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Is the rim colder than the basin? If so, by how much?

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Offline srfdntchk

  • Kangaroo Rat
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Is the rim colder than the basin? If so, by how much?
« on: March 22, 2016, 02:17:33 PM »
Hi All,

Well the time is upon us. My buddies and I will be doing our first trip to Big Bend this weekend, which will be a 2 night backpacking trip on the South Rim. Our first night will hopefully be spent at SW-3 campsite and the second will be back down at one of the JF sites, either JF-2 or JF-3. I think we're all prepared, but one question I have is how cold can we expect it to get at the rim campsites? The lows according to the recent weather forecasts put temps around the mid to upper 40s at Chisos Basin for the weekend. Would this mean that we might expect it to be another 5 - 10 degrees cooler up on the rim?

Thanks,

- Derek





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Offline Homer Wilson

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Re: Is the rim colder than the basin? If so, by how much?
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2016, 03:00:38 PM »
A buddy of mine who's a pilot says a rule of thumb is a drop in temperature of 4 degrees for every thousand feet in elevation, and that he's found that to be very consistent.

That should hold in the chisos, so the rim should be about 8 degrees cooler than the basin, which should be 5-6 degrees cooler than pj.

But - wind patterns can change dramatically by elevation, and that could further alter the temperature. I'd plan on the nighttime temps bordering on freezing.

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Offline Meadows8903

  • Jack Rabbit
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Re: Is the rim colder than the basin? If so, by how much?
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2016, 11:04:10 PM »
In late February, the temperature in the Basin when we woke up our first morning was 38 degrees. The next morning, waking up in primitive site NE1, we immediately knew it was colder. We had no thermometer to verify, but the iced over puddles and pools in Boot Canyon were all the evidence we needed. We were all glad we brought that extra layer!


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"Bend-ing since 1992"

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Offline srfdntchk

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Re: Is the rim colder than the basin? If so, by how much?
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2016, 12:43:27 PM »
Thanks for the tips! We're gonna plan for mid to low-30s on the rim and pack for that. Better safe than sorry.

 


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