Walking creeks - it's a great theory...?

Submitted: Monday, Jun 12, 2006 at 20:17
ThreadID: 34869 Views:2374 Replies:13 FollowUps:6
This Thread has been Archived
I guess most of us know that conventional 4WD wisdom says we should walk an unknown creek before driving it in the vehicle - very sensible too, except... in much of the north of Oz the crocs make that a "challenging" task and in the High Country (from where I have recently returned from a few days (nights) of minus 5 deg C) the winter/spring temperature of the creeks require you to be something of a masochist. I measured the creek water at 3 deg C.

My question is; how many people strip off to their shorts, put (in the case of us soft footers) thongs on, park up on the bank, wade the creek and back and dry ourselves off before attempting the crossing then, if you're in the High Country, doing the same thing again 10 times in the next hour? Or is this one of those things we preach to newbies but, generally, ignore ourselves?

I ask because last week I went through a creek which looked (and was) shallow for 90% of the crossing but the final 10% was a bit deeper than I thought :) I got across OK but had I waded it first I might have chosen not to cross or taken a different line.

Mike Harding

mike_harding@fastmail.fm
Back Expand Un-Read 0 Moderator

Reply By: Rodos - Monday, Jun 12, 2006 at 20:21

Monday, Jun 12, 2006 at 20:21
There is the joke about how to cross a creek with Crocs around. Drive in to wheel depth, reverse out, park and make a cupa. Next person comes along, sees your water tracks so figures it must be okay and has a stab at it. If they get accross you know its fine, otherwise pull them out.

Yes, temperature is a factor. Did a crossing last Saturday and it was a mumpy ride. Given a nice summers day I would probably have walked it.
AnswerID: 178130

Reply By: Member - Bruce and Anne - Monday, Jun 12, 2006 at 20:28

Monday, Jun 12, 2006 at 20:28
Check out my rig & profile and you will see why it is a good idea to try and walk the creek or just stay ay home.
This was in the NT in 1980 crocs where not as big a prob then.
Cheers Bruce
Cheers Bruce
D.Max and Jayco Outback

Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

AnswerID: 178132

Follow Up By: David from David and Justine Olsen's 4WD Tag-Along - Tuesday, Jun 13, 2006 at 19:10

Tuesday, Jun 13, 2006 at 19:10
Hi Bruce

Loved you old pics. Tried to send you a message but can't do that as an EO customer (not member).
I had a play with some of your old images to bring them back to life. Not a great job, but you are welcome to download them from here.

djolsen.com/images/bruce/

Dave O
0
FollowupID: 434455

Reply By: hoyks - Monday, Jun 12, 2006 at 20:30

Monday, Jun 12, 2006 at 20:30
I was in Queensland, north of Townsville and walked the creek. It was knee deep to a sand bar in the middle. The other side of the bar it didn't look any deeper, the water was crystal clear and only looked about a foot deep.

I jumped in the mighty Sierra and ploughed in to find that the creek was closer to chest deep. Water broke over the bonet and washed up over the roof, but the little car kept going and only resulted in 1" of water through the floor. Oh, and no snorkel.

Now I prod, walk or watch the crossing for others to do it first.
AnswerID: 178133

Follow Up By: chump_boy - Tuesday, Jun 13, 2006 at 08:18

Tuesday, Jun 13, 2006 at 08:18
Been there, done that in an old sierra.

It is amazing how well they float, without a snorkel and everything....

lol

I miss my zook
0
FollowupID: 434370

Reply By: Bonz (Vic) - Monday, Jun 12, 2006 at 21:27

Monday, Jun 12, 2006 at 21:27
I either watch someone else or walk it 3 degrees and all. Walked a crossing on the high country, all the way up to the testy tickles the water was, dutifully walked both tyre tracks and drove thru deepish water clonking the "cow" catcher on the bbar and ripping it off (ally bbar). Thats was fun.

George Costanza was RIGHT about shrinkage
.
Time is an illusion produced by the passage of history
.

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message
Moderator

AnswerID: 178156

Reply By: Gramps (NSW) - Monday, Jun 12, 2006 at 21:57

Monday, Jun 12, 2006 at 21:57
Mike,

Glad you made it OK. Consider this, if you had waded it first, your voice may have ....... changed somewhat :)))))))))))))))))))))) Bonz may know something about that LOLOL
AnswerID: 178162

Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Tuesday, Jun 13, 2006 at 22:00

Tuesday, Jun 13, 2006 at 22:00
hahaha Gramps I really didnt see the point to walking the water while jumping up and down to keep the tickles clear of the freezing water, no wonder I missed that darn rock.
.
Time is an illusion produced by the passage of history
.

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message
Moderator

0
FollowupID: 434516

Reply By: Footloose - Monday, Jun 12, 2006 at 22:22

Monday, Jun 12, 2006 at 22:22
Always take reliable steps to ascertain the real (as opposed to perceived) water depth.
If in doubt, you probably don't need to go there. It's a lot colder in a freezing river when your vehicle is under water.
CY wise, I have stopped and brewed up while waiting for another more less fretful type to check it by crossing. It didn't take long.
AnswerID: 178169

Reply By: Member - Roachie (SA) - Monday, Jun 12, 2006 at 22:31

Monday, Jun 12, 2006 at 22:31
Pud and I sent our wives across one creek at the southern end of the northern section of the Telegraph Track (to get to Elliot Falls and Twin Falls etc). They walked about 5 feet apart, holding hands with one another for balance. Only way to go!!!! We didn't make 'em walk back though.......... we did the right (gentlemanly) thing; drove across and picked up on the other side. Geez where good blokes!!!
AnswerID: 178171

Reply By: Member - bushfix - Tuesday, Jun 13, 2006 at 07:08

Tuesday, Jun 13, 2006 at 07:08
G'day Mike,

yep, I'll get out and walk it, rather than "hit and hope." One good reason is as you mentioned, that final 10%. Somentimes the exits can get a bit torn up or on the other hand, there may be a big rock in the way. Last time I did the Kowmung crossing near Dingo Dell she was fair flowing after a few days of rain, right across the normal approach. So I stripped off and found a significant hole just near the exit on the RHS. Water was waist height so I tarped up. Also gave me a good idea of the strength of the current.
Got through safely as I had kids on board and had to be confident. :)
AnswerID: 178195

Reply By: HJ60-2H - Tuesday, Jun 13, 2006 at 07:12

Tuesday, Jun 13, 2006 at 07:12
If there are wheel tracks on the other side you can be fairly sure that someone else has recently sucessfully crossed it.

The OTL on Cape York is a tourist drive, you dont need to walk those creeks.
AnswerID: 178196

Follow Up By: Member - Samuel N (QLD) - Tuesday, Jun 13, 2006 at 07:32

Tuesday, Jun 13, 2006 at 07:32
If you follow that thought train you will end up with one very drowned car mate what you say is the reason I had to pull 2 vehicles out of rocky creek last month the creek was only as high as my tyre but enough to drown a small petrol or diesel 4wd. and if you see tyre tracks up the tip the could be mine crossing a creek and I can quite easily cross a 1.5 metre deep non flowing creek if you have no snorkel or a hilux then you would be stuffed or something similar.
0
FollowupID: 434367

Follow Up By: Voxson (Adelaide) - Tuesday, Jun 13, 2006 at 07:39

Tuesday, Jun 13, 2006 at 07:39
"The OTL on Cape York is a tourist drive, you dont need to walk those creeks"

Advice like that will "definately" bring someone unstuck.....
0
FollowupID: 434368

Follow Up By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Tuesday, Jun 13, 2006 at 11:32

Tuesday, Jun 13, 2006 at 11:32
On the other hand, I use that theory to judge weather it's worth getting wet! LOL.

Up at the powerline track there was a little crossing that I had done before at abou headlight depth, no real dramas. Went back there again recently and there were big trench tyre trracks going in and none comming out!! I figured... Yep, I'll give that one a miss today! ;-)
0
FollowupID: 434394

Reply By: Steve63 - Tuesday, Jun 13, 2006 at 09:56

Tuesday, Jun 13, 2006 at 09:56
Hi Mike,
Get out and walk it or if it is a popular track wait and someone else (probably a local who knows the lay of the land) will drive across it. The year we went to the Kimberly the Pentacost was quite high (well over the wheel arches) and we had been warned there was a large croc in the area so we just waited (with two other groups) and sure enough some hero came along and ploughed through. He did identify the very large rock near the exit for us! I have learned my lesson about "looking". We went through to the Bungle Bungles and the water in the creek had settled into two layers. It looked like 6 inches of water over a muddy bottom. It was actually closer to 600mm. I can tell you it is a shock when you expect ankle deep and most of your car disappears into the drink! Many rivers/creeks change conditions in a few hours, don't rely on wheel tracks on the other side. You don't know what made them.

Steve
AnswerID: 178213

Reply By: ro-dah-o (WA) - Tuesday, Jun 13, 2006 at 10:38

Tuesday, Jun 13, 2006 at 10:38
I always thought the duty of walking the creek was under the JDF of the 'gate opener'?- or atleast thats what I tell my passengers.

Generally, unless it is shallow and clear enough that I can see the bottom, I will walk it first. Once had a floodway to cross a few years ago in the wheatbelt of WA near Hyden. I was the 'gate opener' for the day, so off to the jocks and across I went. They picked me up 200m down stream as part of the road had dislodged and off i went for a short rip down the rapids- glad we didnt try and drive ot first
AnswerID: 178220

Reply By: The Rambler( W.A.) - Tuesday, Jun 13, 2006 at 13:23

Tuesday, Jun 13, 2006 at 13:23
Samuel,
Isee you got a dog cage at the back of your rig, do you do any pig hunting around Weipa? I hope to be up there next year and will be doing some pig shooting along the way but don't use dogs.I've got some properties to shoot in the Territory but Im sure there will be some good boars up your way.
AnswerID: 178254

Reply By: Member -Dodger - Tuesday, Jun 13, 2006 at 17:04

Tuesday, Jun 13, 2006 at 17:04
Mike ,
It does pay to walk all crossings that show a little depth.
As for croc's well if the water is only 3% c then you are very unlikely to find one as they are a cold blooded animal and must maintain body temp viz. sunbaking.
If the water is warm then get your co-pilot to keep a lookout whilst you cross, but first do a recce yourself before plunging in.
I would rather have the cods in my throat due to cold water than a drowned vehicle out in the never never.
I too have found on occasions that although the crossing looks good that there was a hole or a rock just waiting to catch the unwary.
Sometimes you may find that the wheel tracks in the creek bed are quite deep and with a little thought you can avoid them and cross easier and shallower.
To me there is nothing quite as scary as a fast flowing water course.
I used to have a handle on life, but it broke.

Cheers Dodg.

Lifetime Member
My Profile  Send Message

AnswerID: 178287

Sponsored Links

Popular Products (13)