Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Monsoon Season is Here :(

The Monsoon Season
has reared it's ugly head early this summer. The Monsoon season are characterized by violent thunderstorms that occur in the mountains. Around Las Vegas we are talking about Mt. Charleston. The season normally does not start until mid to late July, but not this year. On Sunday, July 3rd, we were on Charleston Peak under threatening skies. It only spit rain, but it was getting cold at the peak.

On Monday we hiked Mack's Peak and again we were looking at dark clouds. During our descent we heard thunder. Luckily I did not see any lightening, but once down in the trees my view of the sky was limited.

Over the years I have been caught in a few thunderstorms and it's not fun. The temperature drops dramatically, it's usually windy, you get wet, and the fun part: lightening! A perfect day.

The Key is Preparation and Knowledge
First, check the forecast. If it's calling for 100% chance of rain in Mt. Charleston, don't hike.
During the Monsoon season you should be off the peak and descending by noon or earlier. Why? As a general rule the thunderstorms do not start until noon.
* Always bring a rain jacket or poncho.
* Bring a dry bag if you carry a camera, cell phone or any electronic equipment. The dry bag will protect your electronics from the rain.
* Carry at least one extra layer. It can get cold during a thunderstorm.
* Carry a balaclava, a thin type of ski mask that really keeps your head warm.

What to do if Caught in a Thunderstorm:
Here are some suggestions if caught in a thunderstorm in the mountain.
Hope this tips help you.
Hiking Las Vegas - keeping hikers safe for over a decade.