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  1. #1

    Default Cause of death for family in Yosemite

    https://www.cnn.com/2021/10/21/us/ca...rnd/index.html

    How sad. Low's in the 70's and still can die from hypothermia. It's seems off that both adults would die from it along with dehydration, you would think that one of the adults would have survived and went for help, but apparently they were found together. Talking about a tragic story. It just re-enforces that nature doesn't play.
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  2. #2
    Registered User JPritch's Avatar
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    6.1 miles with 85 ounces of water and they died?? That's hard to fathom.
    While searching for that unknown edge in life, never forget to look home. For the greatest edge you can find in life is to stand in the protective shadow of those who love you.

  3. #3
    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
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    Yeah very strange indeed! They were on a day hike and only went 6 miles with all that water? They were not lost why didn't they just turn around and go home? And they all layer down and died at the same time even the dog ?
    Yes hard fathom for sure!

  4. #4

    Default

    Hyperthermia not Hypothermia.

    The trail has several steep inclines and the couple had hiked approximately 6.1 miles in temperatures ranging from the mid 70s to around 108 degrees, according to Briese. The trail had little to no shade, he said.


    Two adults, 1 toddler, and a dog and only 85 ounces ​of water.
    "Sleepy alligator in the noonday sun
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  5. #5
    Registered User HeartFire's Avatar
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    HYPERthermia - not HYPOthermia - it was too hot and dry

  6. #6

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    Keep in mind, the first thing that goes with hypo or hyper thermia is critical thinking skills. When in either condition, the people are not in their "right mind"

  7. #7
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    I would like to hear from a vet. Can a dog not go longer w/o water? Guess we don't know the size of the dog. Also, a dog can drink almost any water it finds in the woods. Wouldn't it wander off and get some water from the river that it could hear and/or smell? And the 1 year old. It didn't walk or otherwise exert itself on the hike. Dehydration sounds like a contributing factor to the deaths but the sole cause? Couldn't a baby survive in the shade w/o exerting itself for some time?

    Doesn't sound right.
    Be Prepared

  8. #8
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    Here are some more details.

    https://www.foxnews.com/us/californi...ad-hiking-heat

    Algae bloom in water won't kill you in a couple of hours. I like the theory of toxic gases from the ground. Years ago in Mammoth, on the other side of the Sierra, several campers died and numerous people were injured when fumarole, which is mostly CO2, Leaked out of the ground and suffocated people. There are still signs warning people about it.
    Be Prepared

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackCloud View Post
    I would like to hear from a vet. Can a dog not go longer w/o water? Guess we don't know the size of the dog. Also, a dog can drink almost any water it finds in the woods. Wouldn't it wander off and get some water from the river that it could hear and/or smell? And the 1 year old. It didn't walk or otherwise exert itself on the hike. Dehydration sounds like a contributing factor to the deaths but the sole cause? Couldn't a baby survive in the shade w/o exerting itself for some time?

    Doesn't sound right.
    For a an aerial video of the trail, terrain and vegetation go to 9:50 on the press conference video at this link :
    https://fox8.com/news/investigators-...-hiking-trail/

    Dog was an "Aussie-Akita mix" according to the sheriff. A medium to large hairy dog hiking up steep terrain without shade in 107 to 109 degree heat on a sunny day sounds exactly like a prescription for heat stroke to this retired Vet. 85 oz (2.6 quarts) of water for 2 adults, a child and a dog doesn't seem like much in those conditions. It would seem to me that the dog would be last on the list for getting some of that water if the situation was getting out of hand. From the video it looks like they were a long way from any streams/water source. The water wouldn't have been the worst problem for the dog. Dogs can't cool themselves as efficiently as humans because they don't sweat. Just being in the sun on a very hot day is a stressful situation for a dog and add in the effort of hiking up a steep trail and you got a recipe for disaster. Sad and tragic situation.
    If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything.

  10. #10

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    Here is a another source of information about what conditions were like. [Double posted, I will look at the previous post's link]

    They went downhill first eventually reaching the river but had to climb up from there. They had a 2000 ft climb to make from the river back and only made it to 3100 ft, from 1800. 1300 ft will make you thirsty though. Dad was likely carrying the baby. The child was 1 year old and doubtful in a front carrier as pictured in the snow elsewhere. I never used a front carrier past 6 months, sooner even I think. Baby is too big and heavy. Haven't seen mentions of any gear besides having only one water carrier. Perhaps the mom was breastfeeding, but water may have gone to formula. The dog is longer haired and would have been obviously panting, water may have been given to the dog too. They would not have been in distress down at the river, they went downhill and it would have been cooler there with water to cool off with. Probably fed the baby at the river too. Hitting the hill, the temps were hovering around 100F, humidity not mentioned but a dry heat it's CA. The car was ahead uphill no matter which way they went. They were a couple of hours in at this point, again just 85 ounces of water, they were already dehydrated. If they thought they should have brought more water, what would they do? They'd give it the baby and to the dog. The man would have given the rest to his wife and trudged up the hill with the baby on his back. They would have just kept going thinking they were on a day hike, the car was ahead, and the only thing to do was to keep going because there was no shade available. And when they couldn't they would have stopped, more than likely confused and disoriented. The dog would have stayed by its owners, dogs are loyal to their pack, and the dog was probably just as dehydrated and exhausted inside its fur coat. They were on an uphill when found, water was not that close anymore. The dog isn't going to leave its three humans. Could even have been leashed but doesn't say.

    As reported, nothing was found in the toxicology results.

    Heartbreaking story. Please everyone be a little more careful with your water capacity, they did not have enough.
    "Sleepy alligator in the noonday sun
    Sleepin by the river just like he usually done
    Call for his whisky
    He can call for his tea
    Call all he wanta but he can't call me..."
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  11. #11

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    Good link TexasBob. There's useful information on the trail mileages and elevations before the aerial video plus a breakdown of temperatures.
    "Sleepy alligator in the noonday sun
    Sleepin by the river just like he usually done
    Call for his whisky
    He can call for his tea
    Call all he wanta but he can't call me..."
    Robert Hunter & Ron McKernan

    Whiteblaze.net User Agreement.

  12. #12
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    I would want 2 liters (64+ oz) just for myself for 6 miles and 2000 ft elevation gain. In hindsight, they should have realized they didn’t have anywhere near enough water. The most fit person should have left the group at the river and taken the 22 oz with them, made the climb, and returned with suitable water to get them all out. Yes, 20/20 hindsight…
    "That's the thing about possum innards - they's just as good the second day." - Jed Clampett

  13. #13
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    Rule of thumb for me on the SoCal section of the PCT in 2015 was to carry a liter for every five miles, and that was in April/May, not summer, and on the hotter days I did not walk during the peak heat. And it meant 4-5 liters on the longer water carries - you just have to carry it. And I was still always kind of dehydrated based on urine color being yellow. It is very hard to stay hydrated in hot conditions out in the open, and this was in the spring, not the heat of summer.

    One thing I've noticed out west is that the very low humidity results in sweat evaporation that can falsely make it seem as if you're not losing as much water as you are since it evaporates. In humid conditions, it's hard to not realize how much you're sweating out because it doesn't evaporate. Maybe that was part of the problem here - lack of awareness.

  14. #14
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    Just wondering, didn't they hike a length along the river?
    Wouldn't it been possible to "camel up" at the point they had to leave the river for the uphill climb?
    At least this is what I would do facing the possibility of eventually running out of water, even if the water would be of questinable quality.
    Less bad to get sick the next day, than to die of dehydration on the spot.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leo L. View Post
    Just wondering, didn't they hike a length along the river?
    Wouldn't it been possible to "camel up" at the point they had to leave the river for the uphill climb?
    At least this is what I would do facing the possibility of eventually running out of water, even if the water would be of questinable quality.
    Less bad to get sick the next day, than to die of dehydration on the spot.
    There were warnings of toxic algae in the river and most people won't drink anything which doesn't come out of a bottle these days anyway. Plus that river was at the start of the hike, before they knew they would get into trouble. No indication how much, if any, experience this family had hiking in hot, dry conditions. Apparently, little to none. Lots of clueless people out there these days.
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  16. #16
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    Well, their intended way roughly looks like a triangle, the river forming the second/mid section, the uphill part the third one.
    Maybe, hiking along the river was hot, but still not too unpleasent and they simply didn't get the idea that they might run into trouble shortly afterwards.

    BTW, my last time in the US in May 2013, we were hiking a loop in the Arches NP, and hadn't all too much water, so we finally ran out of it and just made it back to the car at noon on the outer edge of being uncomfortable.
    We had truely underestimated the dry heat and the strong solar irradiation.

    Just before we came back to safety, a couple of hikers set off the same loop going the opposite direction - carrying nothing but a tiny drinking bottle, much less than we had before.
    I spoke to them giving them our dangerous experience, and mentioned that now after noon, it would be even more hot, no shade and that there would be no water supply for the whole 3-4hrs loop.
    They looked at me like I was an alien and just kept on hiking off.
    Obviously we hadn't been the only stupid tourists out there...

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