Trail tip #1: Crossing water safely.

All I have heard on twitter lately is a whole pile of moaning about the weather. People are bummed because their tans are fading, their hair is getting wet and they are bored stiff because it s raining outside and there is NOTHING to do. Here is a thought, get over it. Winter is here, and with it comes a couple of months where our beautiful mountain is transformed into your very own adventure land. Conditions are perfect, the weather is cool, there are so many waterfalls that the waterfalls have waterfalls, the Proteas are bright and juicy and bursting with colour, you really are spoilt for choice. Every Saturday The Bird and I try to go on some kind of Adventure (#adventuresaturdays). Last week, we rounded up some mates and did a run from Cecelia Forest to Rhodes Memorial, it was frikken awesome. We missioned across waterfalls, climbed over mud slides and ran through forest that was so beautiful , The Bird kept dropping F-Bombs out of disbelief and utter joy.

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We encountered about 5 massive waterfalls on our adventure, waterfalls that needed crossing if we were going to reach our destination. The Bird gave me some really good tips when crossing that I would like to share with you because it is these tips and tricks that could save your adventure Saturday from becoming a nightmare and potentially save your life. The mountain is not a play ground, it is a place where the utmost respect is demanded because if you are not properly prepared things can go very wrong, very fast. There are huge volumes of water coming over these falls at the moment due to our big rains of late, the rocks under the water are loose and very slippery, one bad move and you could end up in a really scary  position.

Follow these basic guide lines and you should be good to go:

1. Never cross a waterfall at the bottom rapid, look for the calmest water between rapids and cross there.

2.Every step you take, plan where you will put your hands down if you slip (if you look at the picture above, Doug and I are both on our hands and feet, ensuring a safe crossing.) People often make the mistake of only concentrating on their feet, and then they slip, panic and end up rolling an ankle or getting their feet stuck because they stumble around instead of simply bending over and placing their hands on a stable surface.

3. Always use a wide stance when crossing.

4. If the water is deeper than your knee, mark a spot on the opposite side where you would swim to if you were to fall over. The most dangerous thing you can do if you fall over in to try and stand up, this is where foot entrapment happens and that is a very scary situation to find yourself in. Rather, fall over, keep your feet up and safely way from any unsuspecting rocks and holes and swim yourself to safety on the other side.

5. Always cross below the tree that has fallen over and is lying across an obstacle. If you crossed above it and you got swept away, you would get pushed up against said tree and get trapped by the water flowing towards it.

Please keep these simple things in mind when you are cavorting in the mountains. Accidents happen very easily and quickly. 

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