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80skeys
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PostTue Aug 25, 2020 3:10 pm 
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Thanks guys for the educational details about the glaciers. It's new to me, as I'm not familiar with that type of environment.

What blows me away is that there can be swollen rivers in November! Most definitely not the case in the southwest. By November, many rivers that had healthy water flows in May are all but dried up.
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JonnyQuest
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PostTue Aug 25, 2020 3:50 pm 
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80skeys wrote:
What blows me away is that there can be swollen rivers in November!

Have you been here in November?  We occasionally see a bit of rain.
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Ski
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PostTue Aug 25, 2020 4:11 pm 
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This ain't the southwest.

Peak flows on Western Washington rivers are generally seen between November and February.
The Queets River, arguably one of the most dynamic rivers in Washington State (in terms of streamflow fluctuation) is currently running at 770 CFS (it was running just below 500 CFS Thursday, August 20). Maximum peak flow recorded was 133,000 CFS on December 15, 1999.

Here's a bank-full Satsop running at about 13,000 CFS on December 10, 2014. (As I type this it is running at 247 CFS.)


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I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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Joseph
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PostTue Aug 25, 2020 10:06 pm 
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Brian Curtis wrote:
We did end up making that crossing both yesterday and today. The bridge is exactly as you describe, Joseph. It was not a safe option. Flags lead upstream a bit where there is a big log. But I didn't like it much, especially when it was wet on Saturday morning. The part without bark looked slippery and the bark looked like it might be at the point where it will start releasing. It didn't look quite as bad to me when it was dry this afternoon. But we still opted for a third option both days. Right next to the large log most people use there is a good sized cedar that spans the river. It came down with a smaller tree that makes a very nice natural railing for most of the distance across and its nice fresh bark was not slippery in the slightest.

Coming from the Golden Lakes direction the biggest problem with the cedar, if you decide to use it, will be figuring out how to get off. It is well off the ground and you have to walk over a fair bit of land before you'll see a horizontal alder stem you can climb down to.

We had no problem at all crossing the river late in the afternoon today. You don't have to worry about getting an early start from Golden Lakes.

Brian I cannot tell you how much I appreciate your beta and photos - they are very helpful. We will be careful and perhaps opt for the cedar with natural railing.  We will likely encounter the river around 10-11am, coming from Golden lakes, and hopefully the river will be less raging by then.  Hope it isn't rainly/slippery, but in mid-Sept. you never know.  There is always danger in these situations and I guess we have to deal with it.
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Joseph
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PostTue Aug 25, 2020 10:17 pm 
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altasnob wrote:
That looks very difficult and dangerous. In Canada, I have crossed rivers on sketchy logs where the parks/government has added a fixed rope affixed to two trees that spans the river. You can grab the rope for safety as you are walking across the sketchy log or if you are really concerned, could clip yourself to it with a carabiner or cord (and would have to climb back up onto the log if you fell off). Why doesn't Rainier do something like this to offer some temporary help until  a more permanent and costly solution is completed. The rope is not a violation of wilderness rules.

The other problem with Mt. Rainier park river crossings is the bridges themselves wash out - so even a log with a rope affixed to trees might be useless.  What is installed in say, June, might not exist in August.  That said, I get your point. 

The Winthrop creek bridge in 2018 consisted of a single log, with no railing.  A man fell in and drowned, and then the park staff installed a railing.   We crossed the bridge with no railing, river raging at the time (never again). The park staff didn't mention anything when we got our permit for the hike.  Sigh.  I get they have all sorts of demands to fix things, and these days maybe staff is lacking due to the virus.
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Trailhead
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PostThu Sep 03, 2020 7:14 pm 
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It won't really make a big difference what time of day you cross with freezing levels being so high.
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Joseph
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PostFri Sep 04, 2020 8:47 pm 
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Trailhead wrote:
It won't really make a big difference what time of day you cross with freezing levels being so high.

My experience at Mt Rainier on 3 different WT trips is that the water levels in the morning are lower than in the afternoon.   That said, always be careful crossing no matter what time of day.
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Waterman
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PostSat Sep 05, 2020 6:07 am 
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Old timer taught me a trick when using a log crossing. If slightly damp and no bark he would carry a handful of sand and toss it out in of him as he crossed. Claimed it help prevent slipping.

I have used his technique at times. Seems sketchy as all get out, but have never slipped. But then you only need to slip once.

All water crossing should be treated with respect.

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Forum Index > Trail Talk > Mount Rainier National Park rangers find body in river; remind public of hiking safety
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