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jgaz

GCNP Hiker Fatality

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This is an all too common story that we’ve all heard before but the cautions bear repeating.

It’s my understanding that this hiker succumbed to hyponatremia, an electrolyte imbalance. (too much water, not enough salt).

 

I know this kind of thing is less of a problem as we enjoy our AZ desert in a vehicle but just be aware of what you are eating and drinking.  

A break down or stuck vehicle  could put us in a dangerous situation quickly.

 

Carry and use an electrolyte product that you like and will drink.
I’ve found two different powders that work for me, some others I seriously dislike.  

Eat salty snacks.

 

Be safe out there

 

 

 

GRAND CANYON, Ariz.—  On May 14 at approximately 9 p.m., the Grand Canyon Regional Communications Center received a report of an unresponsive hiker on the Bright Angel Trail above the Three-Mile Resthouse. 

National Park Service (NPS) emergency services personnel responded down trail and soon thereafter the hiker became pulseless. All attempts to resuscitate the individual were unsuccessful. The victim has been identified as a 36-year-old female from Westfield, Indiana who was attempting a hike to the Colorado River and back in one day.

Park Rangers at Grand Canyon National Park strongly urge visitors, especially inner canyon hikers and backpackers to be prepared for excessively hot days in the coming weeks. In the summer months, temperatures on exposed parts of the trail can reach over 120°F (49 °C) in the shade. Park rangers do not advise hiking in the inner canyon between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. as most heat-related illnesses are from hikers on trail between these hours. The NPS does not recommend hiking from the rim to the river and back in one day. 

Hiking in extreme heat can lead to serious health risks including heat exhaustion, heat stroke, hyponatremia (a life threatening electrolyte imbalance from drinking too much water and not consuming enough salt), and death. Be aware that NPS efforts to assist hikers may be delayed during the summer months due to limited staff, the number of rescue calls, employee safety requirements, and limited helicopter flying capability during periods of extreme heat or inclement weather.

Park staff remind visitors that there are ways to safely hike below the rim, for those who are prepared, well-acclimated to the climate and elevation, have the appropriate gear, and who have prior experience hiking in steep, desert terrain. Important tips for a successful hike include the following: balancing food, electrolyte, and water intake; drinking when thirsty; getting wet to stay cool; and stopping hiking if you start to feel ill.

Visitors should evaluate their level of experience and plan accordingly. For more information on hiking in the summer months in Grand Canyon, visit: Hiking Tips - Hike Smart - Grand Canyon National Park (U.S. National Park Service) (nps.gov)

An investigation into the incident is being conducted by the NPS in coordination with the Coconino County Medical Examiner. No additional information is available at this time.   

 

-NPS-


 

Edited by jgaz
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Thanks for the reminder Jim...   

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Excellent reminder...

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Thanks for sharing this.

 

A somber reminder to us all that, regardless of our outdoor activity of choice, always be prepared for any number of different scenarios that could present itself out there.

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