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Old 18th December 2006, 04:45 PM   #1
Iamme
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Am I missing something here? Why not just eat snow?

Regarding the 3 climbers on Mt. Hood: First of all , my condolences to the family of the deceased.

Now,... in the news regarding these three, it has been repeatedly stated that they must stay hydrated and get water. And they mentioned that they had some apparatus for melting snow.

Why not just EAT the snow?
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Old 18th December 2006, 04:49 PM   #2
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They can. But it takes a lot of energy to eat a mouthful of snow, in which they further risk hypothermia. In addition, water expands when frozen, therefore one mouthful of snow does not equal one mouthful of water.

So, having a mouthful of snow, waiting until it melts, then shoving in another one... half an hour later and one frozen mouth, you might have consumed enough to quench some of your thirst.

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Old 18th December 2006, 04:51 PM   #3
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Only source of heat - if no food available - is burning body tissue for fuel (the body "burns" carbohydrates, then fats, then protein in the absence of food intake) . Putting in frozen water (snow) causes some of that heat to be used for melting the snow - thus lowering core temp. and endangering body further. Obviously if no other way to get water, it must be done but should be avoided otherwise.
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Old 18th December 2006, 05:08 PM   #4
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Iamme states they did have "some sort of apparatus" for melting snow though. Certainly that changes things eh? Though, then the question isn't about eating snow so much as melting it and drinking the water.
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Old 18th December 2006, 05:10 PM   #5
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Good explanations. I wonder how much actual water they would need under conditions where they just sit in a cave waiting for rescue. Is there a certian minimum amount of water the body requires just from breathing out vapors and whatever is lost in other means? Would tryting to sleep the days away help in survival?
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Old 18th December 2006, 05:12 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Dark Jaguar View Post
Iamme states they did have "some sort of apparatus" for melting snow though. Certainly that changes things eh? Though, then the question isn't about eating snow so much as melting it and drinking the water.
Here is the deal though: I never heard if they had one, two, or three apparatus. If they had one, to reduce weight, and we know that the climbers split up. Who got the apparatus?
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Old 18th December 2006, 05:45 PM   #7
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no, no no no no. The reason they didn't eat snow is because you can't just assume the snow is clean. Trust me, it isn't. There's no point in eating snow for water if it just gives you dysentery and you have so much diarrhea that you dehydrate (and lose nutrients) even faster. Why do you think when they do these epic climbs they're always boiling their water? HELLOOO?!
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Old 18th December 2006, 05:47 PM   #8
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Well there's all sorts of reasons not to eat snow then, excepting special conditions, like a hot summer day and the snow is covered in flavored syrup and dipped into a cup or paper cone.
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Old 18th December 2006, 06:05 PM   #9
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Am I missing something here? Why does the media blitz seem so one-sided?

First: I wish no tragedy upon anyone, nor do I suggest that folks shouldn't be trying to do what they can for the lost climbers.

Why has this story become what it is in the national media? Are CNN, HNN, FNC, MSNBC so starved for airtime fodder that the entire country needs to see live video of a *static* distant mountainside scene while listening to 20 minutes of roundabout discussion, from "experts" of variable credentials and arguable connection, that says little more than "we ain't found 'em yet"? I don't assert that it's not news, only that it's not news worthy of the dominating national coverage it's been getting.

While the story has that much airtime, why has so little been said about the fact that much public resources are being spent and faultless rescuers' lives being risked trying to clean up after their personal hobby adventure went sour? It's one thing for adventurers to live adventurously, and people should be permitted to do so. It's not quite so adventurous, though, if it's done by taking unreasonable risks with the implicit presumption that the Cavalry, Coast Guard, Forest Service, or Superman will ride to the rescue if the hoped-for good luck doesn't materialize on cue.

Long before these climbers went missing I was noticing forecasts for devastating storms approaching the Pacific Northwest. I'm roughly 2000 miles away and sitting on flat ground, but the storm forecasts were enough to catch my notice. When I first head reports of climbers stranded on the mountain, my first thought was "What were they thinking going up there *now*?"

Wasn't it a bit reckless to undertake -- or to not abandon -- such a high-altitude expedition in the face of such forecasts? If they didn't monitor the forecasts of the approaching storms, wasn't that reckless for such an expedition?

The point of my rambling is that I'm sorely disappointed that the media has made so little point of the fact that these climbers put other people at risk for the sake of their personal adventure. However well considered, their decision affected not only their own safety but also the blood and treasure of those who had nothing to gain from their mountain machofest.
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Old 18th December 2006, 06:14 PM   #10
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The twin points : A) if it bleeds, it leads & B)they have the few family members and three guys they can personalize. Much easier than covering things that are important to peoples lives and knowledge base but are less flashy.
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Old 19th December 2006, 04:39 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Aerik View Post
no, no no no no. The reason they didn't eat snow is because you can't just assume the snow is clean. Trust me, it isn't. There's no point in eating snow for water if it just gives you dysentery and you have so much diarrhea that you dehydrate (and lose nutrients) even faster. Why do you think when they do these epic climbs they're always boiling their water? HELLOOO?!
I don't know? That is why I started the thread. *I* always ate snow outside when I was a kid. I just avoided the yellow color stuff. Wouldn't Mt. Hood snow be clean? The aerial views sure made it look like the snow is glistening white. If it's not clean, I would say that Coors beer is no good either.
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Old 19th December 2006, 04:49 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by DavidS View Post
First: I wish no tragedy upon anyone, nor do I suggest that folks shouldn't be trying to do what they can for the lost climbers.

Why has this story become what it is in the national media? Are CNN, HNN, FNC, MSNBC so starved for airtime fodder that the entire country needs to see live video of a *static* distant mountainside scene while listening to 20 minutes of roundabout discussion, from "experts" of variable credentials and arguable connection, that says little more than "we ain't found 'em yet"? I don't assert that it's not news, only that it's not news worthy of the dominating national coverage it's been getting.

While the story has that much airtime, why has so little been said about the fact that much public resources are being spent and faultless rescuers' lives being risked trying to clean up after their personal hobby adventure went sour? It's one thing for adventurers to live adventurously, and people should be permitted to do so. It's not quite so adventurous, though, if it's done by taking unreasonable risks with the implicit presumption that the Cavalry, Coast Guard, Forest Service, or Superman will ride to the rescue if the hoped-for good luck doesn't materialize on cue.

Long before these climbers went missing I was noticing forecasts for devastating storms approaching the Pacific Northwest. I'm roughly 2000 miles away and sitting on flat ground, but the storm forecasts were enough to catch my notice. When I first head reports of climbers stranded on the mountain, my first thought was "What were they thinking going up there *now*?"

Wasn't it a bit reckless to undertake -- or to not abandon -- such a high-altitude expedition in the face of such forecasts? If they didn't monitor the forecasts of the approaching storms, wasn't that reckless for such an expedition?

The point of my rambling is that I'm sorely disappointed that the media has made so little point of the fact that these climbers put other people at risk for the sake of their personal adventure. However well considered, their decision affected not only their own safety but also the blood and treasure of those who had nothing to gain from their mountain machofest.
I agree with everything you said. Except I am hooked on the coverage and can't get enough of it.

Static mountain? Look closely. They show rescuers perched atop the mountain and others scaling the side of it ever so slowly.

Yes, they should have known better.

Just because they scaled the Eiger and Mt. Rainier doesn't make them super heroes when it comes to 80 miles an hour winds-whiteouts-below freezing/and 0 temps.

If WE are responsible citizens and out of no doing of our own accord we need an ambulance...yet have to pay hundreds of dollars for the ride...then they too should be made to pay for a non-sensical rescue from their fun flirt with death (which actually LED to death). Since they are ALL likely dead, they could get money out of any holdings they might have had. None of them were college guys as they appeared. Two were in their mid-later 30's and the first dead guy is 48. 48!...and the guy goes up there in the winter?..and he has a wife and 4 kids? Did he have his head screwed on right?

Theory: The two other guys knew their friend was dead. They TOO were freezing to death. They saw no rescue in sight (at that time). They climbed to the top of the mountaon, held hands and purposely jumped to their deaths.
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Old 19th December 2006, 04:59 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Iamme View Post
I don't know? That is why I started the thread. *I* always ate snow outside when I was a kid. I just avoided the yellow color stuff. Wouldn't Mt. Hood snow be clean? The aerial views sure made it look like the snow is glistening white. If it's not clean, I would say that Coors beer is no good either.
I'd say Coors is proof positive that not everyone learns to avoid the yellow snow.
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Old 19th December 2006, 05:05 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
I'd say Coors is proof positive that not everyone learns to avoid the yellow snow.
Ooooooh. Ouch. I hope they aren't reading JREF threads. Nah. Let em read. I never did care for that supposed Cadillac of beers that was being sold on the black market at one time. I thought it tasted awfully watered down.
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Old 19th December 2006, 05:12 PM   #15
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I thought it couldn't be watered down enough. Surely it benefits from homeopathic treatment.
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Old 19th December 2006, 05:41 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by DavidS View Post
Long before these climbers went missing I was noticing forecasts for devastating storms approaching the Pacific Northwest. I'm roughly 2000 miles away and sitting on flat ground, but the storm forecasts were enough to catch my notice. When I first head reports of climbers stranded on the mountain, my first thought was "What were they thinking going up there *now*?"
Perhaps they'd planned it many months ago and didn't want to be disappointed?

Quote:
Wasn't it a bit reckless to undertake -- or to not abandon -- such a high-altitude expedition in the face of such forecasts? If they didn't monitor the forecasts of the approaching storms, wasn't that reckless for such an expedition?
I don't know the details of this story, but a lot of people live in such a man-made world that they don't fully appreciate how easily nature can bite you in the ass on it's own ground. Even relatively experienced outdoors people.

Quote:
The point of my rambling is that I'm sorely disappointed that the media has made so little point of the fact that these climbers put other people at risk for the sake of their personal adventure. However well considered, their decision affected not only their own safety but also the blood and treasure of those who had nothing to gain from their mountain machofest.
Seconded. Cavers make the same sort of contribution, as do lifeboatmen. You have to have the greatest respect for people that will put themselves at risk for others without idiocy-bases triage. I wouldn't.
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Old 19th December 2006, 05:45 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
I thought it couldn't be watered down enough. Surely it benefits from homeopathic treatment.
Wash your mouth out! With warm beer!
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Old 19th December 2006, 05:57 PM   #18
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Back to the original question, my understanding, based on cold weather training in the Marines (we were based out of Alaska), is that it takes more water (due to metabolic processes) to melt snow than you gain from melting it.

I could be wrong, but that has always stuck in my head for some reason (kind of like my rifle serial number and the exact wording of the mission of the Marine rifle squad, even after more than 10 years).
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Old 19th December 2006, 06:14 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by fuelair View Post
The twin points : A) if it bleeds, it leads & B)they have the few family members and three guys they can personalize. Much easier than covering things that are important to peoples lives and knowledge base but are less flashy.
C) You have reporters On The Spot. Outside some place where something may be going on and with nothing to contribute, but definitely On The Spot and On Expenses.
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Old 19th December 2006, 06:41 PM   #20
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I love "On the Spot"! I often wonder WHY they are there. Sometimes, it is clear why they are there. They are conducting an interview, or otherwise actually getting NEW information from the scene they are at. However, much of the time these days they are simply "there" to provide a background image and nothing more. They had all the information they were going to provide anyway and they are being hailed on with violent winds pounding on them for nothing. Did they think we wouldn't believe them if they said there was a big arse mountain there? They could have just shown us a photograph of it. That's not the sort of thing that requires video evidence.
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Old 19th December 2006, 07:34 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Aerik View Post
no, no no no no. The reason they didn't eat snow is because you can't just assume the snow is clean. Trust me, it isn't. There's no point in eating snow for water if it just gives you dysentery and you have so much diarrhea that you dehydrate (and lose nutrients) even faster. Why do you think when they do these epic climbs they're always boiling their water? HELLOOO?!
Sure, going out into the street and picking up a handful of snow mightn't be smart, but how can the snow on a mountaintop be contaminated with any form of pathogenic bacteria in amounts that would give you diarrhea?

If it's a case of staving off imminent dehydration against the chance that there might be bacteria on the snow, I'd be eating that snow.

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Old 19th December 2006, 10:22 PM   #22
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Cold-weather survival rule #1: do not eat snow for hydration when you have no source of warmth available. You are literally chilling yourself inside out, removing heat from your body core, an energy debt you can't afford to repay. The body starts shutting down blood flow to the extremities when it gets cold to cut down on heat loss, and concentrates on keeping the main body warm. You're already running at an energy deficit, so don't make it worse by eating snow, which requires a phenomenal amount of energy to overcome the heat of fusion needed to convert from solid to liquid. You're better off being thirsty and warm.

It's better to drink meltwater if available, because it's already liquid and you don't have the heat of fusion to overcome out of the body's heat reserve.

As for melting snow, it's harder than you think. You can actually scorch snow trying to melt it in a pot over a fire. Sounds impossible, but true, and the water tastes burned. And it takes forever to produce a decent amount of liquid water, something like nine quarts of snow for a quart of water.

I don't know the details of the climbers' equipment, but it seems they made some poor judgements. First off, they either ignored or discounted the weather reports and predictions. Second, they didn't have sufficient reserve capacity for getting trapped on the peak, like proper equipment and supplies for an enforced stay. My guess is that they had planned for this trip for a long time and just couldn't let it go. They probably took just enough to let them make a quick dash to the top and back, hoping that everything would go as planned. One of the things I've learned backpacking is to plan for failure -- don't assume everything will happen as hoped for. I think their string of successes left them totally unprepared for a major breakdown, like one of them getting seriously injured. I've learned to listen to that nagging little voice in my head that tells me the odds aren't good, and to try again some other time when things are more in my favor.

Most dangerous words in any outdoor sport: "We'll make it fine as long as..."


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Old 19th December 2006, 10:54 PM   #23
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I have frequently "eaten" snow during winter camps, but I stuck it in a pot and melted it first-filling the pot all the time- then boiled it. there's this small thing called "latent heat" , which is like an additional sales tax on fuel used to melt ice. You can only carry so much fuel for a stove and you can get astonishingly dehydrated on a mountain- even in a blizzard, relative humidity of the air may actually be low.

But as others have said, if you have nothing else, you eat snow, and yes, it generally is very clean, but you are starting a heat budget spiral that has a predictable outcome, unless you get off the hill soon.

Capeldodger makes an accurate point. People who make expensive, long planned trips to far away places tend to take chances that guys who live down the road would not. It's a commonplace in Scotland that English climbers die in Glencoe in winter because having driven up to climb, they go out in all weather while the locals are getting hammered in the Clachaig. Then they get dragged out by the rescue. But that's how it is and nobody's complaining.

That said, we had two deaths in the Cairngorms last month because two young men set off for an ice climb on a mild , but lousy day, which just deteriorated and kept deteriorating. They made the climb, but they didn't make it off the hill.

So it goes.

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Old 20th December 2006, 05:21 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by AK-Dave View Post
Back to the original question, my understanding, based on cold weather training in the Marines (we were based out of Alaska), is that it takes more water (due to metabolic processes) to melt snow than you gain from melting it.
Don't forget, this information was given to you by another Jarhead. Perhaps a Sergeant Jarhead or a Lieutennant Jarhead, but still just as much of a a beach-banger as the semi-literate morons you remember from your basic training group.

Military life being what it is, you were probably being given correct and well-researched information as to what to do, but filtered through people who had no clue why they do it. (Following loudly-shouted orders repeatedly tends to dull ones ability to ask the Big Questions.)
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Old 20th December 2006, 05:37 PM   #25
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Well, here is the Army Air force WWII Aritic Survival Manual. Verdit: don't eat snow.
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Old 20th December 2006, 06:04 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by tracer View Post
Don't forget, this information was given to you by another Jarhead. Perhaps a Sergeant Jarhead or a Lieutennant Jarhead, but still just as much of a a beach-banger as the semi-literate morons you remember from your basic training group.

Military life being what it is, you were probably being given correct and well-researched information as to what to do, but filtered through people who had no clue why they do it. (Following loudly-shouted orders repeatedly tends to dull ones ability to ask the Big Questions.)
Grandparents have been doing the same thing, only more insidiously, for tens of thousands of years once "Because" no longer serves. The main thing is, it works. The message gets across and the kids don't eat the wrong berries. Until the rebellious adolescent stage, and you have to cater for some losses there.
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Old 20th December 2006, 06:07 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by roger View Post
Well, here is the Army Air force WWII Aritic Survival Manual. Verdit: don't eat snow.
It's a no-brainer, let's face it.

Does the Army Air Force have any guidance on drinking seawater?
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Old 20th December 2006, 06:12 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Beanbag View Post
One of the things I've learned backpacking is to plan for failure ...
Which I do by staying at home. It's cheap, damn' energy efficient, and nobody gets put out.
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Old 20th December 2006, 06:25 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Beanbag View Post
Cold-weather survival rule #1: do not eat snow for hydration when you have no source of warmth available. You are literally chilling yourself inside out, removing heat from your body core, an energy debt you can't afford to repay. The body starts shutting down blood flow to the extremities when it gets cold to cut down on heat loss, and concentrates on keeping the main body warm. You're already running at an energy deficit, so don't make it worse by eating snow, which requires a phenomenal amount of energy to overcome the heat of fusion needed to convert from solid to liquid. You're better off being thirsty and warm.

It's better to drink meltwater if available, because it's already liquid and you don't have the heat of fusion to overcome out of the body's heat reserve.

As for melting snow, it's harder than you think. You can actually scorch snow trying to melt it in a pot over a fire. Sounds impossible, but true, and the water tastes burned. And it takes forever to produce a decent amount of liquid water, something like nine quarts of snow for a quart of water.

I don't know the details of the climbers' equipment, but it seems they made some poor judgements. First off, they either ignored or discounted the weather reports and predictions. Second, they didn't have sufficient reserve capacity for getting trapped on the peak, like proper equipment and supplies for an enforced stay. My guess is that they had planned for this trip for a long time and just couldn't let it go. They probably took just enough to let them make a quick dash to the top and back, hoping that everything would go as planned. One of the things I've learned backpacking is to plan for failure -- don't assume everything will happen as hoped for. I think their string of successes left them totally unprepared for a major breakdown, like one of them getting seriously injured. I've learned to listen to that nagging little voice in my head that tells me the odds aren't good, and to try again some other time when things are more in my favor.

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I agree with the gist of it, but "fusion"? You can't be talking about actual fusion here, because snow is still just frozen water, not actual fused atoms into a new element. I'd say the body REALLY can't overcome fusion.

Anyway, while I myself have scorched a frickin' ice cube before (blackened), it's not that hard to melt it if you have the equipment. Sure it takes a while but if you've got what you need, then go for it.
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Old 20th December 2006, 07:27 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Dark Jaguar View Post
I agree with the gist of it, but "fusion"? You can't be talking about actual fusion here, because snow is still just frozen water, not actual fused atoms into a new element. I'd say the body REALLY can't overcome fusion.

Anyway, while I myself have scorched a frickin' ice cube before (blackened), it's not that hard to melt it if you have the equipment. Sure it takes a while but if you've got what you need, then go for it.
Heat of fusion refers to the heat required to change ice into water with no temperature change. For water the heat of fusion is ~80 cal/gm. This means that it takes 80 calories to change 1 gm of ice at 0C to 1 gm of water at 0C. If that same 80 calories were added to this 1 gm of liquid water, its temperature could be raised by 80C (given ideal conditions).

Water cannot be scorched on a stove. You might scorch the pot or contaminate the water with combustion byproducts, thus giving it a scorched taste.

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Old 20th December 2006, 07:41 PM   #31
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The "Don't eat snow" rule is strictly to prevent heat loss and conserve food energy. Try this: on a day when you are relatively cold, drink a cold beverage and see how much colder you feel. It will be even more severe if you eat snow. If you have no way to re-heat your body, you are in trouble. Your body will have to use energy which it got from the food you eat, to first melt the snow, then warm that water to body temperature and then bring your body back up to normal temperature. This is almost impossible for you to do without some form of external heat source. It is even worse if you have little or no food.

Hydration is more important in cold weather than it is in warm weather because there is less moisture content in cold air than their is in warm air. Most of your moisture will be lost through breathing and because you are breathing cold dry air that heats up in your lunges, it will take a lot more moisture out of you. You have a greater chance of becoming dehydrated in cold weather.

It is important to stay dry in cold weather because water conducts heat 240 times better than still air. This means, you will lose heat 240 tiems faster if your clothes are wet.

In a winter emergency, heat is your number one concern, not water or food. You will live for a few days without water and a few weeks without food but only a few minutes/hours without heat but hydration plays a major part in your body's ability to maintain and regulate temperature. Check your hydration levels by monitoring your urine output, colour and odour. It is your earliest warning sign.

You need to keep your head covered as well. At 4.4C, half the bodies heat production will be lost through an uncovered head. At -15C, three quarters. This is the reason for the old saying; "If your feet are cold, put on your hat!"

When your body shuts down due to cold, it does so from the outside in. Your body will always try to maintain its core temperature and the first thing it will do is restrict the blood vessels at the surface, which will restrict blood flow and prevent heat loss. When the core temp hits: (All temperatures in Celcius.)

37.2-35.5- Shivering becomes intense and uncontrolable, Ability to perform complex tasks is impaired.

35-32.7- Violent shivering persists. Difficulty in thinking, sluggish thinking and amnesia begin to appear.

32.2-30- Shivering decreases and is replaced by strong muscle rigidity. Muscle coordination is affected resulting in erratic or jerky movements. Thinking is less clear; comprehension of the situation is dulled and maybe accompanied by total amnesia. Victim is generally able to maintain posture an the appearance of psychological contact with their surroundings.

29.4-27.2- Victim becomes irrational, loses contact with environment and drifts into a stupor. Muscular rigidity continues. Pulse and respiration are slowed.

26.7-25.6- Unconsciousness. Victim does not respond to spoken word. Most reflexes cease to function. Heartbeat becomes erratic.

Below 25.6- Failure of cardiac and respiratory control centres in the brain. Cardiac fibrillation. Probable edema and hemorrhage in the lunges. Death.

The safest supply of water is snow or glacial runoff. Always heat water to just above body tempurature to conserve food energy.

(Reference: Wilderness Survival Manual, BC Hydro Corporate Health and Safety, third edition, 1995)

When the victim begins to freeze, they actually feel they are very hot and will often try to remove their clothing. Many climbers found frozen have much of their clothing removed. Some have claimed that this is a victim, in desperation and despair, committing suicide but it is simply the fact that the sensation of freezing is the same as the sensation of being very hot and with their brain's inability to understand the situation the victim will remove their clothing.

The BC Hydro manual is the best one I have ever seen on wilderness survival. They have the resources and the desire to create the very best manual of this type and they did. It was compiled for their employees who regularly service power lines, in some of the harshest and most remote areas of British Columbia, by helicopter. The manual was given to each of their employees and their employees family members free of charge. (Copies are also available to purchase by the public.) I am fortunate that both my father and sister worked for this company.

One paragraph in the introduction catches the eye. It says: In survival, as in mathematics, it is absolutely essential to use what the ancients called 'the three pillars of wisdom: TRUTH, REASON AND LOGIC.'
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Old 24th December 2006, 12:58 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by rimara View Post
Heat of fusion refers to the heat required to change ice into water with no temperature change. For water the heat of fusion is ~80 cal/gm. This means that it takes 80 calories to change 1 gm of ice at 0C to 1 gm of water at 0C. If that same 80 calories were added to this 1 gm of liquid water, its temperature could be raised by 80C (given ideal conditions).
It's probably worth pointing out that the "calorie" used by physicists is different from the one used by many nutritionists by a factor of a thousand. The "calories" count posted on most foods should actually be labeld "kilocalories". Someone might otherwise get the impression that you could "work off" a 300 calorie candy bar by melting 4 grams of ice in your mouth.
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Old 24th December 2006, 05:23 PM   #33
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I don't understand why they went in the winter. More of a challenge?

Originally Posted by Dark Jaguar View Post
I agree with the gist of it, but "fusion"? You can't be talking about actual fusion here, because snow is still just frozen water, not actual fused atoms into a new element. I'd say the body REALLY can't overcome fusion.
You're thinking of nuclear fusion. This is molecular fusion.

Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
It's probably worth pointing out that the "calorie" used by physicists is different from the one used by many nutritionists by a factor of a thousand. The "calories" count posted on most foods should actually be labeld "kilocalories". Someone might otherwise get the impression that you could "work off" a 300 calorie candy bar by melting 4 grams of ice in your mouth.
If you look closely, you'll see that food give the number of Calories, not calories. 1 Calrorie=1000 calories.

Originally Posted by qayak
It is important to stay dry in cold weather because water conducts heat 240 times better than still air. This means, you will lose heat 240 tiems faster if your clothes are wet.
That is quite inaccurrate. How you ever been wet? Did you really lose heat 240 times faster? The wet clothes conduct heat away from your body more quickly, but once the heat is in your clothes, it still has to go through the air. It might speed it up somewhat, but certainly not by a factor of 250.
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Old 25th December 2006, 03:41 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by Art Vandelay View Post
How you ever been wet? Did you really lose heat 240 times faster? The wet clothes conduct heat away from your body more quickly, but once the heat is in your clothes, it still has to go through the air. It might speed it up somewhat, but certainly not by a factor of 250.
Actually there is another very important reason for staying dry in wet weather. Your clothes will absorb a lot of water which will then start to evaporate. This takes a lot of heat energy (somebody tell us how much energy it takes to turn water from a liquid to a gas without changing temperature). If you cannot afford to lose heat then your body's temperature will go down.

If you know you will not be able to get to a warm place quickly strip off your clothes, preferably before you get wet. A naked person is unlikely to die from heat loss if the temperature is not too cold. This is how people who live in the desert survive rain. They are naked.

The above will not apply in sub zero temperatures. There, if you get wet you are dead.
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Old 25th December 2006, 07:48 AM   #35
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@Art

Are you sure that convention of capitializing the nutritionist Calorie is still well adhered to? I'm under the impression it's not and that many are simply ignoring the Calorie in favor of spelling out kilocalorie.

This dictionary says "usually capitilized".
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/calorie

@rjh01

Heat of vaporization for water is 540 calories/gram.
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Old 25th December 2006, 01:01 PM   #36
Art Vandelay
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
Actually there is another very important reason for staying dry in wet weather. Your clothes will absorb a lot of water which will then start to evaporate.
The higher the temperature, the more significant this factor will be. At cold temperatures, the rate of evaporation will be rather low. Although, I suppose that if the humidity is low, that would speed it up.

Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
Are you sure that convention of capitializing the nutritionist Calorie is still well adhered to? I'm under the impression it's not and that many are simply ignoring the Calorie in favor of spelling out kilocalorie.
Are you saying that people are using calorie to mean kilocalorie, or just that people aren't writing "Calorie" anymore? I checked a few nutrition label, and they all capitalized "Calorie".

Quote:
Heat of vaporization for water is 540 calories/gram.
Is that relatively constant across temperatures and pressures?
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Old 25th December 2006, 01:05 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Beanbag View Post
Cold-weather survival rule #1: do not eat snow for hydration when you have no source of warmth available. You are literally chilling yourself inside out, removing heat from your body core, an energy debt you can't afford to repay. The body starts shutting down blood flow to the extremities when it gets cold to cut down on heat loss, and concentrates on keeping the main body warm. You're already running at an energy deficit, so don't make it worse by eating snow, which requires a phenomenal amount of energy to overcome the heat of fusion needed to convert from solid to liquid. You're better off being thirsty and warm.

It's better to drink meltwater if available, because it's already liquid and you don't have the heat of fusion to overcome out of the body's heat reserve.

As for melting snow, it's harder than you think. You can actually scorch snow trying to melt it in a pot over a fire. Sounds impossible, but true, and the water tastes burned. And it takes forever to produce a decent amount of liquid water, something like nine quarts of snow for a quart of water.

I don't know the details of the climbers' equipment, but it seems they made some poor judgements. First off, they either ignored or discounted the weather reports and predictions. Second, they didn't have sufficient reserve capacity for getting trapped on the peak, like proper equipment and supplies for an enforced stay. My guess is that they had planned for this trip for a long time and just couldn't let it go. They probably took just enough to let them make a quick dash to the top and back, hoping that everything would go as planned. One of the things I've learned backpacking is to plan for failure -- don't assume everything will happen as hoped for. I think their string of successes left them totally unprepared for a major breakdown, like one of them getting seriously injured. I've learned to listen to that nagging little voice in my head that tells me the odds aren't good, and to try again some other time when things are more in my favor.

Most dangerous words in any outdoor sport: "We'll make it fine as long as..."


Beanbag
Also, I happened to think of those poor guys, this Christmas day, and for their families, who I'm sure are ALL grieving, by now...wondering why any thinking person wouldn't at least bring along something that could be used to make a loud noise, in case rescuers are nearby...a whistle even...and a few flares.
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Old 25th December 2006, 01:11 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by Art Vandelay View Post
The wet clothes conduct heat away from your body more quickly, but once the heat is in your clothes, it still has to go through the air.
You are not seeing this properly. Your body doesn't have enough energy to heat the water in the first place and the outside air is stripping off more than your body can produce. The exchange will not slow down unless you get the water out of your clothes. That is why it is recommended that you strip down and wring out your clothes if you do not have dry ones available.

People have been known to become hypothermic and even die because of the cooling effects of their own sweat.
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Old 25th December 2006, 01:24 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by Art Vandelay View Post
Are you saying that people are using calorie to mean kilocalorie, or just that people aren't writing "Calorie" anymore? I checked a few nutrition label, and they all capitalized "Calorie".
Nutrition labels get it right most of the time simply because "calorie" is the first word of the sentence. But all the nutrition labels I just looked at get it wrong when calorie is in the middle of a sentence. "Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet" for example.

The 540 calories/gram figure I cited is for water boiling at 100C. It's going to be higher for evaporation from a lesser temperature (1 calorie per degree). So from room temperature it's going to be near 600 calories/gram. Latent heat of sublimation of ice is about 680 calories/gram, so that would probably be a rough upper bound for how much heat could be lost due to evaporation in the circumstances we're talking about here.
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Old 25th December 2006, 01:26 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by qayak View Post
You are not seeing this properly. Your body doesn't have enough energy to heat the water in the first place and the outside air is stripping off more than your body can produce. The exchange will not slow down unless you get the water out of your clothes. That is why it is recommended that you strip down and wring out your clothes if you do not have dry ones available.

People have been known to become hypothermic and even die because of the cooling effects of their own sweat.
Wouldn't you lose ground, so to speak, by stripping down, even in a protected snow cave? I could see chancing this maneuver if you were able to slip into clothes that came out of the dryer. But to substitute WET clothes, for DAMP ones, by first stripping down, seems like a step in the wrong direction, if you ask me.

Or, do you think that a person, in a snow cave, with no heat, could actually have their body temp dry out the dampness? If so, maybe this maneuver would work after day one. But maybe after day 5 of this, your body temp would be lower, and you wouldn't be making enough body heat to dry out DAMP clothes?
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