Forum Index » General Lightweight Backpacking Discussion » Stream crossing horror stories


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Ian B.
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: One way to do it on 04/17/2013 12:58:25 MDT Print View

n/m double post.

Edited by IDBLOOM on 04/17/2013 13:01:03 MDT.

Daniel Fish
(daniel@fishfamilypdx.com)

Locale: PDX
... on 04/17/2013 13:03:16 MDT Print View

...

Edited by daniel@fishfamilypdx.com on 06/09/2013 09:23:29 MDT.

Ian B.
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Cost vs Benefit on 04/17/2013 13:09:47 MDT Print View

It's funny that they call this a rope bridge but the people who use it are up to their chest in water. Upon second thought, I figure anyone who would be in a position to use it (eg expedition in Latin America) would already have this skill set.

Daniel Fish
(daniel@fishfamilypdx.com)

Locale: PDX
... on 04/17/2013 13:20:07 MDT Print View

...

Edited by daniel@fishfamilypdx.com on 06/09/2013 09:22:50 MDT.

Rex Sanders
(Rex) - M

Locale: Central California Coast
Take a class on 04/18/2013 14:39:43 MDT Print View

If you want to learn to cross streams and rivers safely, take a class where you practice in a river.

In USA, that means a Swiftwater Rescue class, which will cover more than just crossing rivers, since we don't have river safety classes for bushwalkers like they have in New Zealand.

Rescue 3 teaches Swiftwater Rescue courses all over USA.

The New Zealand Mountain Safety Council teaches River Safety courses in ... New Zealand.

Daniel Fish
(daniel@fishfamilypdx.com)

Locale: PDX
... on 04/18/2013 15:02:07 MDT Print View

...

Edited by daniel@fishfamilypdx.com on 06/09/2013 01:39:18 MDT.

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
A close call on 04/18/2013 16:14:26 MDT Print View

Stubblefield
serious swollen but very slow moving stream in N. Yosemite. (Stubblefield). I started across and it was deep but not at all scary. Next thing I knew the slow moving current picked me up and a was flailing, trekking poles in hand, to get to the opposite bank. I grabbed a bush and pull myself out. Not something I want to repeat but I ended up coming out OK. No gear in the pack was wet and I hung on to both my poles and my visor.

What did I learn? Take my time and scout out alternative options. It could have been avoided.

Jason Elsworth
(jephoto) - M

Locale: New Zealand
Stream crossing horror stories on 04/18/2013 21:53:05 MDT Print View

Very interesting blog post here on river crossing, includes information on the use of ropes. http://www.windy.gen.nz/index.php/archives/620

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: A close call on 04/18/2013 22:19:22 MDT Print View

That looks COLD.

Daniel Fish
(daniel@fishfamilypdx.com)

Locale: PDX
... on 04/18/2013 22:33:23 MDT Print View

...

Edited by daniel@fishfamilypdx.com on 06/09/2013 01:38:45 MDT.

Daniel Fish
(daniel@fishfamilypdx.com)

Locale: PDX
... on 04/18/2013 22:40:39 MDT Print View

...

Edited by daniel@fishfamilypdx.com on 06/09/2013 01:38:06 MDT.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: finding someone else's rope: take it down or leave it up? on 04/18/2013 22:54:59 MDT Print View

Leave rope - just my opinion

Maybe someone put it there and expects it for return. If you remove it they'll be stranded.

Maybe officials put it up.

Rex Sanders
(Rex) - M

Locale: Central California Coast
Re: finding someone else's rope: take it down or leave it up? on 04/18/2013 23:06:57 MDT Print View

Taking the rope down could create bigger problems, depending on the situation.

If you are alone, you must (1) detach one end, (2) cross the stream, (3) detach the other end, (4) retrieve the rope, and (5) carry it out. While the rope is flapping in the stream during step (2), the rope could get snagged on rocks and vegetation, or you could get snagged in the rope, creating a much bigger problem. And carrying the rope out could impair your safety, from the extra weight, or from snagging hazards in future stream crossings.

If the stream flow is low, the stream is narrow, the snagging hazards are minimal, and carrying the rope doesn't otherwise impair your safety – go for it.

In any case, you shouldn't trust the rope to hold your weight if you didn't rig it yourself, so cross downstream of the rope, preferably without touching it at all.

Ropes and swift water are a dangerous combination, especially in untrained hands. Avoid if possible.

I have an unreliable sense of balance, so log bridges are usually my last choice. You must judge the consequences of falling off any log bridge – How far is the drop? How deep is the water? What would you drop onto? How fast is the current moving? What's downstream? – before you proceed.

Kevin Burton
(burtonator) - F

Locale: norcal
Don't cross the streams. on 04/19/2013 00:02:09 MDT Print View

Try to imagine all life as you know it stopping instantaneously and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light.

Total protonic reversal.

ed hyatt
(edhyatt) - MLife

Locale: The North; UK
...stream crossing on 04/19/2013 00:20:24 MDT Print View

I've crossed my fair share - normally solo in Scotland, generally in summer so pretty do-able.

Last October a few of us were in the Cairngorms though, heading up to a camping spot we met a guy coming down who had successfully crossed a stream we had been concerned about - we hit the same stream about 30 minutes later and it had morphed to this...

Gorms river

We decided to give it a miss...

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: finding someone else's rope: take it down or leave it up? on 04/19/2013 00:26:43 MDT Print View

"log bridges are usually my last choice"

Eleven years ago, I was on a long solo jaunt through the north end of Yosemite National Park. You know, twenty miles per day, up and down. On Day Three, I came to a stream crossing. The water was almost waist deep, and I just did not like the looks of it. There was no better place upstream or downstream. Where the trail disappeared into the stream crossing, there was a narrow tree trunk broken so that the trunk was bent over horizontally across the stream, and the far narrow end of the trunk was tied by rope to a stump on the opposite side. So, it looked like an invitation to cross the stream by "scooting" across the tree trunk. I sat astraddle the trunk and scooted out on it. When I got halfway across, the trunk was bobbing up and down with every movement, and I was just about ready to topple off into the stream. My boots were already hitting the water. The only thing that kept it all together was that the rope tied the opposite end to keep it from bobbing too far. So, I just held on like a nervous virgin.

After holding my breath and inching along so carefully, I managed to make it to the opposite side. There, I could swing down off the trunk and plant my feet on firm ground. Yosemite probably has an iron bridge there by now.

--B.G.--

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: Re: finding someone else's rope: take it down or leave it up? on 04/19/2013 00:34:16 MDT Print View

>So, I just held on like a nervous virgin.

bjkl

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Stream crossing horror stories on 04/19/2013 00:52:37 MDT Print View

I went hiking to Cache Creek last summer. My plan was to cross the creek and camp on the other side. When I got there, it wasn't a "creek" anymore. They opened the dam near Clear Lake and it about 10 times bigger and deeper than it was in winter. I considered crossing it. It was a long swim and the water was pretty fast but I have seen many people swim across worse. There wasn't any chance of hitting rapids. I would basically start really far upstream and end up downstream.
I ended up choosing not to cross. The inside of my pack wasn't waterproofed and I wouldn't have had time to dry out my gear before dark. I'm not a really strong swimmer and I didn't have enough experience to know what is safe and what is dangerous. I'm glad that I didn't attempt to cross. I could have probably found a shallow spot to cross if I bushwacked far enough up the creek.

Edited by justin_baker on 04/19/2013 00:53:23 MDT.

Daniel Fish
(daniel@fishfamilypdx.com)

Locale: PDX
... on 04/19/2013 09:28:33 MDT Print View

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Edited by daniel@fishfamilypdx.com on 06/09/2013 01:36:28 MDT.

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
Re: Re: a Close Call on 04/19/2013 11:12:41 MDT Print View

"Just for academic purposes, how deep was the water when you first went in? Was it over your knees? Have you been back to this stream crossing since?"

The water was almost waist deep from the beginning. It just kept getting a bit deeper and deeper until the force of the current was strong enough to move me. It was between belly button and chest high at that point. I wasn't expecting it to be that deep or I would have put my poles on my pack, moved the pack to the front and just swim it. And no haven't been back to North Yosemite since that trip.