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Trip to Base of El Pico

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Offline billh

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Trip to Base of El Pico
« on: March 07, 2016, 12:54:46 PM »
Last Wednesday, three friends and I went to Boquillas del Carmen and met our guides.  One of our guides was Eliazar, one of the DIABLOS, and he was tough as nails, and a great guy. The drove us (incredible experience in itself) up to El Jardin, and then over to some beautiful Pinon Woods. the next morning we hiked over to the Ridge that runs over to El Pico, The place was lush with grasses.

I was getting really fatigued by MULTIPLE up and down over numerous arroyos, so we made it only the Edge, where we camped. It was one of the most beautiful campsites I've ever had. Flawless skies and great views of the Chisos in the Far Distance. We got up early and again hiked across a few arroyos and then to the saddle under El Pico.

The descent is extraordinary difficult, especially for me. I became dehydrated about a 1/3 of the way down, and my good friends divided up my gear and even strapped my backpack on. The trail was very very faint, and many spots are hard to find. I would NOT recommend this without a guide, but our guides were splendid. The entire descent is very steep, no shade, and much loose gravel and overhanging boulders and trees. I was often really nervous. It took all my concentration to just keep my footing. Thankfully my friends had me chugging water and eating Goo, with that I made it to the bottom.

My friends fared better than me and are in much better condition. I can't really decide what was going on. I was getting over a chest cold, and with the increased elevation, and my own 59 year old body, it was just about too much.

However, I cannot exaggerate just how beautiful and awe inspiring the views are. We also looked down on Peregrine Falcons soaring BELOW us.

Highly recommended, WITH a competent guide. I'll post information on that later.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2016, 01:44:24 PM by billh »

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Offline Jalco

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Re: Trip to Base of El Pico
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2016, 12:56:55 PM »
That's awesome!

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Offline Al

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Re: Trip to Base of El Pico
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2016, 01:07:15 PM »
Last Wednesday, three friends and I went to Boquillas del Carmen and met our guide. The drove us (incredible experience in itself) up to El Jardin, and then over to some beautiful Pinon Woods. the next morning we hiked over to the Ridge that runs over to El Pico, The place was lush with grasses.

I was getting really fatigued by MULTIPLE up and down over numerous arroyos, so we made it only the Edge, where we camped. It was one of the most beautiful campsites I've ever had. Flawless skies and great views of the Chisos in the Far Distance. We got up early and again hiked across a few arroyos and then to the saddle under El Pico.

The descent is extraordinary difficult, especially for me. I became dehydrated about a 1/3 of the way down, and my good friends divided up my gear and even strapped my backpack on. The trail was very very faint, and many spots are hard to find. I would NOT recommend this without a guide, but our guides were splendid. The entire descent is very steep, no shade, and much loose gravel and overhanging boulders and trees. I was often really nervous. It took all my concentration to just keep my footing. Thankfully my friends had me chugging water and eating Goo, with that I made it to the bottom.

My friends fared better than me and are in much better condition. I can't really decide what was going on. I was getting over a chest cold, and with the increased elevation, and my own 59 year old body, it was just about too much.

However, I cannot exaggerate just how beautiful and awe inspiring the views are. We also looked down on Peregrine Falcons soaring BELOW us.

Highly recommended, WITH a competent guide. I'll post information on that later.

Excellent!  That's the hike I did a couple of times many years ago.  The first time we did it, we hiked from el Jardin to behind el Pico in one day and then tried to hike to below Terminal the second day. I couldn't make it even when helped with my pack ( I was in my 40's).  It took a month for my knees to quit hurting.  The second time we took our time and got picked up at the mine: a  much more enjoyable experience.  Did you hike down to the mine or to Terminal? How many days? Pictures?

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Offline billh

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Re: Trip to Base of El Pico
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2016, 01:10:34 PM »
https://www.flickr.com/photos/14890552@N06/albums/72157665402900152

We hiked down to San Jose Mine, a little closer than Puerto Rico
« Last Edit: March 07, 2016, 01:39:59 PM by billh »

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Offline Al

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Re: Trip to Base of El Pico
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2016, 01:42:44 PM »
https://www.flickr.com/photos/organize/?start_tab=new_set

We hiked down to San Jose Mine, a little closer than Puerto Rico

Thanks.  Wish I had a Yahoo account . . . and my cell phone is broken so I can't sign up.  Here's a shot looking down from el Pico.



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Offline billh

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Re: Trip to Base of El Pico
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2016, 01:45:17 PM »

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Offline Al

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Re: Trip to Base of El Pico
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2016, 01:52:36 PM »
Beautiful! Thank you.

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Offline Lance

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Re: Trip to Base of El Pico
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2016, 07:21:41 PM »
Bill, thank you so much for this!  Been wanting to plan an El Pico trip for quite a while.  I'm in Big Bend at the moment, but I've got some questions I hope you can answer once I get back home.  Thanks man!!

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Offline mule ears

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Re: Trip to Base of El Pico
« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2016, 07:50:55 PM »
Great trip Bill and nothing for a 59 year old to be ashamed of, proud would be the better response.   :eusa_clap:
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
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Offline Jalco

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Re: Trip to Base of El Pico
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2016, 08:34:11 PM »
I love the shot with the century plant and El Pico. Outstanding!

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Offline Casa Grande

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Re: Trip to Base of El Pico
« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2016, 11:08:39 AM »
Hey Bill! Glad to see you're back ole timer!

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G925A using Big Bend Chat mobile app

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Offline elhombre

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Re: Trip to Base of El Pico
« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2016, 01:15:13 PM »
Outstanding!  Now that is a good reason to get a passport and cross the border.  What kind of cash did you end up throwing down?  Is there any water to be had on the way or did you have to carry it all?
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Offline billh

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Re: Trip to Base of El Pico
« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2016, 02:12:55 PM »
Thanks all. We paid 180.00 per person for the guide, which included them carrying the food and cooking for us. We had homemade Tamales, Posole and Juevos y Machaca (dried meat) We wound up asking them to pick us up at a different spot, Mina San Jose, and that cost 80.00 more.We stayed at Falcon's little Hotel in Boquillas, We had burrito dinner the night we got in, beers, breakfast the next moring and it was 150.00 total for all of us. The rooms were clean and nice, great clean showers and bathroom. Food at Falcon's is Excellent.

There is NO water and we carried 2 1/2 gallons apiece for two nights and two days on the trail. It was just enough.

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Offline Al

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Re: Trip to Base of El Pico
« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2016, 04:37:28 PM »
Thanks all. We paid 180.00 per person for the guide, which included them carrying the food and cooking for us. We had homemade Tamales, Posole and Juevos y Machaca (dried meat) We wound up asking them to pick us up at a different spot, Mina San Jose, and that cost 80.00 more.We stayed at Falcon's little Hotel in Boquillas, We had burrito dinner the night we got in, beers, breakfast the next moring and it was 150.00 total for all of us. The rooms were clean and nice, great clean showers and bathroom. Food at Falcon's is Excellent.

There is NO water and we carried 2 1/2 gallons apiece for two nights and two days on the trail. It was just enough.

That's a good deal.  Actually there is water in a tinaja that can be hiked to from behind el Pico. About an hour round trip if my memory serves me.  But you have to know where it is which our guide did. 

The second time we did a del Carmen hike we spent four days after being dropped off at the garden.  We camped about midpoint along the ridge the first night.  The second day we hiked to behind el Pico so we still had plenty of daylight and our guide went to the tinaja and supplemented the water we  were carrying.  The third day we hiked to the plateau on the left side of the photo I posted and then the last day we hiked to the nearest mine.  A much more enjoyable hike due to the shorter daily distances than humping it to whole way although we too carried close to 3 gallons of water each.  We also carried all of our food, etc. 

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Offline billh

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Re: Trip to Base of El Pico
« Reply #14 on: March 08, 2016, 05:22:03 PM »
They pointed out a Canyon, they called Diablo, where they said there were tinajas, but it is a hike over there.

 


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