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University of California - UC Newsroom | Backcountry water quality tests are good news for campers

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  • Jack Young
    Y all might already know about this but it is what many of us have been thinking for a long time. http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/article/6838 Be
    Message 1 of 32 , Aug 16, 2010
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      Y'all might already know about this but it is what many of us have been thinking for a long time.


      http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/article/6838




      Be well,
      Jack 




    • Karpani
      Thanks, Peter!  I appreciate your sage input.  You noted: - springs are always good - great stuff when you find them. I know of one east of Cathedral Lakes,
      Message 32 of 32 , Aug 18, 2010
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        Thanks, Peter!  I appreciate your sage input.  You noted:

        - springs are always good - great stuff when you find them. I know of one east of Cathedral Lakes, right next to the trail

        I believe I also discovered this very spring last year when Nube and I were searching for water from the trail.  Walking along, my ears were really perked for the sound, and lo and behold, there it came!  It was a very exciting discovery for our first time on the JMT!

        I love the picture of rock sprouting water with youth drinking!  Excellent!:-)
        Thanks, again.
        Karpani

        --- On Wed, 8/18/10, Peter Burke <pburke@...> wrote:

        From: Peter Burke <pburke@...>
        Subject: Re: [John Muir Trail] University of California - UC Newsroom | Backcountry water quality tests are good news for campers
        To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
        Date: Wednesday, August 18, 2010, 12:04 PM

        On 8/17/2010 10:33 PM, Karpani wrote:
        Peter,

        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.
        Karpani

        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

        fill up the tank




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