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Thank you for the helpful feedback, mule ears. Glad to hear my water and clothing estimates are in-line with reality. An extra 2 oz to swap the Cap lightweight for a Montane Allez (active grid fleece) might be more appropriate for sleep/active insulation. I will suck it up and not pack my fears of the creepy crawlies. : )If we have to pass Emory Peak Trail by another mile or so to camp, that may put it out of comfortable reach for a sunrise slack. It looks like the South Rim is accessible from the Pinnacles Trail via either the Boots Canyon Trail or East Rim Trail (or a loop of both) that would only add 1.5 miles. That would make it a full 16 mile day to Fresno Camp, but a sunrise on the South Rim would be pretty amazing, put it on the downhill day and not make us feel like we have to rush on Sunday to get to the South Rim. I'll note the different mileages and elevations from CalTopo and propose it as an option to the group. Then see how folks feel along the way. Thanks again and I'll be sure to post a trip and water report when we get back.
Depending on when you all get on the trail, I would consider passing on Emory, stop at Boot Spring for water then take the Colima trail over to the SW Rim trail and camp at SW3, it is a group site and has the only view off the rim from the site. It would be 6.3 miles from the Basin. If you can't get SW3 then you could get water from Boot Spring then up Boot canyon and take sites SE 1 and 2 (5.6 and 5.9 miles from the Basin). Either way in the morning you could walk the SE and NE rims, refill water at Boot Spring or wait until Upper Juniper spring on the way down.One of the problems you will have is the size of the group and campsites in the Chisos large enough to hold everyone. See the Chisos campsite guide in the FAQIf you haven't found it, here are the mileage logs from the OML FAQ. They are more accurate than the estimates from Caltopo
You mentioned a "Fresno camp". Please don't camp where everyone gets water at the Fresno creek crossing. The valley is such that you are never more than the required 300 feet away from the creek when you a take a crap. And the only flat spot is not more than 100 feet from the water source. You have to climb out of the drainage to get far enough away, or crap on the side of the rocky hill where you'll need a real shovel to get any where close to 6 inches deep. If your group wasn't planning on camping there, then I apologize for the post.Going clockwise, after getting water from Fresno creek, climb the hill to just past the Elephant Tusk trail intersection. There is a really big and relatively flat spot on that saddle that will hold your group just fine. It's a well established camping spot.We still call it the OMLL: The Outer Mountain Latrine Loop
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