[Cdt-l] River Crossings

Ken Powers ken at gottawalk.com
Thu Dec 17 12:33:40 CST 2009

We found the river crossings on the CDT to be less scary than the PCT.  That is probably because of our timing. We crossed the Sierra during high snow melt in 2000 and experienced high water at crossings. We crossed together with poles we picked up near the crossings. We hiked the CDT northbound in 2002 and we had no serious stream crossings. We were literally a day ahead of Glacier NP picking up the bridges for the winter. The one crossing (in Wyoming ?) that was noted as dangerous turned out to be a nothing.

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Bill 
  To: 'Jim and_or Ginny Owen' ; prairiesky at yahoo.com ; 'cdt-l' 
  Sent: Thursday, December 17, 2009 8:40 AM
  Subject: Re: [Cdt-l] finding a function's definition from a call

  I’m only 5’4” and 65 yo, so I’m finding this discussion on river crossing techniques and experiences to be very informative.  I’ve already completed a number of long thru-hikes (including the PCT), but the prospects of big rivers on my CDT nobo thru-hike this Spring has me concerned.




  Reply to Bill at Luttge.com  

  (Trail name: FireBall)

  Follow my hiking and backpacking 

  adventures at www.Luttge.com


  From: cdt-l-bounces at backcountry.net [mailto:cdt-l-bounces at backcountry.net] On Behalf Of Jim and_or Ginny Owen
  Sent: Thursday, December 17, 2009 11:18 AM
  To: prairiesky at yahoo.com; cdt-l
  Subject: Re: [Cdt-l] finding a function's definition from a call


  I'm 5' 6". We hiked south on our first thruhike and had some problems with snowmelt in the Bob, but nothing that we couldn't deal with.  (See our 1999 journal.)  In one case we headed upstream to avoid a double crossing.  The detour was probably worse than the crossing would have been.  In another case we looked at a map and found a road that we could follow that would take us around the bad crossing.  One of the bad crossings now has a bridge (or it did in 2006).  We were in Glacier after the bridges had been put up, except one, so that wasn't a problem for us.  Our worst crossings were thigh high - nothing higher than that.  If the water was going so fast that I couldn't keep my hiking stick solidly planted, we found a better place to cross.
  As to crossing technique:  Jim and I cross arm in arm, with him upstream to break the force of the water.  We cross sort of like you do a three legged race:  only one person moves at a time, with the other acting as anchor.  We both use hiking sticks as well for better balance. We have been swept off our feet, even so, but usually only for the time it takes for the person being swept to get their footing again.  
  Snowmelt is cold.  Keep your shoes on.  When you can't feel your feet, it is easy to step on sharp rocks and not know it until you have been cut.




  Date: Thu, 17 Dec 2009 05:28:18 -0800
  From: prairiesky at yahoo.com
  To: cdt-l at backcountry.net
  Subject: Re: [Cdt-l] finding a function's definition from a call

  Okay, Jonathan tells me that flip-flops get your feet wet and get torn off in moving water ;).  Now are there any short folks out there &/or women out there on this list who can tell me of their experiences?  :-D.  My original plans were to do a sobo trip.  I'm not afraid of getting my feet wet.  But carrying 30+ lbs on my back up to my chest is something I would be concerned about in running and cold waters.  If I can still plan this, that would be great.  If I can do enough exploring to find shallower areas, that would be terrific.  I've read journal upon journal.  Mostly I've read journals from guys who are 5'7" or more.  My son, who will be walking with me is about 5'11".  But still, a crossing for a 5'7" person puts the water they experienced at waist up to my armpits.  I'm short but strong.  I was a water safety instructor years and years ago, so I do have a healthy respect for water.  I take risks, but I'm not going to take a risk that is life threatening.  I've been in fast moving flood waters up to my knees and using a pole, that might not have been so unnerving.  I didn't have a pole since I was just on my way to my car at the time, lol.  And?  I was flat out ignorant at the time.  But that gush of water gave me a quick education!

  I've read about creek crossing techniques, however reading is no substitute for experience. Hmmmm.

  Ideas?  Help?



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