stop the disappearance of this wonderful
life diversity we call Hawaiian. Sad would be the day
when we cannot see an `Apapane or `I`iwi (honeycreepers),
or only remember the splendor and majesty of the Humpback
whale as past history. We are caretakers, Kahu. And
where the shepard doesn't abandon the flock to wolves,
we should uphold this custodial duty as a shepard over
this land subject to such intense change, and caprice.



Did You Know?/ Haleakala History/ Weather/ Shield Volcanoes/ Biology/ Home

Haleakala Photos click to see

Silversword with Uncommon Yellow Blossom
Rainbow Over Pu`u `O Pele
Rare Sight of the Spectre De Broken Phenomenon
Nene Goose, the Crater Caretaker
Sunrise Over a Juvenille Silversword
Looking to Holua from Lower Switchbacks
Two Waterfalls...On the left Waimoku, On the right Makahiku...
Triple Take at the Pools of `Oheo


My Resume
click here


Crater Map, Summit District Haleakala


Map of Maui, Hawaiian Islands


Comments? Email:
jjonmaui@yahoo.com
Mahalo Nui Loa.....JJ.....Pagemaker

Created: June 19, 1998.

Links to some "Punahele" or Favorites about Hawaii

JJ's Home Page
Hike Hawaii
Hawaii Weather
`Olelo Mea Kakou o Hawai`i
Hike the Seven Sacred Pools with Mike
Another Haleakala Homepage?
Uncle Sam's Page on HaleakalA
Na La`au Hawaii
Insects Rule the World
Explore a Cave in Puna
Ko`u Punahele (My Favorites)

Have you tried The National Parks Companion?


Aloha from Maui.....A hui hou

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December 4, 2001