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Re: JMT Pre-Trip Report
Steve C #32993 08/29/13 03:28 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
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Joined: Aug 2010
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To: Some Geek

Why is this hut safe to shelter in during thunderstorms and the Mt. Whitney hut is not safe to be in during thunderstorms?


Lynnaroo
Re: JMT Pre-Trip Report
lynn-a-roo #32998 08/29/13 10:25 PM
Joined: Sep 2009
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> Why is this hut safe to shelter in during thunderstorms and the Mt. Whitney hut is not safe to be in during thunderstorms?

Hmmmm.... not sure it is safer! One really needs to read this: Backcountry Lightning Avoidance, including the Backcountry Lightning Risk Management paper by John Gookin, and AlanK's writeup on this forum: Lightning: Thunderstorms on Whitney?.

Based on the fact that the Whitney Summit hut has a wooden floor, and has been grounded well, with heavy electric cables and lightning rods, I would say the Whitney hut is safer. Granted it has the warning sign, but I think that is there warn people so if something bad DOES happen, they cannot say they didn't know.

The Muir Pass hut has no grounding wiring or lightning rods, and the floor is the same material as the walls and roof: granite and concrete cement. It would be safer if it had some metal outside connected to grounding rods.

When I wrote that it might be a welcome shelter, I was thinking of wind, rain and hail, but not lightning. If I were caught there in a lightning/thunderstorm, I think I would take use lightning stance and try to stand on an insulated pad, as suggested in the Gookin paper.


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