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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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Recent Solo OML 4 Day 3 Night Counter Clockwise with South Rim (21-24 March)

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Offline jimc

  • Kangaroo Rat
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Thanks to all on this forum. As a new to Big Bend backpacker it was very helpful in planning my trip and for everyone who is planning to go, I have hiked, packed, and fly fished in multiple places around the world, but Big Bend is absolutely amazing. Short summary: Day 1 Basin up Laguna Meadows to Colima 3, with additional hike up Boot Canyon to South Rim return to Colima via South West Rim. Day 2 down Blue Creek Canyon and East on the Dodson, camped one terrain feature east of Dodson Ranch. Day 3 East on Dodson then up Juniper Canyon to Boot Canyon 3. Day 4 return to the Basin via the Pinnacles trail. Observations. 1- The week after Texas spring break I was worried about crowds, but on the trail (counter clockwise) I encountered maybe 20 people total and all were going in the opposite direction. Camped solo every night. No waiting at permit station at Panther Junction. 2- Weather perfect, not too hot in the low desert not too cold in the high ground.  3- Water, I cached at Homer Wilson Ranch and at Juniper Canyon Trail Head so I did not use water from springs but checked them all. Boot Spring dry but multiple pools upstream had water - pic attached. Fresno creek had water below the trail crossing. Upper Juniper spring had very little water in one small pool(above the old stone stock tanks) and to get after it I would have had to contend with about a 100 bees who were enjoying the water.  I chose not to, but could have cached none and packed far less water and obtained majority from springs. 4- For What it is Worth, go as light as your personal risk meter will allow you. I found the  stretch going out of and up from the Blue Creek Drainage  all the way to Fresno Creek(Dodson) along with the last 3 miles of up hill on Juniper Canyon to be very strenuous. In both cases I was at full load of water (1 gal.) and my enjoyment was moderated due to pack weight and the temp was 80ish in the Dodson.  I could have gone with less weight and wish I had. Counter clockwise versus clock wise - I believe if you want solitude, counter clockwise might be better as I encountered no one doing the same route the entire trip. Thanks again for maintaining this blog - I hope my entry is helpful to future travelers

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Offline Talusman

  • Black Bear
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Well Done and Congratulations on your accomplishment! Hope you get to go back soon!  What was your very favorite portion of the trail and sights?
"To Think is easy. To Act is difficult. To Act as one Thinks is the most difficult!"

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Offline dprather

  • Mountain Lion
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  • 2411
Thanks!
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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  • "He had to leave Texas but won't say why" McMurtry
    • 40 years of walking
Jim, thanks for the report, especially the water.  I think you are correct about counter clockwise allowing for more privacy and you get to interrogate the folks coming the other way about water and such.

Welcome to BBC
 :welcome:
« Last Edit: March 25, 2016, 03:07:48 PM by mule ears »
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 jim2

  • jim2
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Great first post! Thanks for sharing.

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Offline Casa Grande

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Fantastic post and welcome!  Thanx for your report.  You saw twenty?  That's actually a lot. 

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Online ambersdad

  • Diamondback
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  • 364
Congratulations on knocking out the OML.

I've read here that the PS says the success rate for the OML is around 50%.  I wonder what the rate is for those that read up on it here on the forum before heading out?
Having decent gear is nice, but wildlife photography is knowing your subject and getting lucky, and I love getting lucky.
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Offline alan in shreveport

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congratulations on a successful venture - did you see any wildlife along the way ?

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Offline Casa Grande

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Congratulations on knocking out the OML.

I've read here that the PS says the success rate for the OML is around 50%.  I wonder what the rate is for those that read up on it here on the forum before heading out?

Very good question. It's not just a clichéd scout motto: Be Prepared.



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