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Busting the Crust.
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Jack H.
(Found) - F

Locale: Sacramento, CA
Busting the Crust. on 03/25/2010 11:16:46 MDT Print View

Hiking in the desert, I often find myself cross country, walking across cryptobiotic soil. It creates serious impact, my footprints may last for decades. I try to rock hop, I try to trail walk, I do my best. But if I'm going somewhere off trail (be it because I've got an objective or because I'm lost) I might be walking on crypto.

Any other LNT-fanatics that find themselves breaking the rules?

Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
Busting the Crust on 03/25/2010 11:21:35 MDT Print View

Whatever you do out there, Jack, just don't poke the cholla.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Busting the Crust. on 03/25/2010 11:27:42 MDT Print View

You could try stilts...

My utterly useless 2 yen's worth.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Busting the Crust. on 03/25/2010 11:31:19 MDT Print View

Jack,

It is a problem when we do this, and sometimes unavoidable. I thought I remember reading that you lived in Utah, and there is a lot of this kind of soil there.

I usually try to stick to washes and similar areas. If ridges are available, I move up on them where there are more game trails, and especially look for sheep trails (sometimes the sheep go places we cannot).

Fortunately most deserts have plenty of washes, and are documented on topo maps to help plan trips.

I think the most important thing is awareness on the part of hikers as to; what it is, and what consequences our impact can have. Unfortunately for uniformed hikers, the crypto looks like an attractive soil to hike on, as the crust can be easier walking than sandy surfaces found in washes.

Glad you brought up the topic.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: Busting the Crust. on 03/25/2010 12:55:54 MDT Print View

Washes, slickrock, and rock-to-rock hopping, in that order.

Sometimes I backtrack and try another route.

If I can, I brush my tracks where they leave a route, just to keep others from getting misled.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Re: Busting the Crust. on 03/25/2010 14:48:58 MDT Print View

"If I can, I brush my tracks where they leave a route, just to keep others from getting misled."

And don't forget to knock down ducks :)

If one looks fresh, I do leave it alone.