Did you take a spill in the water?
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USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
Did you take a spill in the water? on 10/19/2011 11:29:12 MDT Print View

While looking over a few subjects on the different threads, thought I would see if anyone else had an unexpected dip in a lake, river or whatever last Summer. On my annual solo trip to the Sierra or lately elsewhere also, I slipped in the Kern River in August, headed up to Colby Pass in Sequoia NP, Calif. Twice. I did not think to try to protect my Canon camera, so after slipping in the low but fast moving river, I realized after getting to the other side of the second channel that my camera was wet also. The water was still deep enough to reach over my waist when sitting on the rocks. Drying it out did not help at the time, but since, it will still work but with limitations, I did not want to spend $240 to get it going again. What's your story?
Duane

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Did you take a spill in the water? on 10/19/2011 13:21:13 MDT Print View

In August I was crossing a stream in the Humphreys Basin just north of Kings Canyon National Park. I had about ten pounds of camera gear in a Lowepro shoulder bag, and it was around my neck and arm. Suddenly the water was crotch-deep, very cold, very fast, and the camera bag was hanging into the water. That shocked me into moving faster. Only two drops of water made it inside the bag, so everything was safe.

Next time I will put my camera gear inside a ziploc bag, then into the same Lowepro bag, just to be on the safe side.

--B.G.--

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Did you take a spill in the water? on 10/19/2011 15:33:17 MDT Print View

I started to ford a stream in northern Colorado (Mt. Zirkel Wilderness) 4 years ago. It turned out to be a lot deeper than it looked (mid-thigh on me, probably knee-deep on most since I'm short-legged) with some big boulders on the stream bed, not very visible because the water was a bit murky from days of rain. I tripped over one of the boulders and down I went! Most of my pack went in, as did my camera on the shoulder strap.

When I got back out (muttering a few choice words), I checked everything. The camera, inside a fastened ziplock sandwich bag in my shoulder strap pouch, was fine. The bottom of my pack had several inches of water inside. Fortunately I had my sleeping bag in a dry bag, not a stuff sack, so it stayed completely dry. I dumped out the water, repacked (extremely thankful that the dry bag had worked properly) and went in search of an alternate ford.

I was wearing wading shoes and carrying my Goretex-lined boots. Of course the boots went into the drink, too. It took them three days to dry. It was after that experience that I decided (1) no more Goretex linings in footwear and (2) to switch from boots to quick-drying trail runners. I still have the boots but have never worn them since that trip!

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
"Wade in the water. Wade in the water children...." on 10/19/2011 16:19:13 MDT Print View

Two years ago I did an early spring trip in the Gila Wilderness, record snowfall that winter made for a big melt (by our standards) and the Gila was running swift and higher than usual. Average crossings were above the knee, some were above the waist in the deepest sections and about 25-50ft across, turbulent, sooty, and the riverbed would change underfoot with every step. On the last day of our trip I fell into a deep hole in the river bottom and lost my footing, fell back up past my navel in the river and quickly moved on down stream until I was out of the depression. I didn't mind the stumble, my vital gear was in a drysack, but I realized that the camera I was using (which didn't belong to me, rather my hiking partner) was completely soaked (forgot to zip the baggie) after my hipbelt pocket filled up with water. I toasted his batteries and his camera for the duration of the trip, he managed to revive the camera but we lost our photograph taking machine.

On that same trip, on the vert first day, on the very last crossing of the day, I was depleted having hiked a 13 mile day that involved over 100+ crossings up the undulating West Fork of the Gila River. The day was coming to an end and we were about 1/2 mile shy of camp with only one crossing left on the day, but of course the last crossing was the shortest but easily the most turbulent and swift. I wasn't confident in my ability to cross with my pack on and didn't want to risk soaking all my clothing at the end of the day with freezing temperatures expected for the evening. I stripped down to nothing but my underwear and hucked my pack and clothing across the river (barely made it, stupid idea in hindsight!!!) and crossed with just my trekking poles. I made it across with some considerable effort and was able to grab a large extended branch before being pulled on shore with a smile. Watching my father in law take a spill and float down stream minutes earlier with a panicked expression on his face didn't help with my confidence. I'm not really a fan of water come to think of it.

I learned a lot on that trip about reading the river, knowing where and when to cross. Sometimes you have no choice and have to bite the bullet and head straight across and hold on, but if you're patient, walking up and downstream in search of safer/easier alternative routes across stream can be the wisest decision.

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
Lost the Croc on 10/19/2011 17:02:57 MDT Print View

I had lost a Croc that stuck in some rocks that caused me to lose my balance. I also thought all was fine until that afternoon and my sb liner was a little damp as was some of my tp. The tp took days to dry. I lost my Croc, never to be replaced yet.
Duane

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Lost the Croc on 10/19/2011 17:16:02 MDT Print View

That Croc was probably last seen floating downstream attached to a white plastic fuel pump.

--B.G.--

Brendan Swihart
(brendans) - MLife

Locale: Fruita CO
Re: Did you take a spill in the water? on 10/19/2011 18:04:58 MDT Print View

Not quite a spill, but after taking this photo (lower Youngs Canyon...which has some crazy beautiful crystal clear pools) and putting my s90 in my non-waterproof hipbelt pocket, I walked along the left side (which was an increasingly narrow ledge under water) and slipped off the ledge into the main part of the pool, which was chest deep. I did lots of underwater running, squirming, and contorting to get my hips above water...ended up being okay.youngs

Edited by brendans on 10/19/2011 18:06:35 MDT.

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
Save the pump on 10/19/2011 19:05:56 MDT Print View

Bob, I would have saved the white pump first. If I had one. :(
Duane

Edited, PS
On this trip I tried out a new stove, a new acquisition per Alameda Frank, a Caldera Cone with 12-10 alky stove for the REI .9 ti pot. Now I know how much fuel will consistantly be used.

Edited by hikerduane on 10/19/2011 19:42:25 MDT.

Cody Lebow
(CLebow) - F

Locale: Orange County
Oh yea on 10/22/2011 23:48:41 MDT Print View

I took a full on dunk on the Paradise trail in Kings canyon. My buddy dropped the cap to his water bottle while filtering and being that I was down stream I tried to grab it, well it was only an inch or so away from my finger tips so I try and stretch that little bit further when gravity said "No". Next thing I know I'm underwater. Luckily I had no pack on and nothing in my pockets and the water was very slow and very deep. Here's a pic of me fishing the same spot on our way out. Caught 2 little trout in about 15 min there too.fish

Edited by CLebow on 10/23/2011 00:16:22 MDT.

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
Road's End? on 10/23/2011 19:48:33 MDT Print View

Cody, was that up out of Roads End?
Duane

Cody Lebow
(CLebow) - F

Locale: Orange County
Roads end on 10/25/2011 09:27:46 MDT Print View

Yes it was.

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
Did that on 10/25/2011 11:21:47 MDT Print View

Cody,
I did my version of the Rae Lakes Loop about four years ago now, maybe three. I work on the east side, so I came down 395, went over Kearsarge Pass, and then Vidette Meadow, Paradise Valley etc. The second night out, I was at lower Paradise CG, never saw the bear that was hanging out there, but fished the river, got hung up on the far side briefly and could see fish jumping, trying to get to my fly.:) Funny watching, but I was able to jerk it loose. GREAT fishing at Rae Lakes, awesome if looking for action.
Duane

Laurie Ann March
(Laurie_Ann) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
dips in the water on 10/28/2011 14:51:10 MDT Print View

I've had the occasional mishap as a canoeist and some of those are pretty funny if you'd like me to share the stories. As a backpacker, I think my most "memorable" dip was one Good Friday. We were on a hike and I had to cross a partially frozen stream... there was a sizeable log above the water so I figured I'd use that just as my hiking partners, my husband Bryan and his friend Brad, had done. Well, I hesitated at the icy/snowy edge before get up on the log. My foot slipped out from under me as the snowy part gave way and SPLOOSH! Right into the icy stream. Moral of the story... she who hesitates falls in. It was not one of my more graceful moments to say the least.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Did you take a spill in the water? on 10/28/2011 16:14:43 MDT Print View

I have a few rules if you will about water crossings involving fords - I always put my camera, mobile phone and my handgun into plastic bags and I unbuckle my pack. Then I cross.

I never take logs if it is fordable either. Fast way to end up in a worse situation, especially on moss covered wood in the PNW.

But yeah, I have had a few good ones. Years ago I did a ford badly and fell mid-creek with my oldest on my hip - lesson learned always carry toddlers on your back!! - and I was able to grab him out of the creek and threw him out to the other side but it took me a good 5 minutes to get out of that creek - my leg was between 2 super slimy rocks and I kept slipping. I was soaked by the time I got out and covered in green slime. Yuck. A couple years ago on a late fall trip on the PCT I mis judged a rock in the Bumping River and got a 32* wake up call. I went to my mid calves and filled my boots. It was a dumb idea on my part and I knew it. I should have just forded barefoot. Oh well. I walked the rest of the day in frozen boots. My feet were numb the entire day, it never got above freezing. Blah. Dumbdumbdumb.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Did you take a spill in the water? on 10/28/2011 16:32:59 MDT Print View

I've managed not to get fully immersed by accident and that includes a lot of fiddling around in boats. I have filled up a rubber boot with cold salt water getting out of a kayak and more than once. I can't count the times I've slipped off a rock when rock-hopping a small stream. A shoe full of icy cold snow melt really wakes you up.

There was one time when I was walking across an icy stone ledge with a 4x5 view camera strapped to my back to get closer to a waterfall with beautiful icicles. I slid for several feet and managed to stop much too close to the edge of a very large (class 7)rapid. No doubt I would have died had I fallen in.

http://www.waterfallsnorthwest.com/nws/falls.php?num=4657

http://www.waterfallsnorthwest.com/nws/image_new.php?num=4657

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
Hot footed it! on 10/28/2011 22:04:11 MDT Print View

A couple times, the creek was shallow and not that wide, so instead of taking my boots off, I tucked my socks down into my boots (when I still used boots) and ran across the creek. Only the tops of my socks got wet, just pulled them back up and off I went. When I fell in this summer, I could not get a good purchase on the rocks, so I kept going down. Never thought about my camera, I undid the waist belt on my pack though.
Duane

Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Re: dips in the water on 10/29/2011 08:52:21 MDT Print View

I've had the occasional mishap as a canoeist and some of those are pretty funny if you'd like me to share the stories.

Oh, please do!

I can start with one.

We pulled up to a short pain in the backside two rod portage late in a long hard day 5 of a pretty tough six day trip (25% of total distance was portage). Without bothering to look I probed the bottom with the paddle ... rock hard and about a foot deep (great!). I then proceeded to step out about a foot farther from shore .... into neck deep water!

Here's one that was considerably less humorous (at the time anyway). On a February snowshoeing day hike (windy with the temp about 20F) we needed to cross the large flood plain of a meandering stream. More stream crossings than I cared to count. A crust on the snow kept us on top most of the time but once in a while we broke through with accompanying balance challenges (I use poles these days). But one such break through wasn't just the crust, it was the ice on the stream. Seemed like slow motion as I sank up to my arm pits, never did touch bottom. Left arm and shoulder were on firm ice. On my right side the ice would not support hardly any weight at all. Snowshoes on my feet added to the challenge. Fortunately my hiking partner knew what to do ... hit the deck spread eagle and clamp on to my left arm. With his help I got up on the ice while doing my best walrus imitation, stripped (mostly) and wrung out my clothing as best I could, got dressed again, including a heavy wool sweater I'd brought for lunch time insulation and hoofed back to the car as fast as I could. Clothing was stiff with ice, good thing his car had a great heater!

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
"Did you take a spill in the water?" on 10/29/2011 09:53:48 MDT Print View

Yeah, lots of times, usually getting in and out of a canoe...you lear to really hate docks...

One relativly cold day in September we were paddling and got to a dock. I held the boat while the wife got out. No problem. She grabbed the boat, and I started to get out. Quack, ack, ack ack ack..... The wife stands up and quickly grabs he camera to get a picture of the ducks. I grab the dock, but it's too late...the boat slides out from under me till I am hanging by my arms and toes over the water... The wife realizes her mistake, and grabs my arm. Well, she slips on the dock and lands on top of me. We both go swimming... The boat, rights itself, and in a weird quirk, just slides back into the dock without a single drop of water in it. And, the wife had kept her cool. She had carfully set her camera out of harms way, on the dock. The rocks were slippery and I fell twice before I could get out. The wife forgot to let go, so she was being thrown around a bit. The ducks, well, they just laughed at us wrestling in the water.