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16-year-old boy died hiking Picacho Peak with a Boy Scout group on Saturday, the Pinal County Sheriff's Office said.

The group had water but ran out when they got to the top of the mountain, the Sheriff's Office said.

On the hike down, the teen began to exhibit signs of extreme dehydration, officials said.

Members of the group called for help and emergency responders attempted to resuscitate the boy but were unsuccessful.

The boy was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Sheriff's Office.

https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona-breaking/2019/05/02/sheriffs-office-teen-dies-while-hiking-picacho-peak-boy-scout-group/3654991002/

https://www.abc15.com/news/state/pcso-16-year-old-dies-during-hike-at-picacho-peak-park-on-saturday

 

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I wonder if there is more to the story?

Trail looks to be only less than 2 miles from 1 parking area and less than 3 miles from another.  Not discounting dehydration that can come on quickly, 

Here is a map of the park

https://d2umhuunwbec1r.cloudfront.net/gallery/0004/0010/27F8D231CC7F4A9CB199737FE780E8D6/PIPE_ParkMap_Spring_2019_FINAL_01.pdf

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11 minutes ago, Jameson76 said:

I wonder if there is more to the story?

Trail looks to be only less than 2 miles from 1 parking area and less than 3 miles from another.  Not discounting dehydration that can come on quickly, 

Here is a map of the park

https://d2umhuunwbec1r.cloudfront.net/gallery/0004/0010/27F8D231CC7F4A9CB199737FE780E8D6/PIPE_ParkMap_Spring_2019_FINAL_01.pdf

From that website: "Please use caution and carry a map. Those planning to hike the longer trails should carry at least two to three quarts of water per person and wear proper footwear. Please remember that summer temperatures often exceed 100° F"

It's a terrible tragedy, but a reminder to everyone, if you're out of water you turn around, and you should have turned around sooner.

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25 minutes ago, Jameson76 said:

I wonder if there is more to the story?

Trail looks to be only less than 2 miles from 1 parking area and less than 3 miles from another.  Not discounting dehydration that can come on quickly, 

Two miles might not sound like much but it looks like it goes up around 1000 feet. That, and if they left late, and they didn't have enough water, and they weren't in shape, and they weren't paying attention ... tragedy.

One of the biggest challenges is knowing to say it's time to turn around. I went hiking with my daughter and her boyfriend. He did not want to look bad but he was obviously suffering altitude sickness. Everyone else was willing to just let him tough it out. I was the old man and the only one willing to say nope, we'll try again some other day.

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12 hours ago, Jameson76 said:

I wonder if there is more to the story?

Trail looks to be only less than 2 miles from 1 parking area and less than 3 miles from another.  Not discounting dehydration that can come on quickly, 

Here is a map of the park

https://d2umhuunwbec1r.cloudfront.net/gallery/0004/0010/27F8D231CC7F4A9CB199737FE780E8D6/PIPE_ParkMap_Spring_2019_FINAL_01.pdf

my guess would be probably had underlying condition exasperated by the hike

a healthy 16 yr old should not have a problem with such a hike even with just minimal water

 

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13 hours ago, Jameson76 said:

I wonder if there is more to the story?

Trail looks to be only less than 2 miles from 1 parking area and less than 3 miles from another.  Not discounting dehydration that can come on quickly, 

Here is a map of the park

https://d2umhuunwbec1r.cloudfront.net/gallery/0004/0010/27F8D231CC7F4A9CB199737FE780E8D6/PIPE_ParkMap_Spring_2019_FINAL_01.pdf

The most common trail to the summit isn't very long but it's really steep, almost more of a scramble than a hike until you reach the saddle. There's a steel cable handrail that you use almost continuously (placed decades ago by none other than the boy scouts). When you're heaving just to get enough oxygen, drinking water feels like a burden. It's even worse trying to suck it out of a tube. If they finished all their water before getting to the top, I wonder how much they had.

I hope this tragedy doesn't discourage other troops from visiting the mountain. Picacho Peak is home to some quirky Arizona history. It's the site of the westernmost battle skirmish in the Civil War. The Mormon Battalion marched through the pass on their way to Tucson.

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Pinal County Sheriff's Dept released report

The Pinal County Sheriff's Office says the 16-year-old was hiking the Sunset Vista trail with his Boy Scout troop on April 27 when he collapsed on the way back after reaching the summit.

The group was about a mile from the trailhead when the teen passed out and 911 was called at 1:30 p.m. The responding deputy said the park ranger reached the group first and started CPR until firefighters from Avra Valley arrived and took over.

A paramedic pronounced the teen deceased just before 2:30 p.m.

The group, comprised of six scouts and two scout masters, had started hiking the trail at 8 a.m., the sheriff's office said. The group reached the summit around noon, but by that time the teen had drank the two quarts of water he had brought on the hike.

The Sunset Valley trail is 3.1 miles long and starts gradually before increasing in difficulty as it approaches the top of the peak. Steel cables have been installed in parts of the trail to help hikers navigate the steep terrain, and it is not advised people hike the trail in hot weather, according to the Arizona State Parks website. According to the National Weather Service, the high that day was 94 degrees in nearby Tucson.

The scout masters refilled the teen's water at the top, and the group turned around. While hiking back, the teen collapsed and was helped up by other scouts. About 100 yards later, the teen collapsed again and did not get up, according to the sheriff's office.

Source:

https://www.abc15.com/news/region-central-southern-az/pinal-county-releases-report-on-16-year-old-boy-scout-who-died-at-picacho-peak

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I wonder if the scoutmasters performed CPR as well?  In our unit we ensure that every adult leader and many of our older scouts are CPR/AED/First Aid trained and provided the opportunity to be wilderness first aid trained.  

I feel horribly for all those involved.  

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2 hours ago, RememberSchiff said:

According to the National Weather Service, the high that day was 94 degrees in nearby Tucson.

The scout masters refilled the teen's water at the top, and the group turned around. While hiking back, the teen collapsed and was helped up by other scouts. About 100 yards later, the teen collapsed again and did not get up, according to the sheriff's office.

This Scout was a football player. 94 degrees isn't that hot after practicing in 115 degree weather. Previously, I thought they had all run out of water before summiting. If he was tanking and water wasn't helping, he needed electrolytes (rest wouldn't hurt, either). Water just sloshes around in your stomach at that point. I carry an MRE drink pouch in my first aid kit for that reason. Cool kids carry those salt vials that runners use.

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38 minutes ago, Saltface said:

This Scout was a football player. 94 degrees isn't that hot after practicing in 115 degree weather. Previously, I thought they had all run out of water before summiting. If he was tanking and water wasn't helping, he needed electrolytes (rest wouldn't hurt, either). Water just sloshes around in your stomach at that point. I carry an MRE drink pouch in my first aid kit for that reason. Cool kids carry those salt vials that runners use.

I've seen the first string of varsity football players from a championship team crumple in the third quarter in less heat. My guess is they all caught the same bug while training, or were up late partying the night before, or they could have had a decent meal with tainted milk the morning of. The EMTs were busy that day. Point is, before game time, there was no way of knowing the boys' condition.

Personally, I once hit a wall at about this age on a land navigation course. Between the more distant markers, I called for a break under some shade. I opened my eyes a little later, and asked my buddy how long I'd been out. "A while." My buddies gave up the course, got me back to campsite, put me in a hammock, and kept one eye on me while they made soup. Those electrolytes and a soak in a nearby stream got me back to normal. It was not a particularly hot day. Certainly not arid. But the big advantage was we could get out of the sun.

Sheltering in place at the first onset of symptoms, then dividing the group so that half could get rescue might have made the difference. But that would depend on their ability to find/create shade. I'm sure it's a question these scouts and scouters will be pondering for the rest of their lives.

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Posted (edited)
40 minutes ago, qwazse said:

Sheltering in place at the first onset of symptoms, then dividing the group so that half could get rescue might have made the difference. But that would depend on their ability to find/create shade. I'm sure it's a question these scouts and scouters will be pondering for the rest of their lives.

Shade is another big issue on this mountain. There isn't a lick of it on Sunset Trail once the sun has cleared the ridgeline. Actually, there is one tree. A SAR friend of mine refers to it as the death tree because that's where they always find the unfortunates.

Edited by Saltface
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Update May 31, 2019: 

The Pinal County Medical Examiner'autopsy stated Joshua White was 6ft tall, 289lbs with no known medical issues died of dehydration and hyperthermia. Their report concluded it was an accident.

The medical examiner's report said the boy reportedly drank 2 quarts (2 liters) of water while climbing the peak between Phoenix and Tucson and another 2 quarts on the way down. The small group of Scouts hiked for six hours on a day when temperatures reached 96 degrees.

The Pinal County sheriff's office initially said the Scouts had water when they set out but ran out at the top. The park's website recommends that hikers each carry at least 2 to 4 quarts (2 to 4 liters) of water.

More at source links:

https://www.12news.com/article/news/autopsy-boy-scout-died-on-hike-of-dehydration-overheating/75-6db42e10-4b40-41f4-9058-71eb688848dc

https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona/2019/05/30/autopsy-arizona-scout-joshua-michael-white-died-dehydration-overheating/1289001001/

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1 hour ago, RememberSchiff said:

Update May 31, 2019: 

The Pinal County Medical Examiner'autopsy stated Joshua White was 6ft tall, 289lbs with no known medical issues died of dehydration and hyperthermia. Their report concluded it was an accident.

The medical examiner's report said the boy reportedly drank 2 quarts (2 liters) of water while climbing the peak between Phoenix and Tucson and another 2 quarts on the way down. The small group of Scouts hiked for six hours on a day when temperatures reached 96 degrees.

The Pinal County sheriff's office initially said the Scouts had water when they set out but ran out at the top. The park's website recommends that hikers each carry at least 2 to 4 quarts (2 to 4 liters) of water.

More at source links:

https://www.12news.com/article/news/autopsy-boy-scout-died-on-hike-of-dehydration-overheating/75-6db42e10-4b40-41f4-9058-71eb688848dc

https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona/2019/05/30/autopsy-arizona-scout-joshua-michael-white-died-dehydration-overheating/1289001001/

So just an observation, the youth would not have been permitted to participate in any BSA High Adventure base due to not meeting the Height/Weight restrictions

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