Big Bend Chat

Big Bend National Park Q&A => Outer Mountain Loop => Topic started by: roadtrip on October 08, 2019, 04:25:00 PM

Title: Modified OML October 27030
Post by: roadtrip on October 08, 2019, 04:25:00 PM
Hoping to complete a  solo modified OML starting on Sunday October 27. Iíve posted various questions in different forums here on BBC concerning medicine kits, gear weighing, tarps, and other topics related to the trip, and the help offered has been amazing and Iím very grateful. Iím on pins and needles between now and then hoping nothing happens to interfere with the trip.
The plan is to leave Wills Pt. Tx Saturday Oct 26 early and try to make it to PJ and register before it closes at 5. Hopefully I can score a campsite overnite. Doesnít have to be in the basin, backcountry roadside is fine.  Another option would be stop and spend the night in Marathon and register first thing Sunday, but this would have me starting out later than I would like.
Day 1 -   Start at Homer Wilson, head east on the Dodson to close to the Juniper Canyon trailhead Approx. 11 miles
Day 2 Ė up Juniper canyon to Boot Canyon trail to SW 4.  Approx. 8.3 miles
Day 3 Ė SW 4 south then east around the northeast rim to Boot Canyon trial to Colima trail to LM trail to Boot Canyon trail, down Blue Canyon trail about 3 miles toward Homer Wilson and camp   Approx 7.7 miles
Day 4- about 2 miles to take out at Homer Wilson
My packweight is just over 29lb. That includes 6 lbs of food and 3 liters of water.
If the water sources are available, I plan on replenishing water at Fresno Creek, the Juniper Canyon Trailhead bear box, Upper Juniper Springs, Boot Canyon Spring and /or the pools up from the spring. Iím hoping I never have to carry more than 3 liters at any one time.
Plan B is  to do the trip in the other direction, but Iím leaning toward plan A
After I finish (God willing), Iím heading to the basin to meet up with my brother, and heading back up into the Chisos for 3 nights. Then Iím going to spend a day or two solo in the park to see some of the other sights. Iíll be in the park for 8 days total. This is the trip of a lifetime for me.
Preparing for this trip has been a blast. The best part has been this website. Thanks!
Title: Re: Modified OML October 27030
Post by: mule ears on October 08, 2019, 07:13:18 PM
roadtrip I think this sounds like a great plan and happy that BBC has been a benefit to your planning!  I am looking forward to what will be a successful trip report.
Title: Re: Modified OML October 27030
Post by: bkrier on October 08, 2019, 08:56:59 PM
Ditto to how helpful BBC has been to planning my first trip back to BiBe after >30 years. I'll be there the week before you- have a great trip, Roadtrip
Title: Re: Modified OML October 27030
Post by: wrangler88 on October 08, 2019, 10:57:36 PM
That was my same starting point and route except I ended up pushing on on day 2 and continued down Blue Creek to about .5 mile from Homer Wilson to camp for night 2.
I will do the same route next time as it worked out really well. Good luck on your trip.
Title: Re: Modified OML October 27030
Post by: DeserTrek on October 10, 2019, 10:53:52 AM
I have yet to hike the OML, but I would caution traveling from Homer to Juniper ''west to east''.  The sun is much more forgiving from behind than it is upfront, especially with the abnormally high temperatures Texas has been experiencing this October. Not to mention the annoying glare that would likely be in your path. When trees are present it's not a big deal, but in the desert with short vegetation, it can be quite a drag. Just something to think about.

I'd recommend at least 4 liters of water just because of the time of year your going. It will likely be hot, especially on Dodson. If you wake up and hike at sunrise ''highly recommend'', then you may be able to get away with less. Everyone's body absorbs water differently, so it may/may not work in your case. Fresno Creek might be more trouble than it's worth. It looks like the way back up Dodson from Fresno is quite the climb. I believe you have to walk down Fresno Creek quite a ways to actually obtain a water source. That said, Im not sure and others will likely be able to chime in and guide you.

Are you wearing boots or shoes? If boots, then I highly recommend bringing along some liner socks and leukotape. And most importantly, don't forget the chapstick and Ibuprofen!
Title: Re: Modified OML October 27030
Post by: Cookie on October 10, 2019, 12:28:37 PM
Hoping to complete a  solo modified OML starting on Sunday October 27. Iíve posted various questions in different forums here on BBC concerning medicine kits, gear weighing, tarps, and other topics related to the trip, and the help offered has been amazing and Iím very grateful. Iím on pins and needles between now and then hoping nothing happens to interfere with the trip.
The plan is to leave Wills Pt. Tx Saturday Oct 26 early and try to make it to PJ and register before it closes at 5. Hopefully I can score a campsite overnite. Doesnít have to be in the basin, backcountry roadside is fine.  Another option would be stop and spend the night in Marathon and register first thing Sunday, but this would have me starting out later than I would like.
Day 1 -   Start at Homer Wilson, head east on the Dodson to close to the Juniper Canyon trailhead Approx. 11 miles
Day 2 Ė up Juniper canyon to Boot Canyon trail to SW 4.  Approx. 8.3 miles
Day 3 Ė SW 4 south then east around the northeast rim to Boot Canyon trial to Colima trail to LM trail to Boot Canyon trail, down Blue Canyon trail about 3 miles toward Homer Wilson and camp   Approx 7.7 miles
Day 4- about 2 miles to take out at Homer Wilson
My packweight is just over 29lb. That includes 6 lbs of food and 3 liters of water.
If the water sources are available, I plan on replenishing water at Fresno Creek, the Juniper Canyon Trailhead bear box, Upper Juniper Springs, Boot Canyon Spring and /or the pools up from the spring. Iím hoping I never have to carry more than 3 liters at any one time.
Plan B is  to do the trip in the other direction, but Iím leaning toward plan A
After I finish (God willing), Iím heading to the basin to meet up with my brother, and heading back up into the Chisos for 3 nights. Then Iím going to spend a day or two solo in the park to see some of the other sights. Iíll be in the park for 8 days total. This is the trip of a lifetime for me.
Preparing for this trip has been a blast. The best part has been this website. Thanks!

Why not get your permit and drive to Homer and start hiking? You can hike around carousel mountain pretty quick and set up camp before sunset. Takes mileage off the next day and you are getting an early start climbing up the switchbacks to the saddle.

Are you caching water at Juniper or just looking for leftovers? May not be a lot since it is pretty early in the OML season.
 I've done the OML several times in both directions and enjoy the clockwise loop better. If you stay at Cedar Spring you can hike up Blue Creek in the cool of the morning. The hike from Juniper Trailhead to the rim goes on FOREVER in my mind.
Water at Fresno will be pretty close to the trail. Many people miss the pool at upper juniper because of the leaves that build up.
Hope you have a great weather window!  Trip report and pics when you return please :eusa_dance:

~Cookie
Title: Re: Modified OML October 27030
Post by: roadtrip on October 11, 2019, 03:57:13 PM
I have yet to hike the OML, but I would caution traveling from Homer to Juniper ''west to east''.  The sun is much more forgiving from behind than it is upfront, especially with the abnormally high temperatures Texas has been experiencing this October. Not to mention the annoying glare that would likely be in your path. When trees are present it's not a big deal, but in the desert with short vegetation, it can be quite a drag. Just something to think about.

I'd recommend at least 4 liters of water just because of the time of year your going. It will likely be hot, especially on Dodson. If you wake up and hike at sunrise ''highly recommend'', then you may be able to get away with less. Everyone's body absorbs water differently, so it may/may not work in your case. Fresno Creek might be more trouble than it's worth. It looks like the way back up Dodson from Fresno is quite the climb. I believe you have to walk down Fresno Creek quite a ways to actually obtain a water source. That said, Im not sure and others will likely be able to chime in and guide you.

Are you wearing boots or shoes? If boots, then I highly recommend bringing along some liner socks and leukotape. And most importantly, don't forget the chapstick and Ibuprofen!
Didn't consider the walking right into the rising sun thing. I'll need to think about that.
I recently bought some Merrell Moab ventilators boots for this trip. I'll be wearing smartwool socks with sock liners and I do have leukotape.
My wife is telling me as I type this where some chapstick is.
The ibuprofen is packed up and ready. I'm ready!
Title: Re: Modified OML October 27030
Post by: roadtrip on October 11, 2019, 04:18:38 PM
Hoping to complete a  solo modified OML starting on Sunday October 27. Iíve posted various questions in different forums here on BBC concerning medicine kits, gear weighing, tarps, and other topics related to the trip, and the help offered has been amazing and Iím very grateful. Iím on pins and needles between now and then hoping nothing happens to interfere with the trip.
The plan is to leave Wills Pt. Tx Saturday Oct 26 early and try to make it to PJ and register before it closes at 5. Hopefully I can score a campsite overnite. Doesnít have to be in the basin, backcountry roadside is fine.  Another option would be stop and spend the night in Marathon and register first thing Sunday, but this would have me starting out later than I would like.
Day 1 -   Start at Homer Wilson, head east on the Dodson to close to the Juniper Canyon trailhead Approx. 11 miles
Day 2 Ė up Juniper canyon to Boot Canyon trail to SW 4.  Approx. 8.3 miles
Day 3 Ė SW 4 south then east around the northeast rim to Boot Canyon trial to Colima trail to LM trail to Boot Canyon trail, down Blue Canyon trail about 3 miles toward Homer Wilson and camp   Approx 7.7 miles
Day 4- about 2 miles to take out at Homer Wilson
My packweight is just over 29lb. That includes 6 lbs of food and 3 liters of water.
If the water sources are available, I plan on replenishing water at Fresno Creek, the Juniper Canyon Trailhead bear box, Upper Juniper Springs, Boot Canyon Spring and /or the pools up from the spring. Iím hoping I never have to carry more than 3 liters at any one time.
Plan B is  to do the trip in the other direction, but Iím leaning toward plan A
After I finish (God willing), Iím heading to the basin to meet up with my brother, and heading back up into the Chisos for 3 nights. Then Iím going to spend a day or two solo in the park to see some of the other sights. Iíll be in the park for 8 days total. This is the trip of a lifetime for me.
Preparing for this trip has been a blast. The best part has been this website. Thanks!

Why not get your permit and drive to Homer and start hiking? You can hike around carousel mountain pretty quick and set up camp before sunset. Takes mileage off the next day and you are getting an early start climbing up the switchbacks to the saddle.

Are you caching water at Juniper or just looking for leftovers? May not be a lot since it is pretty early in the OML season.
 I've done the OML several times in both directions and enjoy the clockwise loop better. If you stay at Cedar Spring you can hike up Blue Creek in the cool of the morning. The hike from Juniper Trailhead to the rim goes on FOREVER in my mind.
Water at Fresno will be pretty close to the trail. Many people miss the pool at upper juniper because of the leaves that build up.
Hope you have a great weather window!  Trip report and pics when you return please :eusa_dance:

~Cookie
You know,  I have considered what you suggest about starting right after I get my permit and getting a mile or so down (or up) the trail. Guaranteed early start the next day and a more manageable distance. Plus I gotta set up camp somewhere any way you look at it, might as well be on the trail.  But I'm afraid I might be a road zombie after 10 hours on the road and space out and forget something crucial. Like my backpack, or water or toilet paper.
 DeserTrek has kindly offered to stash water for me at the Juniper Canyon trailhead. Thanks for the tips on the water sources.
 Still going back and forth on clockwise vs counter clockwise.
 Thanks for the feedback!
Title: Re: Modified OML October 27030
Post by: roadtrip on October 11, 2019, 04:21:51 PM
Thanks for the good thoughts M.E., Bkrier and Wrangler88
Title: Re: Modified OML October 27030
Post by: steelfrog on October 11, 2019, 05:03:02 PM
Having done the OML 6 times in the last 18 months, I've changed my mind on one thing; I'd rather go up BC than down it.  Here's the reason: you can bomb down Juniper cause it's a well-made trail.  BC is loose etc, cannot bomb most of it.  Also, whether it is or not, it seems like less vertical up BC than Juniper.

And however you go, generally you don't want to be humping across the Dodson in the middle of the day, unless weather conditions are favorable (like cloudy/rainy)

Also, camping options on the BC generally suck in comparison to the other legs (Dodson, Juniper or Rim)
Title: Re: Modified OML October 27030
Post by: dprather on October 12, 2019, 11:22:12 AM
Having done the OML 6 times in the last 18 months, I've changed my mind on one thing; I'd rather go up BC than down it.  Here's the reason: you can bomb down Juniper cause it's a well-made trail.  BC is loose etc, cannot bomb most of it.  Also, whether it is or not, it seems like less vertical up BC than Juniper.

And however you go, generally you don't want to be humping across the Dodson in the middle of the day, unless weather conditions are favorable (like cloudy/rainy)

Also, camping options on the BC generally suck in comparison to the other legs (Dodson, Juniper or Rim)

The BC Wall gets easier every time I do it
Title: Re: Modified OML October 27030
Post by: roadtrip on October 12, 2019, 07:41:57 PM
I wonder if anyone is on the Dodson or Rim right now watching the full moon rising.
Title: Re: Modified OML October 27030
Post by: bkrier on October 13, 2019, 06:00:11 AM
Iíll be there in less than a week! Doubt Iíll be responding to BBC posts about the great views and time Iím having


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Title: Re: Modified OML October 27030
Post by: roadtrip on October 13, 2019, 11:18:39 AM
Having done the OML 6 times in the last 18 months, I've changed my mind on one thing; I'd rather go up BC than down it.  Here's the reason: you can bomb down Juniper cause it's a well-made trail.  BC is loose etc, cannot bomb most of it.  Also, whether it is or not, it seems like less vertical up BC than Juniper.

And however you go, generally you don't want to be humping across the Dodson in the middle of the day, unless weather conditions are favorable (like cloudy/rainy)

Also, camping options on the BC generally suck in comparison to the other legs (Dodson, Juniper or Rim)

Thanks for the input.
Would this be correct?:
An early start up BC would not be as crucial as an early start on Dodson.
By early I mean at daylight.
I would not want to start out on Dodson any later than 8:30 am
Title: Re: Modified OML October 27030
Post by: steelfrog on October 14, 2019, 06:08:47 PM
BC has direct sunlight gosh, no earlier than about 11-noon in the upper reaches.  Unlike much of Juniper, BC is pretty exposed to the sun so going reasonably early is a good idea before the sun gets high enough to get in there.  Depending how heavy your pack is, BC is 3-5 hours.  Only about 6-6.5 miles.  Dodson is closer to 12, so different animal.  Also, Dodson once you get to the first pass, even getting on trail early, will be exposed to the sun.  I typically hike Dodson at night.

Anyway, to answer your question directly, yes you probably have more leeway on BC for a couple of reasons -- sun hits it later, and it's shorter (albeit steeper obviously)

One factor to consider always is relative humidity; which especially when winds are light, can be quite high in the mornings in BB, especially when prevailing winds have been from the S or SE; and so, even if the temp is, say, 52, if the dewpoint is 49, can make things a lot hotter than you want when you get working.
Title: Re: Modified OML October 27030
Post by: roadtrip on October 16, 2019, 04:37:28 PM
Thanks Steelfrog.
10 more days and I hope to be on my way.........
Still going back and forth between CW and CCW.
Clockwise I would have the luxury of stopping and overnighting in Marathon Sunday on the way in. Wouldn't have to rush to get my permit on Sunday before the office closes. Then get my permit the next morning and head up Blue Creek no later than 9:30, hopefully earlier. When I rush I forget stuff.
 I also understand that the views are better facing west on the Dodson, especially the last few miles.
Either way I go, it's going to be awesome.
Title: Re: Modified OML October 27030
Post by: mule ears on October 16, 2019, 07:20:36 PM
I also understand that the views are better facing west on the Dodson, especially the last few miles.
Either way I go, it's going to be awesome.

This ^^

Either way the views are awesome, just remember to turn around and look behind you.  It is actually a good habit to get into so that you recognize where you are.

I am a fan of CCW because 1.) I hate walking up the gravels in Blue Creek and 2.) I much prefer climbing up Juniper canyon because the tread is much better and while slightly more elevation gain, it is over more distance.

What ever you do, it will be awesome!
Title: Re: Modified OML October 27030
Post by: steelfrog on October 16, 2019, 09:21:16 PM
Thatís exactly the reason I want to go down Juniperómuch better trail. Going down blue creek blows. A lot of loose crap slows you down and slipping more. I want to go up that junk and down (fast) the good trail of juniper
Title: Re: Modified OML October 27030
Post by: roadtrip on October 26, 2019, 04:49:14 PM
Well I'm in Marathon overnighting
 When I get my permits in the morning, do I need to have my gear with me for the Clerk to see so they can tell that I know what I'm doing?
Thanks
Title: Re: Modified OML October 27030
Post by: bkrier on October 26, 2019, 05:50:24 PM
Just finished the OML (CW) on 10/20/19. Rangers did not ask to see any equipment even the bear can; but they asked about it and how I planned on carrying/getting water.  Be prepared for rolling eyes and negative looks. But remember to fill up your water containers and drink tons after getting permit. There is a water spicket just outside the panther junction ranger station near the curb.  Not to insult anyone's experience but One word of caution- stop before you decide to look around/behind- it is easy to twist an ankle when not watching the trail closely. We had a blast and hope you do to! Post a picture of the bear in Blue Creek Canyon- I was too busy backing away and looking big and never got a good picture! LOL
Title: Re: Modified OML October 27030
Post by: roadtrip on October 26, 2019, 06:17:13 PM
Just finished the OML (CW) on 10/20/19. Rangers did not ask to see any equipment even the bear can; but they asked about it and how I planned on carrying/getting water.  Be prepared for rolling eyes and negative looks. But remember to fill up your water containers and drink tons after getting permit. There is a water spicket just outside the panther junction ranger station near the curb.  Not to insult anyone's experience but One word of caution- stop before you decide to look around/behind- it is easy to twist an ankle when not watching the trail closely. We had a blast and hope you do to! Post a picture of the bear in Blue Creek Canyon- I was too busy backing away  and looking big and never got a good picture! LOL
Well I'm married so I'm used to eye rolling and negative looks.
Thanks for the info. I've been following your posts with great interest. Can't wait to see your report. Hope I see a bear.... from a distance!
Title: Re: Modified OML October 27030
Post by: bkrier on October 26, 2019, 06:24:00 PM
Thanks roadrunner. The last time I was in BiBe was in the 1980s- I never saw a bear, deer , tarantulla or roadrunner! Besides the bear, we saw at least 6 deer- 1 a 6 point buck, a fox, 4 tarantullas and 4 roadrunners! I know they were there but I was only looking for snakes! Only saw one back then and none this trip surprisingly.
Title: Re: Modified OML October 27030
Post by: roadtrip on November 04, 2019, 07:31:41 AM
Just got back home last night.
Started the OML CW from Homer Wilson last Sunday and finished up Wednesday a.m. at Homer Wilson. Everything I hoped for and more. Trip report coming.
Didn't see any bears on OML, but went back up into the mountains Wednesday after meeting up with my brother in the Basin, a bear raided our camp (Boot Canyon 4) Thursday morning while we were in it. Details to follow when I get to a desktop computer with a big key board. I posted spring reports in that part of the forum. Thanks all, especially DeserTrek for the water cache!
Title: Re: Modified OML October 27030
Post by: mule ears on November 04, 2019, 07:45:41 AM
Just got back home last night.
Started the OML CW from Homer Wilson last Sunday and finished up Wednesday a.m. at Homer Wilson. Everything I hoped for and more. Trip report coming.
Didn't see any bears on OML, but went back up into the mountains Wednesday after meeting up with my brother in the Basin, a bear raided our camp (Boot Canyon 4) Thursday morning while we were in it. Details to follow when I get to a desktop computer with a big key board. I posted spring reports in that part of the forum. Thanks all, especially DeserTrek for the water cache!
Great to hear and looking forward to the full report.  Congratulations!

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Title: Re: Modified OML October 27030
Post by: bkrier on November 04, 2019, 01:50:33 PM
Assume everyone ok physically after the bear attack. Wow! Look forward to the details
Title: Re: Modified OML October 27030
Post by: roadtrip on November 04, 2019, 05:00:30 PM
Assume everyone ok physically after the bear attack. Wow! Look forward to the details
Oh we are are fine, my brother's tent is ruined, my tarp has a long rip in it, our inflatable pads small rips and my sleeping bag 3 small rips.