Friends of Big Bend National Park
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.

+-Calendar for sale

 2019 BigBendChat Calendar on sale now!


Recent modified OML trip- south rim, counterclockwise

  • 10 Replies
  • 4688 Views
*

Offline Prexys Moon

  • Kangaroo Rat
  • *
  • 22
Recent modified OML trip- south rim, counterclockwise
« on: March 14, 2016, 09:08:40 AM »
Last week my 14 year old and two friends of mine did the OML, starting and finishing at HWR.  We went cclockwise.  Here's a rundown and my thoughts-


Friday March 5.  Arrived mid afternoon.   Hiked the lost mine trail.  Gorgeous.  Totally worth the hike.  Got done around 6.  Thought we would grab dinner at the basin restaurant.  Uh..no.  Felt like a cross between a cruise ship and a nursing home.  Baked fish for the special and a 45 minute wait.   Went to Terlingua, checked into our room, and went to starlight theater.   Indoor was a long wait, outdoor was open.  Had a great burger and queso under the stars.  Went to our room (big bend resort RV park) and slept great. 

Saturday March 6- cached water at Juniper Canyon.   Used a jeep that we rented from Far Flung Outfitters in Terlingua.  We had a 2wd suburban but I am really glad we used their jeep.  Their driver too.  It was not cheap but one of the best decisions we could have made.  I am not very experienced with off road driving and I think the suburban would have had trouble on juniper canyon road.  Some real tight turns there too.  Dropped off a bunch of water for our group.   Took forever to get there.  4 hour round trip from Terlingua.  Far Flug looked awesome and all the trips they offer.  By then it was 230 in the afternoon.  Had mexican food at the place next to Far Flung and went to the room to relax.   Dinner at the resort restaurant.  Awesome food, and right there on site! 

Sunday March 7- the other two members of our group came in from Fort Stockton, we were on the Dodson by 9.   Optimally we would have started alot earlier but it just didn't work. The first four miles of the Dodson were brutal.  Lots of elevation change going West to East, and directly into the sun.  After 4 miles or so, it was more downhill and more tolerable.  It was hot and dry but as the day went on, we got some good cloud cover.  A little standing water at Fresno (I think) but we had plenty of water.  Got to Juniper drop box around 430 or so.  A ranger was there with some other people, great guy and very laid back.  We camped right in the little parking area.  Our permit was for Juniper Canyon zone but he was fine with us being right there.  Gave us access to our water and a nice open camping area.  Gorgeous night , dinner, and a great night sleep.

Monday March 8- headed up Juniper Canyon.  I had a LOT of water in my pack.  We didn't count on any springs and so I had water for Monday and Tuesday.   My son had his but it was heavy so I carried his as well. Long story short, my pack was REALLY heavy.  Spent the day dragging ass up juniper.  It was beautiful and pretty and all that, just a tough trail due to the weight.  I think it would be tough regardless.  Anyway- we had reserved boot camp one, and we drug into camp around 3 or so.  Had a big meal and then decided to hike to the south rim for the view.  I was drained but made a great decision and went.  The views were worth it and hiking without a pack was fine.  Any memory of the tough morning hike was gone when we got to the south rim.  We got back to camp before dark and had a decent night sleep.  Pretty windy.

Tuesday March 9.  I did not sleep good.  At all.  I knew we had 2 miles to get to Blue Creek Canyon and then 5.5 down.  I knew I had really struggled the day before and I was a little apprehensive.  The other two guys in our group had to catch flights and so they left early.  My son and I left camp around 730.  Colima trail was uphill, lots of switchbacks, and I was getting some bad memories of the day before.  Suddenly we were going downhill and in a few minutes had reached the top of Blue Creek Canyon.  It took my breath away.  Suddenly the long hike uphill was all worth it.  The next few hours going down blue creek was a total joy.  Smooth, shaded hiking, gorgeous views of red rock, and suddenly the Homer Wilson house was in view. It was only 1030.  We had done it.  Went to the car and changed shirts, shoes, toweled off with some nice cold water I had left in the car.  Made a stop at panther junction for snacks and gatorade.  It was one of the best feelings of my life.  Drove to midland, ate at outback, and saw a movie before 13 hours of sleep at the fairfield inn.  Next day came home.


Take aways- 

The OML is the big leagues. I had done a couple one night trips before this but nothing like this. 

It's obvious but tighten up your waist belt on your backpack as tight as you can stand.  Takes the weight off your shoulders. I finally realized this halfway through the Dodson!!!

You need MORE water than you think for the Dodson, LESS than you think for going uphill into the chisos.  I lugged a ton of water up to BC1 that we didn't use.

I liked our route.  Start/finish at HWR.  Got to get the Dodson done the first day, came downhill on our last day.

Wish we could have been on the Dodson by 7AM instead of 9AM.  I think it would have made a big, big difference, both in our first day and the next. 

Cacheing water at Juniper was a must.  Need a jeep/4wd to get out there , IMO.  Money spent with far flung for their jeep was well worth it.

Big Bend resort in Terlingua is a great place to stay.  Lots of food options in Terlingua, great restaurant right there on site. 

South Rim is a must.  Makes it all worth it.  It was really smart to camp close to juniper entrance to chisos, setup camp, then hike to south rim with NO PACK and everything already done.  We had thought about camping up on SW rim, but that would have been another few miles with a heavy pack.  Glad we decided on BC1.   

Blue Creek is gorgeous.  Red rocks and caves are breathtaking.  Looks like a real SOB to go up, though.  Not sure which would be tougher going uphill, Juniper or Blue Creek. 

It was fun seeing the same people going the other way.  The OML was not terribly crowded.  We saw a couple groups of guys, twice.  It's a select fraternity out there who takes this thing on. 

Lots easier to poop in the desert than at that nasty composting toilet near boot canyon.  That thing is disgusting. 

Already thinking of how to go back.  Traditional route from parking lot?  Don't feel like we missed a whole lot in not seeing Laguna Meadow or Pinnacles.  Even without starting at the basin, we still hiked a lot.

Friday- lost mine trail - 5 miles roundtrip
Sunday dodson 11.5
Monday up to BC 7?  Round trip to south rim another 4. 
Tuesday 1.8 to BC, BC down 5.5 

Total- around 35 miles? 



pics


Dodson headed East





camp at juniper box



Monday morning



south rim





Boot Canyon 1 campsite, fearless deer



Blue Creek Canyon, Tuesday morning.   









House in sight!!!!!

« Last Edit: March 14, 2016, 10:36:52 AM by Prexys Moon »

*

Offline ambersdad

  • Diamondback
  • *
  • 364
Re: Recent modified OML trip- south rim, counterclockwise
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2016, 09:17:03 AM »
Great report! No pics? :icon_eek: :icon_eek: :icon_eek:

Having decent gear is nice, but wildlife photography is knowing your subject and getting lucky, and I love getting lucky.
https://www.facebook.com/randy.jones.33234
http://randyswildlifeandnaturephotography.com/

*

Offline Prexys Moon

  • Kangaroo Rat
  • *
  • 22
Re: Recent modified OML trip- south rim, counterclockwise
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2016, 09:17:58 AM »
how do i post pics?

*

Offline ambersdad

  • Diamondback
  • *
  • 364
Re: Recent modified OML trip- south rim, counterclockwise
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2016, 09:39:03 AM »
I use Flickr for my online photo storage to do websites like Big Bend Chat.  There are others out there.   I just take the photo from Flickr and paste it into my post.  That's the easiest way.

Here is an old  thread from the Photography Gear and tips forum.   Hope it helps. 

http://www.bigbendchat.com/portal/forum/photography-gear-and-tips/how-to-post-pics-on-big-bend-chat!/
« Last Edit: March 14, 2016, 09:44:43 AM by ambersdad »
Having decent gear is nice, but wildlife photography is knowing your subject and getting lucky, and I love getting lucky.
https://www.facebook.com/randy.jones.33234
http://randyswildlifeandnaturephotography.com/

*

Offline Prexys Moon

  • Kangaroo Rat
  • *
  • 22
Re: Recent modified OML trip- south rim, counterclockwise
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2016, 10:45:01 AM »
pics posted.

*

Offline ambersdad

  • Diamondback
  • *
  • 364
Re: Recent modified OML trip- south rim, counterclockwise
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2016, 11:08:31 AM »
pics posted.

Nice! Great stuff!

Nothing wrong with how you did it. 

In November we'll probably start where you did (Read your report wrong, you started at HW.), we'll start at Juniper Canyon up to the rim, then to HW, and then the Dodson back to the truck.  I'll be hiking with a Bend newbie and we'll do the basin to rim separately as backpack overnighter later in the trip.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2016, 01:57:10 PM by ambersdad »
Having decent gear is nice, but wildlife photography is knowing your subject and getting lucky, and I love getting lucky.
https://www.facebook.com/randy.jones.33234
http://randyswildlifeandnaturephotography.com/

*

Offline mule ears

  • Administrator
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 4309
  • "He had to leave Texas but won't say why" McMurtry
    • 40 years of walking
Re: Recent modified OML trip- south rim, counterclockwise
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2016, 11:18:42 AM »
Thank you for the great report!  Glad you made it.  I think as you get more trips down all the planning gets easier and you will fine tune your equipment too.  If you can use some natural water sources you can dramatically reduce your pack weight and have a much more enjoyable time as you discovered going up Juniper with too heavy a pack.  I appreciate your looking out for your son and friends too.  I was 16 when I first did it and it still is tattooed on my brain.

What was the water like in the pools in Boot canyon when you walked up to the Rim and back?
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
http://40yearsofwalking.wordpress.com/

*

Offline Prexys Moon

  • Kangaroo Rat
  • *
  • 22
Re: Recent modified OML trip- south rim, counterclockwise
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2016, 11:46:30 AM »
there was some water in the pools in boot canyon but not a ton.   i could have carried all we needed and still been ok.  The problem was I over-estimated and had a whole extra 6L MSR dromedary carrier.  Those (^&*&^(*&ers are HEAVY.   

I didn't even think to check for water in boot canyon or in boot spring.  I was in "better safe than sorry" mode for the trip, and especially with water. 

We had originally planned to go up Blue Creek the first day and finish with the Dodson.  I am glad we did it our way.  It was so great the last day to be going downhill in the cool shade.  I think doing the Dodson the last day would have been really tough- mainly mentally. 

*

Offline wsingram

  • Kangaroo Rat
  • *
  • 2
Re: Recent modified OML trip- south rim, counterclockwise
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2016, 01:02:46 PM »
My girlfriend and I passed y'all east of the Juniper Canyon / Dodson intersection and again near the top of Blue Creek Canyon. Glad to hear you had a good trip! What camera were you using? Your pictures look better than mine

*

Offline Prexys Moon

  • Kangaroo Rat
  • *
  • 22
Re: Recent modified OML trip- south rim, counterclockwise
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2016, 04:49:56 PM »
The little sony digital camera with the zeiss lens.  Not sure the name, but I agree, the photos were really good.

*

Offline Geezer

  • Black Bear
  • *
  • 668
Re: Recent modified OML trip- south rim, counterclockwise
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2016, 09:54:29 PM »
As Mule Ears said, using the springs on the hike would cut your load significantly. You would have to add a water filter. Also, it rarely rains, so you could get by with a tarp, using hiking poles for support, if you need to set it up at all.

But you got through it and congratulations are in order! Nice photos too.

Geezer


 


©COPYRIGHT NOTICE

All photographs and content posted by members are to be considered copyrighted by their respective owners and may not be used for any purposes, commercial or otherwise, without permission.

+-Calendar For Sale

 2019 BigBendChat Calendar on sale now!

Powered by EzPortal

Facebook Comments