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#213930 - 12/30/10 03:06 PM Re: Crossing a small flooded river in winter [Re: dweste]
dweste Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 02/16/08
Posts: 2463
Loc: Central California
[Oops! Dagny, you shared that Barbie thing that with your outside keyboarding!]


Edited by dweste (12/30/10 03:06 PM)

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#213951 - 12/30/10 06:02 PM Re: Crossing a small flooded river in winter [Re: dweste]
Susan Offline
Geezer

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA

"The current leverages the pole against the pivot so current pushed it goes all the way across. You want to stay on the upstream side of the pole, I think."

I still think there's something wrong with your suggestion (nothing personal!)... I am not a good swimmer, and have a past history of nearly killing myself in water (not necessarily by drowning wink ), so maybe I am wary of scenarios like this, to the point of paranoia.

Here's what would probably happen to me:

First, I wait until you cut down and bundle your trees, waiting behind a rock to see what you've got in your PSK. When you're ready to try the Grand Experiment, I rush out and bash you in the head (unconscious, not dead) with a rock, and then hijack your tree. I also steal your PSK and your saw. And I found a plastic bag in your pocket.

I heard you talking to yourself about the upriver side being the best way to get across, and I figure you're probably right.

So I take off all my clothes and stuff them into your plastic bag and tie it closed with one of your shoelaces.

I walk into the river (BRRRRR!) beside the tree trunk on the upstream side, instantly losing all sensation in my feet except for pain. I wade out, gripping the branches and then the power of the rushing water hits me and knocks my feet out from under me (I can't feel them, but I've lost what was propping me up). I am suddenly on my back, still gripping a tree limb, and the force of the water is dragging the loose object (me) UNDER the tree. My death grip on my tree branch continues, even past the time the branch breaks. A dead branch on the under side catches me in the nostril and rips off my nose (can't feel it much, it's numb, too), and I get caught among other branches, held under the water. Remember the 3-minute rule?

The next day, my sister reports me missing and they find my truck and Dweste rummaging through it.

They find my cold, blue, dead, fish-nibbled, naked body downstream.

Then they go back upstream, handcuff Dweste and Mirandize him, accusing him of my murder, asking why he chopped off my nose.

How's that? I tried to cross your river and I'm STILL dead!

Now, had I stayed behind my rock and let YOU try to cross the river, I would have had a ringside seat to your poor decision, and believe me, I would NOT have done the same.

When the rescue people came, attracted by my signal fire, I would be happily living in my nest of conifer branches, cooking fish and freshly-dead animals that were washed downstream.

And since all traces of YOU would have vanished, all I would have gotten was a pat on my back on how smart I was not trying to cross the river.

Sue

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#213952 - 12/30/10 06:12 PM Re: Crossing a small flooded river in winter [Re: Susan]
bsmith Offline
day hiker
Addict

Registered: 02/15/07
Posts: 584
Loc: ventura county, ca
Originally Posted By: Susan
Now, had I stayed behind my rock and let YOU try to cross the river, I would have had a ringside seat to your poor decision, and believe me, I would NOT have done the same.

When the rescue people came, attracted by my signal fire, I would be happily living in my nest of conifer branches, cooking fish and freshly-dead animals that were washed downstream.

And since all traces of YOU would have vanished, all I would have gotten was a pat on my back on how smart I was not trying to cross the river.

Sue
sue, you really crack me up. laugh
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- ponder's dad

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#214000 - 12/31/10 05:05 AM Re: Crossing a small flooded river in winter [Re: Susan]
dweste Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 02/16/08
Posts: 2463
Loc: Central California
Originally Posted By: Susan

"The current leverages the pole against the pivot so current pushed it goes all the way across. You want to stay on the upstream side of the pole, I think."

I am suddenly on my back, still gripping a tree limb, and the force of the water is dragging the loose object (me) UNDER the tree. My death grip on my tree branch continues, even past the time the branch breaksNow, had I stayed behind my rock and let YOU try to cross the river, I would have had a ringside seat to your poor decision, and believe me, I would NOT have done the same.


You would have seen me on my float / raft at the very upstream tip of the pole. I would push out the pole. The current would propel the pole away from me and I would float along behind the pole, using my legs to brace the float / raft upstream of the pole if necessary. I would ride this way as the upstream end of the pole swung across the river, where I would clamber out.

I would then free my end of the pole if the current had not already done so. The pole would then swing back to you, the tethered end now the upstream end. If you wanted you could make your own raft / float, then tether the downstream end, push the upstream end into the current, and duplicate my trip.

Of course, except for the few small scale tests I did, all of which appeared to be successful in proving the concept, there has been no full-scale, real world test of this method of river crossing. Probably there are some details to work out. I suspect you may want to make your raft / float integral with the upstream end of the pole, for example. A friend is intrigued and we will give it a try in stages during the warm months of 2011 in a relatively controlled and benign setting.

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#214006 - 12/31/10 10:13 AM Re: Crossing a small flooded river in winter [Re: dweste]
hikermor Online   content
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6740
Loc: southern Cal
Glad you are staying current with the subject. This would also apply to the downed power lines thread.


Edited by hikermor (12/31/10 10:13 AM)
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#214010 - 12/31/10 01:02 PM Re: Crossing a small flooded river in winter [Re: dweste]
bacpacjac Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 3600
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: dweste
Of course, except for the few small scale tests I did, all of which appeared to be successful in proving the concept, there has been no full-scale, real world test of this method of river crossing. Probably there are some details to work out.


Yup. Funeral details. Is this still ETS Forums, the place where we dissect accidents like this while loved ones are planting the guy that just had to cross the river? We're supposed to be the smarter ones, no?
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#214017 - 12/31/10 01:45 PM Re: Crossing a small flooded river in winter [Re: bacpacjac]
Teslinhiker Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/14/09
Posts: 1384
Originally Posted By: bacpacjac
Originally Posted By: dweste
Of course, except for the few small scale tests I did, all of which appeared to be successful in proving the concept, there has been no full-scale, real world test of this method of river crossing. Probably there are some details to work out.


Yup. Funeral details. Is this still ETS Forums, the place where we dissect accidents like this while loved ones are planting the guy that just had to cross the river? We're supposed to be the smarter ones, no?


Very well said, Bacpacjac. When we were out on on a hike a couple of days ago along a river, I stopped beside the river more then once and thought about this thread and how attempting to cross this particular river in most places would be a life ending event...
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Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.

John Lubbock

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#214047 - 12/31/10 07:30 PM Re: Crossing a small flooded river in winter [Re: dweste]
dweste Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 02/16/08
Posts: 2463
Loc: Central California
Doubt before proof is sound science; I share it.

The rest of this fortune-telling would be convincing if you made your living winning games of chance.

Beyond that, I think the best place for negativity is in batteries.

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#214057 - 01/01/11 12:47 AM Re: Crossing a small flooded river in winter [Re: dweste]
Susan Offline
Geezer

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA

We await your summer testing with bated breath, O Great One!

And make sure someone has a video camera on a tripot secured in the optimum spot.

Two video cameras would be even better.

Sue

Sue

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#214063 - 01/01/11 05:48 AM Re: Crossing a small flooded river in winter [Re: dweste]
AndrewC Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 12/27/09
Posts: 59
Loc: Boise, ID
We have a flood-stage river in the middle of winter, and no purpose-made equipment. I'm in Idaho, so I'm going to assume conditions similar to those we have here. I'll figure air temps in the 30's, water temps also in the 30's. Swimming in swiftwater is much more challenging than most people realize. You don't simply swim across. Currents will move you downstream very quickly, and the current is much swifter in the middle of the river than along the banks. The current tends to push you toward the middle of the river, away from either side. Punching into an eddy when you're swimming is tough, even with proper equipment and flotation. It's even harder in cold water - it saps your strength very quickly, even with a wetsuit. The water is also cold enough that you would die from hypothermia very quickly even if you did successfully swim across. Swimming is out of the picture completely.

However, given the proposed scenario, it seems reasonable that you originally waded through the river to reach THIS side. So the normal depth of the river would be 1-2 feet, and not much more than 10-15 ft across - or what the heck were you doing walking across this river the first time? This means there should be trees growing out to the previous banks of the river from either side. I see one possible option to cross this river without getting wet. I carry a small saw in my PSK. I'd start downing trees along the current banks, which would rapidly get tangled up in other growth. If I cut down enough trees, I may be lucky enough to get a few tangled across the river in such a way that it's stable enough to walk/crawl across.

The downsides to this option that I see: risk of falling in - hypothermia, entrapment, death. Risk that a large piece of debris comes through, and shatters the 'bridge' and potentially me - wasted time, serious injury, death. Time consuming, I'll be clear-cutting the bank for hours, potentially days. Whatever is forcing me to cross this river is unlikely to take THAT long.

Even though this option seems to have a chance at getting me across the river alive, can't think of any possible situation in which this would be an effective option for crossing the river, and in which waiting until the river subsides is not an option.

For those suggesting using an upstream angle to ferry yourself across: dream on. Michael Phelps in 50+ degree water, maybe. Average person, no. In serious water, you're either swimming hard for the nearest shore, or trying to survive obstacles. If you try to maintain an upstream ferry angle, all you accomplish is to slow your cross-river speed. Your few miles an hour of upstream velocity are negated by far by the speed of the water carrying you downstream. The loss of cross-river speed from trying to maintain a ferry angle means the force of the current pushing you back toward the center of the river will overwhelm you. You'll be swimming as hard as you can upstream, and all you're accomplishing is wearing yourself out. Ferrying works much better for boats than it does for swimmers.


Edited by AndrewC (01/01/11 05:50 AM)

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