Grand Canyon backpacker dies from extreme heat as temperatures hit 115F

Grand Canyon backpacker dies from extreme heat as temperatures hit 115F
Park rangers have warned people not to hike during hottest parts of the day

A Grand Canyon backpacker died from extreme heat after hiking in temperatures that reached 115F 46C).

Officials say that Michelle Meder had been on a multi-day hike from Hermit to Bright Angel trail when park rangers received a call that the 53-year-old was suffering from heat illness.

Ms Meder, who was from Hudson, Ohio, fell unconscious and was found dead by rangers when they reached the scene.

“Hiking down the Hermit Trail on June 19, (Meder) became disoriented and later unconscious,” the National Park Service said in a statement.

“On June 20, responding rangers determined Meder to be deceased; the cause of death is believed to be heat-related. On June 20 the high temperature at Phantom Ranch was approximately 115F (46C).”

The NPS warned in the statement that the extreme temperatures being seen in the region can result in “serious health risks including heat exhaustion, heat stroke, hypothermia, and death.”

They also warned hikers that during the summer rescue attempts could be disrupted because of “limited staff, the number of rescue calls, employee safety requirements, and limited helicopter flying capability during periods of extreme heat or inclement weather.”

An investigation into the death is now being carried out by the NPS and the Coconino County Medical Examiner.

And the NPS warned hikers to be prepared for the extreme heat, and act accordingly.

“Park Rangers at Grand Canyon National Park are strongly urging visitors to Grand Canyon, especially inner canyon hikers and backpackers to be prepared for excessively hot days in the coming weeks,” they added

“In the summer, temperatures on exposed parts of the trail can reach over 120F (49C) in the shade.

“Park rangers do not advise hiking in the inner canyon between the hours of 10am and 4pm.

“Most of the people who need emergency medical help in the canyon due to heat illness are hiking between these hours.”

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