Finding The Crossing

When the peak lies on the far side of a sizable river, the crossing is a major factor in route selec tion. Try to get a distant overall view of the river, perhaps from a ridge before dropping into the valley. This view can be more useful than a hundred close looks from the riverbank. When a distant view isn't possible or isn't helpful, you're stuck with either thrashing through the river-bottom brush looking for a way across or sticking to the slopes high above the river in hopes of spotting a sure crossing.

In deep forest there's a good chance of finding easy passage on a log jam over even the widest river. Higher in the mountains, foot logs are harder to come by, especially if the river changes course periodically and prevents growth of large trees near its channel.

A particular river may be impassable. If it's fed by snow, early morning is the time of minimum flow, and a party may camp overnight to wait for lower water. Sometimes it's necessary to hike for hours or days seeking a crossing. For the widest and deepest rivers, rafts are the only alternative short of hiking to the headwaters.

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