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[pct-l] Fording streams

>From: <spurhiker@pocketmail.com>
>whaddya think about fording streams early vs. later?

Fording streams is dangerous in early season but can be done. I was the 
first thruhiker through the Sierra last year. It was the last week of May 
and was equivalent to going through about June 1st this year IMO. I 
post-holed for miles on each side of the major passes and four fords were 
nearly waist-deep despite my attempts to find the easiest and safest 
crossing point. I'm 6'1" so shorter people will have more trouble.

Fast water that deep was near the limit of my ability to safely cross and I 
was frightened. I use trekking poles for stability and the poles and my 
hands were submerged and the bottom of my pack was in the water. It's 
difficult to get the poles placed securely when the water is nearly tearing 
them out of your hands.

Take my example either way: It can be done; or it's difficult and dangerous 
so think twice. Both are true. I know of no PCT thruhiker who has been 
killed fording a river, but there's been at least one fatality on the 
Kennebeck crossing in Maine on the AT. Don't underestimate the danger.

The three worst crossings were: Evolution Creek (Map H12), Bear Creek (Map 
H14), and the creek in Kerrick Canyon (Map I6). Piute Creek (Map I5, flowing 
into Benson Lake) is also deep, but it's not moving as fast, and the 
crossing at Pocket Meadow (Map H15) is also tough.

Flyin' Brian Robinson

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