Types of river crossings

Types of river crossings

Jump crossing. Small rivers, streams and mountain streams can be jumped over, having previously thrown things to the opposite bank. You can use the pole as a support by placing it in the middle of the water obstacle. Leaning on it, you need to push off and jump over to the opposite bank.

Crossing the stones. If in a narrow river bed non-slip stable stones lie at a distance of a step or a jump, you can cross them. In this case, belaying with a rope is necessary, the length of which should be greater than the width of the river. For convenience, a part of the rope, rolled up in rings, can be in the hand of the crossing person.

Crossing the ice floes. A river crossing on ice floes is carried out if the ice floes are located in close proximity to each other and are of sufficient size to support the weight of the crossing. With such a crossing, you need to be extremely careful, fast and decisive. It is necessary to jump with one foot into the central part of the ice floe, immediately pushing off from its surface to move the other leg to the adjacent ice floe. A decrease in the speed of movement on ice floes is unacceptable until the crossing is on the opposite bank or on a stable ice floe. This technique can only be used on narrow, slow-flowing rivers.

Hanging crossing horizontally. Crossing on a stretched rope can be carried out if the distance between the supports is not more than 30–40 meters.

A rope with an anchor (a stone, a branch, etc.) is thrown over a rope with an anchor (stone, branch, etc.) to overwhelm it behind a certain support (tree, bush, rock ledge, etc.). When guiding an overhead crossing by one person, you can attach a rope to a support on the other bank using an anchor-shell, which is made of a strong stick up to 30 cm long and two stones 150-200 g each, tied on both sides of the stick with ropes 25 cm long. Having fastened the rope in any way on the opposite bank, it is necessary to firmly fasten the second end of the rope, pulling it as much as possible (Fig. 4.2).

The danger of setting up a rope crossing with an anchor is that a strong throw can cause you to lose your balance and fall down. Therefore, when throwing, you must carefully control your movements and body position in space.

Before crossing, you need to check the strength of the crossing and the reliability of the rope attachment. After that, one person with a belay is ferried to the other side and fixes the end of the rope more securely. Slightly higher (20–30 cm) of the main rope, one more rope, a safety rope, is additionally pulled. On small crossings (up to 10 m), over slow water or at low altitudes (less than 3 m), pulling a single rope is allowed.

Fig. 4. 2. Mounted ferry

When crossing, it is necessary to fasten to two ropes with loops (carabiners) from the chest harness (arbor). If the stretched ropes have a small angle of inclination, then the crossing is carried out head first. If the ropes are strongly inclined (steepness more than 15 °) and there is a risk of injury, the crossing should be done with feet forward. The movement is carried out without load in a horizontal position; it is allowed to use an auxiliary rope, which is fastened with loops (carabiners). For the convenience of returning to the other side of the loop system (carabiners), an auxiliary rope is tied to one of them. The cargo is transported separately along the ferry, also using an auxiliary rope.

For the safety of the rope, the last crossing can tie it up for easy removal from the opposite bank (Fig. 4.3). After the crossing of the trader, the fastening of the crossing is untied and removed with the help of an auxiliary rope.

In order not to leave the rope in the crossing, you can also use a locking wedge, which is inserted into the knot, which prevents the fastening from being untied during the crossing. An auxiliary rope is tied to the locking wedge, pulling on which, after crossing, the knot is freed from the wedge and untied.

Ferry with railings. The ropes are pulled in such a way that the upper one is at the level of the chest of the person standing on the lower one (Fig. 4.4). Having attached a loop (carabiner) to the upper rope and holding on to it with both hands, one must walk sideways along the lower rope. Additional rope belay is provided from the shore. The crossing is possible with a sufficiently strong tension of the lower rope.

Fig. 4.3. Node for removing the ferry

Fording mountain river crossings, on a log, suspension crossing, ferry guidance and insurance arrangements

The difficulty and danger of crossing mountain rivers are associated with the strength of their current, low water temperature, uneven bottom and rolling stones. The least amount of water is at 4-8 o'clock in the morning, more at 13-17 o'clock. The water level can rise rapidly during and after rain, in the event of a dam break, and drop significantly in cold cloudy weather.

Fording mountain river crossings, on a log, suspension crossing, ferry guidance and insurance arrangements

Having studied the features of the river, you can choose the place and time of the crossing so that the ford is relatively easy. Streams and small mountain rivers at this time can be overcome even without getting your feet wet, jumping from stone to stone. To do this, you need to find a place where the stones protruding above the water surface are most numerous, close to each other, not covered with algae, moss and have a dry surface.

It is better to cross shallow mountain rivers with a loosely connected bottom on all fours, facing the oncoming stream, resting the toes of your boots against the unevenness at the bottom. It is unacceptable to cross the river on the move. It is necessary to conduct a thorough exploration of the river banks in both directions. It is better to stay for a few hours or a day than to put your life at risk.

The shallowest places are in the widest parts of the river, and vice versa - the greatest depths and flow rates are found in the narrowing of the channel. Signs of shallow water include:

Wide stretches with an increased flow rate along the entire width of the river. Places where the river is divided by islets into several branches. Stones protruding above the water. Islets across the entire width. Aquatic vegetation.

During the day, in calm weather, the surface of the water above shallow places - braids, rifts is smoother and lighter than above deep ones, where it has a wavy appearance and a dark color. Small ripples on the water surface indicate shallow water.

Crossing mountain rivers ford

Wading through mountain rivers is possible if the depth is not higher than mid-thigh. In this case, you should cross below the turn of the river. To keep from drifting along the river, insurance from the bank is organized. The rope is attached to the back of a person crossing the river and is fixed at several more points.

Insurance when crossing mountain rivers ford

You only need to wade in boots on your bare feet. In this case, there is less chance of injuring your feet on the rocks at the bottom of the river. It is better to take off outerwear to reduce the resistance to the oncoming flow. If the water is warm, and the passage is small, it is better to pass a deep ford without clothes. Place the removed clothing under the top flap of the backpack or, tied in a knot, hold it over your head.


The crossing is often the most difficult and dangerous part of a tourist hiking trip. Among the many ways of crossing, the hinged one is important. A special need for it may arise not only on routes of high difficulty, but also in simpler hikes during the rainy season, as well as when transporting a sick or injured participant. Pointing of a hinged crossing should be studied in preparation for the P - W hikes of categories of complexity. Below is a description of one of the options for the mounted self-removable ferry.


The following special equipment is required to organize a canopy ferry:

main rope with a diameter of 10-12 mm, the length of which should exceed the distance between the supports by 4-6 m. This rope is called a cargo rope. It is designed to move participants and backpacks above the water surface, attached to a rope with a carabiner;

main rope with a diameter of 10 mm, the length of which should be 6-10 m more than double the width of the river. This rope is called a conveyor rope. It is intended for additional insurance of participants when transporting them and their backpacks along the cargo rope;

main rope with a diameter of 10 mm, length 3-4 m for tying a loop around the support on the initial bank when creating a chain hoist;

at least eight carabiners;

block with bearing (fig.) to reduce wear on the load rope. Blocks are recommended to be used to increase the efficiency of the chain hoist;

two loops of a double auxiliary rope (re-cord) with a diameter of 6 mm (Fig. 2) for connecting a cargo rope with a support using grasping knots and karabiners, creating a chain hoist and pulling the crossing. You can replace each of these sweats with two prusik loops of the same length (fig. 3);

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