Friends of Big Bend National Park
Big Bend Conservancy

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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Friend died in Big Bend last weekend

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Offline Desert_Dave

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Re: Friend died in Big Bend last weekend
« Reply #15 on: August 06, 2013, 04:28:53 AM »
Tragic news, I am very sorry for your loss. 

Sadly, this comes less than a week after a deceased man was found floating in the RG.

http://bigbendnow.com/2013/07/unidentified-man-found-dead-in-the-rio-grande/

The last week has been an especially hot time in the big bend area, heat advisories have been in effect, as well as flood warnings for the Rio Grande.

http://www.intellicast.com/Storm/Severe/Bulletins.aspx?location=USTX9911

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Offline Arlon

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Re: Friend died in Big Bend last weekend
« Reply #16 on: August 06, 2013, 10:22:35 AM »
Very sad news.  I just hate it when this happens.  And, I know darn well that the SAR team hates having to do a recovery instead of a rescue. 

I take it this was him?
https://www.facebook.com/nicholas.bull.338

FYI for those not familiar with it.
http://www.nps.gov/bibe/planyourvisit/bc_marufovega.htm

http://www.americansouthwest.net/texas/big_bend/marufo-vega-map.html


No, not even close. Nick was from Michigan, just finishing his MS in Geology. He has a FB page but it is empty. He did not favor FB.
Stop, click, stop, click, click, stop, click.....

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Offline Arlon

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Re: Friend died in Big Bend last weekend
« Reply #17 on: August 06, 2013, 10:23:59 AM »
Thanks, that answers a few questions. Nick was a summer geology intern from Michigan. Other two are interns as well.

Interns for NPS or Interns for someone else?

Interns somplace else. They were interning at an oil company office in Midland for the summer. Just finished their projects last week. Guess they decided to go to Big Bend to celebrate.
Stop, click, stop, click, click, stop, click.....

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Offline billh

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Re: Friend died in Big Bend last weekend
« Reply #18 on: August 06, 2013, 10:48:34 AM »
very sorry for your loss. I hiked Marufo Vega this Winter. It would be brutal this time of year. Very sobering reminder of how hard this place can be.


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Offline desertflwr

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Re: Friend died in Big Bend last weekend
« Reply #20 on: August 06, 2013, 08:20:05 PM »
So sorry to hear this.  Prayers for you and his family. 
...in the wild places man is an unwelcome guest but its here that I'm found and here I feel blessed...

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Offline Casa Grande

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Re: Friend died in Big Bend last weekend
« Reply #21 on: August 07, 2013, 11:13:45 AM »
Arlon, sorry to hear about your friend's passing.  A sad reality check for the rest of us.  I know I've gotten myself into quite the pickle out there on more than one occasion before.  "There but for the grace of God go I." 
I remind everyone of our motto around here:  Over estimating your experience or under estimating the  terrain in a place like Big Bend can lead to serious injury or death.  Every one here, no matter their experience level, should repeat those words in their head every time they go out there. Never forget it and always remember these poor souls who didn't make it to La Kiva for their celebratory brew. RIP.

www.virtualbigbend. com


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Offline Homer67

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Re: Friend died in Big Bend last weekend
« Reply #22 on: August 07, 2013, 11:33:41 AM »
So sad to hear this...so young with so much before him. Man, this is tragic.
Ah Big Bend, we will soon return to reacquaint ourselves in our ritual of blood, exhaustion and dehydration. How can we resist the temptation to strip ourselves of the maladies of civilization?

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Offline trtlrock

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Re: Friend died in Big Bend last weekend
« Reply #23 on: August 07, 2013, 11:54:24 AM »
Arlon, sorry to hear about your friend's passing.  A sad reality check for the rest of us.  I know I've gotten myself into quite the pickle out there on more than one occasion before.  "There but for the grace of God go I." 

My condolences too Arlon...

Tess & I were talking about this last night. Those of us (most of the members of BBC, certainly) who are experienced in BB hiking might find this inconceivable. How could anyone (much less 3 people) think that hiking MV in July was a smart thing to do? Broiling temps, no shade, no water, etc, etc. It is obviously courting death.

Then again, we were all BB noobs at some point. My sister & her husband hiked the OML in May (I believe), many years ago. This was before I had ever been to BB. They (as is their way  ;)) forgot several fundamentally important items, and regaled us with tales of running low on water, and stumbling over the roller-coaster hills of the Dodson Trail in brain-searing temps. Frankly, they are lucky to be alive.

Our first BB hike was the MV. Luckily, it was in November, so whatever mistakes we made were survivable.

All the precautions one should take now seem so ingrained, so obvious, that it really does boggle the mind a bit that this can happen.

But all of us, at some point, might have made the same mistakes.

I am curious how this happened, though. Was it an overnight? A day hike? There is no way on earth they ran this idea past the rangers, who would've told them emphatically what a dangerous enterprise they were considering. Did they just see the trailhead sign, park, and set out on a whim?

So sad...
John & Tess

"...and I'll face each day with a smile, for the time that I've been given's such a little while..." - Arthur Lee

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Offline Vince T

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Re: Friend died in Big Bend last weekend
« Reply #24 on: August 07, 2013, 03:14:46 PM »
There is no way on earth they ran this idea past the rangers, who would've told them emphatically what a dangerous enterprise they were considering. Did they just see the trailhead sign, park, and set out on a whim?

So sad...

That was my initial thought exactly.  I would be very surprised if rangers knew they were out there on that trail.   I mean, they can't say NO, but I do imagine that if they told a ranger their plans for going out there this time of year, a pretty strong and persuasive discouragement would likely follow.

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Offline steelfrog

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Re: Friend died in Big Bend last weekend
« Reply #25 on: August 07, 2013, 03:26:47 PM »
yes, the rangers are always so encouraging...

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Offline Arlon

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Re: Friend died in Big Bend last weekend
« Reply #26 on: August 07, 2013, 03:33:47 PM »
Not sure what the details were. Pretty sure they planned to hike this in a day. They were visiting Midland and didn't have the gear for overnighting or serious hiking for that matter. No clue if they checked in with a ranger station. I would have tied them to their desks if I'd known what they had in mind...

Stop, click, stop, click, click, stop, click.....

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Offline trtlrock

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Re: Friend died in Big Bend last weekend
« Reply #27 on: August 09, 2013, 08:46:40 PM »
From the NPS Daily Report:

Big Bend National Park (TX)
Day Hiker Succumbs To Extreme Heat


Nicholas Bull, 24, of Midland, Texas, went on a day hike on the Marufo Vega Trail with two friends on Friday, August 3rd. The temperature in the area reached a high of 108 degrees that afternoon, and the hikers became distressed when they ran out of water.


One member of the group hiked out to get help, and alerted the NPS to the emergency just before 3 p.m. that afternoon. The other two group members (including Nicholas) separated from each other while attempting to hike back towards the trailhead, and the second hiker made it out just as the first rangers were arriving on scene.  A hasty search was begun for Nicholas involving rangers on foot and horseback and by air in an NPS aircraft. Border Patrol agents also joined in the ground search.


Ranger Matt Payton found Nicholas off-trail approximately 200 yards from the Marufo Vega Trailhead just before 6 p.m., approximately two-and-a-half hours into the search.  He had already expired.


This was the second hiker fatality stemming from extreme heat conditions in two months.
 [Submitted by Scott Taylor, Acting Chief Ranger]


John & Tess

"...and I'll face each day with a smile, for the time that I've been given's such a little while..." - Arthur Lee

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Offline catz

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Re: Friend died in Big Bend last weekend
« Reply #28 on: August 10, 2013, 10:51:29 AM »
Jeez.  Only 200 yards from the trailhead.  So sad.
Wake me when it's time to go.

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Offline badknees

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Re: Friend died in Big Bend last weekend
« Reply #29 on: August 10, 2013, 10:57:40 AM »
Over-estimating your experience or under-estimating the terrain..........

This statement is not to be dismissed, but the young and invulnerable sometimes think these warnings don't apply to them. A very sad time for family and friends and a time for all of us to continue to give good advice to newbies and not ever become complacent ourselves.
Not all those who wander are lost.
J.R.R. Tolkien

Through the Mirror
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