By Billy Hammond (Copyright AELS)

My best friend and I both had to work the day after our high school graduation, so we couldn’t attend any of the many graduation parties that our classmates held afterwards. The two of us decided that we’d celebrate on the two days I could get off from my part-time job. My friend worked on his dad’s farm and their peak harvest would be over by then.


We borrowed his dad’s 4WD truck and rented a cabin in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. We arrived there in the afternoon, grilled some steaks and killed the bottle of whiskey he’d swiped from his home.


Early the next morning we headed out to the slopes of Mauna Kea to play in the snow near the summit. We parked near the summit and got out and started walking up the road towards the snow field. Both of us were dressed in our work clothes and I think I was wearing an old army jacket at the time. We had on our steel-toed work boots and leather work gloves. We also took along a piece of plywood for sledding.


As we walked up the hill, we saw a group of five or six climbers in orange uniforms wearing helmets walking together in a line linked together with a rope. As we got closer we could see that they had oxygen tanks on their backs and had oxygen masks on. They all carried pickaxes that they were using as canes. The man in the lead had some kind of flag he was carrying.


We overtook them and they stared at us in disbelief! We noticed that they were all Japanese climbers. Both of us managed to hold in our laughter until we’d passed them and then we cracked up!


They must have thought we were supermen or something because we didn’t need oxygen. We had no equipment and were dressed in work clothes. Still, in all fairness, Mauna Kea is a mountain with a 13,803′ elevation which would probably make someone looking only at its height want to prepare a little. Not to mention that back in 1971 the mountain was still probably not very well known in Japan…














By Billy Hammond (Copyright AELS)


English books by Billy Hammond published by AELS



I. Majoh Gakuin and Hikari Juku – Japanese Witch Schools Trilogy

1. Majoh Gakuin & Hikari Juku – Japanese Witch Schools

2. Lost Witch (The second book)

3. Fate & Magic (The final book in the trilogy)

II. Brindle – Scryer Extraordinaire Trilogy

1. Brindle – Scryer Extraordinaire

2. Brindle – Scryer Extraordinaire – Returns

3. Brindle – Scryer Extraordinaire – Challenges (The final book in the trilogy)

III. Fantasy fiction set in Japan

1. 21st Century Ninja

2. Regressed

3. Japanese Woman

IV. Fantasy fiction set outside of Japan

1. Dimension Jumpers