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Big Bend Conservancy

Over-estimating your experience or under-estimating the terrain in a place like Big Bend can result in serious injury or death. Use the information and advice found here wisely. Climb/Hike/Camp/Drive at your own risk.

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Help with trip

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Offline fostej15

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Help with trip
« on: December 15, 2018, 08:58:31 PM »
Hello everyone!  My friends and I are planning to go to Big Bend to do the OML at the end of December.  Originally, we were going to do the OML itinerary suggested by the NPS.  However, we want to add the South Rim after reading through this website and seeing pictures of it.  None of us have been to Big Bend yet though.  Would someone be able to make an interary of the trails we will use for the OML + South Rim?   We really would like to see the South Rim at sunset so would you be able to include some campsite suggestions as well please?   :dance:  I couldn’t seem to find any on this thread already made!

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Offline elhombre

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Re: Help with trip
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2018, 08:18:51 AM »
First day - up early and take Pinnacles to Boot Canyon,  and grab Juniper Canyon trail just pass Boot Cabin.  Sleep some where on  Juniper Canyon  trail where it starts to open up coming out in the desert.  Hardest day.
Second -Finish Juniper Canyon trail.  Hike along Dodson with a camp somewhere after and out of the Fresno creek drainage.
Third - hike to Homer for your water drop, and sleep somewhere before the 1.25 hour long climb back into the Chisos on the Blue Creek trail. 
Fourth - hike up the rest of the way up Blue Creek trail, turn right on Laguna Meadows trail.  Head up to Colima trail and take Colima over to Boot Canyon where you get water out of the creek.  Then proceed to your campsite on the rim with the entire afternoon open for sitting and taking it in. 
Last morning has you walking back down Pinnacles, and returning to your car by noon for the drive home.

Pack out all your TP.  Last time we did the trail , we started calling it the OMLL  -  Outer Mountain Latrine Loop.  You wouldn't believe how many people crap, and camp right on top of a spring and/or camp site.

2/3rds of the people who try the loop fail.  Many of them were visiting BB for the first time too.  Find the trip reports of these people who failed, and learn from their experience.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2018, 08:35:17 AM by elhombre »
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Offline dprather

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Re: Help with trip
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2018, 12:28:53 PM »
Greetings - good luck with your OML attempt. 

#1 - Heed ElHombre's warning about  the 2/3rds OML failure rate.  Failure to get your mind right and failure to get your equipment right are the overwhelming failure factors.  The OML does not respect youth, fitness, or can-do attitudes.  It is amazing that a lot of older but better equipped and mentally prepared people trudge all the way to the finish line.

#2 - Getting your mind right means thoroughly knowing the OML inside and out before you ever leave home*.  Digest the many excellent OML trip reports on this site.  Pour over maps and GOOGLE Earth.  What are you going to do and how are you going to respond when the bone-tired and footsore set in and you are looking at a tough uphill hump?  Don't just appreciate the problems.  Wire the solutions into your guts before you begin.

#3 - Getting your equipment right is tough on limited budgets.  Even so, in the wee hours of a cold night or in the grinding middle of one of those tough uphills humps, you will be glad you paid more for a lightweight and warm sleeping bag and for better boots and a better backpack.  You can get your sporks for free at Taco Bell, but bite the bullet on critical equipment. 

#4 - The OML is not one trail but many.  That is, (i) you can begin at any one of three points (Basin, Juniper Canyon/Dodson trailhead, Homer Wilson trailhead), (ii) you can go clockwise or counterclockwise, and (iii) you can add loops up to the Rim or leave those loops out.   The pre-trip planning* will make you aware of the advantages and disadvantages of these choices for your particular case.       

#5 - In addition to the apparent trail factors (the trail is often very steep and footing is almost always uneven) the weather in the Bend is a huge consideration.  Even in the winter the desert-dry conditions and sunshine are desiccating.  This impacts water load and required clothing, and also impacts state of mind, wearing you out in a very different way.

You can do this.  You just have to do this right.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2018, 12:38:14 PM by dprather »
Leave "quit" at the car.  Embrace the trail as your friend.  Expect to enjoy yourself, and to be amazed.

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Offline mule ears

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Re: Help with trip
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2018, 02:50:51 PM »
Good advice above, the other option, which is opposite of el hombre's is to do the South Rim the first night and then head down and around and finish with the Laguna Meadow trail.  The main difficulty will be getting a South Rim campsite the first night, it is always easier to get one several days into your permit.  The good news it there is plenty of water both in Boot Canyon and at Fresno spring so you can not worry about having to carry too much water weight.  If you haven't already, study the OML FAQ thoroughly.  You will have a great time!
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
http://40yearsofwalking.wordpress.com/

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Offline dprather

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Re: Help with trip
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2018, 03:32:58 PM »
I'm looking at a solo OML in January.  Here is what is on my 14 year-old mind and 63 year-old legs.

Day #1 - begin at Homer Wilson with three liters of water.  Hump (clockwise) all the way up Blue Creek on freshest legs.  Camp at one of the Colima sites near to the pipe at Boot Springs.

Day #2 AM - stow gear in the bear boxes at the Colima site and go up to enjoy the Rim without pack.

Day #2 PM - leave the High Chisos with four liters of water and head down Juniper Canyon.  Top off water at Juniper Spring.  Camp at one of the excellent sites down n the flats before the Dodson/Juniper Canyon trailhead.

Day #3 - take on the Dodson at a leisurely pace.  Fill up on water at Fresno.  Push a little father, possibly as far as the Smoky Creek drainage. 

Day #4 - finish up back to Homer Wilson.








Leave "quit" at the car.  Embrace the trail as your friend.  Expect to enjoy yourself, and to be amazed.

 


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