River Crossings – be wary!

I did not go on the hill yesterday as it was pouring I am sure the rivers would be very wild. Rivers in flood in the mountains are very dangerous and every year someone drowns in the mountains trying to cross a swollen river. I have been on several call outs where a group has been unable to cross due to heavy flooding and have had to wait some times overnight to let the river drop.  In times of heavy rainfall, swollen streams can provide a formidable problem for the mountain walker. And crossing them can present hazards far more serious than just wet feet. A friend sent me this photo – crazy stuff – rivers can kill even the most experienced so please be aware of the dangers.

Wild River thanks to Tarquin for the photo

Wild River thanks to Tarquin for the photo.

The BMC  have some good info on the net worth a look .

Avoidance is the key – careful planning of a trip and good observation should almost eliminate the chances of a difficult crossing. However, local flooding is not always predictable and occasionally a wet crossing is necessary, particularly in remote parts of Scotland. Fast moving water can be powerful and difficult to exit from. The water will be cold and the river bed slippery and awkward. Downstream obstacles such as trees, waterfalls and boulder chokes may prove killers if anybody is swept away. Mountaineering equipment is not designed with swift water in mind and will generally hinder rather than help. And if things go wrong during a stream or river crossing there can be many potentially serious problems to deal with, such as a split party, communication difficulties, immersion hypothermia, loss of equipment, injury etc.

Always respect the power of water.

Always respect the power of water. Skye Coruisk after heavy rain.

Short blog due to internet problems.

About heavywhalley.MBE

After dinner speaker Lecturer and Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 36 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 4 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer and loves the wild places.
This entry was posted in Enviroment, Mountain rescue, mountain safety. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to River Crossings – be wary!

  1. Alan says:

    Is that you walking on water Heavy?


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