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Re: [John Muir Trail] Re: Lighting

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  • Barbara Karagosian
    Never under a lone tree or tallest tree in a group, due to danger of electricity splash across the ground if the tree is hit. There was a lot of recent
    Message 1 of 38 , Jul 22, 2013
      Never under a lone tree or tallest tree in a group, due to danger of electricity splash across the ground if the tree is hit. 

      There was a lot of recent discussion re lightning- please see previous posts on the topic in the JMT Yahoo files. Also a NOLS article on wilderness lightning safety. 



      On Jul 22, 2013, at 11:48 AM, "debrabrownbear" <debrabrownbear@...> wrote:

       

      I just posted a very similar question. Looking forward to any sage advice.
      Debra

      --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "thetortes52" <ed_rodriguez52@...> wrote:
      >
      > Last year I was while on the JMT I was in the middle of two thunder and lighting storms, the first was going on my way to Silver Pass and the other was on my way to Mather Pass.
      > It always my understanding that lighting will strike the highest point and when we are in the middle of a thunder and lighting storm we should seek shelter under a tree.
      > We end up camping in Squaw Lake where there really wasn't any high trees and just below the switchback going up to Mather Pass which there was no trees at all.
      > Does anybody know how lighting travel. Are we safe just below the mountain top at there bass.
      > As am preparing for my trip this year I like to have a clear understanding and not just assume something. Thanks
      >

    • debrabrownbear
      Thanks, John. Excellent advice! Debra
      Message 38 of 38 , Jul 23, 2013
        Thanks, John. Excellent advice!

        Debra

        --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, John Ladd <johnladd@...> wrote:
        >
        > We probably over-spooked you.
        >
        > I have slept on the small tentpad about 25 yards south of Muir Hut and it
        > was a great night. And it had high points on two sides within 50 meters, so
        > it probably wasn't all that bad. But I wouldn't do it with weather
        > approaching.
        >
        > Last water short of a Pass, assuming it is above treeline, could be a place
        > to pay attention to local terrain. From what I have read, you don't want to
        > be too near the water itself and you need to have higher terrain within 50
        > meters of you, so it attracts the strike, rather than you attract the
        > strike. But you want to avoid tucking up close to the highest thing around,
        > since that increases risks from ground currents.
        >
        > John Curran Ladd
        > 1616 Castro Street
        > San Francisco, CA 94114-3707
        > 415-648-9279
        >
        >
        > On Mon, Jul 22, 2013 at 11:47 AM, debrabrownbear
        > <debrabrownbear@...>wrote:
        >
        > > **
        > >
        > >
        > > Thanks to everyone who contributed to the great discussion about lightning
        > > a couple of weeks ago. I've read all the posts, read the articles, and
        > > watched the great NOLS video. I've hiked in the Sierra my whole life, but
        > > this is my first time through-hiking the JMT. My husband and I are planning
        > > a leisurely trip, averaging <10 miles/day, beginning 8/12 from TM to
        > > Whitney Portal. In planning mileage each day, and our camping locations
        > > each night, are there specific locations (place names) along the trail that
        > > one should avoid entirely, given high exposure and lightning risk? Example:
        > > My typical approach would be to camp below a pass, near the last good water
        > > source, so that I could be up and over that pass as early as possible the
        > > next morning (e.g. Palisade Lakes, Lake Marjorie).
        > >
        > > And if one's choice is between pitching a tent (with metal poles) in a
        > > depression in a bare/rocky and rolling landscape, or pitching that same
        > > tent in a stand of trees of equal height nearby, what's the best decision?
        > >
        > > I never worried much about lightning strikes until I read all of the
        > > posts, the articles, etc. Now I'm a bit spooked. :-)
        > >
        > > Debra
        > >
        > >
        > >
        >
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