Sunday, July 8, 2012

Saturday July 7, 2012 Very Hot 104 Degrees

Saturday July 7, 2012  Very Hot

Heat emergencies that would be quickly and easily rectified in the front country may result in permanent injury or death in the back country

At 13:45 it was around 104 degrees at the contact station.

It would not be unusual for an adult doing this hike in these high temperatures to require 120 ounces or more of water

With very hot weather upon us remember that this hike requires lots of exertion and you will have no sources of water on the mountain. Once you are back in the hollows many springs and small water courses will be dry. When you can find open water keep in mind it should be filtered, treated or boiled if you are going to consume it. With the amount of sweating you will be doing pay attention to your electrolyte replacement as well.


While this hike is within easy driving distance of modern front country conditions it is BACK COUNTRY. Assume your cell phone will either not work or only work high on the mountain which means you will need to walk hours just to get to a phone to report any emergency. Once reported an emergency response will take additional hours. A heat emergency that would be quickly and easily responded to with lots of water, perhaps even ice, or an air conditioned environment in the front country will not have these resources available on Old Rag. Dealing with extreme heat can present a much greater challenge than dealing with cold. With the cold you can add extra layers (assuming you brought them) but with temperatures in the 90's and above you probably do not have any layers to shed. Heat emergencies that would be quickly and easily rectified in the front country may result in permanent injury or death in the back country.

Individuals who are impaired in their ability to self regulate in hot temperatures will be at extreme risk on this hike when the temperatures go above 90 especially so when temperatures approach or exceed six figures. Taking an infant on this hike in hot temperatures may be just as irresponsible as leaving them in a locked car in the sun. Encouraging someone you know to use this hike to burn some extra calories or get in better shape may be a great idea at 75 degrees but result in a medical emergency at hotter temperatures.


The next link is specific to hot weather hiking in Grand Canyon but much of its advice is applicable to any hot weather hike:

The next link is specific to hot weather hiking with infants and todlers in Grand Canyon but much of its advice is applicable to any hot weather hike with young children:

A hazy view west from just above the CCC stairs on the Saddle Trail.

A view of Old Rag near Byrds Nest shelter.

I almost never see snakes on the trails during the day but often see them on or near the trails and roads at night.   You should have a good light and be paying attention.


The following picture is of a black phase Timber Rattler sliding down onto an Old Rag trail.   Please do not harm any of the snakes in the park.   They keep the rodent population down which in turns limits the number of infected ticks.

A picture of the same Timber Rattle snake a few seconds later.

A Copperhead seen on the Weakly Hollow Fire Road.

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