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Heat, high elevation, and helicopters

I Am A Rock

Diggin' It
There was a big avalanche catastrophe in the Enchantments (near Chelan WA) this spring, so I got sucked into an article from the local SAR.

Interesting factoid:

Wenatchee World: What are some common mistakes people make that cause them to need a rescue?
Vernon Nelson: It’s not necessarily not being prepared, it’s not expecting what’s coming. A lot of the time, people think it’s going to be colder in the mountains. It’s just as hot. Our mountains aren’t that high. You get up in The Enchantments and there’s no shade. We’ve seen a lot of heat exhaustion in the past couple of years.
The other thing is when temps go up, our helicopter support goes down.
Jason Reinfeld: Big factors that affect the ability of a helicopter rescue are elevation and temperature. So the lower your elevation and the colder the air, the better the helicopter performs. So sometimes when you are at high elevations on a hot summer day it might take away that ability for a hoist rescue.



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