Authorities reported Saturday that a man from San Francisco died while trekking in the Death Valley National Park, having temperatures that may reach some of the highest on the planet.
According to a joint statement from the park and the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office, sixty-year-old Lawrence Stanback died on Wednesday while he was hiking near the Red Cathedral with Golden Canyon Trail. Temperatures hit 108 degrees Fahrenheit that day (42 Celsius).
Wednesday afternoon, park rangers responded to a complaint of possible heat stroke and went out on foot to search for Stanback. According to authorities, he was already dead when rangers discovered him.
According to park rangers, a helicopter from the California Highway Patrol attempted to fly in to retrieve the corpse, but was unable to land due to high winds. Stanback’s corpse was discovered by park rangers during the evening hours.
The Inyo County Sheriff’s Office and coroner’s office are conducting an investigation into the cause of death.
The National Weather Service reported last month that Death Valley saw a high temperature of 130 degrees Fahrenheit (55 C). Death Valley has the record for the hottest temperature ever recorded on Earth, at 134 degrees Fahrenheit (57 degrees Celsius), established in 1913, but others question its authenticity.
Visitors are advised to trek only at high altitudes or before 10 a.m, according to park officials. Additionally, they advised hikers to remain safe by drinking lots of water, snacking, and staying near an air-conditioned structure or vehicle to cool themselves.