It does not matter where you go on your travels you will have to cross over a water feature sooner or later albeit by a bridge, wading or jumping over. Care still has to be taken. Three considerations you have to ask youself when planning your route.
- Crossing Points: Is there any crossing places I can use on my route, ie Bridge, recognised crossing places ie fords, or just plain easy to cross ie jump, shallow enough to wade.
- Weather: what as the weather been like the last few days or what is the weather likely to be like on the actual day of the walk. If it has been raining prior to your walk you can expect water levels to be high and rivers in spate. On the day of the walk if its raining water levels will rise during the course of the day.
- Safety: Always think safety first where any water obstacle is approached.
Rembember: Do not underestimate the power of the stream or river when it is in spate, its not just the force and volume of water that is rushing stream, its what you cannot see is the biggest danger, under the water. Have you ever wondered when looking at a shallow river or stream during summer and wonder where all those large stones and boulders got there.
Putting it simply never try and cross any water obstacle unless its SAFE to do so
Above photo, bottom of photo stream very deep here but higher up you can cross this burn/stream quite easily.
This burn/ stream cross this one ok.
This is the River Nevis after on night of heavy rain.
Paths and Tracks.
Above are the methods used by Ordnance Survey on their maps to indicate the following:
- Long Distance Path for example The West Highland Way.
- Cycle Routes which are becoming more popular.
On this map you can see indicated a long distance paths
OS©Crown copywright(2016) cs-36088-g0y6y3
On this map you can see examples of paths, track, and a long distance walk in this case The Cowal Way which runs from Portavardie on Loch Fyne to Ardlui on Loch Lomond.
This track very prominent on the ground is part of the Kintyre Way a long distance walk. running down the Kintyre Peninsular.
Some paths are well defined on the ground but the same path can change very quickly.
During the summer months this part of the path is very difficult to find if you are not a local as the path is obscured by the height of the ferns that grow here.
Same path at this part only approx 1 foot wide. More like an animal track than a path.
This part the path starts to go under the trees.
Point to remember though the map indicates a path on the map it may not be well defined on the ground.