drinking red / watermelon snow

If you've been searching for the best source of information and stimulating discussion related to Spring/Summer/Fall backpacking, hiking and camping in the Sierra Nevada...look no further!
Post Reply
User avatar
frozenintime
Topix Regular
Posts: 116
Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2015 8:06 pm
Experience: N/A

drinking red / watermelon snow

Post by frozenintime » Tue Sep 10, 2019 2:53 pm

hey all

i found myself filtering water at the (freezing!) tarn at the top of goat crest saddle last week while staring at the watermelon snowfield that feeds it. it occurred to me that, despite its elevation, this might not be the cleanest water for me to drink. it also occurred to me that my filter might be taking care of the algae. either way, i drank the water and resolved to ask about it afterwards.

so i'm curious what anyone more experienced and/or more scientifically-minded than i am does in this situation?
i found a single 1997 study (https://www.wemjournal.org/article/S108 ... 0018-8/pdf), but it had a sample size of 6!








User avatar
c9h13no3
Topix Expert
Posts: 424
Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2018 1:19 pm
Experience: Level 1 Hiker
Location: San Mateo, CA

Re: drinking red / watermelon snow

Post by c9h13no3 » Tue Sep 10, 2019 2:59 pm

Most single cell organisms are significantly larger than the 0.2 micron pores. So yeah, your filter will get rid of the algae.

If the bugs put toxic chemicals into the water, those won't be filtered necessarily, but I believe it's the bacteria itself that's bad for your health.
"Adventure is just bad planning." - Roald Amundsen
Also, I have a blog no one reads. Please do not click here.

User avatar
frozenintime
Topix Regular
Posts: 116
Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2015 8:06 pm
Experience: N/A

Re: drinking red / watermelon snow

Post by frozenintime » Tue Sep 10, 2019 3:26 pm

noted, thanks!

User avatar
dave54
Founding Member
Posts: 1062
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2005 10:24 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer
Location: where the Sierras, Cascades, and Great Basin meet.

Re: drinking red / watermelon snow

Post by dave54 » Tue Sep 10, 2019 3:37 pm

I have eaten red snow on several occasions with no ill effects. It was never very much at one time, and I was younger then with a cast iron stomach, so your results may vary.
=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~
Log off and get outdoors!
~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=

User avatar
thegib
Topix Acquainted
Posts: 85
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2012 11:37 pm
Experience: N/A

Re: drinking red / watermelon snow

Post by thegib » Tue Sep 10, 2019 8:23 pm

We don't filter, except thru a hankie, and have camped downstream from red snow countless times and haven't had an issue, yet. But if someone's got more than anecdotal reports I'd be interested too.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests