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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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outer mountain scoop

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Offline Burn Ban

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outer mountain scoop
« on: May 14, 2007, 01:32:15 PM »
i'm planning to do the oml this coming winter (interested, David?) with bibe fng.  what did you discover while on the loop that you wish you had done differently.  either in preparation, gear, or planning?

thanks for your input.

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Offline jeffblaylock

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outer mountain scoop
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2007, 01:37:46 PM »
My lessons learned from my November 2004 OML hike may be useful. The complete trip report begins here. It is a wonderful hiking route.
Jeff Blaylock
Austin, Texas

"We'll be back, someday soon. We will return, someday, and when we do the gritty
splendor and the complicated grandeur of Big Bend will still be here. Waiting for us."--Ed Abbey

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Offline TheWildWestGuy

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outer mountain scoop
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2007, 07:25:14 PM »
I stashed food and adult beverages near Blue Creek but had to carry out the box and trash (no trash can at Blue Creek parking area and nobody was around to give it to). :cry:  :(
The longest stretch between water source is Dodson to Upper Juniper Springs (~8-9 miles) (assuming you stash water/food in the bear box at Blue Creek).  Fresno is always reliable as is Upper Juniper Springs and Boot Canyon tinajas/spring.  Cedar Spring in Blue Creek Canyon is not reliable.   There is a big cave "Alum" cave (actually a large rockshelter) on the West flank of blue creek near the tree line, make sure you check it out.  It's only a few hundred yards from the trail.
I didn't find any water at all in Blue Creek but someone told me if I followed the old metal pipeline it would lead to some tinaja's or water source - not sure how reliable this info is though but plan to check it out someday. :?:  :?:
Probably Oct-November is best time, Dec-Jan is cool/cold and daylight is too short.   Long cold nights in the tent.
Lots of good overnight sidetrip potential down into Smokey Creek or to Elephant Tusk.  Both have reliable water.  If you make camp early in Fresno you can go down the canyon as far as you want to go.
I did this hike as a round trip from the Basin in 3 nights counting the first night on the S. Rim which is a bit out of the way but worth it.   I stopped at Dodson the second night but should have kept going to Fresno, Dodson had water but murky and hard to fight through the brush to get at it.
Sounds like a great plan though, wish I could go... TWWG

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Offline dryer

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Re: outer mountain scoop
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2007, 04:20:02 PM »
Quote from: "Burn Ban"
i'm planning to do the oml this coming winter (interested, David?) with bibe fng.  what did you discover while on the loop that you wish you had done differently.  either in preparation, gear, or planning?

thanks for your input.


I've hiked it a couple times.  The ONLY reliable water source... and always carry a reserve...1.5 liters at least... is Fresno Creek.   Many times I've heard Boot Springs was running when it was dry as a bone.  Plan your water to get you all the way around to Blue Creek where you hopefully stashed a re-supply earlier.   I've never found anything but a dry cistern by following the steel pipes up Blue Creek Trail.   It's also a good idea to travel as light as possible.  I hike in trail runners and carry a very light set of sandals as 'spare tires' since a blown shoe will get you just as dead as running out of water.  I also hike with an umbrella for permenant shade.  This make a huge difference in water consumption and body temp on the desert floor.  Even in winter it can get toasty out there.
My total pack weight including food and water is 20-25 lbs.
KD5IVP, Texas

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Offline MJ

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Re: outer mountain scoop
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2007, 10:37:22 AM »
I did the OML with my wife in late Nov. 2001 - we got snowed for 36 hours in at the bottom of JC - whiteout - 4-6 inches of snow overnight - no visibility for more than 200 yards - precip. was not forecast when we left Basin 2 days earlier - we had gear and were smart enough to stay put until it cleared - tahnkfully it was the first time I'd hiked with a tent at BBNP - will not be without survival shelter again - be prepared

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BigBendHiker

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outer mountain scoop
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2007, 04:02:52 PM »
Quote from: "TheWildWestGuy"
 There is a big cave "Alum" cave (actually a large rockshelter) on the West flank of blue creek near the tree line, make sure you check it out.  you want to go.
I did this hike as a round trip


Hi TWWG - That must be the Alum Cave that Patricia Wilson Clothier refers to in her book "Beneath the Window"?  Thanks for this as I have always wanted to see it.  Have you been to it?


BBH

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Offline Drifter

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outer mountain scoop
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2007, 11:40:00 AM »
I've done this stroll as the Outer/Outer mountain loop.  I park at the Juniper canyon P/2 , do the Dotson the first day to either the three dog campsite at the Dotson/Smoky  junction or over to Homer Line.  Pick up cached water there , then up the Blue creek, rewater at the Boot  and then down the Juniper to my truck.  If there is water in the Boot or above it I have stayed on the Rim.  If there is no water I go ahead and head down to the truck.  On a solo speed trip I made it from Juniper to north of Cedar spring on the Blue Creek trail but I was bone tired.  If you do this shorter route and run out of daylight you can usually get as far as the Juniper spring and the campsites just above it on day two.  The advantage of this route is that you don't have to climb up to the rim twice and the con is that you have to 4 wheel back to the Juniper canyon campsite.  Just an alternative.
If you climb mountains, no explanation is necessary, if you don't , no explanation is possible.

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Offline TheWildWestGuy

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outer mountain scoop
« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2007, 08:22:05 PM »
Yes BBH the rockshelter in Blue Creek is what was called "Alum Cave" in Patricia Wilson Clothier's book "Beneath The Window".   I have been there myself and it is on the West side of Blue Creek about at the treeline (roughly 2/3 of the way up), before you get to the switchbacks and climb steeply out of the valley.  You can't miss seeing it from the trail.  This rockshelter is about 10-20 feet deep and long and narrow.  It currently sits about 200' or so above the valley floor and you can easily scramble up to it along several faint trails.  It's worth the trouble to stop and look around under the overhang.  My theory is that the rockshelter was caused by the action of running water in the Pliestocene millions of years ago back when the baselevel for Blue Creek Canyon was at cave-level and the climate was wet enough to provide a river that drained the high chisos on this side.   Look for yourself and you will see polished rock faces that look a lot like river cutbanks.   I don't know of any cave (rockshelter) paintings but undoubtably this was a living area for Chisos Apache's etc..   Lots of bear poop in the area when I was there last.... TWWG

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Offline lighter fluid

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outer mountain scoop
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2007, 09:25:58 AM »
A link to my trip report and picture gallery from last Novemeber is posted over in the Trip Report forum.

I hope it helps. Have a great time :cool:
« Last Edit: October 30, 2007, 04:54:03 PM by RichardM »
"...There is a pessimism about land which, after it has been with you a long time, becomes merely factual. Men increase; country suffers. " John Graves 'Goodbye to a River'

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Offline Casa Grande

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Re: outer mountain scoop
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2007, 12:14:15 PM »
Quote from: "Burn Ban"
i'm planning to do the oml this coming winter (interested, David?)


is a puppy happy with two peters?

all depends on you know who and you know what  :roll:

 


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