Water barriers

Mountain rivers repeatedly blocked the way tourist groups. At times, they even made a raging torrent experienced hikers up on further travels, sometimes forcing them to wait for day, two, three. But not all have the courage to turn back time to wait. And then there is an accident …

Features mountain river due primarily to its power source (melting snowfields and glaciers). This affects the following characteristics of the river:

1. Change in the power flow. In the upper reaches of the power flow, and the depth of the channel is relatively small. The bed has an abundance of large stones. Most of them are not fully covered with water. All this makes it quite easy to organize wade or above the water (on the rocks).

In the middle reaches of the power flow is greatly increased due to runoff from mountain streams ranges surrounding the valley. Strong current drags down the valley, even great stones. Just above the water tower, the largest of them. Here there are crossing over the water (rope) and less-fording.

In the lower part of the flow due to a further increase in the width and depth of the river bed and a drop in the rate of air flow through the water crossings are organized: in boats, rafts, using inflatable equipment (at a flow rate no higher than 4.3 m / s). As in the lower reaches of the river, tourists can meet and towns, in addition to these can be arranged crossing on horseback, as well as on the existing masonry, hanging and other bridges.

In addition to the direct impact on funneling wade tourist (as will be discussed below), a strong flow affects the stability of some even large stones. Sometimes to unstable underlying rocks began to move, rather a little extra exposure to the tourist: support or kick at wade, jump in crossing over water. Not only the moving stone can knock down a tourist, pin or wedge his foot. Attempt to avoid the moving stone leads to a loss of balance, and fast flow immediately knocks down a tourist. Fallen, even though the insurance often are seriously injured in the attacks on the stones from uncontrolled movement in the turbulent flow.

2. Sharp seasonal and daily fluctuations in water flow. In winter, the water level in the mountain rivers is sharply reduced, the flow rate decreases, and surface areas of the river with the most peaceful movement of water freezing. The highest water level observed in the summer afternoon, and for the middle reaches of the river, that is far from the source of its power – and into the night. But in the evening at sunset, and even more so at night, the melting of ice and snow in the mountains by lowering the air temperature drops considerably. Therefore, the most appropriate time fording or stones are the morning (from 5 to 9 am). Daily changes in the level of the river on hot sunny days can reach 50-60 cm

If cloudy weather without precipitation level of the river is not very different from its daily minimum value, in the rainy season or thermal winds (fen), it changes very rapidly, regardless of the time of day. Prolonged heavy rains sometimes cause floods, which may result in temporary bridges to be demolished and masonry.

3. Lack of visibility of the nature of the river bed. If a significant number of rivers in the Caucasus, Altai and Central Tien Shan in normal conditions at a depth of 0.5-0.6 m stream flow more transparency allows us to consider the nature of the bottom, then the Pamir mountain rivers, the northern and western Tien Shan, Pamir- Alai and Fan mountains in the water because of the presence of tiny suspended particles of soil and easily washed rock bottom is not visible even at a shallow depth. In the rainy season, and with a strong spring melting of snow on the surrounding slopes or go to the river ground avalanche phenomenon characteristic of all mountain rivers.

When the bottom of the river is not visible, the tourist when choosing a support for the next step should literally feel his foot every stone. Final body weight on that leg is transferred only after the test selected for strength and support to the possibility of the way to withstand the flow of water.

4. Low water temperature. Time allowable stay of the person in cold water depends on hardened.: The body and the degree of submersion. So, when submerged knee-deep in water having a temperature of +5 ° C, this time should not exceed 12-15 minutes. But in the upper reaches of the mountain river water temperature often drops to + 2 ° C. Even a short stay in this water distracting tourist makes move soon, contrary to elementary safety requirements.

During difficult fording across the wide water hazard, provided a long stay in the water to avoid sudden movements, because the elasticity of ligament-cooling device for bags is sharply reduced, thus increasing the possibility of injury. So sophisticated enough to make the crossing in the pants and shoes.

The character of the mountain river also affects the bottom relief of the valley:

1. Rocky, uneven bottom gives the movement of water turbulent (chaotic) character, contributing, however, some reduction in the flow rate. However, large stones break the flow into separate jet streams, the velocity may exceed the maximum flow rate of a straight section of the river.

2. Steep banks, usually in the upper reaches of mountain rivers make it difficult not only to the organization of a reliable travel insurance through the flow of tourists, but the crossing.

3. Flow velocity, due to the fact that the bottom of a mountain valley, especially in the upper reaches, has significant elevation changes, can reach 6-7 m / sec, and in some areas (in the gorges or canyons) is even higher.

The high speed of the current, uneven rocky bottom, the movement of stones, the low temperature of the water, and sometimes steep banks are a serious obstacle for tourist groups, crossed the turbulent river wide enough. But the main danger – the power to influence the flow of tourists, which is determined by several factors, most important of which are the rate of air flow and the depth of the channel (Fig. 17).

Table 3

The rate of air flow, m / sec

The strength of the impact of the flow (kg) per person in the immersion

waist (1.05 m)

to the groin (0.9 m)

Knee (0.5 m)

















































Consider wade in the upper in the most typical of the depth of the river (to the knee to the groin, to the waist). Here the characteristic magnitude of the effect on the flow of tourists has shipped the following values.

What kind of value should have the power flow to knock people down? It must be greater than or equal to the force of friction on the feet of the tourist river bottom. On the friction force is significantly affected by a person's weight, traction soles of his feet to the bottom of the river, which in turn depends on – barefoot or in shoes (usually smooth sole, profiled or otrikonennaya) are crossing, the position of the feet, the size and of stones, how smooth and slippery surface of the stone, and so on to reduce friction, from the depths of the order of 0.8-1 m crossings, results and weight reduction of the human body is determined by the law of Archimedes. So, when immersed to the waist weight average build a person is reduced by about 40 kg.

Fig. 17.

Fig. 18

With these remarks, the following experimental data on the strength of the flow pressure in humans of its mass of 70 kg and a diving depth to the groin, where the value of the friction is reduced to zero, ie, the person begins to take down (see Table. 4).

Based on recent data, we can determine the range of values of the stream, which still allows the organization fording depending on the depth and velocity of the flow (Fig. 18).

Table 4

Nature of the bottom
Kind of shoes

Power flow pressure (kg) per person in which the value of the friction is reduced to zero

small stones round

small stones with sharp edges

large smooth slippery rocks

Otrikonennaya sole








Smooth soles




No shoes (barefoot)




However, tourists should not count on the maximum load that a person can survive in normal conditions. Uneven bottom, the character pitch surface of the stone, on which rests a tourist, slippery or unstable underlying rocks, the sharp change in the rate of flow of water when fording near clusters of large stones, insuring tug rope during slack and touching its surface, possible strike on foot stone that strong flow drags on the bottom of the river, finally, the low temperature of the water – all this at the next step can lead to at least a partial loss of stability, resulting in a tourist will be knocked down.

Of course, that every tourist has its own data (weight, height, strength and experience) that determine individual "cross" water hazard. But be that as it may, the preparations for the crossing itself difficult crossing of the demand from tourists seriously.

Unfortunately, often have to watch the preparations for mountain travel mainly confined only to the study of the passes. Of crossing even after a very turbulent mountain rivers group often has a very poor idea. But the more complex the crossing, the more time should be spent on its organization (from one to two, and in the rainy season and more days). In some cases, for the exploration of the site, allowing for the safety of the crossing, the team has to be 10-15 km along the rocky clamps, the difficulty is not inferior to overcome the difficulties of overcoming the pass, the most difficult for the route. Finally, the complexity of the organization of the crossings is the fact that the number of accidents related to fording, ranks second among all the causes of accidents in the mountain tourist travel.

Typical mistakes made by tourists, such as the organization of the crossing by rail, are:
– application node grasps the motion on the rails. As a result, if the flow of tourists ferried knocked down, the group can not using a safety rope to pull it back to shore. If there is no security ropes, then when you pull the victim to shore at fixed rope, cut off one of the mounting points, grasping unit may come loose and tourist slips into the water;
– length repshnura coming from a safety belt (chest harness) to the railing, longer than the arms. Here, in case of failure, not being able to reach the railing, a tourist and not be able to redress the balance;
– motion without gloves. Burning hands, the tourist can not focus on the correct choice of the fulcrum, the correct position of the body. The result – a failure;
– rapid movement. In this case, the slide on the rails carbine regularly runs into the brush spew forth his hands, pinch it, causing severe pain. Therefore, all the tourists' attention focuses on timely transposition hands, not to choose a good stop for the foot;
– motion does not pick up the slack tourist fixed ropes, does not reject body back. At the slightest loss of balance tourist pulls the rope, which, spring, immediately throws it in the opposite direction to which he is not prepared. The result – an unexpected bathing and wet bag.

How, then, tourists have to ensure the safety of the crossing when traveling in the mountains?

Without touching the deep questions of vehicles crossing, we can give the following, mainly organizational and tactical recommendations.

First, despite the lack of sustainability of the river and of the flow of the tourists in their report, together with a description of the passes must make detailed diagrams, pictures and descriptions of the ferry, which will target the following groups on the complexity of the passage of any water hazards. Monitor the implementation of these requirements – one of the duties of the mountain route-Qualification Commission (IWC).

Second, unfortunately, the most experienced members of many tourist groups proficient technique only two or three ways of crossing, which sometimes may not be suitable for all travelers. In addition, these methods may be good for the rivers and coasts certain type, but do not provide security in the other cases. Some of the tourists, paying attention to the way crossing, forget about the elements of the insurance, and sometimes simply neglected. All it means is that when a day's rest or in motion while crossing the river simple tourists should regularly conduct classes to explore new ways for these crossings, to acquire practical knowledge of their organization.

Third. Long before the release of the route, the development timetable group should make it so that tourists come to the difficult crossing of the evening. This will allow them to have time before dark to inspect the river and its banks, to determine the best site for the organization of a ferry early the next morning.

Fourth. Any crossing fording should begin by identifying the main affecting its safety characteristics, that is, with intelligence, which consists of the following stages:
– Explore the region to determine the types of possible crossing (ford, over the water, on the water);
– definition section of the river and the coast, meeting the requirements of the organization of the type of crossing. For example, for fording should find part of the river with minimum (over the section) flow rate, a flat bottom, a small number of large stones, the smallest possible depth of the river bed, a small steep shores. Sledueg also determine the possibility of casting and fixing ropes with cats, hooks or rocks on the opposite shore, and the possibility of the organization (if required) via point coverage or destinations on one of the islands or shoals;
– define a specific movement of the first participants to fording (pole vault, wall, ring) or the nature of the preparatory work (throw rope laying intermediate rocks, laying and securing logs, training support for the tension rail while crossing over the water);
– Select the type of insurance, the appropriate elected mind fords
– appointment of the participant (s) for the first fording vault, and the simultaneous crossing of several people (wall ring) – and the senior team to guide the efforts ferried tourists on the other side, when the roar of the water makes it impossible to form a link with the main voice of the group;
– appointment of people to insurance;
– instructing the first members of the ferry to continue when the output to the opposite bank to organize the crossing other tourists, as well as the actions of each of them in the event of a fall into the water;
– instruction insure the actions of each of them in case of failure of participants crossing;
– crossing the participant (s) included in the intelligence unit.

The safest crossing point – the section of the river, where the force of the impact on the flow of people is minimal, that is, where the fairway is the widest, and the depth of the lowest flow (eg division into several branches of the river). Having separate islands will organize the participants not only recreation, but also an effective way to further exploration of movement across the river.

Fig. 19

Fig. 20

Should not look at the crossing of turns of the river bed. On such a plot measuring flow rate spent by tourists in the middle of the river (where, apparently, the flow rate should be the highest), do not correspond to the true flow rate. This is because the fast flow erodes the farthest from the center of rotation shore, making it tough and difficult, and most importantly, the flow of the river channel deepens near the steep bank, with its rate increases sharply due to the concentration of the considerable body of water. It is clear that the force of the impact on the flow of trafficked to this tourist spot is also increasing.

In determining the rate of flow should be kept in mind:
at steady (laminar) mode (in the middle reaches of the river), the rate of flow on channel width varies: for example, it is highest on the flow axis and close to zero near the coast, that is, has a bell-shaped (Fig. 19) .. In the upper stream is turbulent. Here, the fluid particles appear as if mixed together so no significant difference in the values of the velocities of the individual jets in the core is not observed.

Velocity distribution in the vertical section of the flow is almost similar. The change is only in the upper part of the flow of water in contact with the atmosphere, which, as it slows down the rate of flow of the upper layers (Fig. 20). But the wind, which coincides with the direction of the river, the upper part of the curve can be curved in the direction of even flow.

Experiments have shown that the average flow velocity in the vertical approximately equal to the speed measured at a depth of 0,6 h. In the practice of tourist travel provides sufficient accuracy to determine the mean flow velocity at the velocity of the flow of surface water Vo, measured quite easily by using a stick thrown into the water, chips and so on objects. Knowing Vo, we can calculate the average velocity of the flow: for a small bed (upper river), it will be equal to 0,8 Vo, to the great depth (middle reaches of the river) – 0,9 Vo.

Intelligence should determine the nature and the river bed. If the bottom is not visible, then the absence of large rocks in shallow (up to 1 meter) sections of said smooth flow. At the same time, the presence of not only the visible part of the stone, but the breakers, foam rollers, distinct jets shows either a shallow depth of the river bed, or a significant number of large rocks at a depth of flow over a meter. Since the local increase in speed is kept below the stones with the flow at a distance of 3-5 meters, the trail fording should not be run in this area. This rule, however, does not apply to the largest single stones. For such a rock as a result of turbulence flows around it for a minimum flow rate. So here you can organize the spaces in between insurance or a short rest we cross member.

If in a group, crossed quickly and rather dangerous river, more than 25 people, it is necessary to expose Baywatch. The task of the post – the interception and removal of the flow of tourists to knock down (when fording) or fell into the water (at the crossing of the water.)

Baywatch of 3-4 most powerful, tall and cold-blooded tourists who can make good, sound decisions in a complex and rapidly changing environment. The post is located in 20-25 meters from the crossing. This distance will be traversed by streams of tourists shot down within 4-10 seconds (depending on the speed of the water). This time is sufficient to tourist recovered from his first fright and that rescuers managed to take all necessary measures to save him.

Before finally establish a post dedicated rescuers together with the head of the group define area (areas) of a possible movement of tourists in the water after a fall. To do this, from the crossing point to different places of the flow (in the near and distant shores, center) throw logs, wood chips and other floating objects. Lots of their passage in the water section of the proposed installation site office noticed. Rescuers then reality check possible assistance, for which one of them goes to the designated sites. If the rescuer flow blows, you need to change (3-5 m in either direction) Installation Baywatch and again a reality check possible assistance.

But it also happens that attempts to approach the established areas of possible passing shot down the flow of tourists are unsuccessful, and the crossing of the selected location is the most appropriate. Then the organization Baywatch canceled. Team leader in this case should reassess safety crossing, and then crossing the selected method and outline all measures to ensure the reliability of providing unconditional insurance in case of a possible failure.

When it is determined that the post will be able to provide real assistance, within its range at a height of 10-15 cm above the water pulled the rope (by getting to her with a cat or a hook on the other side), designed for tourist sailing at least for a short time been able to stay on her own, thus greatly facilitate the work of the rescuers. To further highlight the rope on the background of turbulent flow and stones on her meeting with possible sites floating tourist should advance to bind short bright ribbons.

It must be clearly assigned roles of rescuers: one in case of failure of the tourist flow is a fast and works in the water, others insure it. With a relatively large distance from the shore area of possible passage of the floating tourist is allowed to arrange alternate for all rescue short-term (given the low temperature) watch directly in water. Before entering the river rescuers should warm up well or the fire, or by vigorous movements (running). The long stay in the water saver is undesirable because it causes it to freeze and inability to provide effective assistance downed tourists. Duty in the water should not exceed 3-4 minutes (ie, practically crossing time of one person). When you exit the water to warm up again and drink a few sips of hot tea.

After organizing the helm of the group once again reminds the participants of the rules of overcoming the river associated with the type of crossing. He then leads the group to the site of Baywatch and show the probability plot to disrupt the passage of water in the tourist location of tight rope rescuers locate at intercepting and landmarks of the place. Only after the band returned to the place of the crossing and the team leader in that order begins to move them across the river.
Factors due to climatic conditions. WIND

Very often the cause of danger in the mountains is the wind. As outlined above, it promotes the formation of rock falls, the appearance of snow on the slopes, "boards", the appearance of snow cornices, disguise cracks. Carried by the wind blizzard snow, resulting in the accumulation of large folds of the terrain and snow and, consequently, to the appearance of avalanche danger.

It is known that the wind speed increases with height. But the higher the speed, the more the wind has on the people in the area of its distribution.

You should know that each correspond to the mean wind speed measured either in points or in m / sec. But each match and wind their maximum speeds, which have separate, the strongest gusts (squalls). Parameters (speed and pressure) of these squalls are 3-4 times higher than the average values of the wind. Naturally, the storm is more dangerous for people. This is clearly seen from Table 5.

Wind, having an average speed of 15-20 m / s, – not so rare in the highlands. With this wind the person receiving the power punch flurry 80-100 kg, it is easy to lose your balance and break, especially if it is moving on a steep slope or a sharp ridge. Therefore, the period of strong winds to overcome the opening, the imminent danger of failing to make a rope with a mandatory insurance.

Climbers often waiting hairdryer (in Dzungaria-ibe, the Pamir-garmsil) – local warm winds blowing from the mountains. Here the danger is that hairdryers moisturize and seal the top layer of snow, which in turn may contribute to the formation of snow on the slopes of "boards".

Table 5

The strength of the wind, the scores

Name of wind

Velocity, m / sec

Pressure (kgf), has on a person standing



the average wind speed

by squall








Light air

0.6 – .1,7





Light breeze






Gentle breeze

3 .4-5,2





Moderate breeze






Fresh breeze






Strong wind






High wind






Fresh gale

























more than 29.0




In these calculations, the body surface tourist standing with a backpack as 1 m2.

Hairdryers occur when the pressure difference on either side of the ridge, having a relative height of at least 800-1000 m, reaches high values. The air of the valley with a high atmospheric pressure passes through the ridge into the next valley, where the pressure is lower. When lifting the air mass is first cooled (by an average of 0,6 ° at lifting for every 100 m), their moisture increases, and part of the condensed water vapor may fall as rain. Then when lowering air masses on the other side of the ridge due to the increased pressure they will become warm. The value of the temperature rise is already 1 ° per 100 m altitude loss. Humidity at sharply reduced. Therefore, to the foot of the slope (at the bottom of the next valley) will air a very hot and dry. Thus, in the North Caucasus average air temperature increase at hairdryers reaches 8-15 degrees.

Significant hazard is the wind, combined with snow and snow even in the summer – is common at high altitudes.

During snowfall, accompanied by strong winds, the group can expect:
Horse snow (horse – as the movement involved only the particles of snow falling from the top), the incident angle to the horizontal snow, touching the ground, remains lying on the ground;
total blizzard – snow, touching the ground under the influence of strong winds, before ascending into the air, flying a distance, again falls on the slope. In addition, the wind knocks the surface cover of snow particles, which are also included in the total movement;
blizzard – a further increase of wind power – leads to the fact that the movement of air at the surface of the earth becomes a random, rotational motion, supporting falling snowflakes suspended. Strong wind in motion involves a considerable amount of snow from the top layer of snow. Thus, when the blizzard total mass transported snow increases dramatically. In mountainous areas during a heavy snowstorm formed huge blizzards, raising snow particles to a height of 100 meters. Vortex power is so great that they can tear or rip installed tent, knock people down, cause a rockfall.

Sometimes you can see blizzard of snow and rain in clear weather. This occurs when the top layer of snow by the wind, "blurred", and much of the snow crushed involved in the movement. If the layer of snow moving mass does not exceed 1.5-2 m, this is known as drifting snow. If the snow rises to tens of meters – Drifting snow (since the particles involved in the movement of snow from below the ground).

Strong wind, despite a significant neuro-muscular tension slows the movement of people in the 20-25%, prevents breathing, disrupting its normal rhythm and increasing the load on the respiratory muscles. In addition, the duration of strong wind also affects the nervous system, causing excitement and irritation. Irritation begins to manifest itself at a wind speed of more than 6.7 m / sec.

Tourist group, taken a strong snowstorm, and the more blizzard, must immediately choose a safe place to begin organizing a camp. If the group will continue to move along the route, here tourists exposed to two risks.

The first – a sharp reduction in horizontal visibility and the rapid disappearance of the tracks in the snow. This may lead the group not only to enter the avalanche slope to kamnepadoopasnomu couloir under eaves or hanging glacier, but when broken down into individual groups of units, due, for example, attempt to organize the future path of exploration – to the loss of contact between the individual units.

The second – enhanced cooling of the body. So, starting with the wind speed of about 15 m / sec, a further increase in speed of 1 m / s is equivalent to a decrease in temperature by about 5 ° C. This increases the heat loss by the body, such as air velocity 0.9-1.3 m / sec, it is two times more than in still air.

Snow falling on the exposed areas of the body, melts and partly evaporates and takes a lot of heat, which causes shivering and leads to rapid frostbite. Suffering and eyes, stricken blizzard snow particles moving without goggles. To protect the face from the wind, you must have a mask made from a dense material (eg, tent cloth) with the inner lining of fine wool or flannel.

In the high mountains, even in summer, strong winds can cause frostbite tourists, so the development of the timing of the trip to avoid periods of the strongest winds, and the development of the route to take into account the direction of the prevailing winds, so it was not a counter.

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