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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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Anyone for Elephant tusk this New Years

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Offline taw6644

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Anyone for Elephant tusk this New Years
« on: November 12, 2006, 06:41:38 PM »
As some of you know, my dad and I are headed to Big Bend this winter. We will be climbing some mountains. Well, if any of you want to join us up Elephant tusk, your more than welcome to come along. We will acsend via NE gap.

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Offline Casa Grande

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Re: Anyone for Elephant tusk this New Years
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2006, 06:43:21 PM »
Quote from: "taw6644"
As some of you know, my dad and I are headed to Big Bend this winter. We will be climbing some mountains. Well, if any of you want to join us up Elephant tusk, your more than welcome to come along.


OH!!  ME ME ME!!!  We'll be doing the Casa Grande rendevous on the 27th.....an elephant tusk round up would be iceing on the cake!

I'll have to beg for permission to do two awesome hikes in a week

 [-o<

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Offline taw6644

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Re: Anyone for Elephant tusk this New Years
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2006, 07:36:37 PM »
Quote from: "Casa Grande"
Quote from: "taw6644"
As some of you know, my dad and I are headed to Big Bend this winter. We will be climbing some mountains. Well, if any of you want to join us up Elephant tusk, your more than welcome to come along.


OH!!  ME ME ME!!!  We'll be doing the Casa Grande rendevous on the 27th.....an elephant tusk round up would be iceing on the cake!

I'll have to beg for permission to do two awesome hikes in a week

 [-o<


Most Excellent. Hey we will be climbing casa grande too. probably the 29th, but hey what ever. We will climb ET on Dec. 31.

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Offline Picacho

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Anyone for Elephant tusk this New Years
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2006, 07:59:41 PM »
David,

Is a 360 degree pano from the summit of Elephant Tusk in order?

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Offline Casa Grande

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Anyone for Elephant tusk this New Years
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2006, 08:02:37 PM »
Quote from: "attm"
David,

Is a 360 degree pano from the summit of Elephant Tusk in order?


uh, hell yes! I"ve been trying to arrange that for about 3 years  =P~

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Offline Picacho

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Anyone for Elephant tusk this New Years
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2006, 09:05:58 AM »
Looks like I will be there.  A couple other peaks near Elephant Tusk may be in order for me either before or after Elephant Tusk including Backbone Ridge, Dominguez Mountain, and maybe a couple of interesting unnamed peaks in the area.  If I stay long enough summits of Vernon Bailey, Pulliam, Ward, and Panther could be on the list.

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Offline 01ACRViper

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Anyone for Elephant tusk this New Years
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2006, 10:33:30 AM »
now i need to beat you to the top of Panther and ward  :oops:

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Offline TheWildWestGuy

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Anyone for Elephant tusk this New Years
« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2006, 05:43:36 PM »
That's for the invite but I can't make it.
If you want a cool basecamp site go about 3/4 mile upstream/uptrail from the 1st spring (the one at the base of the Tusk) and you will find a 2nd spring with a small hill nearby a bit further up the trail.  Ontop of the small hill you will find a flat spot and a large "table" rock.   This is one of my favorite backcountry campsites as it has a full view of the Tusk and you get alpenglow off the peaks for about 30 minutes after sunset.  It's also nice having a water source nearby and I am 100% positive this spring will be flowing.
If you decide not to summit the Tusk or have the time there are some really interesting drainages with springs on the West and NW side of the Tusk that are rarely visited and very scenic.  You could also go over into the Fresno Creek Drainage (just follow the trail) and then go down into Fresno Canyon and circle around to rejoin the ET Trail on the South Side of the Tusk.  The Fresno Creek Canyon in this area is studded with tree's and flowing water and where it gets steep enough (about 2 miles south of the junction) it has scattered rock mills that have carved circular bathing pools into the rock.   Just leave yourself plenty of time to get back to camp as it gets dark early and FAST this time of year.... TWWG

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Offline Picacho

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Anyone for Elephant tusk this New Years
« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2006, 11:54:47 AM »
01ACRViper,

Send me an email.  I lost your's when I switched computers.

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Offline taw6644

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Anyone for Elephant tusk this New Years
« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2006, 08:06:27 PM »
ATTM, I look forward to climbing with you! We'll keep in touch.

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Offline Picacho

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Anyone for Elephant tusk this New Years
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2006, 08:00:44 AM »
Taw, are you climbing anything else before or after Elephant Tusk?  Is ET still a go on the 31st?

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Offline Hayduke

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Anyone for Elephant tusk this New Years
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2006, 09:56:22 AM »
When I climbed ET, I had expectations of great views - it is after all a high place with a commanding view of the area. I would up being a littlle bit disappointed, especially with the view to the south. ET was so high up that there was substantial haze or dust that made views to the south (the lower elevation side) a bit fuzzy.

I found the views to be better (clearer) from the top of Cerro Castellan - only 800 ft. above the surrounding area but with less dust to cut through.

I also found the views from the top of Backbone Ridge to be very interesting. Great photos of south rim with ET or another of Backbone's vertebrae in the foreground.  You don't get as much interesting foreground from the top of ET.

So if I was guessing as to good pano spots I would say that either Cerro Castellan or Backbone would be better than ET. (But just try to get up Cerro!)

Now I guess that all of this sounds a bit negative about ET, and I don't really mean it to be. I quite enjoyed this climb and one of these days I may do it again. The final narrow ridgeline leading to the summit is something I'll always remember, and the views from it down to the eastern drainage are not to be forgotten.

I hope if you do decide to do this later this month that y'all have good weather, clear skies and a fun climb!

Hayduke

PS A tidbit: ET was originally called Indianola Peak on early 20th century topos.

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Offline 01ACRViper

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Anyone for Elephant tusk this New Years
« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2006, 03:10:11 PM »
what a horrible view :(



just hideous :cry: not worth the climb at all :roll:

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Offline Casa Grande

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Anyone for Elephant tusk this New Years
« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2006, 03:22:57 PM »
sweet!  nice perspective of the rim

man, the more I look at that pic, the more I wanna go!  :cry:

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Offline okiehiker

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ET and BIBE...
« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2006, 04:35:36 PM »
There are many noteworthy points in the park.  

Casa Grande (probably not the most photographed peak in TX... that is likely El Capitan at GUMO....) is the signature peak.  Emory is the highest.  The balanced rock at Grapevine Hills is another widely known landmark.

Yet Elephant Tusk might truly be the crowning one of them all.

ET is the single peak that defines the scale of the mountains at BIBE.  

When one is in high (elevation-wise) mountains around the world, snow and ice, the vestigial effects of glaciers and other features give one a sense of scale.  

Desert mountains (or more specifically, photographs of desert mountains) do not give one that sense of just how large they are.  Though the Chisos are small in area, they are HUGE mountains.  The rise from the southeastern corner of BIBE to the summit of Emory is 6,100'

The rise from Phantom Ranch to the Bright Angel Lodge on the South Rim of Grand Canyon is 4,400'.

The rise from the Longs Peak Ranger Station to the summit of Longs Peak, (highest point in Rocky Mountain National Park) is 4,800'.

From the South Rim or Lost Mine Trail, Elephant Tusk is a small, but interesting monolith midway to the horizon, nearly half a mile below.  But from its base, ET is a massive peak, demanding skill and fortitude if one is to make the 2,000' climb.  

Then, when you are on the summit, the high Chisos stand half a mile above, and the Rio Grande more than 3,000' below.  It is the one place where the whole park comes into perspecitve.

I am sorry that Hayduke was there on a day when the visibility was poor. (I believe that we have a thread on the visibility subject...)  I have been on top of Emory when ET was so hazy as to be impossible to focus my camera.  I have been on top of both peaks on days when the visibility was 200 miles.  The panorama is awesome.  

I don't think that we are going to be able to get to ET for the group climb New Year's Eve.  We will be up in the Christmas Mountains.  But to anyone who is considering it: if you have the chance... GO!
Funny... I have a story about that...

 


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