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Mule Ears Peak Hike

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Offline Picacho

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Mule Ears Peak Hike
« Reply #15 on: January 12, 2007, 11:37:15 PM »
If you want the shadows, you'll have to be there pretty late.  I left the Mule Ears Trailhead at about 3:30 p.m.  I arrived back with the light of my headlamp.  Mule Ears saddle is a cool place to be.

I definitely want to see your photos when you get back from your trip.  That other one is great.

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Offline RedBuffalo

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Shadows
« Reply #16 on: January 13, 2007, 08:47:42 AM »
I'm wondering what the shadows may be like around 9 am shooting towards the west from the saddle?  That would sure make a nice dyptic of our photos.

My plan is to hit the trail and shoot the sunrise along the way and make a half day out of the Mule Ears hike.  Eat lunch down at Castolon and hike Santa Elena and photograph Terlinqua Abajo in the afternoon then return along the Ross Maxwell for a sunset op looking towards the Window pouroff (sometimes the Chisos go purple / magenta opposite the sunset) and see what may take place to the west as the day ends.  Should be a full one.  

But, the main focus for me will be Mule Ears.  We all, the three of us, put together a wish list of places to go and I only had one item on my list - Mule Ears Peak!  I could probably make a day out of that one just watching the shadows throughout the day and scouting several vantage points.  I'll be traveling with two partners and not everyone shares my enthusiasm for spending time in the desert. Give me a granoloa bar and a pack of tuna and I'm good for the day.

Anyway, I hope I come back with something to show; however, as I get older the experience is starting to have more value than the picture taking.

As a side note, I'll be taking a full day pack, camera holster pack, and new hiking boots to test out for a trip to Glacier NP this summer.  I've got my eyes on a nice trek towards Grinnel Glacier.  It'll be nice to see how the pack, boots, and camera gear make it to Mule Ears Peak.

Thanks again for the helpful info. - those washes look like ant trails from the saddle.........  I assume we're looking at about 1-2 miles of trail in front of you there.  Any tricks to getting up in the saddle?

Ok, I can't seem to end this post.  I went back and looked through my pictures from my last overnight at the South Rim.  Would you take a look at this photo and tell me if I have Mule Ears Peak marked correctly.  I know it's hard to see, but that should be the general direction.  It looks like an ant from that view! I assume that the South Rim is in full view from Mule Ears?  I have a picture in my mind of Mule Ears Peak in the foreground and the Chisos in the background - would that be possilbe?  How far south of the peak do you think I would need to go to get that picture. Man, I hope I'm not hounding you too much on all this.






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Offline moose58

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Mule Ears
« Reply #17 on: January 13, 2007, 09:51:34 AM »
Thanks Picacho, listening to RedBuffalo go on and on about the cactus needles is scarring me. And, I am afraid that I will be the victim of an extreme day of hiking. Once you challenge him, all bets are off. LOL! He has only been talking about this trek for months now to me. But, in all seriousness, it is images like these that help us enjoy BIBE even more and pick out new targets within the park. Hats off for both images guys! Great job! :D

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Offline Roy

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Mule Ears Peak Hike
« Reply #18 on: January 13, 2007, 10:23:34 AM »
That's Mule Ears alright.

A note;  after my last mistake, I went back and looked at the WikiMapia site;  Mules Ears is marked incorrectly there.  I don't know how to delete it, but marked it a wrong. Maybe someone who knows more could delete the whole entry.

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Offline Picacho

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Mule Ears Peak Hike
« Reply #19 on: January 13, 2007, 10:48:58 AM »
COOL!  Not only are the Mule Ears in your pic (full size one), but just to the left is Picacho.  I've been looking for a pic of Picacho from the Rim.  We just climbed Picacho on December 28th.  And yes, there is a great view of the Chisos from Mule ears.  Check it out below.  I am guessing also that a hike down the Smokey Creek trail would land you both the Mule Ears and the Chisos.  If you are taking a digital camera, zoom in optically as far as yo can go and put it on max pixels.  Then if you need to zoom any further you can do it in Photoshop.  



It might be a little far, but a summit of the flat top mountain to the right in the pic would probably be a great summit for pictures of just about everything.  

Somewhere along the trail after the spring I took this shot that has picacho in it along with the flat top mountain and the Chisos.  



As far as getting up to the saddle, nothing major but the first part up is on NASTY scree, but if you are used to Big Bend it won't be a big deal.  The final part up has scree but not as bad as the beginning.  Here is a shot of the flat top mountain and the Mule Ears from the north along the Dodson trail as we were heading towards Picacho.  As you can see, there is a ramp on the northeast portion of the flat top mountain that would make it easy to climb.  I tried to figure out which peak it was on topozone but I couldn't figure it out.  It is definitely unnamed.


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Offline RedBuffalo

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Mule Ears
« Reply #20 on: January 13, 2007, 02:25:06 PM »
Thanks for the additional photos and information!  It'll be nice to get deeper in to this side of Big Bend.  I drove the River Road once back in 1989, but haven't done any hiking in that region.  The scenery towards the Chisos is astounding - talk about being in the middle of it....

I'll have to leave "flat top" for anyother adventure.  How many miles roundtrip was that Picacho hike?  Did you have to make your own trail for that one or is there something established other than washes?  Looks a little tchnical to get to the top of that guy.

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Offline Picacho

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Mule Ears Peak Hike
« Reply #21 on: January 13, 2007, 05:53:35 PM »
It's about a 7 mile round trip via trail, then the actual climb up and back on Picacho was a bushwhack but I am not sure how far, may 1.5 miles round trip bushwhacking.  So maybe a round trip of 8.5 or 9 miles.  There is a lot of 4th class, then there is a 5.4 short pitch near the summit that definitely requires rope unless you like some serious exposure.  It took us 11 hours, although some of that was route finding, it wouldn't take nearly as long now that I know the correct route.  I posted a video of the climb on the La Kiva message board.

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Offline RedBuffalo

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MEP Google Earth
« Reply #22 on: January 14, 2007, 07:37:25 AM »
Google Earth doesn't show the MEP in true form (no ears) so I wanted to confirm that I have it right.  I know, my topo is on the way, but it's a rainy weekend here in Lufkin so I had the time to work this up.

Check out these two images.  The blue labels are from Google.  Is my route anywhere close?  I see that wash cutting through that land mass - is that the route?  Also, I assume the large wash leaving Mule Ears Spring is Smokey Springs; however, Google has it much further to the east.

Image One:




Image Two w/ my yellow markings:



I know, it's not like I can't see where I'm going - follow the ears, but I wanted to cut down on as much route finding as possible.

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Offline Roy

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Mule Ears Peak Hike
« Reply #23 on: January 14, 2007, 09:29:50 AM »
At the risk of screwing up again, and because the weather sucks here, too, I'll take a shot at this.

The trail segment leading east from ME Spring is not Smoky Creek Trail;  it's that 1/2 to 3/4 mile I forgot about in my first post.  

The trail you've marked cutting through that mass brings you in west of MEP; I think it's the dead end Picacho talked about; you need to keep going east.

Smoky Creek Trail runs roughly north/south along the braided stream bed east of MEP;  the washes that he described leading to be base of the talus slope are in that area.

Don't know what kind of maps you're waiting on, but the park keeps a fair supply of 7.5 min. maps on hand.   You might be able to order them from the online book store.

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Offline Bobcat

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Mule Ears Peak Hike
« Reply #24 on: January 14, 2007, 12:20:58 PM »
Here's a shot I took of the east side of ME.

Location Location Location

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Offline bdann

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Mule Ears Peak Hike
« Reply #25 on: January 14, 2007, 12:46:41 PM »
Quote from: "Bobcat"
Here's a shot I took of the east side of ME.


Nice.  I like.
WATER, It does a body good.

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Offline RedBuffalo

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Coming in from the East aye!
« Reply #26 on: January 14, 2007, 08:01:37 PM »
Roy,  Thanks for clearing that up.  I can see where Smokey Creek runs down along the east side.  It just seemed too far out east to me on the Google map.  Smokey Creek looks super wide so that shouldn't be a problem once we drop down in to it.  I'm waiting on my cousin to mail me his topo of that section plus my copy of Hiking Big Bend, which also describes the trail and is on loan to a friend.  I feel a little lost without my resources....

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Offline Picacho

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Mule Ears Peak Hike
« Reply #27 on: January 14, 2007, 08:54:03 PM »
Red Buffalo

The route you got on the second Google Earth image is the approximate route I took to get back which required bushwhacking down and through a couple of canyons.  The light color is the canyon areas.  My recommendation is to keep going further down into Smokey Creek and come up the east side rather than the west as in your route.  Bobcat's photo shows a perfect view of the east side of Mule Ears.  The first part up which you can actually make out in the photo is steeper and looser, the second part up to the saddle is not that bad.

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Offline RichardM

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Re: Coming in from the East aye!
« Reply #28 on: January 14, 2007, 09:41:18 PM »
Quote from: "RedBuffalo"
I'm waiting on my cousin to mail me his topo of that section plus my copy of Hiking Big Bend, which also describes the trail and is on loan to a friend.  I feel a little lost without my resources....

In the meantime, there's always Topozone.com.

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Offline bdann

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Re: Coming in from the East aye!
« Reply #29 on: January 15, 2007, 07:55:33 AM »
Quote from: "RichardM"
Quote from: "RedBuffalo"
I'm waiting on my cousin to mail me his topo of that section plus my copy of Hiking Big Bend, which also describes the trail and is on loan to a friend.  I feel a little lost without my resources....

In the meantime, there's always Topozone.com.


Or this site - http://www2.tnris.org/datadownload/download.jsp

You can download full size 24k topos for the entire state of Texas ....very nice.   I think Jeff Blaylock had posted that link once before.
WATER, It does a body good.

 


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