Hiker from Calif. takes wrong turn, dies in Australian Outback
A California tourist took a wrong turn and died while hiking with little water in the Australian Outback in triple-digit temperatures.
The 33-year-old man was reported missing west of Alice Springs in central Australia on Wednesday and his body was found by a search party at the base of Mount Sonder an hour later.
He and a 40-year-old friend were on a 10-mile journey to the summit and back, Police Superintendent Rob Burgoyne told ABC in Australia. The companion told police that the man ran on ahead during the descent. He took a wrong turn and his body was found three hours later.
The temperature at Alice Springs reached 108 degrees on Wednesday, and there is little shade or water nearby. The victim “had a very limited water supply,” Police Sergeant Michael Potts said.
“It wouldn’t be a terribly advisable thing to do in 40-degree heat, to actually sprint away.” Burgoyne told ABC, referring to the Celsius temperature.
“It’s almost physically impossible to put back the fluids that you’re going to lose as quickly as you’re losing them, and unfortunately people become dehydrated very rapidly before even realizing that it’s even happening,” local Parks and Wildlife official Chris Day told ABC.
Day told the station that it’s a “very exposed” mountain walk.
Police have not identified the victim or said where in California he was from. A cause of death has not been revealed, but investigators said it was not suspicious.