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Scariest Moment In Big Bend?

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Offline Doc Savage

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Scariest Moment In Big Bend?
« Reply #30 on: June 13, 2006, 10:23:31 AM »
Quote from: "10ftTall&BulletPrf"
My scariest moment was in 1999 getting caught in a freak ice storm while hiking the South Rim solo.


Reminds me of a backpacking trip years ago.

Went for a 3 day backpack trip in the Smokies over spring break while in college with some buddies. 1st day was georgous, sunshine and 70 degrees. 2nd day was constant drizzle all day about 45 and the bottom fell out just as we got in the bear shelter. Couldn't start a fire as water was pouring in the chimney. 3rd day woke up to 4" of snow a whiteout after 50' and a hard wind blowing. I had packed spare clothes and ended up giving away sweatpants, flannel shirt, and hat. I had long pants, a short sleeved shirt, and a lined windbreaker with hat and gloves for the hike out. Buddies were glad I had packed the extra. They also gave me a hard time about my one can of Dinty Moore Beef stew I had in addition to the freeze dried stuff. They all wanted to trade with me that last night as I heated it up for supper. We had one fella start to have problems with hypothermia (arms started turning blue no less). Four of us struck out ahead and 2 stayed at the next shelter to get some warm liquids going, while me and the other guy headed down for the rangers. Ended up he got to the shelter, warmed up and the ranger met them all coming down the mountain.

Since then, I tend to overpack to anything.

Robert
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Offline RichardM

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Re: Wondered...
« Reply #31 on: June 13, 2006, 10:24:30 AM »
Quote from: "SHANEA"
Quote from: "dave2"
About the dead battery problem

Funny you should mention that.  My Avalanche experienced battery problems the minute I got home from the most recent most excellent BIBE adventure.  Total battery failure.

Seems to be a common occurrence.  My car's battery died right after I got back home from a trip to BIBE in 1991.  Parked it on the street and we unloaded all our gear, then I was going to go run an errand and the battery was completely dead.  No warning lights to give me any clue beforehand, either.

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Offline Doc Savage

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Re: G.P.L.P.
« Reply #32 on: June 13, 2006, 10:26:40 AM »
Quote from: "SHANEA"
the digital indicator was just plummeting from the 80's and finally settled into the 30's.


Second trip with the wife was between Christmas and New Years's. Temp on our last full day was about 65. The low that night was 17. We had sheets of ice inside the tent not just frost.

Robert
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SHANEA

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Re: Wondered...
« Reply #33 on: June 13, 2006, 10:33:47 AM »
Quote from: "RichardM"
Seems to be a common occurrence.


I figured I'd inflicted it as I was trying to charge R2D2's battery from the connection to the Avalanche with the motor running - 3 way power source to the R2D2.  Hated to run the generator, even though we were in the generator OK zone, even though it's a "quiet" generator, it sure was LOUD the one time that I fired it up and didn't want to make any enemies up there or spoil peoples experience.  8)

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Offline dave2

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Scariest Moment In Big Bend?
« Reply #34 on: June 13, 2006, 12:03:18 PM »
Sometimes those battery packs won't start a car if the car's battery is really low. You all have inspired me to carry a spare battery next time I'm out in the back country by myself.  That may be a while. :(

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Offline tjavery

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Scariest Moment In Big Bend?
« Reply #35 on: June 19, 2006, 12:28:10 PM »
I think I've posted this story before somewhere else, but here it is again for this appropriate thread:

On our first trip to Big Bend (Sept. '04), we got a really good scare on our second night of camping. My wife and I were at the Ernst Tinaja site #1 and eating dinner late in the evening. We had hiked around that day and were tired and hungry, so our attention was totally focused on food. It was getting dark as we sat there eating, and we probably should have had flashlights handy.

Anyway, my wife gasped or screamed or something and was looking past me at something behind me. I turned and saw a person walking towards us.

It may not seem that scary now, but understand that:
1. we were all alone way out in the desert and hadn't seen another person in that area all day
2. we were totally chowing-down on dinner and had become unaware of the surroundings (of course it was kind of windy, so that helps to hide sounds coming from downwind)
3. it was getting dark and hard to see

People respond differently to frightening situations (you know, the "fight or flight" thing). I guess I'm a "freeze and panic" sort of person. I just sat there with food in my mouth totally frozen up and unable to think or do anything. My interal voice screamed "DANGER!" as I did not recognize this person approaching us as friendly or not.

After what seemed like minutes (probably just a fraction of a second), my brain finally unlocked and was able to identify the person as a ranger. He was in uniform and his park service Expedition was parked right behind him.

If I remember correctly, he didn't have his headlights on. He was able to drive up behind us and actually get out and start walking towards us without us becoming aware of his presence. Perhaps the rangers are trained to be sneaky and operate in stealth mode?

Anyway, the ranger was really nice and just wanted to check things out. He chatted with us and checked our permit and made sure we had all the supplies required for a night of backcountry camping.

It took us a while to calm down and relax. Just as we settled down for a night in the tent, the wind calmed down and the coyotes started up. I don't think we got very good sleep that night  :shock:

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SHANEA

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Hello to Camp...
« Reply #36 on: June 19, 2006, 01:43:30 PM »
Quote from: "tjavery"
.....I turned and saw a person walking towards us.....
3. it was getting dark and hard to see....My interal voice screamed "DANGER!" as I did not recognize this person approaching us as friendly or not....... brain finally unlocked and was able to identify the person as a ranger. He was in uniform and his park service Expedition was parked right behind him....


I CAN SEE BOTH SIDES OF THE ISSUES WITH A NUMBER OF LAW ENFORCEMENT FRIENDS FROM POLICE, SHERIFF, etc....

I'm always reminded of the quote from the John Wayne movie "Big Jake" when Richard Boone was coming into camp...
Quote
Hello To Camp.....Law Enforcement Ranger John Wayne coming into camp to say hello and flash the light bar as bona fides


Of course, it's different if the Law Enforcement suspects some illegal activity going on or a group of "bad people", but for the average camper...   I hope things haven't gotten so bad in BIBE that everyone is now suspect until proven otherwise...  (Of course, that is a good way to stay alive by staying on your toes...)

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Offline Don H

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Scariest Moment In Big Bend?
« Reply #37 on: June 19, 2006, 03:02:47 PM »
Quote from: "bdann"
I need to pick up one of those emergency battery things. Just need to find one I can really depend on. The guy that gave us the jump (from my story above) actually had one of those things and tried to get us going with it, but it didn't work.

Quote from: "SHANEA"
I think I'll pick up one of them there battery starting things to add to the 2.5 tons of gear that I carry once I rejoin the work force. What "brand/model" do you suggest?

My wife runs a NAPA store and they sell one that I know for a fact works real well.  At the moment I'm sure of the name and price, but I'll find out if ya'll are interested.
"Rugged isolation in a Jeep with the top down, doors off, sweaty, dusty, listening to your flavor of tunes, immersed in the most beautiful and beguiling desert mountains in all of the Southwest, the Sierra Quemada. Nothing short of spiritual cleansing. " D. Locke

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BigBendHiker

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Scariest Moment In Big Bend?
« Reply #38 on: June 20, 2006, 06:26:34 PM »
For us, it was in 2003.  My son and I had hiked to the Window in the late afternoon (got on the trailhead about 4PM).  It had been raining on and off all day, but looked like it was finally clearing.  Anyway, on the way back (after viewing the Window), it started to rain just a bit, but the part that scared us a bit was the lightning.  The storm produced much lightning and although nothing happened, I do not like being out in the open, so to speak, with lightning around.


BBH

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Offline RichardM

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Scariest Moment In Big Bend?
« Reply #39 on: June 20, 2006, 06:30:48 PM »
Quote from: "BigBendHiker"
For us, it was in 2003.  My son and I had hiked to the Window in the late afternoon (got on the trailhead about 4PM).  It had been raining on and off all day, but looked like it was finally clearing.  Anyway, on the way back (after viewing the Window), it started to rain just a bit, but the part that scared us a bit was the lightning.  The storm produced much lightning and although nothing happened, I do not like being out in the open, so to speak, with lightning around.

Not to mention that the Window is the only outlet for any surface rainwater in the Basin.  Probably not too likely to flash flood, but could still be a problem.

We had some lightning while hiking up the Pinnacles Trail.  It sounded really close, but as it turns out the strikes were on Elephant Tusk (as told to us by a solo hiker who claimed to have watched the whole thunderstorm from the summit of Emory Peak).

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Offline xseption

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Re: Scariest Moment In Big Bend?
« Reply #40 on: December 15, 2007, 12:12:51 AM »
My scariest was not that scary, yet I will share it anyway.

I hiked the Estufa Canyon/Banta Shut-In trail, about 15 miles round trip. Getting to the Banta Shut-In was not a problem though hiking through river beds can wear you out. As many hikers do, I thought I had enough water (3L + two 22oz bottles) and there was water at the Shut-In as well. I did not fill up as was warranted.

So, I start hiking back and about half-way back I realized that I was not in the right place. I evidently went up the wrong draw and I was north of where I needed to be. I keep hiking up the draw figuring that the draw would run roughly parallel to Estufa.

I turn around a corner almost smack into the middle of a javelina and he is in his lair (den?). The animal jumps to his feet and stares at me. Dummy that I am, I pull out my camera and start taking pictures. I mean how often do you get that close, yes? He starts a couple of false charges, and the third time I am beginning to think he means it. I start yelling and turn and ran the other way. I don't think he was too impressed.

Anyways, a little later I find that I have very little water left. Now, I start to worry. I am somewhat lost and low on water, and its hot (Spring Break timeframe). I keep going until I estimate the distance such that I should be near the turn-off to the trailhead as if I was in Estufa Canyon. I start climbing up the gully (what's deeper than a gully) walls to the ridge since I figure that if I head SW towards the Chisos that I will eventually run into either road the leads to Panther Junction.

I top the ridge and I see that I do not recognize anything. I am tired, low on water, and I realize that I may be more than somewhat lost. Still SW was the way to go and I can see the Chisos in front of me (though not very close). I head along some ridglines aiming SW as best as possible. After a few ridges, I see the road afar out in the distance and breathe a sigh of relief. It's just a few miles away!

After some ridge hopping, I actually see the sun off the glare of my car window. I cross a few riverbeds (up then down the gully walls (though gully does not seem to be an apt description)) and did the lechugilla dance (ouch, ouch and ouch!) and I collapsed into my car, full of relief and water.

To make matters worse, I was with a group, but did not tell anyone where I (solo) was going. I was not too eager to share my story afterwards.

Such is my "scariest" time at BiBe.

~ edd
« Last Edit: December 15, 2007, 12:17:53 AM by xseption »
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Offline riverrat

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Re: Scariest Moment In Big Bend?
« Reply #41 on: February 03, 2008, 09:50:15 PM »
Quote from: SHANEA
Quote from: dave2
About the dead battery problem
Funny you should mention that.  My Avalanche experienced battery problems the minute I got home from the most recent most excellent BIBE adventure.  Total battery failure.
Seems to be a common occurrence.  My car's battery died right after I got back home from a trip to BIBE in 1991.  Parked it on the street and we unloaded all our gear, then I was going to go run an errand and the battery was completely dead.  No warning lights to give me any clue beforehand, either.
Geesh...I wish I'da seen this thread before our New Years trip this past January. We had no problems at all at the Bend except for one easily fixed leaky tire) but not two weeks after returning home my battery died. Just died. No warning. Luckily I was not too far from help but it sures seems strange now that I know others have experienced this phenomena :) !
Living so close to paradise, it is unbelievable.

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Offline dkerr24

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Re: Scariest Moment In Big Bend?
« Reply #42 on: February 04, 2008, 02:38:26 PM »
I hope I don't come away from my trip to BIBE with any scary moments. 

If I'm straying too far off the topic, please let me know and I'll delete this post.

I did have a scary moment in the Grand Canyon back in Oct 2005.  I was hiking the 9 mile Clear Creek trail that leads east from Phantom Ranch (at the bottom) to Clear Creek.  I had read trip reports about Clear Creek and was told to expect a somewhat 'exposed' area near the end of the trail when it descends into Clear Creek.  One person's idea of exposed is totally different than another person's perception.

I left Phantom Ranch at daybreak, and it took me 8 hours to make it to the last descent into Clear Creek.  The trail goes up and down countless dry washes, and is in the sun for the entire day.  There were only a few short rock overhangs to provide any shade, and other than cactus, no trees or shady vegetation. 



Even in late Oct, temps down there easily hit 80F.  I was carrying a 3L water bladder in my pack, and two 24 oz bottles of water, along with powdered Gatorade and plenty of food/snacks.  My pack weight was around 60lbs, and by the time I made that last section, I was nearly out of water due to me not tightening the collar securely on my 3L water bladder.  I looked at the narrow (maybe 1 foot wide trail with a long slide of 300ft to a 50 ft vertical drop and almost chickened out.  The only thing that kept me going was knowing that I'd run out of water if I turned around.  There are no reliable sources of water along the entire stretch of Clear Creek... not even those stagnant pools of larvae infested water.

I had to continue down that crumbly little trail to get to water at Clear Creek.  Hard to tell from this pic, but the trail traverses that crumbly section below the vertical wall:



Here's a wider section of the trail:



That was definitely a heart skipping 30 mins of halfway walking/halfway crouching/halfway sliding to Clear Creek.  I was hiking solo, and I knew that if I slipped and fell, noone would be there to get help.

Clear Creek was worth the trip:



« Last Edit: February 04, 2008, 03:04:25 PM by dkerr24 »

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Offline presidio

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Re: Scariest Moment In Big Bend?
« Reply #43 on: February 04, 2008, 02:55:16 PM »
I was hiking solo, and I knew that if I slipped and fell, noone would be able to get help.

Living on the edge. It was exhilarating wasn't it? Beats rotting at home watching TV.
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Offline dkerr24

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Re: Scariest Moment In Big Bend?
« Reply #44 on: February 04, 2008, 02:58:16 PM »
I was hiking solo, and I knew that if I slipped and fell, noone would be able to get help.

Living on the edge. It was exhilarating wasn't it? Beats rotting at home watching TV.

I have to agree it was very exhilarating.  I was never more focused on each step I took to ensure my footing was secure.

 


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