condamine river crossings

Discussion in 'Australia' started by Fulgore, Sep 4, 2018.

  1. Fulgore

    Fulgore Adventurer

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    I took the tiger out to queen mary falls to camp on Sunday night and attempted the river crossings Monday morning. The rain had started to set in from around midnight but I figured it would probably be fine to cross.

    I got through the first crossing just fine, but as I approached the second crossing I got spooked, couldn't see the 'bottom' and started to imagine myself getting stuck riding solo in the wet with no phone reception...

    On the way back through the first crossing, I didn't have enough speed and stalled it a couple of times, getting my boots water logged and definitely making me think I would have got stuck at some point through there.

    1. How do you get better at riding these crossings? I think I would have felt better if someone was in front of me!
    2. What kind of boots do you guys wear? My timberlands got water logged, and i definitely didnt want to try and walk the river in them.
    3. How deep do those crossings actually get?
    #1
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  2. Scuba13

    Scuba13 Adventurer

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    My technique, and I have no idea if it’s the best technique because I’m pretty much self-taught is

    1. Have a quick look, I hate stopping, not gonna walk it in my boots. Takes too long to undress. Find a line that looks solid and even enough.

    2. Stand up. Never sit.

    3. Look at where I wanna end up on the other side.

    4. Gas it.

    I wear ADV boots with gortex or similar.
    #2
  3. Fulgore

    Fulgore Adventurer

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    Couple of photos

    Attached Files:

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  4. Scuba13

    Scuba13 Adventurer

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    ... obviously if I can’t pick the depth I’ll use a stick or something. Walk it in extreme circumstances.
    #4
  5. Fulgore

    Fulgore Adventurer

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    With a river crossing full of rocks/stones, if you hit them at a decent speed are you going to drop the bike or does it just find its way around?
    #5
  6. ECKS-Man

    ECKS-Man Long timer

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    You need enough speed to keep moving but you don't want to be hitting anything flat knacker. Standing up is good advice, you can see better and have more control. First gear for any kind of depth, say more than 200mm (8 inches) deep, and be steady on the throttle. Keep your eyes on where you want to go, not on your front mudguard and try to pick the best line. This may be around rocks, or avoiding the deeper holes, or maybe hidden sticks or logs. If in doubt, best to walk the crossing first. Flowing water has a hell of a lot of power and can sweep a person off their feet with the right combination of water depth and speed.
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  7. bikeroz

    bikeroz Long timer

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    I had to abandon the Condamine too some time ago after the 5th crossing. Local lady in 4be told me the middle one was the deepest and after seeing another bike go through figured that water is above my air intakes.
    My rules for river crossing:
    1. Send someone else through first
    2. Always check or walk it. Current quickly adds to effort if it becomes deeper or you put feet down.
    3. And no 2 bottoms are the same. (:evil :kat) Sandy bottoms you can have more speed, concrete be aware of slime in middle, rocky bottoms with shallow constant & clear stream tends to have very slippery rocks. Those I attempt at walking pace with feet at the ready.
    4. Depends on the ride, I might take my boots off. A day ride, in summer I can live with wet boots. Multiple day ride in winter, I think twice to keep boots dry.
    5. Prefer not to attempt crossings too deep on my own. Rather turn around then risking a drown. E.g. Condamine has fair amount of adv traffic, so wait a while and piggy back with someone.
    6. If you add crocs lying in wait to the mix, in my experience then clean sox & jox will not help much.
    7. Check the exit point too. I count the times bikes get dropped on the slippery exit.
    8. Have a good understanding of how to treat a drowned bike & the tools to remedy. DAMHIK.
    9. Don't forget the footage. Pics or it never happened :ricky
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  8. Scuba13

    Scuba13 Adventurer

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    Momentum deals with slight deviations due to rocks or other small obstacles. People tend to go in the drink if they go too slow and tend to get wet boots if they sit on the bike.
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  9. Scuba13

    Scuba13 Adventurer

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    But having said that, sometimes when it’s too deep and you are confident enough boots on top of the tank and arse on seat works too.
    #9
  10. Cruz

    Cruz Lost but laughing.

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    There are some big smooth slippery rocks in some of those crossings and have watched numerous riders standing up get face planted when the front tyre hits one hard and slips off. Hard enough keeping upright sitting down with the feet out on those ones. The 4wds also can move rocks around a lot or dig holes you drop into.
    The river crossings there can rise that quickly from good rainfall in the upper reach of the river that you may get through the first two or three from Killarney, the next is too deep and when you turn around the crossings you just came through are difficult and deeper. Been stuck for a few hours between those crossings due to heavy rain in the catchment area.
    #10
  11. Blakduk

    Blakduk Just trying to get by.

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    Stand when you can, sit when you have to - Stephen Gall
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  12. BygDaddee

    BygDaddee Where do I get a pie

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    Believe Cruz, he knows his shit

    Here he is on a couple of the crossings on his road bike

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    Here I am waiting at the end for him
    I actually dented my bashplate that day on one of the big baldy rocks he mentions
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  13. gavo

    gavo Slacker

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    Leave your boots on, wet feet are better than damaged feet.
    If you can't see the bottom you have no idea how deep it is, it could be 100mm or 1000 mm.
    This crossing I removed my boots and my soft feet didn't like the rocks when I tried to hold it up.
    While not overly deep it was very loose gravel bottom with the occasional bigger rock
    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen></iframe>
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  14. seancampbell

    seancampbell Been here awhile

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    Depending on gearing....2nd gear and holding higher revs while doing walking pace in my choice.

    2nd gear is less abrupt with throttle inputs and holding higher revs lets you modulate power with the clutch. If you need to pull the clutch in to deal with an unseen rock, having it in 2nd will smooth things out when you release the clutch to continue driving (riding) forward.
    #14
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  15. Scuba13

    Scuba13 Adventurer

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    Haha that first photo is exactly where my mate sunk his brand spanking new 690... poor bugger.
    #15
  16. BygDaddee

    BygDaddee Where do I get a pie

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    Bout a foot and a half deep by the look of his levis :D
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    #16
  17. Happy Snapper

    Happy Snapper GOMOB.

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    If you are on your own.. the big danger is the current.. it can knock you over and you can end up underwater under a heavy bike!

    The thought of that is enough for me not to try them on my own.
    #17
  18. wi11iamson

    wi11iamson Been here awhile

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    Crossing the Condamine.
    #18
  19. poppy

    poppy Slow and Steady

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    We were out there last Friday, went down to Stanthorpe and back via Condimine. Crossing's were all good. Different bases in some to the others, some are pebble to soccor ball rock size, some the have put blue metal down on the base, Some are deeper than others. The one s with the river rock are a bit more prone to having holes as the wheels on 4x4's and bikes dislodge them. If the 1st crossings are up on either end, best to stay out of there. Confidence is a big thing and Seans post is on the money. To slow and you loose balance, chances are if your dog paddling through your gunna stick your foot in a hole and arse off from over balancing. I think being on the pegs and letting the bike move around works best for me, if i am getting wet, makes no difference if i am standing or sitting, but being bounced around on the seat would make my experience worse. Practice is the best way to gain confidence. Good idea to be with someone and watch where they go and see how the bike moves around, was there a hole or a rock that shot them off in another direction.
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    This is my mate Brad. He is also new to crk crossings, Brad didn't want to get his feet wet, Brad is lucky he didn't get everything wet.
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  20. stumps

    stumps Ageing Adolescent

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    Have done it a few times and as others say it can vary across the 14 crossings and change with time too with amount and type of traffic, flows or even silting downstream maybe? Used to do on a VStrom years ago and was no more than say 350mm at the deepest. Did it last year after months of apparent 'little or no rain' in the catchment and surprised the crap out of us as it was up to the seat on a cpl of crossings..maybe a bad line we took? Fortunately we got fine looking like old hands at it to some tourist photographers. :lol2 Could very well have been the other way. Speed say 15-20 km/h max suits me I reckon. Got to keep those wheels turning.
    #20
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