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Elephant Tusk in August via Black Gap?

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Offline Robert

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Re: hyponatremia
« Reply #15 on: July 20, 2006, 10:01:34 AM »
Quote from: "Joe"
Quote from: "jeffblaylock"
I drink water until I think I'm gonna barf, and then I drink another 32 ounces.


I'm also a big believer in hydrating before, during, and after a hike, but be aware of


The typical marathon hydration advice is to start hydrating the day prior to the event (stay away from caffeine, alcohol) and then in the morning start drinking 6-8 oz. every 20 minutes or so a couple of hours prior to starting. Your body can't process much more than this so anything more than this doesn't help. Then try to keep this schedule of drinking while hiking.

The problem is that once you get too dehydrated you can't rehydrate effectively without stopping and getting out of the sun.

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Offline TheWildWestGuy

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Elephant Tusk in August via Black Gap?
« Reply #16 on: July 20, 2006, 06:08:35 PM »
I am 95% sure the Springs at the base of the Tusk and ~2/3 mile up-trail from the Tusk will be flowing.   I would still carry a bare minimum to get me back to the vehicle if they are not but they probably will be.  I have been there during some very dry periods and they always seem to have a little baseline (fossil groundwater) flow.  I usually drink lots of water near the springs, eat salty snacks, and tank-up everything I have to put water in, and then I carry my filter on day-hikes because there are a surprising number of springs and tinaja's in the Sierra Quemada's including the Tusk area.  I much prefer filters to Iodine tablets, I hate Iodine tablets and they seem to make me sweat even more profusely (Iodine poisioning?).
The canyons and drainages on the NW and West sides of the Tusk are very interesting and scenic places that probably only rarely see a human boot print.  Just look at your topo maps or Google Earth and go cross country around the base of the Tusk - it's a relatively quick route from a basecamp near the springs and shade is usually present in rock overhangs and small slot canyons in this area.   Don't count on any cell phone coverage at all and be prepared to be your own "first responder".
Even in August I think you will have a great trip if you are properly prepared and this is one of the most wild and scenic areas of the Park that is rarely visited and sparsely explored.   For the most part this entire section of the Park belongs largely to the wildlife with very little human impact/influence.   If you camp at Spring #2 you will enjoy the alpenglow off the Tusk and feel the cool evening breezes flowing up the canyon north of the Tusk.  It's a great area - makes me want to go right now... TWWG

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Offline Vince T

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Elephant Tusk in August via Black Gap?
« Reply #17 on: July 20, 2006, 06:38:19 PM »
Quote from: "TheWildWestGuy"
It's a great area - makes me want to go right now... TWWG


Dang...after reading that, me too!

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Offline Casa Grande

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Elephant Tusk in August via Black Gap?
« Reply #18 on: July 20, 2006, 06:40:07 PM »
Quote from: "TheWildWestGuy"
I am 95% sure the Springs at the base of the Tusk and ~2/3 mile up-trail from the Tusk will be flowing.   I would still carry a bare minimum to get me back to the vehicle if they are not but they probably will be.  I have been there during some very dry periods and they always seem to have a little baseline (fossil groundwater) flow.  I usually drink lots of water near the springs, eat salty snacks, and tank-up everything I have to put water in, and then I carry my filter on day-hikes because there are a surprising number of springs and tinaja's in the Sierra Quemada's including the Tusk area.  I much prefer filters to Iodine tablets, I hate Iodine tablets and they seem to make me sweat even more profusely (Iodine poisioning?).
The canyons and drainages on the NW and West sides of the Tusk are very interesting and scenic places that probably only rarely see a human boot print.  Just look at your topo maps or Google Earth and go cross country around the base of the Tusk - it's a relatively quick route from a basecamp near the springs and shade is usually present in rock overhangs and small slot canyons in this area.   Don't count on any cell phone coverage at all and be prepared to be your own "first responder".
Even in August I think you will have a great trip if you are properly prepared and this is one of the most wild and scenic areas of the Park that is rarely visited and sparsely explored.   For the most part this entire section of the Park belongs largely to the wildlife with very little human impact/influence.   If you camp at Spring #2 you will enjoy the alpenglow off the Tusk and feel the cool evening breezes flowing up the canyon north of the Tusk.  It's a great area - makes me want to go right now... TWWG


great advice, TWWG...makes me wanna go with those yahoos

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Offline homerboy2u

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Elephant Tusk in August via Black Gap?
« Reply #19 on: July 20, 2006, 06:42:51 PM »
Quote
fossil groundwater
....HUH :?:

 Never heard of that before,please explain....
Stay thirsty, my friends.

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Offline presidio

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Elephant Tusk in August via Black Gap?
« Reply #20 on: July 20, 2006, 08:56:41 PM »
Quote from: "homerboy2u2"
Quote
fossil groundwater
....HUH :?:
 Never heard of that before,please explain....


Sounds like dinosaur pee. Tee-hee-hee!
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Offline RichardM

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Elephant Tusk in August via Black Gap?
« Reply #21 on: July 20, 2006, 08:58:36 PM »
Quote from: "homerboy2u2"
Quote
fossil groundwater
....HUH :?:

 Never heard of that before,please explain....

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fossil_water

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Offline TexasGirl

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Elephant Tusk in August via Black Gap?
« Reply #22 on: July 21, 2006, 11:11:44 AM »
Hi, Caley,

I am enjoying your well-written posts.  Thank you!  

I have nothing to offer in the way of advice except a mom's opinion.  Take all the good advice here, especially David's, since he knows you guys, and, if you have any inkling your brothers won't accept your rules for/during this trip, don't do it.  You sound reasonable, but getting siblings in tow can be a different story.  My son's only a few years behind your youngest brother in age, and young adults' not-uncommon sense of invincibility can be a great handicap in situations where there is no margin for error.  Elephant Tusk isn't going anywhere, and we want you and your brothers around for a long time.  

TexasGirl
As a matter of fact, I _do_ have an opinion on that....

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Offline caleythomas

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Elephant Tusk in August via Black Gap?
« Reply #23 on: July 21, 2006, 01:13:23 PM »
Thanks so much for the further commentary!  You guys make me feel so special.... :wink:

Dave, don't tease me, you have to go with us, as long as your work schedule works out, otherwise we're going to give you hell when we release our first panoramic view of the park a la top of elephant tusk...jk

Can't wait to explore the W and NW canyons around elephant tusk, whenever it happens.  (sooner rather than later I hope).

Cheers

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Offline Picacho

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Elephant Tusk in August via Black Gap?
« Reply #24 on: July 21, 2006, 05:36:39 PM »
I went with Viper and climbed Elephant Tusk with him last Thanksgiving.  My advice:

1.  Don't hike in and make it an overnighter.  You would bake in your tent even at night.  The elevation is much lower so it will be much hotter.  Make the drive in to the trailhead and car camp and leave frozen water in your vehicle for consuption in the morning and to bring it with you on the trail.  You can always start your vehicle and turn on the air conditioner.  I never saw a drop of water anywhere on our hike in so you will need to carry it all with you.  I would say take a gallon of water.  Stash some at the base of Elephant Tusk before the loose rock and retrieve it on your way back to save weight.  

2.  Get an early start but I would wait until you get at least some sun.  The trail is easy to follow in most places, but it might be confusing at night.  In the places where the trail is easy to follow, hike as fast as you can before the sun gets too high.  I believe it is about 6 miles to the base so you could do that in about 2.5 hours at a good pace.  

3.  In Gerry Roach's trip report they brought a rope.  Absolutely no need for one.  We saw the webbing they left for the rappel and I have no idea why they did it, especially since it was loaded with dense skin ripping brush right where the rappel was and it was only 4th class at best.  Here is a pic looking down from the notch into the gully where Roach rappelled.  You can see that it drops you right into the skin ripping brush.  Our route was to the right of this gully (left if going up) above the shrubbery as seen in this pic.



4.  When you approach the notch, you will have two choices, continue on up the gully to the saddle through dense skin ripping brush (this is Roach's route), or climb just to the left of the gully up some harder 4th class stuff on a ramp and avoid most of the brush.  I would do the latter even though it is more difficult.  That said, it isn't bad.

The rest of the climb is mostly 3rd class with a few 4th class moves if you are impatient enough not to look for a better route.  The final ridge run to the summit is spectacular with fantastic views.  Here is a view of Viper on the ridge on the way down with Crown Mountain in the background.



The biggest beating on this climb is the extremely loose rock on the approach to the notch.  Even the larger rocks will move.  You will get frustrated and probably cuss but there is not much you can do about it other than tuff it out.  Going down this stuff was probably worse than going up.  Here is a pic of me probably cussing at the loose rocks.

I wore pants and I would probably recommend them even with the heat.  Viper wore shorts and survived so I guess it all depends on you and your pain tolerance.  

One more thing, there have been reports of burglars at the trailheads around there.  Try not to bring things of value with you in your vehicle except for the ones you are going to take on the trail.  



Good luck and email me if you need any further info.  abovethetimberman@hotmail.com

Any other beta you need on peaks you can email me or Viper.  Most of the big ones we've climbed.

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Offline presidio

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Elephant Tusk in August via Black Gap?
« Reply #25 on: July 21, 2006, 06:13:55 PM »
Quote from: "attm"
We saw the webbing they left for the rappel


Rule of Thumb: Never trust a line you didn't bring AND rig. Ropes left exposed to severe environmental conditions may be weakened without showing any indications. You also don't know whether it was used to pull a truck out of the mud or had battery acid spilled on it. Anything used for life support needs a known history.

I've seen a video of some less than bright folks exploring an abandoned mine in Nevada or Arizona. After going down several levels they found a shaft with a cross timber and a rope going down. The first guy to attempt a descent got there far faster than he planned. As the video camera panned, right before the rope went out of the frame, you got to watch the line snap at the knot. Even after watching it several times, you never got over the pucker. The bright boy fell about 40 feet but survived with minor injuries. He was very lucky. The intrepid explorers had no equipment and were doing the rope hand-over-hand, which of course almost insures an accident  or rescue even without the thing breaking.

The video was copied by the SAR group that pulled him out.
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<  presidio  >
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Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones): If it ain't, it'll do till the mess gets here.
--No Country for Old Men (2007)

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Offline Casa Grande

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Elephant Tusk in August via Black Gap?
« Reply #26 on: July 21, 2006, 07:42:03 PM »
those are great pics, ATTM.....nice report

i'm drooling to do this climb  =P~

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Offline Picacho

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Elephant Tusk in August via Black Gap?
« Reply #27 on: July 22, 2006, 07:14:45 PM »
I hope you can take a pano from the summit.  There are a few peaks in the area I hope to summit this winter.  Backbone Ridge, Dominguez Mountain, and an unnamed peak that I am going to have to post a picture of to see if anyone knows about it.  I'll post a pic probably tomorrow.

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Offline caleythomas

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Elephant Tusk in August via Black Gap?
« Reply #28 on: July 25, 2006, 12:09:14 PM »
You hear that Dave?  

ATTM wants a pano from the summit....this means you MUST go if at all possible....keep me posted man!

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SHANEA

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« Reply #29 on: July 25, 2006, 12:47:24 PM »
Quote from: "Al"
Be sure you are hydrated before you hit the trail.  If you day hike be sure you have at least a gallon and a half of water apiece even then I wouldn't day hike it if you have the gear to camp over night.


Be sure and drink a 12 pack of Fat Tire each the night before to get you good and dehydrated and drunk so that you will sleep in and be hungover forget doing a desert hike at the tail end of the Summer.    :P

 


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