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OML first overnighter

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Offline pharris13

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OML first overnighter
« on: April 12, 2019, 12:04:03 PM »
Hi everyone this is my first post on the board and my first trip to Big Bend in a very long time so bear with me. I have spent plenty of time taking in all the great information on the site but just want to make sure I have all the info I need before I head out. This is my first overnight trip but I have plenty of day hiking experience. I am planning a CW trip of the OML with a stop at the south rim starting 4/17. Planning on getting to the park and caching 2 gallons of water at HW and then headed to the basin to start. Planning on starting with 4 liters of water but I'm wondering if this will last me till HW or if I will need to find water along the juniper? Physically I know I'm capable of the trip but I am a little concerned about the water situation. Would like to complete in 3 days but will take 4 if anyone thinks that's a better idea. Any tips or info for a first timer would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks, pharris

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Offline mule ears

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Re: OML first overnighter
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2019, 01:22:33 PM »
Welcome to  BBC!

I assume the South Rim stop will be at the end of your loop and after you pick up the 2 gallons at HW.  4 liters will not be enough to get you from the Basin to HW.  You will need to get some water at Fresno Creek the second day and maybe want to top off with some water at Upper Juniper spring the first day.  It will be warm to hot down out of the Chisos so be prepared to hit the trail at first light on those days to conserve your water.
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
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Offline pharris13

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Re: OML first overnighter
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2019, 01:43:35 PM »
Was hoping to hit the South Rim the first night and set up camp there. Is that feasable

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Offline Lissa

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Re: OML first overnighter
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2019, 02:34:36 PM »
I think Mule Ears comment was related to the amount of water you are planning.  The general rule of thumb is a gallon per day.  In hot weather you may very well want more.

Perhaps write out your full planned itinerary with water plan for people to assess it.  Do you have experience finding water on your hikes? You will likely need to fill up at the sources on your route (Boot spring, juniper, Fresno) and/or add a cache at the Juniper/Dodson bear box.

Are you planning this solo or with company? Do you have access to any kind of PLB if solo? And have you done a gear shakeout?

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Offline pharris13

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Re: OML first overnighter
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2019, 03:06:39 PM »
Attempting with a partner and have made sure I have all proper provisions in my pack including topo maps and a list of all potential water sources. All this is kind of up in the air and not an exact itinerary and subject to change. Unfortunately I believe caching water at the juniper/ Dodson bear box is out of the question, I drive a Chrysler 200

Day 1: Cache 2 gallons per person at HW and then head to Chisos to get permits and start the trip. Leaving with 4-5 liters of water in my pack, and maybe top off at boot spring along the way. Would like to camp at the south rim but am undecided on which spot and would love to hear some input on the best place to setup camp with good views.

Day 2: Start bright and early and top off water once I get to Juniper. Continue the day with the hopes to get to HW but as I am a semi newbie a more realistic goal would probably be to set up camp along the Dodson and fill up on water once I reach Fresno.

Day 3: Start bright and early once again get to HW, take a break and gorge on water before continuing on. Hike the rest of the day, maybe make it back to the basin late in the evening maybe set up camp somewhere along blue creek/ laguna and finish in the morning.

Day 4: TBD

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Offline catz

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Re: OML first overnighter
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2019, 03:37:57 PM »

I think it is preferable to take in the South Rim toward the end of your hike rather than at the beginning.  The view, of course, is the same either way (terrific), but there's something satisfying about looking down and telling yourself, gee, I crossed all that?

I think only one of the rim campsites is literally next to the rim; the others will require a (very) short walk.

I want to reiterate that it is very likely to be hot, hot, hot along the Dodson.   Even worse, there is almost zero shade.   You don't want to be hiking up Blue Creek in the late afternoon, either, as  the upper half faces directly west with no shade.
Wake me when it's time to go.

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Offline mule ears

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Re: OML first overnighter
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2019, 03:44:13 PM »

I think it is preferable to take in the South Rim toward the end of your hike rather than at the beginning.  The view, of course, is the same either way (terrific), but there's something satisfying about looking down and telling yourself, gee, I crossed all that?

I think only one of the rim campsites is literally next to the rim; the others will require a (very) short walk.

I want to reiterate that it is very likely to be hot, hot, hot along the Dodson.   Even worse, there is almost zero shade.   You don't want to be hiking up Blue Creek in the late afternoon, either, as  the upper half faces directly west with no shade.

All good points, especially the don't climb Blue Creek in the afternoon heat.

The SE and parts of the NE Rim will be closed for peregrine falcon nesting so the only South Rim sites available will be SW2-4 and only SW3 has an actually view from the site.

Sounds like you will have plenty water with your plan, if it is forecast for high temps then I would lean towards 5 liters a day and again start at first light and try to find some shade to take the heat of the afternoon off.
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 pharris13

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Re: OML first overnighter
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2019, 04:09:52 PM »
Tried to halfway plan the trip with a front coming through. Temps are forecasted at mid 80ís to high 70ís. Being from SETX where itís not uncommon to have days in the 100ís and anywhere from 75% to 100% humidity Iím not too terribly concerned about the heat. As for seeing the south rim I can definitely imagine seeing what youíve crossed being a great feeling. In order to accomplish that would I need to skip the Laguna section of the trail and instead finish via the pinnacles route

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Offline pharris13

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Re: OML first overnighter
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2019, 04:16:36 PM »
My comment about the heat may be misinterpreted, Iím not just brushing it off I know it will still be hot. Just needed to clarify before anyone jumps on me for it lol

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Offline Lissa

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Re: OML first overnighter
« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2019, 06:07:39 PM »
Just to add a 2c to consider going CCW if it works better for your timing. We did it that direction and thought it worked great. I  think the general consensus is ď6 of one, 1/2 dozen of the other.Ē

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Offline pharris13

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Re: OML first overnighter
« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2019, 06:59:48 PM »
CCW may not be a bad idea. Will definitely take it into consideration

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Offline RichardM

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Re: OML first overnighter
« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2019, 10:51:07 PM »
Being from SETX where itís not uncommon to have days in the 100ís and anywhere from 75% to 100% humidity Iím not too terribly concerned about the heat.
My comment about the heat may be misinterpreted, Iím not just brushing it off I know it will still be hot. Just needed to clarify before anyone jumps on me for it lol
I live in Houston/Friendswood and am always shocked by the dryness of the heat in Big Bend. It's not that it's too hot, it just sucks all of the moisture out of you. Plus, out on the trail the heat radiates from everything around you. It can feel like walking in an oven.

Another option would be to start at HW and skip going into the Basin.

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Offline House Made of Dawn

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OML first overnighter
« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2019, 12:46:27 PM »
+1 on Richardís take on the heat. And I definitely second his recommendation of starting at HW.  Iíve done the OML many, many times and a start at HW always makes it easier. Especially if you go CCW.

1. You can begin with less water. Only need enough to get to Fresno Creek (2-3 liters max).

2. You can skip the climb out of the Basin. Instead, you only have the hump up the first hill after you leave HW. After that, itís mostly downhill to the water at Fresno. Your Day 1 hike is pretty easy after that first hill.

3. Spend the afternoon of your first day hiking from Fresno to a camp somewhere along the eastern end of Dodson or the early part of Juniper Canyon. Leave Fresno with 3-4 liters to carry you through the rest of the day, the night, and then next morningís hike to Upper Juniper Spring.

3. Your Day 2 hiking is pretty easy, too. In the morning, you climb the Juniper Canyon trail (when itís still mild) and only carrying 1-2 liters of water. Re-water at Upper Juniper, leaving with 1-2 liters. Climb to South Rim and down to Boot Canyon and collect more water from the pools or the spring. Grab 4-6 liters and head for a nearby campsite to enjoy sunset and tomorrowís sunrise.

4. On Day 3, head down Blue Creek Canyon in the morning before the sun starts baking it. Carry 2-3 liters of water, and be back to your vehicle at HW in 3-5 hours.

5. If you want to explore the Chisos some more, or climb Emory Peak, you can easily add that into the first part of Day 3 if you donít mind hiking down Blue Creek Canyon in the afternoon heat. Or you can even add a whole Ďnother day up in the Chisos. Remember: youíre always relatively close to the water in Boot Canyon. You wonít run out.   


And, following this itinerary, youíll never have to cache a single liter of water anywhere!

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« Last Edit: April 13, 2019, 12:51:58 PM by House Made of Dawn »
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Offline pharris13

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Re: OML first overnighter
« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2019, 11:45:26 PM »
Appreciate the help everyone. Headed to the park now to get an early start in the morning. Decided to go CCW and start at the Chisos. Will report back in a few days.

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Offline House Made of Dawn

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Re: OML first overnighter
« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2019, 09:16:08 AM »
Good luck! Looking forward to hearing about your trip.


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"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

 


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