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High Chisos backpacking trip

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Offline dougstar

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High Chisos backpacking trip
« on: February 02, 2013, 11:53:56 AM »
My brother-in-law and headed to BB on Jan 24th-27th..

We were going to do Lost Maples and Devils River but thought another couple hours and we could be in BB.

A link to pics is below if you want to skip my verbiage!   

Left San Antonio at 4am and got to the park at 11am.   80mph on I-10 is great!
The first day hike up into the mountains was not too bad.  It did not seem as hard as when we did it in October.
 
Going to Homer's Dam was interesting. I have always wanted to do it.  I was a 2.5 mile bushwack up cattail creek (from LM4).  Lots of water all along the creek. We filtered water below the dam, drank our fill, and then tried to cut cross-country back to campsite LM4..... Bad idea.    (If anyone want a GPS track let me know)
Very tough going and then my calf got skewered by a yucca and started bleeding profusely. I asked my Brother in law for some toilet paper and I could see him thinking "hmm, Doug or TP?... hard decision".  It kinda looked like "altered states" for a minute. 
 
Thought about the movie "The Edge" and was glad Big Bend has no grizzlies.

After getting back to the campsite we had a 4.1 mile backpack to the next campsite (NE4). Long day but worth it.

On the seconf day I tried loading my backpack with the weight on the bottom.   It was worse than having weight on the top.   I think my backpack (Osprey Atmos 65) is too small for my frame.   It really pulls back on my shoulders.   Thinking about getting a different one.

On the third day, on the way back to the basin, we got to the cabin at Boot Canyon. The windows were open so I peeked in. I heard a "hey" noise and thought it was Brother-in-law. Nope it was a park worker in the cabin.
 Then he came out... A 20 something young man with long hair and beard. Actually a nice guy. He was up at the cabin chilling for the weekend. He said the cabin might be moved by the park service so I took a picture of it.

We had noticed some damage on the cabin... bears?  We asked the dude and yes, the bears attack the cabin. He also said some of the bears are leaving due to the drought.

We saw two trees with bear marks (see pics).  Had never seen these before. I think they are going for grubs and sap underneath the bark?
 
The weather was great. Low of 45 and no hotter than 65. Still sweated like crazy on the steep slopes with the pack.

Only saw one couple on a day hike for the first two days . They were from Fairbanks Alaska and were enjoying the "warm" weather.   Saw 10-15 more on the way down from NE rim via Pinnacles.
 
Did a total of 19 miles total with a total elevation gain of 8/10's of a mile.

Still thinking about trading in the Silverado for a 4wd Tacoma so we can do 4wd in the Big Bend State Park... Stupid idea (should just rent?), but it persists.
 
I am not totally thrilled with my new camera.  I got a Fujifilm F770EXR due to the 20x zoom and RAW capability.   The previous camera (Canon POWERSHOT SX260) seems to have taken better pics.  Especially in low light.    Thinking about a Canon G12 but the zoom is only 5x.  Any suggestions would be great!

Here is link the to the pics.   

http://www.photoshop.com/users/doug-pics/albums/f705ee391cd4463bb6e2f6621f6ab4d5

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Offline Robert

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Re: High Chisos backpacking trip
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2013, 01:13:12 PM »
Did you see water in Boot canyon and/or Boot Spring?

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Offline dougstar

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Re: High Chisos backpacking trip
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2013, 05:36:39 AM »
Both.   The spring was flowing out of the pipe at a good clip.   The canyon had good pools and a small flow.

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Offline alan in shreveport

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Re: High Chisos backpacking trip
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2013, 07:19:39 AM »
Your pictures look good to me , I like the dam and its wash pics. What were the temps. in the mountains ? I'm thinking pretty cold with a little snow not melted. Any other animal sightings ? 

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Offline Flash

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Re: High Chisos backpacking trip
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2013, 08:48:17 AM »
Thanks for the pictures of the dam from both directions. Last August, my son and I turned back w/o reaching the dam, because of the thick branches and steep creek banks. We were more or less trying to follow the creek bottom. Turns out that tangled section might have ended after another 100-200 yards or so. From your photos, it looks like it would have been perhaps easier taking the high ground on the north side of the canyon. Any comments on the route you guys took beyond LW3?

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Offline dougstar

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Re: High Chisos backpacking trip
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2013, 10:52:15 AM »
Your pictures look good to me , I like the dam and its wash pics. What were the temps. in the mountains ? I'm thinking pretty cold with a little snow not melted. Any other animal sightings ?
The temps were really good.   Highs in the upper 60's and only down to 45 at night.   I think we got lucky.   I was still chilly with my 20 degree bag so am glad it was not colder.

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Offline dougstar

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Re: High Chisos backpacking trip
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2013, 11:12:35 AM »
Thanks for the pictures of the dam from both directions. Last August, my son and I turned back w/o reaching the dam, because of the thick branches and steep creek banks. We were more or less trying to follow the creek bottom. Turns out that tangled section might have ended after another 100-200 yards or so. From your photos, it looks like it would have been perhaps easier taking the high ground on the north side of the canyon. Any comments on the route you guys took beyond LW3?


Looking at the maps we were thinking on going cross country from LW3 to the dam.   We kept ending up back in the creek bed.  So, we just followed the creek.  The total mileage was 1.33 from LW-3 to the dam.  (not an easy 1.3 though!) On the way back we tried cutting across the hills directly to our campsite at LM4.   After a while the creek bed appeared to be the best option so followed a tributary back to cat tail creek.  I was great to be back on the regular trail...

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Offline Imre

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Re: High Chisos backpacking trip
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2013, 09:22:11 PM »
This is somewhat late considering when you started the thread but thank you for sharing. I haven't seen that dam in literally 20 years.
-Imre
For every complex problem there is a solution that is simple, obvious, and wrong.
- H.L. Mencken

 


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