RMRU Report: Another Skyline Summer Death

General Palm Springs area.

Re: RMRU Report: Another Skyline Summer Death

Postby Ed » Wed Sep 07, 2022 3:23 pm

I am sure Fern and Bluerail were fine starting at 1600. But if your concern is temperature and not your work schedule, the low for the day is at sunrise. My default start time was 1-1/2 hours before sunrise. That gives you only a little over an hour of hiking in the dark, and about three hours of the lowest temperatures available. After that you rely on a lapse rate of about 3.7F/1000ft as you climb. Not that I ever hiked Skyline in July, August or September. I can well imagine that radiation from the rocks!

Here is the temperature history for the last three days at the Palm Springs Regional Airport:

https://www.weather.gov/wrh/timeseries?site=KPSP

Not sure what to say about water. I started carrying 5 quarts because it was recommended somewhere, perhaps on Perry's website. I found I never drank more than 4, with an average of about 3.5, and sometimes as low as 2.5-3 in the winter. But then I drank a bottle of Gatorade on the drive to the trailhead. I am of average size and a big sweater. Carried two Halo sweatbands and exchanged them frequently on warm days.
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Re: RMRU Report: Another Skyline Summer Death

Postby Hikin_Jim » Wed Sep 07, 2022 3:44 pm

I can see that it was a chilly 87 F at 0630 this morning. Why, that's practically an ice age. :lol: :wink:

All kidding aside, your point is well taken. The coolest time of the day is in the early morning, right around or slightly before sunrise as I recall.

That's pretty good if you can do Skyline on 2 liters, but I imagine you're a lot faster than I am. I'm on a 9 hour pace which, um, isn't exactly setting any land speed records. Five liters over nine hours is something like 0.5 liters every hour. Had it been hotter, I'd probably have brought more water.

HJ

Update: I checked the blog post that I wrote based on my Skyline. I did carry 5 liters but only drank 4 liters. Of course that was in December when the predicted high in Palm Springs was 80 F.
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Re: RMRU Report: Another Skyline Summer Death

Postby Ed » Wed Sep 07, 2022 4:48 pm

I am slow. Not sure whether water consumption depends on time. Certainly depends on temperature. I hiked Skyline on days with Palm Springs highs from 65 to 95. I assume it depends on body size. There could be other personal factors. I am reluctant to give advice on water, I can only relate my own experience.

Frankly, I had more trouble on Skyline with my temperature-sensitive fingers on cold winter days than I ever did with heat. But I was not hiking Skyline on triple-digit days. That, I assume, is a different world. I did not need Cynthia's wonderful rants on hiking Skyline in the summer to keep me off the trail on triple-digit days.
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Re: RMRU Report: Another Skyline Summer Death

Postby Hikin_Jim » Wed Sep 07, 2022 5:21 pm

Ed wrote:Not sure whether water consumption depends on time. Certainly depends on temperature. I hiked Skyline on days with Palm Springs highs from 65 to 95. I assume it depends on body size. There could be other personal factors.

I would assume that all of the above might play at least some role in water consumption. I think level of exertion and web bulb temperature would be the primary factors within the range of a given individual. Wet bulb temperature adjusts for humidity. In Palm Springs, it's typically so dry that no adjustment is necessary.

Ed wrote:I am reluctant to give advice on water, I can only relate my own experience.

That's smart. Ultimately, anyone else's experience must be taken as that: Their experience, not a hard and fast rule of what to carry. That said, if multiple people consistently report X liters for a given trail under Y conditions, if one were planning to carry less than that, perhaps one should really think twice.

Ed wrote:I did not need Cynthia's wonderful rants on hiking Skyline in the summer to keep me off the trail on triple-digit days.
Yeah me too. I've had some scary experiences in heat -- where I just couldn't cool down no matter how much I rested in the shade and drank water. :shock:

The human body really struggles to regulate its core temperature in ambient temperatures near or above the body's normal temperature. In other words, as the outside temperature approaches one's normal body temperature, somewhere around 98.7 F, the harder it is for the body to keep its inner temperature under control. Not only is there the air temperature to consider but solar exposure as well that adds the equivalent of 10 to 20 degrees or more of heat. In other words, out in the sun, the human body may struggle to regulate its inner temperature even if it's less than 98.7 F air temperature. One really has to take such factors into account. A thermometer is a great help but isn't enough in and of itself.

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