Boundary Peak -- Quicksand!!

Boundary Peak -- Quicksand!!

Joined: January 26th, 2004, 5:02 pm

September 19th, 2005, 8:49 pm #1

I hiked up Boundary Peak Sept 4th 2005. I used the Trail Canyon trailhead and was able to get all the way to the trailhead in a Chevy Malibu rental. I used the steeper, more direct hiking route, rather than climbing to the pass, then more ridge walking.

I want to say a couple of things about this trip:

1) I was using the Don Holmes directions, which were mostly fine. However there was one intersection that looked ambigous for the return. Fortunately it was well lighted when I drove in and I noted the mileage and direction I turned. Then I noted the mileage when I got to the trailhead and did the math determined what the mileage should be when I got to that intersection when I was leaving. Sure enough, the mileage came up and I would have guessed the wrong way had I not made careful note of it.

2) QUICKSAND!!!!

As I was hiking along the lower portion of the route, following the river, I cam to some springs. It was a fair amount of water bubbling from the bottom of a bank into a swampy area near the stream. The immeadiate area around the spring was very sandy.

There are some springs along the stream indicated on the current USGS 7.5 min quad for this area and this is I went to take a step on the sand but there was virtually no resistance. I put my pole out to support myself but it too went right through the sand. I managed to get my balance back on to my other foot. I climbed up a steep bank to my left to get around the quicksand.

They say you can float in quicksand, but I didn't want to bother finding out.

It didn't look special, it just looked like some wet sand. I had heard of quicksand when I was a kid, but I had never seen it. I don't know if that spot is always like that or is more transient. Beware!! I don't know if it was 6 inches or 6 feet deep. It was also difficult to gauge the size of the surface of the quicksand. I wasn't in a mood to hang around and find out.

~~~



I also "climbed" the TX, KS & NM highpoints on the trip as well, but I'll leave that for a more formal trip report. The important thing is watch out for quicksand.



Jack S.
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Joined: January 20th, 2004, 9:10 pm

September 20th, 2005, 4:15 am #2

I hiked Boundary way back in August 1995 ... 10 years ago now. And I did in fact step into said quicksand, pretty much right where you described its location. It looked solid and I certainly wasn't expecting quicksand, having never seen it before in my life, but my foot went into the muck up to my knee immediately; I immediately fell toward the bank, got my body's weight (as best I could) away from over my leg, and grabbed onto some branches. I was with a couple partners and one gave me a hand; pulling my leg out was a challenge. You could hear the 'shlorp' sound. Oddest thing I've ever experienced on the highpoints.
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Joined: January 20th, 2004, 5:18 am

September 21st, 2005, 1:37 am #3

I hiked up Boundary Peak Sept 4th 2005. I used the Trail Canyon trailhead and was able to get all the way to the trailhead in a Chevy Malibu rental. I used the steeper, more direct hiking route, rather than climbing to the pass, then more ridge walking.

I want to say a couple of things about this trip:

1) I was using the Don Holmes directions, which were mostly fine. However there was one intersection that looked ambigous for the return. Fortunately it was well lighted when I drove in and I noted the mileage and direction I turned. Then I noted the mileage when I got to the trailhead and did the math determined what the mileage should be when I got to that intersection when I was leaving. Sure enough, the mileage came up and I would have guessed the wrong way had I not made careful note of it.

2) QUICKSAND!!!!

As I was hiking along the lower portion of the route, following the river, I cam to some springs. It was a fair amount of water bubbling from the bottom of a bank into a swampy area near the stream. The immeadiate area around the spring was very sandy.

There are some springs along the stream indicated on the current USGS 7.5 min quad for this area and this is I went to take a step on the sand but there was virtually no resistance. I put my pole out to support myself but it too went right through the sand. I managed to get my balance back on to my other foot. I climbed up a steep bank to my left to get around the quicksand.

They say you can float in quicksand, but I didn't want to bother finding out.

It didn't look special, it just looked like some wet sand. I had heard of quicksand when I was a kid, but I had never seen it. I don't know if that spot is always like that or is more transient. Beware!! I don't know if it was 6 inches or 6 feet deep. It was also difficult to gauge the size of the surface of the quicksand. I wasn't in a mood to hang around and find out.

~~~



I also "climbed" the TX, KS & NM highpoints on the trip as well, but I'll leave that for a more formal trip report. The important thing is watch out for quicksand.



Jack S.
This is the first I've heard of quicksand on the Boundary Peak approach and I definitely thank you for the heads up. I've been trying to educate myself a bit on quicksand since reading your post several hours ago. Fascinating stuff on the internet, there is. Overall, it doesn't seem there's much to worry about but I'm sure it's a heart stopper for anyone to find themselves with a foot in that muck!
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Joined: January 26th, 2004, 5:02 pm

September 22nd, 2005, 2:57 pm #4

Fortunately I didn't sink up to my knee, but I could tell that if I had put more weight on that foot that it would have gone in deep. The misleading thing was a few small rocks (bar of soap-size) visible near the top of the quicksand. These were unable to support anything.

I never knew what quicksand looked like before the hike, but somehow I thought it looked different than just wet sand & gravel. But it actually looks just like wet sand & gravel.

They say you can float in q/s. That makes sense, since the LIGHTEST part is the water. The biggest danger is probably panic. One could either exhaust themselves quickly, or twist a limb the wrong way in the q/s. The q/s might only be a few feet deep. But regardless of the depth, it isn't possible to have someone go completely under the surface. I suppose that if you tried real hard you could end up with your face down and "drown" (sufficate) that way.

You could get stuck there for a long time if you were without help.

Fun stuff!!
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Joined: April 20th, 2004, 7:19 pm

September 28th, 2005, 3:31 pm #5

This is really fascinating - I've never seen quicksand either and wouldn't want to miss it when I climb Boundary Peak. I wouldn't want to find it by accident, either..

Does anybody has taken a GPS waypoint at the quicksand's location?
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Joined: January 20th, 2004, 9:10 pm

September 28th, 2005, 4:40 pm #6

We started our hike walking up through the creek drainage instead of staying high on the banks amid the sagebrush. At the time it seemed like a good choice- we had mostly open walking up the creek bed, and were able to avoid the water and mud by stepping on rocks and tufty grass. But at some point we needed to exit the creek due to excessive brush. This is where I stepped into the quicksand. I couldn't tell you exactly where that was. It was along the edge of the creek. If you see a small clearing amid the usual brush, it could be quicksand; step carefully. It was probably no more than a half-mile from the trailhead. I recall the ground was almost black with leaves and crud on top, but no rooted vegetation.
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Joined: April 27th, 2004, 6:37 pm

October 4th, 2005, 9:46 am #7

I hiked up Boundary Peak Sept 4th 2005. I used the Trail Canyon trailhead and was able to get all the way to the trailhead in a Chevy Malibu rental. I used the steeper, more direct hiking route, rather than climbing to the pass, then more ridge walking.

I want to say a couple of things about this trip:

1) I was using the Don Holmes directions, which were mostly fine. However there was one intersection that looked ambigous for the return. Fortunately it was well lighted when I drove in and I noted the mileage and direction I turned. Then I noted the mileage when I got to the trailhead and did the math determined what the mileage should be when I got to that intersection when I was leaving. Sure enough, the mileage came up and I would have guessed the wrong way had I not made careful note of it.

2) QUICKSAND!!!!

As I was hiking along the lower portion of the route, following the river, I cam to some springs. It was a fair amount of water bubbling from the bottom of a bank into a swampy area near the stream. The immeadiate area around the spring was very sandy.

There are some springs along the stream indicated on the current USGS 7.5 min quad for this area and this is I went to take a step on the sand but there was virtually no resistance. I put my pole out to support myself but it too went right through the sand. I managed to get my balance back on to my other foot. I climbed up a steep bank to my left to get around the quicksand.

They say you can float in quicksand, but I didn't want to bother finding out.

It didn't look special, it just looked like some wet sand. I had heard of quicksand when I was a kid, but I had never seen it. I don't know if that spot is always like that or is more transient. Beware!! I don't know if it was 6 inches or 6 feet deep. It was also difficult to gauge the size of the surface of the quicksand. I wasn't in a mood to hang around and find out.

~~~



I also "climbed" the TX, KS & NM highpoints on the trip as well, but I'll leave that for a more formal trip report. The important thing is watch out for quicksand.



Jack S.
Quicksand: that sinking feeling

Oct 3, 10:43 AM (ET)

By Patricia Reaney

LONDON (Reuters) - Quicksand is not the bottomless pit portrayed in Hollywood films that sucks in unsuspecting victims and swallows them whole.

It is true the more people struggle, the deeper they will sink into the soupy mixture but its buoyancy makes it impossible to be completely submerged, scientists said on Wednesday.

"Everybody thinks, thanks to Hollywood, that you can drown in quicksand. Basically if you do a simple buoyancy calculation, the Archimedes force, it is immediately evident that you can't drown completely," said Daniel Bonn, of the Van der Waals-Zeeman Institute at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

Quicksand consists of salt, water, sand and clay. It is the water content that makes quicksand, which is found near estuaries, beaches and rivers, so dangerous.

"If you tread on quicksand, or liquefy it by moving, it goes from something that is almost completely solid to something that is almost completely liquid," Bonn told Reuters.

He and his colleagues showed that Hollywood had got it wrong by measuring the viscosity, the resistance to flow, of quicksand and its sinking ability.

They also calculated the amount of force necessary to get a trapped foot out -- and found it was the equivalent needed to lift a medium-sized car. Their findings are reported in the science journal Nature.

If someone falls into quicksand they begin to sink and the sand packs densely around the feet, forming a type of trap. In films people sinking in quicksand usually grab on to an overhanging tree branch or are pulled out just as they are about to disappear under the mucky surface.

But Bonn and his team said in real life the victim would sink halfway into the quicksand but would not disappear.

The scientists advised people trapped in quicksand not to panic and to wiggle.

"All you have to do to get your foot out is to introduce water into the sand and if you can do that along your leg by wiggling your leg around, that is the best way to get out," Bonn said.

http://reuters.excite.com//article/2005 ... ND-DC.html
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Joined: January 26th, 2004, 5:02 pm

October 5th, 2005, 2:55 pm #8

We started our hike walking up through the creek drainage instead of staying high on the banks amid the sagebrush. At the time it seemed like a good choice- we had mostly open walking up the creek bed, and were able to avoid the water and mud by stepping on rocks and tufty grass. But at some point we needed to exit the creek due to excessive brush. This is where I stepped into the quicksand. I couldn't tell you exactly where that was. It was along the edge of the creek. If you see a small clearing amid the usual brush, it could be quicksand; step carefully. It was probably no more than a half-mile from the trailhead. I recall the ground was almost black with leaves and crud on top, but no rooted vegetation.
I didn't have a GPS w/ me when I spotted the quicksand.

My recollection was that it was farther than 1/2 mile from the trailhead, but I could be wrong. The 7.5 min quad (map) shows 2 or 3 springs on the upper reaches of the creek that runs through Trail Canyon (Trail creek?). It was about where those springs are located. In fact, what looked the most odd was the bubbling water at the base of the enbankment. I'm sure that flow rates change, but in Sept it was putting out more water than would come from a garden hose (maybe twice). It occured to me that it looked similar to a watermain leak from my city's streets.

When I saw it there was none of the blackish organic matter piled on top of the sand mentioned in a prior post. Obviously the situation changes based on weather, time of year, etc. When I saw it it was just sand and rocks the size of and smaller than a bar of soap.

It was very neat to see, but only if you weren't trying to get out of it.
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Joined: November 25th, 2000, 10:31 pm

October 22nd, 2005, 4:00 pm #9

Quicksand: that sinking feeling

Oct 3, 10:43 AM (ET)

By Patricia Reaney

LONDON (Reuters) - Quicksand is not the bottomless pit portrayed in Hollywood films that sucks in unsuspecting victims and swallows them whole.

It is true the more people struggle, the deeper they will sink into the soupy mixture but its buoyancy makes it impossible to be completely submerged, scientists said on Wednesday.

"Everybody thinks, thanks to Hollywood, that you can drown in quicksand. Basically if you do a simple buoyancy calculation, the Archimedes force, it is immediately evident that you can't drown completely," said Daniel Bonn, of the Van der Waals-Zeeman Institute at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

Quicksand consists of salt, water, sand and clay. It is the water content that makes quicksand, which is found near estuaries, beaches and rivers, so dangerous.

"If you tread on quicksand, or liquefy it by moving, it goes from something that is almost completely solid to something that is almost completely liquid," Bonn told Reuters.

He and his colleagues showed that Hollywood had got it wrong by measuring the viscosity, the resistance to flow, of quicksand and its sinking ability.

They also calculated the amount of force necessary to get a trapped foot out -- and found it was the equivalent needed to lift a medium-sized car. Their findings are reported in the science journal Nature.

If someone falls into quicksand they begin to sink and the sand packs densely around the feet, forming a type of trap. In films people sinking in quicksand usually grab on to an overhanging tree branch or are pulled out just as they are about to disappear under the mucky surface.

But Bonn and his team said in real life the victim would sink halfway into the quicksand but would not disappear.

The scientists advised people trapped in quicksand not to panic and to wiggle.

"All you have to do to get your foot out is to introduce water into the sand and if you can do that along your leg by wiggling your leg around, that is the best way to get out," Bonn said.

http://reuters.excite.com//article/2005 ... ND-DC.html
It wasn't quick sand (I think) but it was worse. Crossing 9 Standards Rigg, England's Insular Divide, just E. of Kirkby Stephen (and 2000' above it) on the Coast to Coast Walk across the island, I encountered a horrible swamp or peat bog. There was no boardwalk across it (others had this convenience) so I tried to jump it--with my pack--fell short, landed in bottomless brown muck and sank to my waist. Fortunately the chap, met on the train (the famous Settle to Carlisle Railway) I was hiking with, pulled me out or I might still be up there, trying to reach Keld, the next town. It was the end of my Jockey briefs and probably the shorts I was wearing over them. (the CCW was great, stopping in towns every night (except Claybank Top, a B&B on a lonely farm), but some parts of it could have used improvement including locked gates I had to climb over. At least England doesn't have our horrible NO TRESPASSING signs; instead they have a wonderful "Right to Roam").

Roger Williams, Boulder, Colorado.
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