On 8/17/2010 10:33 PM, Karpani wrote:
Welcome back! You, Claire and Damien all are an
inspiration to me. I'm glad you're back safely and sounds
like enriched for the experience.
What would you
determine as "suspect" water. I have never filtered in
the Sierra either, and have had no ill effects, but I may
not be adequately informed.
hard to say - it's almost a taste thing. We are definitely becoming
trail water connoisseurs - tasting almost everything that looks
fresh and clean along the trail.
Basic rules we try to stick to:
- stay away from water below 9000 feet, but if you have to get it
there, get it from the largest and fastest moving body of water.
- higher up, you can be selective in picking only water that does
not get crossed by any trails above your location, especially trails
frequented by horse packers.
- we stay away from lakes in general, unless they are above 11,000
feet and not right on any trail horses may travel on and you have no
way to get to the lake inlet. We did take water from Helen Lake
several years in a row, and that seems to be clean (you can see
about 30 feet to the bottom, plus there was still ice on it this
year) Ice in general is a good thing - Giardia does not survive
freezing temps and needs to be re-introduced each season. Just
another reason why we prefer to hike in early season, when there is
very little horse traffic due to snow on passes.
- our favorite water sources are small streams coming down the side
of the valley the JMT mostly runs through. I could give dozens of
examples where we usually get water, and now after so many years, I
already know where these "known safe to us" places are. For example
at Rae Lakes, there is very little good water coming up from Woods
Creek, until you get past the Ranger Station when heading southbound
and on the left side of the trail high above Rae Lakes you suddenly
will find several fresh streams tumbling down across the trail (only
one in late September). Great water and highly preferred to anything
you come across after that location before reaching the other side
of Glen Pass, although in early season the stream above the west
shore of Rae Lakes is ok - you just have to climb to the very top
before you tap into it, as the trail re-crosses it a few times.
- springs are always good - great stuff when you find them. I know
of one east of Cathedral Lakes, right next to the trail, and then
there's one on Bear Ridge Trail coming up from VVR, although that
one may dry up later in summer.
Use common sense - whenever in doubt, boil it or treat it if you
have the fuel or chemicals to do that.
The best tasting water we found this year was squirting out of a
rock near Sapphire Lake