Safety and Precautions

SAFETY ON HALEAKALA

Haleakala National Park is an ever changing landscape with inherent and unpredictable natural hazards.  This landscape is subject to constant change from natural forces including fog, rain, wind, snow, freezing temperatures & earthquakes.  The landscape will remind you of the planet Mars!

Ready for an Adventure?! Get ready for a fun, educational and magical stargazing adventure on Haleakala Volcano.  But you can only enjoy yourself if you are comfortable, warm and feel good.  At high elevations, your body will undergo some changes.  With less oxygen, some people get loopy or spacey or dizzy. Monitor you body at all times while on the summit.  Let your guide know if you don’t feel well.  Here are some other precautions:

Elderly visitors, pregnant women, young children, and those with respiratory or heart conditions should consult their doctors prior to traveling to high elevations. DO NOT SCUBA DIVE within 24 hours of tour.  This can cause severe altitude sickness.

Children under 5 not recommended due to effects of high elevation.

The brain expands.  Headaches can happen.  Drink water, slow down, take deep breaths, take aspirin or ibuprofen if you have.  If headache persists, it’s best to descend down the mountain.

The eyes expand.  Stars may look like they are wiggling back and forth.  Best remedy is to chew.  Maui Astronomy Tours provides chewing gum and organic snacks such as carrots and nuts.  If the rare occurrence of retinal detachment occurs, emergency personnel will come to aid.

There is 40% less oxygen so breathing can be labored.  Walk & move slowly.

To help avoid major safety concerns, be sure o walk slowly at high elevation and drink water to avoid dehydration.

First Aid kit available if needed.  Your guide is trained in CPR & First Aid and is a licensed Massage Therapist. MAT5694

If you do not feel well at 10,000 feet, please let Becky know to address the problem.

The road to the Summit Area of the park is a two-lane, paved road that is steep and winding in places. Watch for cows, Nene geese, Petrels, owls and other wildlife on the road at any time. Drive cautiously and safely.

CANCELLATION POLICY:   24 hour cancellation notice is required.  Contact Becky if you have an emergency.

You will be contacted at 1:oo PM with a weather update. If weather is inclement, you can reschedule or be refunded.

If weather turns inclement during your Haleakala tour, a 50% refund will be issued.

How to Identify Altitude Sickness

A pathological effect of high altitude on humans, caused by acute exposure to low partial pressure of oxygen at high altitude. It commonly occurs above 2,400 metres (8,000 feet). It presents as a collection of nonspecific symptoms, acquired at high altitude or in low air pressure, resembling a case of “flu, carbon monoxide poisoning, or a hangover”. It is hard to determine who will be affected by altitude sickness, as there are no specific factors that correlate with a susceptibility to altitude sickness.

Dehydration due to the higher rate of water vapor lost from the lungs at higher altitudes may contribute to the symptoms of altitude sickness.

Primary Symptoms

Headaches are the primary symptom used to diagnose altitude sickness, although a headache is also a symptom of dehydration. A headache occurring at an altitude above 2,400 metres (8,000 feet), combined with any one or more of the following symptoms, may indicate altitude sickness:

  • Lack of appetite, nausea, or vomiting
  • Fatigue or weakness
  • Dizziness, Drowsiness or lightheadedness
  • Peripheral edema (swelling of hands, feet, and face)
  • Insomnia
  • Pins and needles
  • Shortness of breath upon exertion
  • Nosebleed
  • Persistent rapid pulse
  • Excessive flatulation
  • General malaise
Severe Symptoms of Altitude Sickness

Pulmonary edema (fluid in the lungs)

  • Symptoms similar to bronchitis
  • Persistent dry cough
  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath even when resting

Cerebral edema (swelling of the brain)

  • Headache that does not respond to analgesics
  • Unsteady gait
  • Gradual loss of consciousness
  • Increased nausea
  • Retinal hemorrhage

Treatment

The only reliable treatment and in many cases the only option available is to descend. Attempts to treat or stabilize the patient in situ at altitude are dangerous unless highly controlled and with good medical facilities.

Inform you guide as soon as possible if you don’t feel well. Appropriate action will be taken for the safety and well being of the guest.

EMERGENCY PHONE NUMBERS

Park Emergencies : 911 or 877-428-6911

Park Dispatch for Injured Birds: 808-985-6170

Hawaii Pacific Parks Association: 808-572-4461