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Guadalupe Ridge Trail Thru Hike - Sept. 2019

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Offline Dale Norte

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Re: Guadalupe Ridge Trail Thru Hike - Sept. 2019
« Reply #45 on: October 10, 2019, 02:10:23 PM »
Nice job persevering through the blisters and fatigue to finish.  That's an epic trip. :notworthy:

One question - did any light pollution from the oilfield or White's City impact your nighttime skies on this trip?  I recall seeing a lot more light than expected near the McKittrick Ridge campsites last time I was in the NP.  Curious if that was noticeable on your route through the LNF?

Once again, congratulations. 

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Offline mule ears

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Re: Guadalupe Ridge Trail Thru Hike - Sept. 2019
« Reply #46 on: October 10, 2019, 02:12:22 PM »
Fabulous report and finish.  Man that is a lot of up and down the last two days!  I look forward to Todd's GRT trail guide when it's done.
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
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Online wrangler88

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Re: Guadalupe Ridge Trail Thru Hike - Sept. 2019
« Reply #47 on: October 10, 2019, 04:21:34 PM »
Nice job persevering through the blisters and fatigue to finish.  That's an epic trip. :notworthy:

One question - did any light pollution from the oilfield or White's City impact your nighttime skies on this trip?  I recall seeing a lot more light than expected near the McKittrick Ridge campsites last time I was in the NP.  Curious if that was noticeable on your route through the LNF?

Once again, congratulations.

Todd is definitely the one to answer this. He'll actually get up to stargaze ... or pee ... whatever. I never got out of my tent once I went in around dark. I do know last time I was on Guadalupe Peak I was shocked by how many more lights i could see toward Carlsbad than the previous trip.

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Offline Minimal

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Re: Guadalupe Ridge Trail Thru Hike - Sept. 2019
« Reply #48 on: October 10, 2019, 09:59:31 PM »
One question - did any light pollution from the oilfield or White's City impact your nighttime skies on this trip?  I recall seeing a lot more light than expected near the McKittrick Ridge campsites last time I was in the NP.  Curious if that was noticeable on your route through the LNF?

Once again, congratulations.

Cameron is right, I was up almost every night either peeing (curse you old age) or stargazing. I'm an aspiring astrophotographer and found there was more light pollution that I had anticipated, especially toward Carlsbad and the oil rigs near Orla/Pecos. Still brighter stars than most anywhere else, but there was a definite orange glow on the horizon indicative of sodium lights. Regardless, I'm hoping to head back out to Dark Canyon during a new moon to camp and take some Milky Way shots next spring.

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Offline backpacker56

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Re: Guadalupe Ridge Trail Thru Hike - Sept. 2019
« Reply #49 on: October 11, 2019, 10:03:12 AM »
Cameron,
Really great report on a fantastic achievement!  Thanks for taking the considerable time and effort to post your trip report.  Thanks also for not letting negative or critical comments get you down too much.
 
Again, I must express my great appreciation for your videography.  Super cool!

What kind of footwear did you use on this trip?  Sandals?!

When the rain hit that last night, do you think the drops were coming through the single-wall fabric, or were they just knocking loose the condensation on the inside?  Thereís something to be said for two hikers sharing a double-wall tent, if they donít mind sacrificing privacy. 

Todd, thereís way too much brown in your beard for you to be calling yourself old, broí.
(BTW, Toddís report is well worth reading.  https://www.trailjournals.com/journal/entry/619724)

Iím amazed at your last two days.  Powering up to McKittrick Ridge with an AFTERNOON start, having come down from Wilderness Ridge that morning!  Then zooming to Pine Spring next day and on up to Guadalupe Peak.  Glad you overcame your aches and pains and malaise, to finish strong. 

Iíve never been up the trail from Grotto to McKittrick Ridge, but come to think of it, once you got past the punishing climb, it would almost be a long glide down to Pine Springs.  Did you wait and fill up on water just before starting the climb, or did you carry it all the way from the parking lot?

Is there anything you would have done differently, or any other major takeaway from this experience?  I keep telling myself I need to get up to speed on GPS, but so far have been daunted by the learning curve.
"Ah, sure, I'm a gnawed old bone now, but say, don't you guys think the spirit's gone!"

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Offline MacMike

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Re: Guadalupe Ridge Trail Thru Hike - Sept. 2019
« Reply #50 on: October 11, 2019, 11:50:16 AM »
Hey, Cameron thanks for sharing your story!! I'm soaking up all the details. I love all the photos and descriptions.
I enjoyed your detailing the trip for us. Most of us don't respond much, but there is a silent majority that gleens a lot of important, pertinent information from your experience. So big thanks!

I am doing almost the same thru-hike, solo, starting Nov 1.
I'm starting at White city and going the whole way, then doing all 8000+ peaks in GUMO.

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Online wrangler88

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Re: Guadalupe Ridge Trail Thru Hike - Sept. 2019
« Reply #51 on: October 11, 2019, 12:37:48 PM »
Cameron,
Really great report on a fantastic achievement!  Thanks for taking the considerable time and effort to post your trip report.  Thanks also for not letting negative or critical comments get you down too much.
 
Again, I must express my great appreciation for your videography.  Super cool!

What kind of footwear did you use on this trip?  Sandals?!

When the rain hit that last night, do you think the drops were coming through the single-wall fabric, or were they just knocking loose the condensation on the inside?  Thereís something to be said for two hikers sharing a double-wall tent, if they donít mind sacrificing privacy. 

Todd, thereís way too much brown in your beard for you to be calling yourself old, broí.
(BTW, Toddís report is well worth reading.  https://www.trailjournals.com/journal/entry/619724)

Iím amazed at your last two days.  Powering up to McKittrick Ridge with an AFTERNOON start, having come down from Wilderness Ridge that morning!  Then zooming to Pine Spring next day and on up to Guadalupe Peak.  Glad you overcame your aches and pains and malaise, to finish strong. 

Iíve never been up the trail from Grotto to McKittrick Ridge, but come to think of it, once you got past the punishing climb, it would almost be a long glide down to Pine Springs.  Did you wait and fill up on water just before starting the climb, or did you carry it all the way from the parking lot?

Is there anything you would have done differently, or any other major takeaway from this experience?  I keep telling myself I need to get up to speed on GPS, but so far have been daunted by the learning curve.

I've never personally used a GPS or any of the map apps for a phone. Todd being about 20 years older than me is way more technologically advanced than I am. He carried several electronics that I wouldn't know how to use. I just have my smartphone and can operate that at an acceptable level. Even then, instead of using digital maps, I just take pictures of physical maps and use that. (Or carry the physical map.)

My shoes are Salomon X-Screams. These are the same shoes I've been using the past few years. (2 different pair). I should have replaced these before we went. They're past their prime. But I figured I'd get one more good trip out west out of them. That was a mistake. The trail took what was already a deteriorating pair of shoes and destroyed them quickly. I honestly considered changing into my sandals at McKittrick Canyon trailhead but the cut on my ankle bone was right where the heel strap runs under my ankle and wouldn't have provided much relief. I like the Salomon shoes. These should have been replaced before the hike though.

We killed it going through Guadalupe Mountains National Park. Especially day 6 from McKittrick Ridge to Guadalupe Peak. If we hadn't taken such a long break at Pine Springs before starting up Guadalupe Peak, we would have considered heading back down the mountain after summitting and car camped at Pine Springs. Would have been a 20+ mile day but I think we still felt good enough.

As far as my tent. I'm fairly sure it was condensation already on the inside from how humid and stiff it was at Guadalupe Peak Campsite. Todd was using a 2 person double layer tent and had the exact same problem. All of our gear was damp the next morning. I knew it wasn't going to be cold so I wasn't too worried about my down quilt getting wet. And I ended up being hot all night.

I have several things I'd do differently on the trip.
I wanted to push to Wilderness Ridge on day 3 and cut an entire day off the trip. But we decided early on in the day not to do that. In retrospect, the short day we ended up doing probably helped me finish the trip. But, it would have been nice to cut a whole day off the total time.

This may sound weird/crazy but I honestly wish I would have brought a bridge hammock and tarp with a sleeping pad for insulation. The first night I would have setup on the ground using the hammock as a bivy under the tarp and had the pad for cushion or pushed on to the ridge with the only two trees in Carlsbad Caverns backcountry close enough together to hang a hammock.  I absolutely hated sleeping on the ground in the National Forest. WAY too much cow poop everywhere. Would have been really nice to hang up above it and not have to worry about it. Then could have hung in GUMO as well. If I ever do this trip again, I will definitely bring a hammock.

Definitely would have thought about the water a little more. At times we carried a little more than we needed. And you obviously read about the few times we ran low and all the problem we had with that. Obviously a lot of room for improvement with that. Wasn't a problem at all once we got to GUMO. We didn't filter in McKittrick Canyon. We carried everything from the trailhead. Although, for the first time at the park the ranger said, they suggest not to filter the water but they aren't saying you can't. It's always been put to me that it was against the rules to use ground water at the park. I guess they've relaxed their rules some.

There are random gear choices that I would have changed. Wouldn't have taken an insulated jacket. (Never got cold at all.) I only put it on once. Rain jacket was fine. I carried bourbon with me the first half of the trip but never drank it. Never felt like it. I would have changed some of my meal choices. Nothing too big. There is nothing that I didn't carry that I really wish I had.

I'm sure there are more things I could think of. I may do a YouTube video of my thoughts on the trail sometime over the next month.

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Online wrangler88

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Re: Guadalupe Ridge Trail Thru Hike - Sept. 2019
« Reply #52 on: October 11, 2019, 12:43:54 PM »
Hey, Cameron thanks for sharing your story!! I'm soaking up all the details. I love all the photos and descriptions.
I enjoyed your detailing the trip for us. Most of us don't respond much, but there is a silent majority that gleens a lot of important, pertinent information from your experience. So big thanks!

I am doing almost the same thru-hike, solo, starting Nov 1.
I'm starting at White city and going the whole way, then doing all 8000+ peaks in GUMO.

Thats awesome! I really hope you post a trip report. I would love to see how your experience differs from ours. You should have much cooler weather. And hopefully a lot of fall colors.

It bothered me a little prior to the trip not starting at Whites City and doing the true entire trail. But after seeing the trailhead and what leads to the Caverns itself, I am really glad we didn't end up doing that. I still feel plenty proud of how our trip worked out. If anything, I think it'd be awesome if the official trail started down in the actual caverns. Kind of doing a low spot in NM to the high point of TX trail. And personally if it was me in charge of it, I'd also change the official route to turn at the Juniper Trail, go through the Bowl, hit Hunter Peak, and then descend down to Pine Springs.

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Offline backpacker56

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Re: Guadalupe Ridge Trail Thru Hike - Sept. 2019
« Reply #53 on: October 11, 2019, 06:02:59 PM »
If the Guadalupe Ridge Trail ever becomes popular enough, it would be nice for the Forest Service to make some strategically located small campsites, fenced off from cattle.  Of course, people who would steal water wouldn't hesitate to cut a fence.  But then again, we don't actually know for sure what happened with the cached water.

It would be nice for both the Park and the Forest to emphasize to visitors that caches are to be regarded as sacred, in the time-honored tradition of the wilderness.  It might not do any good, but it couldn't hurt.  I haven't found anything addressing this on the websites.

I did notice that Carlsbad Caverns prohibits full backpacks in the cave, so anyone wanting to do the cave to summit trip would have to do the cave segment without the pack.

As for surface water in the National Park, I think the official rule for quite some time, (though perhaps not highly publicized), has been that water may be taken from McKittrick Creek, but only at trail crossings.

"Ah, sure, I'm a gnawed old bone now, but say, don't you guys think the spirit's gone!"

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Offline Willgotnochill

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Re: Guadalupe Ridge Trail Thru Hike - Sept. 2019
« Reply #54 on: October 11, 2019, 10:31:42 PM »
This was such a great trail report! I saw you and Todd on the trail log on wilderness ridge when me and my dad went up there a few days ago! I also saw what I thought to be bear prints and maybe mountain lion prints on the ridge too. Iíve been to GUMO 3 times and this was the first time we didnít see a rattler


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Online wrangler88

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Re: Guadalupe Ridge Trail Thru Hike - Sept. 2019
« Reply #55 on: October 14, 2019, 10:51:07 AM »


This is the video that covers the Lincoln National Forest Section. This is the section that caused all the discussion in this thread. Hopefully this explains some of it. It's a fairly long video but has a lot of info for anyone interested in doing the trail. I'll have part 3, which is from the New Mexico border, all the way through GUMO posted about this time next week.

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Offline roadtrip

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Re: Guadalupe Ridge Trail Thru Hike - Sept. 2019
« Reply #56 on: October 14, 2019, 03:53:38 PM »
Wrangler 88 I've been watching your OML Videos to aid in planning an upcoming trip. Excellent videos. Thanks and keep up the good work.

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Offline mule ears

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Re: Guadalupe Ridge Trail Thru Hike - Sept. 2019
« Reply #57 on: October 15, 2019, 07:42:42 AM »
Great stuff wrangler88!  It looks like the hiker signs that you talk about are metal "blazes" nailed to the trees.  Are they just generic or are they special for the GRT?
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
http://40yearsofwalking.wordpress.com/

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Online wrangler88

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Re: Guadalupe Ridge Trail Thru Hike - Sept. 2019
« Reply #58 on: October 15, 2019, 02:00:57 PM »
Great stuff wrangler88!  It looks like the hiker signs that you talk about are metal "blazes" nailed to the trees.  Are they just generic or are they special for the GRT?

They are just generic metal signs. They dont really have anything to do with the GRT. They are only on a couple short sections of trail in the Lincoln National Forest. About 1/3 of them are completely faded or burnt to where they are just a piece of metal; no picture even left.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2019, 06:14:30 PM by wrangler88 »

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Offline mule ears

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Re: Guadalupe Ridge Trail Thru Hike - Sept. 2019
« Reply #59 on: October 15, 2019, 06:07:22 PM »
Thanks, I thought that might be the case which would add to the confusion of which trail is which.
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
http://40yearsofwalking.wordpress.com/

 


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