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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THANK YOU for such an amazing resource! You rock!


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Big Bend Ranch State Park Q&A / Re: Need suggestions for 6 day BBRSP backpack
« Last post by DesertRatShorty on January 18, 2019, 09:12:05 PM »
Tim, I really appreciate your gathering and sharing this information.

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Just filing this away where it can be easily found by anyone that needs it, now or in the future.  I surveyed all these sources during the week of December 9-14, 2018, after a wet summer and fall. There were plenty of pools of water in most washes, much of it left over from rains that had occurred in the previous couple days. Several tinajas were quite full and several springs were running for hundreds of yards below their sources.


https://caltopo.com/m/TH13


*Chimneys Spring – no sign of it; never found it; no idea where it is, would love for someone else to give it a look

*Kit Springs (south of The Chimneys) – didn’t find the spring; did find a large grassy, muddy pool slightly downwash: might have to dig in order to collect water, very muddy, might dry up in warm months

*Bee Spring – brush-choked, lots of wildlife activity, no sign of water at the spring or in this wash, but lots in the larger wash it empties into, others have found this to be a flowing spring in winter

*Tres Spring – surrounded by lots of thick, thorny vegetation, wildlife tracks and scats, but no sign of water, might be deep inside the impenetrable thicket, no water flowing in the wash

*Dos Spring – not where my University of New Mexico map data said it was, Badknees’ map is almost certainly better. This seems to be an issue only with springs added in the 1995 survey.  This spring is probably located in the southwest-trending drainage just to the west of the Tres Spring wash. Hopefully someone else will get out there and find it.

*Pena Spring – marked by a string of cottonwoods and other trees, several upwellings up and down the deeply shaded wash, very productive, I drew water here, and it’s probably available all year long, keep your eyes peeled for the large cairn on the south side of the trail just before it drops down to the west, the cairn marks the descent into the wash where the easiest-to-reach upwelling can be found under grasses.

*Pena 2 Spring – same as Tres Spring, but no evidence of wildlife visitation, might be inactive

*Linda Spring – water flowing for a mile downwash, several small tinajas in a gorgeous box canyon, the spring spills from above in a narrow waterfall over a large pouroff at the end of the box, which is climb-able.

*Wright Pool – again, a water source from the 1995 survey, and not where my UNM map said it was, but easily found later up the main wash which is filled with all kinds of tinajas (little, big, and a sinuous series that I called The Narrows); Wright is a HUGE tinaja, but faces southwest and might dry up in spring and early summer

*Red Ass Springs – marked by three groups of large cottonwoods each with its own spring and several seeps coming out of the north sedimentary beds, along with a few other upwellings here and there, most with good clean water, and a few tinajas with muddy water, this complex probably has water all year. Bear in mind that the huge, state-record cottonwood at the highest-elevation spring, though still impressive in DBH, is now a broken off trunk without a top and cannot be seen from a distance.

*South Spring – Same as Pena 2 Spring, possibly never productive

*North Spring – marked by several huge cottonwoods, water wells up among the westernmost, best approached from downwash where water flows for almost a quarter mile (but is scummy at the western end), might be productive all year long.

*Tule Springs – three separate, very productive springs emptying into HUGE collection pool w/ good water, should be water all year long. The water from Tule Springs was flowing all the way down to the southeast edge of Tule Mountain!

*Heading Out Spring – same as Chimneys Spring, never found it, but it's close to the Burro Spring trailhead and Burro Spring wash, so definitely worth a quick trip out there to investigate.

*Burro Spring – water running downwash for over a quarter mile, perennial spring at base of huge pouroff, but bees!!! HUGE hanging tinaja up above at the pouroff. Unbelievable amounts of rainwater collected there, but you'll need a cord in order to drop a bottle or bucket or other reservoir into it to collect water.

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Big Bend Ranch State Park Q&A / Re: Black rocks climbing area
« Last post by ghysdulkc on January 18, 2019, 11:54:10 AM »
Quote
The last thing you would want would be to be mid-way up a route and suddenly some randos are accidentally raining rocks down on you from the cliff edge!

True enough! Thank you!
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Big Bend Ranch State Park Q&A / Re: Black rocks climbing area
« Last post by Ranger Tim on January 18, 2019, 11:26:58 AM »
Nope, but they have a special contract with the park that provides specific guidelines that dictate how they interact with the resource. They are also heavily insured wilderness professionals and have been the only ones that have used it for decades. Frankly, there just hasn't been much past interest.

It is actually an accident of geology that there is even a single climbing spot in the Big Bend. By and large, the geology of the region is extremely fragile and poorly adapted to sport climbing, so there just aren't many climbers down here. The only other sport climbing location I can think of is Point of Rocks up near Fort Davis.
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Big Bend Ranch State Park Q&A / Re: Black rocks climbing area
« Last post by RichardM on January 18, 2019, 11:09:37 AM »
Rock Climbing and Rappelling in Texas State Parks
Several state parks offer rock climbing and rappelling. Check with park staff before heading to a park to climb; restrictions may apply.

State Parks with Rock Climbing
Enchanted Rock State Natural Area
Franklin Mountains State Park
Hueco Tanks State Historic Site
Lake Mineral Wells State Park and Trailway
McKinney Falls State Park (bouldering only)
So has Outward Bound been operating on an "easier to ask forgiveness than permission" basis?
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Big Bend Ranch State Park Q&A / Re: Black rocks climbing area
« Last post by Ranger Tim on January 18, 2019, 10:54:21 AM »
"But it would be great to know BBRSP’s policy specifically!"

It would if we had one! My est advice would be to hold off trying to use it for now until we can get our heads around what that would even look like. The last thing you would want would be to be mid-way up a route and suddenly some randos are accidentally raining rocks down on you from the cliff edge!
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Big Bend Ranch State Park Q&A / Re: Black rocks climbing area
« Last post by ghysdulkc on January 18, 2019, 10:35:22 AM »
Lance, that is the exact location I was going to check out when I go to look for it. The area just seemed to match.

Thanks for the info Ranger Tim! I do know bolted climbing is allowed in a number of other state parks like mineral wells, enchanted rock, and a couple others. But it would be great to know BBRSP’s policy specifically!
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Big Bend Ranch State Park Q&A / Re: Black rocks climbing area
« Last post by Lance on January 18, 2019, 10:22:33 AM »
Pretty sure I found it. Compared some images from VOBS website and they line up.
Coordinates are (29.260456, -103.803790)
https://goo.gl/maps/XZQ1ef2Q1SE2

Makes sense too since I have the canyon across the river labeled "Black Rock Canyon" in the BiBe GE Project.
Looks very easy to get too. Gonna have to check it out. Good find John!
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Big Bend Ranch State Park Q&A / Re: Black rocks climbing area
« Last post by Ranger Tim on January 18, 2019, 10:16:47 AM »
So, I don't know much about this, but I will tell you what I do know. Black Rocks is an area along the Rio Grande where VOBS and the NPS High-angle Rescue Team practice climbing and rope work. With that said it has never been open to the public in the past and we currently have no mechanism to make it so. Hell, if you were to go to any of the ranger stations and ask about it i seriously doubt that anybody would know what you were even talking about. The road into it is unmarked and so unremarkable that I drove past it for five years before I ever even knew it was there.

I'll do some more asking around and see if TPWD has a policy regarding climbing in state parks. Given the tremendous liabilities involved, it is hard to say.
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