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DannyNJ
07-19-2008, 07:05 AM
We have made the MT Washington hike every year for the last 5 years and really enjoy it. Overall weather has been OK. 2 years ago an 80 MPH gust blew us over but we kept going.

My concern as I check the upcoming weather is thunderstorms when we are on the mountain.

We are hiking next week with a 2 day window, but there is a chance of thunderstorms both days.

Any advice on what to do should a storm come up?

My only thought is to crouch down as low in the rocks as you can get till it passes. But that might be the worst thing to do.........

Any words of advice will be appreciated.

Thanks

Dan Allen

Bill O
07-21-2008, 06:45 AM
It depends on the nature of the thunderstorms. Afternoon storms can be easily avoided by hitting the trail early and getting to your destination before they hit. That's what everybody who hikes in Colorado in summer does.

I'm not sure what the current trapped-in-the-open thunderstorm technique of the week is, but I'd prefer to avoid that situation all together. If you're crouching on a rock above tree line in a thunderstorm you're completely at the mercy of nature. Again, I'd rather avoid the whole situation.

donnellyvj
07-21-2008, 09:38 AM
I heard 9 people were struck by lightning in Boston yesterday..

Steve M
07-21-2008, 09:40 AM
We have made the MT Washington hike every year for the last 5 years and really enjoy it. Overall weather has been OK. 2 years ago an 80 MPH gust blew us over but we kept going.

My concern as I check the upcoming weather is thunderstorms when we are on the mountain.

We are hiking next week with a 2 day window, but there is a chance of thunderstorms both days.

Any advice on what to do should a storm come up?

My only thought is to crouch down as low in the rocks as you can get till it passes. But that might be the worst thing to do.........

Any words of advice will be appreciated.

Thanks

Dan Allen

Word on the street(or trail) is to lay flat on the ground spread out so your not the highest projection around you.

Bill O
07-21-2008, 11:06 AM
Word on the street(or trail) is to lay flat on the ground spread out so your not the highest projection around you.

I've probably heard 18 different tips for how to position your body in a storm. I can almost guarantee that none of them actually move the needle in terms of increasing your odds of survival. Remember, you don't literally have to get hit by lightning to get hit by lightning, if you know what I mean.

With that said, don't just stand around and do nothing, don't hike above tree line thinking you can just crouch down and protect yourself from lightning.

Brad
07-21-2008, 06:23 PM
There was a program the other day on TV where 4 or 5 guys were hiking and got caught in the open in a thunderstorm. They hunkered down in between the rocks. Lightening struck close by. The result was 2 dead - 2 seriously injured - and the one person who was moving and therefore not grounded was fine.

I am not sure I want to learn any lessons from this other than take Bill O's advice - stay away from those situations.

Arthur Dent
07-21-2008, 06:36 PM
WSR88D-"Word on the street(or trail) is to lay flat on the ground spread out so your not the highest projection around you."Very bad advise. Most people actually don't get hit by lightning, they get shocked by the current as it spreads out from the point of impact. The further your feet are apart or the more of you is in contact with the ground, the more likely you will be fried.

Check this site (http://www.lifesaving.com/issues/articles/20thunder_lightning.html) and one of the suggestions they make is:
"If caught in the open during a thunder and lightning storm and the hair on your head or neck begins to stand on end, go inside the nearest building immediately! If no shelter is available, crouch down immediately in the lowest possible spot and roll up in a ball with feet on the ground. Do not lie down!"

KD Talbot
07-21-2008, 07:38 PM
Gotta go with Arthur on this one, the more of you that's in contact with the ground, the better chance of lightning burning you. What I've read, and I don't know the validity but it makes sense, is if you can't get inside, crouch down in a ball with just the rubber soles of your boots touching the ground.

In case there's still anyone who hasn't heard me tell this story, I got blown across a room in a lightening storm when I reached into the fridge for a beer. Yes, I heeded God's warning and gave up heavy drinking. :)

This was in Panama where during the rainy season there would be 3-4 lightning storms a day similar to the ones that crossed NH yesterday and last night. Rainy season, by the way, was from March to December.

KDT

DannyNJ
07-24-2008, 06:37 PM
Hiked up Tuesday. Only problem weather wise was a heavy downpour for an hour. Very humid rest of the time. No lightning !!

Thanks to all who answered.

Dan Allen

johnybhiking
06-24-2010, 08:28 PM
Thx for the thunder advice I am hiking up Saturday, it is my first time hiking I am sure I will have a blast, I guess if there is alot of thunder I will have to stop at the tree line, or sprint in between lighting the rest of the way.

Richg
06-25-2010, 04:56 PM
Ah...lightning! Just the most awesome display of nature's power IMO!

If you're in a group and find yourself caught in a lightning storm, besides croutching and minimizing your contact with the ground you should spread out 25-50 feet from each other. This minimizes the chance of multiple injuries and if one in the party gets zapped and their heart stops, the others may be able to revive him.

I saw a program segment once about why lone healthy hikers are sometimes found dead in the backcounty with no apparent reason. It was explained that the hikers probably experienced cardiac arrest due to a nearby lightning strike precisely at the worst time in the cardiac cycle - when the heart is relaxed between beats. This doesn't mean I'll stop hiking alone, however!

Brad&Val
06-26-2010, 09:31 PM
You want to have the least amount of contact with the ground. I have heard that if you are caught out, you should take off your pack, place your feet on it so you are not touching the ground, and stay low.

Of course, starting out early and getting off the mountain before the thunder heads have a chance to form works too.

soldsoul4foos
07-02-2010, 10:01 AM
Yup, unfortunately I have to ad this happened to us. We were exactly half way between lake of the clouds and the summit. We ran like hell for the top...kids beat us by 15 minutes :mad:

I wouldn't wish the experience again, but the awesome sounds of nature (and it was right over us) were INCREDIBLE.

Yeh, needless to say, avoiding thunder storms from then on. And the wife checks the weather report HERSELF now too... :eek:

Rich
07-02-2010, 07:46 PM
If you're in a group and find yourself caught in a lightning storm, besides croutching and minimizing your contact with the ground you should spread out 25-50 feet from each other. This minimizes the chance of multiple injuries and if one in the party gets zapped and their heart stops, the others may be able to revive him.

This is exactly what the BSA trains us to do. Crouch down on the balls of your feet, hands OFF the ground but, they say to spread out 100' apart.

billy10388
07-19-2010, 05:00 AM
Gotta go with Arthur on this one, the more of you that's in contact with the ground, the better chance of lightning burning you. What I've read, and I don't know the validity but it makes sense, is if you can't get inside, crouch down in a ball with just the rubber soles of your boots touching the ground.

In case there's still anyone who hasn't heard me tell this story, I got blown across a room in a lightening storm when I reached into the fridge for a beer. Yes, I heeded God's warning and gave up heavy drinking. :)

This was in Panama where during the rainy season there would be 3-4 lightning storms a day similar to the ones that crossed NH yesterday and last night. Rainy season, by the way, was from March to December.

KDT

me too
Thanks you for the post.
:)

billy10388
07-19-2010, 05:02 AM
We have made the MT Washington hike every year for the last 5 years and really enjoy it. Overall weather has been OK. 2 years ago an 80 MPH gust blew us over but we kept going.

My concern as I check the upcoming weather is thunderstorms when we are on the mountain.

We are hiking next week with a 2 day window, but there is a chance of thunderstorms both days.

Any advice on what to do should a storm come up?

My only thought is to crouch down as low in the rocks as you can get till it passes. But that might be the worst thing to do.........

Any words of advice will be appreciated.

Thanks

Dan Allen

Thanks you for the post.