[pct-l] [John Muir Trail] Re: River Crossing
ned at mountaineducation.org
ned at mountaineducation.org
Mon Jan 30 13:06:39 CST 2017
Not a bad video on creek crossings, but I have to differ with a few of his points, based on the fact that he had a light pack and only one pole,
1. With a single pole, I would use the tripod technique he’s talking about, but realize that in faster moving creeks, every time you lift a foot, putting you on only two points of contact and, thus, off balance, that lifted foot can be pushed downstream and onto a footing you’re not prepared to land on, thus causing a fall in the worst part of the crossing! Consider always taking two poles or using that branch as a second pole before crossing. In swift currents, even the quick placements of your pole may not land on a good surface, maybe even hitting and sliding off a hidden rock, and throw you off balance in Sierra creeks.
2. Crossing while facing upstream makes you side-step through the rocks, not the easiest way to hunt-and-seek for sound, firm foot placement among small boulders and slippery rocks.
3. Crossing while facing upstream makes you lean heavily on your pole so you’re balanced against the push of the current because your feet are side-by-side. If your pole is a twist-lock, it can suddenly compress and you’ll face-plant in the creek. (Even with lever-locks, make sure the locks are tight before crossing!)
4. Crossing facing the opposite bank with two poles is much safer as you always have three points of contact, even while moving one foot, your downstream leg opposes the push of the current against your upstream thigh, you can easily shuffle your foot forward while leading with your toes, hunting and seeking by feel (in most currents you can’t see where you’re putting your feet) for the best foot placement among the rocks, and you can better resist the current and aim to where you want to ramp out of the water on the opposite bank.
5. With a light pack, I would unbuckle the waist belt. With a top-heavy pack, I would not as I want to control where the pack is moving. If it is loose at the waist and I commonly tilt my upper body while maneuvering around some awkward underwater object, my upper body can be pulled over by the leaning pack and down I’ll go.
6. I want to underscore his recommendations to always use creek crossing shoes, to first search for a wide and shallow spot to cross, to consider the run-out should you go down, and not to cross alone, if you have the choice.
Carrying two poles changes the whole approach to the crossing.
Ned Tibbits, Director
Mountain Education, Inc.
<mailto:ned at mountaineducation.org> ned at mountaineducation.org
From: johnmuirtrail at yahoogroups.com [mailto:johnmuirtrail at yahoogroups.com]
Sent: Saturday, January 28, 2017 1:52 PM
To: johnmuirtrail at yahoogroups.com
Subject: [John Muir Trail] Re: River Crossing
I came across this video:
Backpacking - How to ford a river with John E. Hiker <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XbRRD6zewk>
<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XbRRD6zewk> Backpacking - How to ford a river with John E. Hiker
John E Hiker shows how to safely ford a river in the wilderness.
<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XbRRD6zewk> View on www.youtube.com
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Are the rivers on the JMT in early - mid july similar, or can I expect deeper and faster currents?
Thank you kindly,
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