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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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December Mountain Hiking

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Offline Not In a Hurry

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December Mountain Hiking
« on: November 13, 2007, 05:10:10 PM »
First of all,
I have been amazed with the quality and amount of information
relayed in this Forum. I am sure many sweat glands
have been exercised putting it together and keeping it up.
Congrats.
We are a group (4) with Moderate Hiking/camping experience that
are going up in Mid December for the Inner loop.
I was hoping to get some heads up in the Mountan weather department.
By the way, If BigBendChat members can keep the temperature
in the Low 60's that would be super.
But from past experiences what are the "Norms" or "averages"
We'll be prepared...but previous experiences would be great.
Thanks. We are excited.

You don't have to be the First. You just have to know how to get there.

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chisos_muse

  • Guest
Re: December Mountain Hiking
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2007, 05:21:34 PM »
Welcome.....I haven't laughed so "hard" at anyone's avatar since Big Lizard put his up! :rolling: :rolling: :rolling:

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Offline okiehiker

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Re: December Mountain Hiking
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2007, 09:33:14 PM »
December weather....

You can be absolutely cedrtain that the temperatures in the high Chisos will be between -5 and 85 F.  Along the river... somewhere between 5 and 100.

A little serious statistical analysis though... average highs along the river are high 60's, in the Chisos mid 50's.  Over thirty-one years of December trips I have found the average trip low for a week-long outing to be 23 F.  Rarely do you get a trip without frost on some mornings.  I would guess that on five of 31 trips I have had lows in the teens or below.  Three trips in the negatives to single digits for a low.  Average highs during a full week trip probably just under 80.  If you were in the Chisos last Christmas season you would have been in fairly heavy snow.  I have had measurable snow on me in three of 31 years. 

In December, the precipitation is not reall much of an issue.  The lightest of tents will suffice.  A warm sleeping bag and wind resistance for your tent are the biggest issues. 

This was New Year's morning 2007 at 3,600'



Seriously, there is little chance of shorts and t-shirt weather in the high Chisos in December.  You should plan for cool to cold nights and be prepared for wind chill on the South Rim, Emory and any other exposed areas.  In the desert sun hiking even on a cool day will make you sweat... layer layer layer what you are wearing. 

It is a great time, and warmer than most anywhere else in the US that time of year...  Have a great trip, and give us a report.
Funny... I have a story about that...

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Offline Roy

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Re: December Mountain Hiking
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2007, 09:41:25 PM »
Welcome, NIAH.
Be prepared for cold weather, below freezing at night, maybe a good bit;  they do ocasionally get snow.  Best advice is to check forecast right before you leave for the park, and again with the Rangers when you get there.  Also, remember you'll be there when days are at their shortest, around 11 hrs. of light, which means 13 hrs of dark.  Star gazing is always good, but you might want to pack a deck of cards, too.


Welcome.....I haven't laughed so "hard" at anyone's avatar since Big Lizard put his up! :rolling: :rolling: :rolling:
Muse, any truth to the rumor they banned you from Grapevine Hills and Red Rock Canyon?

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Offline randell

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Re: December Mountain Hiking
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2007, 09:46:50 PM »
Welcome, NIAH.
Be prepared for cold weather, below freezing at night, maybe a good bit;  they do ocasionally get snow.  Best advice is to check forecast right before you leave for the park, and again with the Rangers when you get there.  Also, remember you'll be there when days are at their shortest, around 11 hrs. of light, which means 13 hrs of dark.  Star gazing is always good, but you might want to pack a deck of cards, too.


Welcome.....I haven't laughed so "hard" at anyone's avatar since Big Lizard put his up! :rolling: :rolling: :rolling:
Muse, any truth to the rumor they banned you from Grapevine Hills and Red Rock Canyon?

My wife can't even look at a picture of Grapevine Hills without cracking up.  She refuses to let me hang those pictures on the wall of our house!
« Last Edit: November 13, 2007, 11:55:00 PM by RichardM »
There's nothing like a good quest to get you intimate with a place. - Tom Clynes

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chisos_muse

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Re: December Mountain Hiking
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2007, 10:58:41 AM »
Muse, any truth to the rumor they banned you from Grapevine Hills and Red Rock Canyon?

Heck no, there's lots of happy rocks all around the Bend! :eusa_angel:

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Offline Not In a Hurry

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Re: December Mountain Hiking
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2007, 10:21:33 AM »
Excellent heads up. I will most definetly give everyone a report
after our trip. Our group lives in Laredo, TX.
( Also lovingly referred to as the Devil's Anus)
and are used to the extreme heat.The cold is another story.
Okie and Roy many...many thanks. We will bring proper layers
to avoid prolonged cuddling with my fellow hikers.
Muse, by the way.... the reason for "Just ask Bob" is that
our group has a long standing joke about his "smile". Right.
Lastly, I read a while back a little something about the
Flying Saucer... That is our 2 hour drive watering hole.
No filter needed.
Too bad we missed it. Nothing wrong with cold beer and
the Irish attire.
Many thanks again.
You don't have to be the First. You just have to know how to get there.

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chisos_muse

  • Guest
Re: December Mountain Hiking
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2007, 11:42:02 AM »
Excellent heads up. I will most definetly give everyone a report
after our trip. Our group lives in Laredo, TX.
( Also lovingly referred to as the Devil's Anus)
and are used to the extreme heat.The cold is another story.
Okie and Roy many...many thanks. We will bring proper layers
to avoid prolonged cuddling with my fellow hikers.
Muse, by the way.... the reason for "Just ask Bob" is that
our group has a long standing joke about his "smile". Right.

Lastly, I read a while back a little something about the
Flying Saucer... That is our 2 hour drive watering hole.
No filter needed.
Too bad we missed it. Nothing wrong with cold beer and
the Irish attire.
Many thanks again.


Yeah but be careful, I hear that if those long standing jokes last longer than 4 hours you need to see a doctor. Except for Sting, of course...... :eusa_whistle:

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Offline jeffblaylock

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Re: December Mountain Hiking
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2007, 12:04:58 PM »
Quote from: Musey
I hear that if those long standing jokes last longer than 4 hours you need to see a doctor.

Not so much a medical issue as it is a scheduling problem.  :eusa_doh: :eusa_dance:
Jeff Blaylock
Austin, Texas

"We'll be back, someday soon. We will return, someday, and when we do the gritty
splendor and the complicated grandeur of Big Bend will still be here. Waiting for us."--Ed Abbey

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Offline xseption

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Re: December Mountain Hiking
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2007, 02:33:18 PM »

Not so much a medical issue as it is a scheduling problem.  :eusa_doh: :eusa_dance:


Sounds like a man of experience!

:cheesy:

Be the kind of person that you will want to meet!

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Offline MJ

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Re: December Mountain Hiking
« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2007, 06:07:15 AM »
December weather....

You can be absolutely cedrtain that the temperatures in the high Chisos will be between -5 and 85 F.  Along the river... somewhere between 5 and 100.

A little serious statistical analysis though... average highs along the river are high 60's, in the Chisos mid 50's.  Over thirty-one years of December trips I have found the average trip low for a week-long outing to be 23 F.  Rarely do you get a trip without frost on some mornings.  I would guess that on five of 31 trips I have had lows in the teens or below.  Three trips in the negatives to single digits for a low.  Average highs during a full week trip probably just under 80.  If you were in the Chisos last Christmas season you would have been in fairly heavy snow.  I have had measurable snow on me in three of 31 years. 

In December, the precipitation is not reall much of an issue.  The lightest of tents will suffice.  A warm sleeping bag and wind resistance for your tent are the biggest issues. 

This was New Year's morning 2007 at 3,600'



Seriously, there is little chance of shorts and t-shirt weather in the high Chisos in December.  You should plan for cool to cold nights and be prepared for wind chill on the South Rim, Emory and any other exposed areas.  In the desert sun hiking even on a cool day will make you sweat... layer layer layer what you are wearing. 

It is a great time, and warmer than most anywhere else in the US that time of year...  Have a great trip, and give us a report.

I've told this story here a few times - but my wife and I were caught in a whiteout for 36 hours at the bottom of Juniper Cayon in early December 2001 on an attempt at the OML - visibility was about 200 yards for most of the next day - there was six inches of snow - we could not identify landmarks on the map and the trail was all but invisible beneath six inches of snow (it is however easy to see mountain lion prints in the snow!) - rain/snow/precipitation was not forecast when we left the Basin - if we had not had a decent 3 season tent it would have been a life threatening situation

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Offline STARLITDARKNESS3

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Re: December Mountain Hiking
« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2007, 04:39:41 PM »
Welcome.....I haven't laughed so "hard" at anyone's avatar since Big Lizard put his up! :rolling: :rolling: :rolling:
Muse, any truth to the rumor they banned you from Grapevine Hills and Red Rock Canyon?


 :icon_eek:   
"Are we there yet?"  ... by my Kids

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chisos_muse

  • Guest
Re: December Mountain Hiking
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2007, 05:22:10 PM »
Welcome.....I haven't laughed so "hard" at anyone's avatar since Big Lizard put his up! :rolling: :rolling: :rolling:
Muse, any truth to the rumor they banned you from Grapevine Hills and Red Rock Canyon?


 :icon_eek:   

Oh don't listen to him....that's just Roy being......well.... ....Roy  :undecided:

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Offline STARLITDARKNESS3

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Re: December Mountain Hiking
« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2007, 10:28:36 PM »

Oh don't listen to him....that's just Roy being......well.... ....Roy  :undecided:

  :willynilly:

no worries,, I understand....   :willynilly:
"Are we there yet?"  ... by my Kids

 


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