HST Community      Sierra Water

Sierra Water | High Sierra Topix  

Sierra Water

Grab your bear can or camp chair, kick your feet up and chew the fat about anything Sierra Nevada related that doesn't quite fit in any of the other forums. Within reason, (and the HST rules and guidelines) this is also an anything goes forum. Tell stories, discuss wilderness issues, music, or whatever else the High Sierra stirs up in your mind.

Re: Sierra Water

Postby papasequoia » Wed Feb 27, 2013 11:54 pm

Of course, it's the time of year that you are drinking the water that may affect it the most. :D

Image
Nature always wins
> miles = < people



User avatar
papasequoia
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 43
Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2011 10:10 pm
Location: The East Side
Experience: Level 3 Backpacker

Re: Sierra Water

Postby Scouter9 » Thu Feb 28, 2013 10:55 am

Well, I think pretty much all the water that I'd deign to drink in the Sierra tastes pretty good. I tend to eschew standing or potentially stagnant water (or say puddles in hoof prints) and prefer moving water if only for the resolution of the stagnancy issue. I do filter, regardless.
User avatar
Scouter9
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 150
Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2011 8:23 am
Experience: N/A

Re: Sierra Water

Postby sekihiker » Fri Mar 01, 2013 7:38 pm

I prefer snowmelt, that is, water that is flowing from under a snowbank. Not only is it cold and tasty, but I'm pretty sure that it doesn't have a lot of impurities in it. Now that I know that lake water is OK to drink (UV kills microbes in upper 10cm), it's usually pretty good tasting but usually not cool enough for my preference. Now and then, I've run across some springs that produce especially fine tasting water. One that comes to mind is a few hundred yards east of Cycalmen Lake Pass where the water was bubbling out of decomposed granite.
User avatar
sekihiker
Founding Member
 
Posts: 310
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 1:47 pm
Location: Fresno
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Re: Sierra Water

Postby whrdafamI? » Mon Mar 11, 2013 3:53 pm

Rather then taking a chance, for the most part I pump anymore. I have seen so much bad behavior on the part of others its just not worth it. Its easier then having to dig a cat hole over and over. The only place I drink straight from the source is Columbine Spring in Ice House Canyon. If there is anything in that water it has earned the right. Best tasting spring water I have ever found.
Better to have it and not need it than it is to need it and not have it!

Get busy living or get busy dying.
User avatar
whrdafamI?
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 206
Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2011 9:31 am
Location: Ontario, California
Experience: N/A

Re: Sierra Water

Postby DoyleWDonehoo » Mon Mar 11, 2013 10:04 pm

For the last 15 years, I have hardly ever filtered. I only bring a filter under certain circumstances.
I filter when...:
1) ...I am in a real high population area. For example, I would not drink unfiltered water anywhere down stream from the Merced River HSC.
2) ...It is late season and I am likely to be in a dried up area with only brackish pools available for water. For example late season near the headwaters of the Merced River drainage can be very dry, with only the lakes available for (unfiltered) water. Brackish pools may be the only water source.
3) Anywhere that is likely to be infested with cows, horses or too many people.
4) and so on.

I am particular about where I get my water from. Early season almost any runoff is naturally filtered, in particular if you know that above where the water is coming from there are no (or extremely few) people, or cows and horses. High lakes are sterile, getting more UV than a steri-pen. Perfectly safe unless infested with people and horses, etc.

I have talked to many back-country Rangers and all that I met never filtered, never got sick, even drinking out of major back-country rivers (like the Kern). The back-country is flushed out every spring, making it more than unlikely you will drink something bad, unless you do something foolish (see above). Almost all back-country water is far better than tap water.
As always, suit yourself.
Doyle W. Donehoo
Sierra Trails:
http://www.doylewdonehoo.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
User avatar
DoyleWDonehoo
Founding Member
 
Posts: 480
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2005 1:06 pm
Location: San Jose, CA
Experience: N/A

Re: Sierra Water

Postby oldranger » Tue Mar 12, 2013 6:23 am

Doyle

I have talked to many back-country Rangers and all that I met never filtered, never got sick, even drinking out of major back-country rivers (like the Kern).


Guess you haven't talked to enough BC rangers! Probably a high percentage don't filter (I seldom did) but I know at least 3 who got giardiasis.

Also if you are going to pick a time not to filter as I understand it spring/early season is the worst time to use moving water, just because, as you say the system is getting "flushed" and there is overland runoff contributing to the amount of giardia spores floating downstream.

Mike
Mike

Who can't do everything he used to and what he can do takes a hell of a lot longer!
User avatar
oldranger
Topix Junkie
 
Posts: 2366
Joined: Fri Jan 19, 2007 8:18 pm
Location: Bend, Oregon
Experience: N/A

Re: Sierra Water

Postby markskor » Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:40 am

oldranger wrote: I understand it spring/early season is the worst time to use moving water, just because, as you say the system is getting "flushed" and there is overland runoff contributing to the amount of giardia spores floating downstream.
Mike

Not convinced that this is true. Giardia does not overwinter higher up…exposure to < 30º for a month kills all cysts…Snow? (I am still convinced that cattle and stock are primarily responsible for yearly re-introduction in areas of the Sierra where snow is prevalent).

The cysts (the long-term infective stage) sink and are naturally filtered out as they tumble downhill with the yearly, flushing, spring water runoff. Yes, early season, especially lower down in the Sierra, you would probably experience the greatest number of cysts traveling with early spring flush, but the tremendous volume of water moving would counteract this/ even things out.

IMHO, the worst time to use moving water is late summer, right after a rain.

I look for/ prefer those ice-cold, fern-infested, have-to-stick-your-head-in, canyon springs that seem to bubble out from nowhere. Nothing like a few thousand feet of solid granite to filter out everything.
Mountainman who swims with trout
User avatar
markskor
Founding Member & Forums Administrator
Founding Member & Forums Administrator
 
Posts: 2137
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2005 4:41 pm
Location: Mammoth Lakes
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Re: Sierra Water

Postby maverick » Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:48 am

Please people, no more about Giardia :puke:, this thread is purely about the taste
of water. The Giardia subject was just done to death for the 100th time recently
in "The Campfire" Section. Thanks
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination, and where the trail ends is where our adventures begin.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
User avatar
maverick
Forums Moderator
Forums Moderator
 
Posts: 9031
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 4:54 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Re: Sierra Water

Postby rlown » Tue Mar 12, 2013 11:01 am

even if you filter, the water tastes the same. still recommend filtering.
User avatar
rlown
Topix Junkie
 
Posts: 6211
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 4:00 pm
Location: Petaluma, CA
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Re: Sierra Water

Postby Wandering Daisy » Tue Mar 12, 2013 11:15 am

The taste of water is a function of pH, mineral content and disolved organics, even though you have limited this post to "subjective" criteria. I rarely filter or treat water in the High Serria. I like my water very cold so rather dip water out of streams on the way than carry it around in a plastic bottle. My only bad experinece was at Evolution Lake. Collected water. Went back to wash off and stepped on a rock and up floated a dead decomposed rat. I went back to camp, dumped the water, walked back up the trail half a mile to a side stream to get water. I just could not handle the "yuk" factor of drining water out of the lake.
User avatar
Wandering Daisy
Topix Junkie
 
Posts: 3077
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2010 7:19 pm
Location: Fair Oaks CA (Sacramento area)
Experience: N/A

PreviousNext

Return to The Campfire



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: phoenix2000, texbob and 3 guests