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The Outer Mountain Loop (OML) brings together new friends, Nov 15-18th 2019

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Offline JRidz

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TL;DR: Big Bend was in amazing form for a group of acquaintances from across Texas, brought together to experience BiBe. Cool weather, clear skies, plenty of water and an incredible landscape. We all agreed we'll be back for more (the Big Bend 100 is calling).

Huge shoutout to the friendly and knowledgable folks here on BBC. Your practical advice really helped shape our itinerary.

Where: Big Bend National Park, Outer Mountain Loop + Colima trail to South Rim
When: November 15-18th
Distance: 39 miles
Elevation Max/Min: 7454’ high to 3816’ low
Elevation accumulated: 7254’ up, 7448’ down
Temp Range: 31-78F

Weather Conditions: Possibly the most perfect weekend of the year. Always a cool breeze, mostly sunny, jacket weather!

Trail Conditions: Mountain areas are wide and clear. Once you’re in the desert, be ready for overgrown serration.

Water Availability: Plenty of water flowing from Juniper Spring and Fresno Creek. Dodson Spring was stagnant and Boot Creek was getting there, but lots of pools.

Gear I Used: (Total base weight 8.2lbs, Total pack weight: 22lbs): https://lighterpack.com/r/61xohn
CalTopo track with camps and water sources: https://caltopo.com/m/7CRB
Photo album with captions: https://imgur.com/gallery/1Hs4dxQ
Full photo set: https://photos.app.goo.gl/qeBTyUWCA2aMRqTw8

Personal Context
Big Bend has been on my list for far too long. We've been dreaming of a big family West Texas trip for a long time, which has been postponing any thought of taking a solo trip. Thanks to a strong contingent for a planned meet-up from https://www.reddit.com/r/ULTexas/, I couldn’t pass up this chance to make my first BiBe visit and scale down my gear for a fast and light trip.

The Group
The ULTexas Subreddit has been providing a nice little platform for planning meet-ups across the state. The niché ultralight backpacking hobby brings folks with similar hiking styles and experience together and make fast friends. Five of us had gone on a couple of trips together, along with two new faces. Everyone in our cohort were experienced backpackers: an accomplished thru-hiker, a soon-to-be Philmont guide, a world traveler/backpacker, etc. Most of us hadn't yet experienced BiBe, so we were very excited for the opportunity.

Day 1 Chisos Basin to Pinnacles Trail
Distance: 2.8mi
Elevation Max/Min: 5370’ to 6300’
Elevation Change: 1038’ up, 137’ down
Temp Range: 38-68F

I had my usual trouble sleeping the night before. Two of our group arrived at my place at 6:45 and we left for what we thought was a 6.5hr drive. Turns out, that was to the park entrance. Add the 45 minutes to get to the visitor center, stopping for gas, BBQ and refilling the oil in the car and it’s a solid 8 hours, which put us a bit behind.

We met up with the rest of the group at the Panther Junction Visitor Center at 3pm. They had been working with the Ranger on getting our permits and we got there just in time for the regulations speech (carry all water, hot in the desert, bear boxes, LNT, etc). Our ranger was knowledgable and helpful ("as long as there are only 2 tents pitched, you all can camp there"), although a little skeptical of our itinerary and late start, but didn’t give us too much grief. I appreciated their firmness, since I've certainly seen my fair share stupidity in the backcountry.



After caching water at Homer Wilson Ranch, we finally made our way to the Chisos Basin and trail head. We lined up all of our tiny packs, so the ultralight nerdery was strong.





We started on trail at almost 5pm and booked it up to our first camp site, PI-3. These are some of the first sites once you get into the mountains. The forest smelled amazing, still damp from the sub freezing temps and rain this last week. The golden hour hue across all the huge jutting rock faces and the desert backdrop is truly unique and I tried to take in as much as I could while we hiked. The temperatures dipped quickly from the 50’s down into the 30’s.







Once in camp, our group split along pitching tents and cowboy camping. After setting up, we all gathered around the plentiful bear boxes and ate our meals. Being bundled up in the cold and prepping cold soaked ramen, chicken and Siracha sauce wasn’t my most motivating moment. The folks from Dallas and Houston had been up since 2am and the rest of us weren’t working on much sleep either, so talk of waking early was frequent but a bit tenuous.

I selected a spot with an unencumbered view of the stars and marveled at being able to barely make out the prominent constellations that are often the only stars you can see with light pollution.



Day 2 Pinnacles to Colima to South Rim to Boot Canyon to Juniper to Dodson
Distance: 16.5mi
Elevation Max/Min: 7480’ to 3810’
Elevation Change: 2850’ up, 5241’ down
Temp Range: 31-74F

Given the freezing temperatures, I was pretty cozy with my layering system and quilt. Even my Switchback foam pad didn’t dissuade me from waking much. It was incredibly still and quiet all night. Once the moon came out though, it was intensely bright. The only article of clothing I didn’t have on were my thermal leggings, so I stuck them on my head and over my eyes. Surprisingly effective.

As is usual for me when hiking, I was pretty wide awake at 5:30 and decided to start my camp chores while everyone else was sleeping. By 6:30, I sat back on my pad with my quilt over my shoulders and contemplated sneaking out early for the sunrise. But the rest of the group started stirring shortly.

We got on trail by 8:00, which was pretty quick for a group this big. There was some talk about wanting to do Emory Peak, but once we got to the trail head for the peak, we decided we’d rather relax and dry out our quilts at the South Rim.







We made it over to the west side of the South Rim via the Colima trail and found a gorgeous view with plenty of flat ground to lay out our damp quilts while eating snacks and taking photos. There was surprisingly good cell service there, so we all sent some quick updates to our loved ones. The views from here are simply stunning. No pictures can really convey it. You can see across the Chisos, Rio Grande and all the way to Mexico. I always love seeing borders from these vantage points, since it’s so stark to see there is no line in nature. Just nonsensical lines on maps.





Around 11 am, we packed up and started on our way across the South Rim and down toward the desert. I thought I had left my ditty bag (with wallet and keys) back behind us, so told the rest of the group to go on while I backtracked. One of the group stayed behind to wait for me, which turned out to be beneficial because we had trouble hooking back up with the group. Every junction we’d come to was empty and then we received some confusing intel that led us to believe they were behind us.

We couldn’t find the Boot Spring pipe, so wound up collecting water at a small falls where the Boot Canyon and Juniper trails meet. That water definitely tasted a bit green, but we survived.



A huge highlight of the day was traveling through the maples on Boot Canyon trail. The trees had turned and blanketed the trail with orange leaves and a wonderful earthy smell. It carried on along the pools in the creek like an orange and yellow tunnel and we oooed and ahhhed like a couple of tourists.





All along the way, I was blown away by the unique blending of alpine, hill country and desert flora and fauna. Prickly Pears next to lupine, next to century plants, next to boulders covered with green moss. The animals were the same. Road runners and wood peckers and blue jays, deer and (unseen) bears. This was most evident as we began to climb down toward the desert. There are a myriad of micro climates as you descend, so the variety of plants were incredible.









While we descended, we were still racking our brains about what to do to get our two parties back together. At Boot Springs, two male hikers told us they were mistaken for us when other hikers spotted them and had heard from our group up the trail. This set us to thinking we had leapfrogged them somehow, but at this point it was 1:30 and we needed to get down into the desert.

The last bit of story at Boot Canyon was when a young guy with a day pack and a huge military style sleeping bag strapped to it raced by us while we filtered water. Shortly after, we heard yelling:

“Aleeeeeex! Aleeeeeex!”
“His name is Chris”
“Chriiiiiis! I saw him go down the wrong trail. Aleeeeeex!”
“His name is Chris”

Three more guys the same age wearing equally gangly packs with bags and stuff hanging off of them came into view. One of them dropped their pack and ran off up the trail after AlexChris. We headed up the trail just after they had retrieved Chris and were in front of us. It was a steep climb and we suddenly saw the guy who had run down Chris, coming back down while holding his chest. “I got a charlie horse running after him” he said to us. He had turned off the music he was blaring from his phone. So we passed him and soon came across the three others, who had sat down to wait for their comrade/acquaintance. As we passed, Chris exclaimed “I’m on a roll and don’t want to stop. I’m going ahead” and bounded up the trail. We came across him about 2 minutes later sitting down again. And the ranger was worried about us.

We finally caught up to the rest of our group at almost 3pm. They had taken a 40 minute rest to wait for us and just filled their water at upper Juniper Spring. It was much clearer than our moss water from Boots.



We made it down to the Dodson trail junction at 4:30. Knowing we weren’t going to make it all the way past Fresno Creek to camp, we found a couple of small established sites just big enough for two tents and 4 cowboy spots about 2 miles in from the trail head before the sunlight gave out. The trail was going to become harder to follow, marked only by cairns, so we didn’t want to risk loosing the trail. Dinner was a more animated affair, since it was about 10 degrees warmer than Friday night. I even took up an offer of some hot water for a cup of tea, which was especially tasty after cold beans and rice. Sleeping under the stars in a sardine row was fun.









Day 3 Dodson to Homer Wilson to Blue Creek to Laguna Meadow
Distance: 16.2mi
Elevation Min/Max: 3810’ to 6750’
Elevation Change: 4790’ up, 1994’ down
Temp range: 44-78F

The night was much more pleasant, only getting into the mid-40s. Again, no critters were around to bug us, except for one errant mosquito and a couple of moths. The 4 of us who cowboy camped were treated to a beautiful sunrise over the Mexican horizon. The first red hues actually came from the southeast until the sun broke in the southwest, which was interesting. For breakfast, I tried some Bobo’s pop tart wannabes, which were horrible cardboard, and washed it down with cold coffee. Everyone was in better spirits, though, with a second full nights sleep at a bit more comfortable temperature.







We got on the trail a little before 8am, knowing we’d have to make up a few miles lost from the day before and a climb back into the mountains. While the desert was definitely warmer and the sun a bit more intense, the chilly breeze held through most of the day. As we climbed down toward Fresno Creek, we passed Dodson Spring, which looked pretty stagnant, so we moved on. Fresno Creek was flowing freely and was clear and cool, so we took a nice break.





It was a good climb out of Fresno, along with the sun being out fully, we finally got to feel a touch of what this trail is known for. There was also continuous sections of trail with all kinds of spiny and pokey plants hugging the trail. I was trying to kick downed prickly pear branches off the trail until one buried a pair of thorns in my foot, which required some forceful tweezer pulls at the next stop. Even this didn’t detract from the constantly changing views though, with the South Rim on our right.







We had been leapfroging two friendly guys until we reached the most spectacular views of the day, turning toward Blue Creek and Carousel Rock. We all stopped to take in the sight and learned they were on a multi-state trip and this was their backpacking stop in Big Bend. They were exiting at Homer Wilson, but we would have happily added them to our group.





We finally made it down to the Homer Wilson Ranch House at 1:15pm and were ready for a break under the patio. Our quilts were pretty damp from the last night’s condensation, so we spread them out on the bear scarred railings and spread ourselves out on the cool concrete for lunch. We had kept our water carry from Fresno pretty lean, since we knew we had plenty of water cached here. Two of our group we super accommodating and brought everyone’s water jugs from the bear box about a quarter mile away. We left a few leftover jugs in the bear box.





We began rousing at 2:00, since we still had some miles and elevation to put in to our next camp. We made it out at 2:30, just as a family walked in from the parking lot and laughed at us for hiking “all the way up the mountains with those packs on.”

The poky, narrow Dodson trail of the morning was replaced with the wide, gravel wash of Blue Creek. We spread out a few people wide and picked our way between the cairns that marked the trail. It seems that some overly ambitious cairn builders added some erroneous piles to throw us off, as we ran into a couple of dead-ends along the way. But overall, it was easy to follow. One of the trip highlights were the impressive red stone spires and cliffs along this route, making us look very small in comparison. A common theme on this trip.









The day’s sun and gravel were getting to us and there was discussion about whether we should tackle the climb back into the Chisos or find dispersed camping before we crossed back into the permit campground zone again. As soon as the trail jumped out of the creek bed, we immediately dove into a heavily shaded tree canopy and the temps took a 10 degree dive. An old pipe crested sporadically alongside the trail and we pondered if it may have brought water from the mountains down to Homer Wilson Ranch at one point. Between the cooling temperature and longer evening shadows, at 4:45 we regrouped to make a final decision.







Everyone was in on making the final 1,200ft push, which turned out to be a spectacular climb as the sun set on our backs and brought the golden hour glow across the entire south side. Since the temperature continued to fall, I couldn’t think of a better time to walk this section of trail. That said, we rolled into camp just as we were loosing the last light (as was exemplified when someone stumbled over a root right before the campground).







Our little contingent of cowboy campers decided to make it a full shelter-free trip and the stars were simply too incredible to miss. I drifted off to their brilliance one more time.

Day 4 Laguna Meadow to Chisos Basin
Distance: 3.6mi
Elevation Max/Min: 6696’ to 5346’
Elevation Change: 375’ up, 1687’ down
Temp Range: 42-66F

Everyone was up early this morning, with the motivation of town food and getting home at a decent time. The night was again cool, but not cold and we were on trail by 7am.



It was a brisk and easy jaunt down to the Chisos Basin village and parking lot, but not before having a couple more beautiful views along the way. After the desert miles the last two days, the mountainous plants and rock formations jumped out even more. There was bear scat everywhere along the trail, but alas, no sightings the whole trip.





We collected ourselves into Dallas and Austin bound vehicles for the journey home, with a stop and goodbyes in Fort Stockton. That BBQ was too much to pass up, so our Austin crew made it the bookend destination for the trip.



« Last Edit: November 30, 2019, 07:02:30 AM by mule ears »

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Offline JRidz

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Gear and techniques:
Most of my load out is pretty tried and true and required no fuss. Here are the standouts for this trail in the conditions I experienced.

Gear I Used: (Total base weight 8.2lbs, Total pack weight: 22lbs): https://lighterpack.com/r/61xohn

Sun protection
Since I don't like applying sunscreen, I went with the full monty: long sleeves, pants, sun gloves, UV buff and wide hat. This was certainly sufficient. Some of our group applied sun block to their faces, since they stuck with trucker hats. A couple of others had sun hoodies, which worked well also.

No bug protection
Both the bug spray and bug shelter stayed home. This was a good call, as there were zero flying insects, save a couple of moths on Dodson. We actually never came across any tarantulas, spiders or snakes at all on the trip. I wonder if the freezing rain a few days before and the cold nights on our trip kept them from emerging. And obviously, cowboy camping proved to be wonderful for some of us, so the Net Tent wasn't missed.

Cold soaked meals
This is viable in warmer weather, but I'll be sticking with bringing a stove in the future. It was a real buzzkill slurping down cold ramen, beans & rice and couscous while the rest of the group had nice warm meals before bed.

Rain protection
I kept my SMD Gatewood Cape poncho tarp in the pack, just in case a freak show occurred.

Water filtration and storage
Each of our group carried 3-4L of water. This was totally sufficient, given the water sources available at the time and the low temps during the day. The Sawyer Squeeze paired with a CNOC Vecto (water bag) and Smartwater 1.5L bottles worked great. I had Katadyn tabs as backup. If water reports were talking of more stagnant water, I would probably switch to Aquamuira drops and brought a bandana to pre-filter. The drops help neutralize the taste a bit.

Navigation
After making all of the itinerary planning in CalTopo, I exported the route over to GaiaGPS for the trip. Using a combination of USGS Topo (elevation and water sheds), NatGeo Trails (all campsites) and NPS Visitor (POI) were very helpful while making our way through the park. I recorded a track while hiking.

Electronics and Charging
I kept my iPhone 11 Pro and Nitecore headlamp charged with a 3600mAh battery pack, which is enough for a single full recharge of both after recording a GPS track and taking a couple hundred photos and videos. On a longer trip, I would bring a Lixada solar panel, which I have tested on a few other trips and is ample enough to keep the battery pack topped off while hiking in exposed areas like BiBe.

Gossamer Gear Camo Kumo Pack
Surprisingly well balanced frameless at 25lbs with the fast belt. My sleeping pad made for a firm back panel that distributed weight to the belt very well. Once it got down to 20lbs, I loosened or unfastened the belt and the thick padding of the shoulder straps were all that was needed. The robic material laughed at the spiny vegetation. A bushwacking go-to. Hit that GG sale now!

Nike running pants
There are a myriad of styles offered, but these held up surprisingly well to all of the grabby plants down on the Dodson trail. Yes, there are a few snags in it now, but I was expecting that. The folks who stuck it out with shorts had the scars to prove it, but I came out unscathed. These are a bit more breathable than dedicated hiking pants like the default Pranas or Columbias and the zippered leg bottoms made for easier entry/exit. They also make for a pretty comfy sleeping layer. That said, if it were in the 80’s, I’d be having second thoughts about leaving the shorts at home.

Thin fleece + Wind Jacket + Down Hoodie combo
This combo really is versatile. The fleece/wind jacket pairs well for active insulation. Then throw the down layer on over the top for static coziness. It’s really surprising what the down and grid fleece can do together. These were all interchangeably useful in my quit at night as well.

Montbell EX Light Anorak Jacket
I would categorize this as a hooded down shirt. The Kangaroo pocket is handy for keeping the Sawyer and batteries warm and stashing extras for around camp. At 6oz for a men’s large, it’s an excellent layer to pair with a light grid or 100wt fleece. I believe their new model has added more down.

Altra Lone Peak 4.0 Shoes
After reading different points of view about footwear on this forum, I decided to stick to what I was used to. The footbeds and support were plenty sturdy enough for this trail. If I were going off-trail for any reason, I’d look for something more resilient to the army of thorned flora. Even on-trail, they left a reminder of who’s boss a couple of times.

Nemo Switchback CCF Pad
I think this performs as advertised, but by the third night my mind is now made up on going back to inflatables. It was definitely warm enough with a Gossamer Gear 1/8” thinlight under it (and wearing the puffy jacket/pants) at 31F, which is good to know. Our campsites, even on Dodson, were established enough that the thinlight is enough protection for an ultralight inflatable pad.

Enlightened Equipment Enigma Quilt
This is an older 10F rated quilt that I consider 30F comfort with a toasty footbox. Still does its job solidly. I've had enough experience with clothes/quilt combinations that a 30-40F comfort rating should be plenty for temps down to the mid-20s.

Gear I didn’t use
Gatewood Cape, Stakes, Sunscreen, First Aid, Repair and Emergency kits, Compass, Paper Maps


What I would change/do differently
All in all, this was a fantastic trip, so nothing major here.
  • Don't underestimate the travel time to the park.
  • An afternoon start at Homer Wilson could be pretty cool, given you're happy with 15+ mile days. You'd still hit that amazing sunset while climbing up into the mountains. Take enough of the trail toward the basin for a nice picture of it, but skip going all the way down. Then spend the rest of the day on the South Rim before coming down to Dodson in the evening. At that point, it's a nice day in the desert and a beautiful camp along the ridge where you can see back down do Blue Creek. Then the quick hike back down to Homer Wilson. Then you'd be back to the car earlier on the 4th day.
  • Bring a stove if it's cold.
  • Don't let the group split up (and make sure you've got everything in your pack ::))
  • Do more research about how to find the water sources.
  • Make sure everyone in the group knows the planned route. This was partly why it took so long for our groups to find each other. The group ahead took Boot Canyon from South Rim while we took the longer North Rim trail around.

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Offline iCe

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Looks like you guys had a great time. I really liked the pack weight you had and the gear list. Was the Vinegaroon real? I've never had a problem with them. Their little cousins are unpleasant though.


You were right about the pipe going down to Homer Wilson's ranch. Beneath the Window is a good read. It's a short book and you'll recognize a lot of the places that she writes about.

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Offline JRidz

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Was the Vinegaroon real? I've never had a problem with them. Their little cousins are unpleasant though.

Thanks, iCe. Fortunately, the Vinegaroon was a cleverly placed rubber facsimile. The jumbo can of sardines on the other side of the bear locker was very real and leaking oil.

Heading over to check out that book now!

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Offline House Made of Dawn

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Brilliance, Ridz....from start to finish. Your TR made me so happy.  Miles of smiles.  I want to re-read it: more comments later. But congrats to all. A hike well done, to each and every one.
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

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Offline House Made of Dawn

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Right off the bat, though, I'll nominate this photo for next year's calendar.   
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

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Offline House Made of Dawn

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That's the brotherhood, sisterhood right there.
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

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Offline mule ears

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Great report, I had seen it over on Reddit but I am glad you posted it over here and with a few tweaks on the equipment and lessons learned.  Thanks

I don't know how you guys eat that cold soaked stuff, the idea makes me wince or worse.  I love me some warm liquids and food in the morning and night, especially when it is cool to cold.

This picture warmed my heart, can't count how many times I have both cowboy camped in the "sardine row" and sat up in the warmth of the bag to take in the sunrise.



I know that for some reason the Big Bend 100 has caught peoples attention but I think there are far more interesting and easier to pull off long walks in Big Bend as long as you are willing and comfortable with off trail navigation.  Just look at the Trip Reports pages for some of the long walks folks have posted here.
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
http://40yearsofwalking.wordpress.com/

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Offline iCe

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Was the Vinegaroon real? I've never had a problem with them. Their little cousins are unpleasant though.

Thanks, iCe. Fortunately, the Vinegaroon was a cleverly placed rubber facsimile. The jumbo can of sardines on the other side of the bear locker was very real and leaking oil.

Heading over to check out that book now!


I've only seen one living Vinegaroon. Centipedes marching across the desert en masse creep me out way more  :icon_lol:


I missed the sardine can. If that's the site I'm thinking of I drove out there once just to look around and someone had offloaded their OML trash in the bear box. Including TP. It was bagged but really?

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Offline Jalco

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Great trip report.  Especially enjoyed the gear list.  I've been looking at upgrading from my old-school Kelty framed pack and like the looks of the Kumo.

Travel time from my house in Round Rock to PJ is just at 7.5 hrs.

I think I sleep better after a warm meal vs. cold.

Thanks for posting.  I'll bookmark this one.

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Offline Jalco

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Re: The Outer Mountain Loop (OML) brings together new friends, Nov 15-18th 2019
« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2019, 09:41:20 AM »
I like the pairing of the Vecto container with the Sawyer Squeeze.  I saw that combination on a trip earlier this year to Arkansas, and was impressed with how quickly and easily (and effectively) it works

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Offline Quatro

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Re: The Outer Mountain Loop (OML) brings together new friends, Nov 15-18th 2019
« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2019, 11:07:47 AM »
Really well done photographs.  Several calendar worthy photos for next year's calendar.  Were these processed or straight from the 11 Pro?
When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro - HST

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Offline JRidz

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Re: The Outer Mountain Loop (OML) brings together new friends, Nov 15-18th 2019
« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2019, 12:20:46 PM »
Thanks, House Made of Dawn. This is my first try at a Trip Report. It feels pretty simplistic compared to your epic 'Round the Bend in 14 Days' anthology. Any constructive feedback is always appreciated.

Right off the bat, though, I'll nominate this photo for next year's calendar.   

Hahah. We were equal parts totally into it and laughing at ourselves. Here's the "behind the photo" shot.


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Offline JRidz

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Re: The Outer Mountain Loop (OML) brings together new friends, Nov 15-18th 2019
« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2019, 01:04:00 PM »
Great report, I had seen it over on Reddit but I am glad you posted it over here and with a few tweaks on the equipment and lessons learned.

Thank you, Mule Ears. It seemed that the reddit and BBC communities would have slightly different focuses. I spent a good chunk of time across a couple of days on the first version for reddit (double checking stats, revising lighterpack with what was actually taken, making sure CalTopo markers matched the trip, etc), but not feeling like I had to regurgitate a lot of the UL gear/techniques that are discussed ad nauseam over there. The shoutouts to our group will also be seen over there.

Then for BBC, I wanted to make sure the first time BiBE experience was front and center. I tweaked and expended and made the in-line photo links for a few hours yesterday. I'll admit, knowing that all of the deep knowledge that readers here would have behind them is a bit intimidating. I hope I didn't mess up too many place names and such.  :eusa_pray:

I know that for some reason the Big Bend 100 has caught peoples attention but I think there are far more interesting and easier to pull off long walks in Big Bend as long as you are willing and comfortable with off trail navigation.  Just look at the Trip Reports pages for some of the long walks folks have posted here.

Good point. I'm guessing that the BB100 has made a splash since it's new and has some marketing behind it. In the current age of trendy long trails, something more defined like this is more enticing to folks that want an in-and-out destination hike, vs deeper researching and piecing together a unique route.

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Offline JRidz

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Re: The Outer Mountain Loop (OML) brings together new friends, Nov 15-18th 2019
« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2019, 01:22:36 PM »
Really well done photographs.  Several calendar worthy photos for next year's calendar.  Were these processed or straight from the 11 Pro?

Thank you, Quatro. They were all straight from the 11 Pro, except for the shot of the maples in Boot Canyon. The phone defaulted to a much brighter image and I pulled the brightness and brilliance down to get it closer to what my eyes experienced.
https://imgur.com/k2IGk1J

I had the opportunity to use a X (Henry Coe SP), XS (John Muir Trail) and 11 Pro (BiBE OML) this year. Apple's image processing philosophy is definitely shifting from 'accurate' to 'dramatic'. Or as they would probably say, "Like having a professional photographer process your photo for a magazine." I can't fault them for it. It's what 99% of people do. Shoot and post.

 


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