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Whitney Hut: Thunderstorms, Lightning safety.
#58436 03/31/21 02:42 PM
Joined: Sep 2020
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J
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I know the Whitney hut has a rather storied past. With the grounding wire, lightning rods, and wooden floor (not part of the original design), is it safe? (I have not been to the peak in a decade, but I remember members of my party referring to it as the "death hut," and there was a very definitive warning sign.) Thanks!

Re: Whitney the Hut
joinsocal #58437 03/31/21 05:05 PM
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By all reports, it's not safe in a lighting or thunder storm.

Other than that, it's structurally sound. No door at the moment and since it's been missing for years now, I doubt they'll replace it.

Re: Whitney the Hut
WanderingJim #58438 03/31/21 07:40 PM
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Thanks Jim!

Re: Whitney Hut: Thunderstorms, Lightning safety.
joinsocal #58439 03/31/21 09:56 PM
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JSC: There was quite a discussion of the hut and safety during a lightning storm on the original Portal Store board, but Doug deleted it because he thought the questions were being asked for maybe a lawsuit. Fortunately most of the text was saved, and reposted in this thread:

Lightning: Thunderstorms on Whitney? Hut safe?

It is long, but a good read. What I pick from it is that if you were suddenly caught in a thunderstorm on the summit, the hut just might be the safest place to be. But of course, there are always exceptions to that. The best thing is to be off the mountain (at least off the summit and off the two-mile trail from Trail Crest) before the thunderstorms hit, which is usually after 2 PM.

Here is another short thread: 2005 Whitney lightning deaths

Re: Whitney Hut: Thunderstorms, Lightning safety.
Steve C #58440 04/01/21 08:34 AM
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Steve,

Thanks so much for taking the time and energy to post the detailed response from a decade ago. After looking up "Faraday cage" and "equipotential", getting in the weeds on to-hut or not-to-hut controversies, and realizing there was a lot more to the storm/hut story, I want to read more!

Love the intellect on this message board.

Very sincerely,
Mary


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