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The Sun Also Rises on the OML

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Offline roadtrip

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Re: The Sun Also Rises on the OML
« Reply #45 on: November 30, 2019, 07:16:45 PM »
Thanks for another great read. It's the closest thing for me to actually being there.

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Offline dprather

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Re: The Sun Also Rises on the OML
« Reply #46 on: December 01, 2019, 04:57:13 PM »
It goes without saying (but I'll say it anyway) that your story, as always, is uplifting, encouraging, challenging, evocative, and so on.  Thanks for it.

My wife went to a week-long East-Texas teacher workshop in which a TPW guy told the story that pine trees, as they approach the end of their days, put out a prodigious amount of pine cones.  It is as if they know their time is coming but want to do as much as they can as fast as they can before the end.   Maybe us 60+ backpackers hear the ticking of the same kind of clock, but instead of putting out pinecones, we set ourselves to a few more miles and to a few more challenges on the trail.

Asking for a friend: is the semi-official 24-hour OML actually an amended OML that leaves off the Basin and uses Colima as the connector?  What is the semi-official mileage of this semi-official challenge?

Leave "quit" at the car.  Embrace the trail as your friend.  Expect to enjoy yourself, and to be amazed.

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Offline dprather

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Re: The Sun Also Rises on the OML
« Reply #47 on: December 01, 2019, 05:00:26 PM »
Perhaps your middle-of-the-night huff-n-puff up Colima explains the recent reports of strange nighttime noises near the Colima campsites!!!!!!!!!

I'd guess that a 24-hour attempt would get the better of a man when he reached Colima and his steps would begin dragging.
Leave "quit" at the car.  Embrace the trail as your friend.  Expect to enjoy yourself, and to be amazed.

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Offline mule ears

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Re: The Sun Also Rises on the OML
« Reply #48 on: December 01, 2019, 05:20:27 PM »
Asking for a friend: is the semi-official 24-hour OML actually an amended OML that leaves off the Basin and uses Colima as the connector?  What is the semi-official mileage of this semi-official challenge?

The FKT (fastest known time) is on the official NPS route from the Basin.

Here is the official site, looks like it is just under 7 hours.   :icon_eek:
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 House Made of Dawn

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Re: The Sun Also Rises on the OML
« Reply #49 on: December 01, 2019, 06:30:34 PM »
Asking for a friend: is the semi-official 24-hour OML actually an amended OML that leaves off the Basin and uses Colima as the connector?  What is the semi-official mileage of this semi-official challenge?

Thanks, Don!  Tell your friend I began and ended my hike at Homer Wilson and skipped the rim, crossing the Chisos via Colima instead, for reasons I outline in the TR. The length of my route was 25.27 miles, give or take a few hundred feet.  Just shy of a marathon. And my time was 23 hours and 59 minutes. No trophies for that; just brooding rights. But if I can do it, anyone can.  Here's a link to my route in Caltopo.


Perhaps your middle-of-the-night huff-n-puff up Colima explains the recent reports of strange nighttime noises near the Colima campsites!!!!!!!!!

I'd guess that a 24-hour attempt would get the better of a man when he reached Colima and his steps would begin dragging.

:rolling: 

You know,and  I mean KNOW, that that was on my mind while I hiked through there at 2am. I've been checking BBC ever since to see if anyone posted reports of a horrifying late-night ghoul on the Colima.
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

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Offline iCe

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Re: The Sun Also Rises on the OML
« Reply #50 on: December 01, 2019, 09:33:20 PM »
Isn't there a post on BBC by a member that turned 40 and ran the OML to "celebrate" or something like that?


I was going to run it but I can't  ??? :icon_lol:

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Offline backpacker56

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Re: The Sun Also Rises on the OML
« Reply #51 on: December 01, 2019, 10:36:01 PM »
Excellent trip report, HMOD!  A work of art. 
Very glad you were able to bounce back so quickly to enjoy the glories of Creation one more time.
And return to your family, safe, rejuvenated, and exultant. 
Hmm... salami and crackers for your main meals... so that's your secret!
"Hike your own hike" is really good advice.  If you can't work the problem one way, work it another.
The Senior Pass: I was so jazzed about the discount, I didn't think much about my age.
We were almost outdoors at the same time; I was in the Guadalupes a few days before. 
Thanks for taking the time and effort to enrich us with this report.
"Ah, sure, I'm a gnawed old bone now, but say, don't you guys think the spirit's gone!"

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Offline dprather

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Re: The Sun Also Rises on the OML
« Reply #52 on: December 01, 2019, 11:19:59 PM »
Asking for a friend: is the semi-official 24-hour OML actually an amended OML that leaves off the Basin and uses Colima as the connector?  What is the semi-official mileage of this semi-official challenge?

The FKT (fastest known time) is on the official NPS route from the Basin.

Here is the official site, looks like it is just under 7 hours.   :icon_eek:

Much younger men for sure.
Leave "quit" at the car.  Embrace the trail as your friend.  Expect to enjoy yourself, and to be amazed.

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Offline elhombre

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Re: The Sun Also Rises on the OML
« Reply #53 on: December 02, 2019, 09:31:22 AM »
"There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labor. This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God."   Ecclesiastes 2-24

Congratulations on another hike where you got home safely!
If other countries on the planet want to see America suffer and ultimately destroyed, who are they cheering for right now?  Trump, or the leftist democrats and their media supported hate machine?

Seek out the facts for yourself.  Begin by using Startpage.com,  not google.

May God Bless America!

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Offline House Made of Dawn

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The Sun Also Rises on the OML
« Reply #54 on: December 02, 2019, 11:46:19 AM »
"There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labor. This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God."   Ecclesiastes 2-24

 :great: 

Any day I don't appear in the newspapers is a good day. I love that passage from Ecclesiastes, elhombre. It's one on my favorites. I almost included it in my post, but I promised the administrators my TR wouldn't be longer than a page.  ;)   Frankly, you could put pretty much the entire book of Ecclesiastes into the TR and it'd make sense.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2019, 12:47:09 PM by House Made of Dawn »
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

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Offline Imre

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Re: The Sun Also Rises on the OML
« Reply #55 on: December 02, 2019, 05:43:29 PM »
Quote
Any day I don't appear in the newspapers is a good day.   
:great:
I shall remember that line.
For every complex problem there is a solution that is simple, obvious, and wrong.
- H.L. Mencken

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Offline dprather

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Re: The Sun Also Rises on the OML
« Reply #56 on: December 02, 2019, 06:42:11 PM »
Contemplating your path, the times you arrived at different places, and so on.:

The trail you traveled during the darkest hours is very burned-in and distinct, and thus easier to follow in the dark.  Was that part of your plan?

I'm concerned that your toughest hump (up the Chisos Wall out of Juniper Canyon) took place well into your trip and on tired legs.  Did you consider alternatives?  That said, any way you shake it out, you'll have a tough hump on tired legs.

I might have missed it in your trip report, but did moon phase have any impact on your plans?  It seems that a full moon would be helpful.

What would you have done differently?

Do you have any suggestions for what equipment you found useful and necessary and what equipment might be useless and unnecessary?

Leave "quit" at the car.  Embrace the trail as your friend.  Expect to enjoy yourself, and to be amazed.

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Offline House Made of Dawn

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Re: The Sun Also Rises on the OML
« Reply #57 on: December 02, 2019, 11:56:08 PM »
Contemplating your path, the times you arrived at different places, and so on.:

The trail you traveled during the darkest hours is very burned-in and distinct, and thus easier to follow in the dark.  Was that part of your plan?

Absolutely!  An important lesson learned during my failed July OML-in-a-day was how foolhardy it was to tackle the Dodson in the dark.  The trailbed is too dicey, and too much of it consists of cairned washes. That's one of the reasons I flipped my approach, deciding to start in the morning, rather that at sunset, and to hike the Dodson during the daylight hours and the wide pathways of Juniper Canyon, the Chisos, and the upper portions of Blue Creek Canyon in darkness. I also knew that beginning my hike in the morning right after a good night's sleep would be much, much easier on me that beginning my hike at sunset after a long drive from Dallas.


I'm concerned that your toughest hump (up the Chisos Wall out of Juniper Canyon) took place well into your trip and on tired legs.  Did you consider alternatives?  That said, any way you shake it out, you'll have a tough hump on tired legs.

Good point. My itinerary was driven first and foremost by a desire to get the Dodson out of the way in daylight. That being the case, it was impossible to avoid tackling one of the climbs (either Juniper or Blue Creek) on tired legs following the crossing of the Dodson. I suppose one could begin the attempt at Juniper Junction (long drive, might be best to camp at Twisted Shoe the night before) and tackle the Juniper climb right away.  And you'd still probably wind up crossing part of the Dodson in the dark. The Dodson is incredibly magical and beautiful in the dark, but I don't feel comfortable tackling that trailbed and those cairns in the dark again if I don't have to.


I might have missed it in your trip report, but did moon phase have any impact on your plans?  It seems that a full moon would be helpful.

I chose my July dates specifically to take advantage of a full moon. But, surprisingly, even with a mostly clear night, I found the moon to be of little help in trailfinding.  It is however, really gorgeous in the sky. This last hike of mine also featured a substantially full moon, and again, it was pretty, but it didn't help much.  A good headlamp, of 150 lumens or maybe more, is enough. The most magical part of my hike occurred AFTER the moon went down and the stars leapt out of the black sky.


Do you have any suggestions for what equipment you found useful and necessary and what equipment might be useless and unnecessary?

Here's my equipment list

I pared it down about as far as I felt safe.  I never carried more than 14lbs on my back at any point in my hike. My baseweight, exclusive of food and water, was a little over 4.75lbs. I left behind my rain pants, gloves of any kind, spare socks or briefs, any sort of water filter, stove, hot meals of any kind, tiny knife, my binoculars.  The mix of clothing I brought with me was just about perfect, adaptable to all sorts of conditions. I ate every bit of food I brought with me, and it was plenty for my needs. I used 8 of my 12 chlorine dioxide pills and all six of my Nuun tablets. I used every piece of equipment and clothing I brought with me except my emergency signalling devices (Yay!!!!) and the vast majority of my Ooops Kit.  The only medical/repair items I used were my tweezers and one ibuprofen.  I did sustain one pretty significant leg gash from a lechuguila which could have benefited from medical treatment; but I didn't even discover the wound until I got home.  Oddly, my pants were not ripped, so the lechuguila tip must have pierced my pants at a tiny point and then dragged along my shin bringing the pants with it. The gash was about 4 inches long, quite deep, and bloody. During and after the trip, I pulled about two dozen cactus spines out of my body.  That said, I will always bring my emergency signals and my Ooops Kit.  Not using them is a sign of good trip.  I didn't bring any groundpad, sleeping bag, or shelter - not even my ever-trusty emergency metallized bivy sack. More about that in a moment. I didn't use most of the toilet paper I brought with me, but then again, how much does that weigh and do you really want to risk running out of it?

My trusty Oboz Bridger Mid boots worked great. Never got hot. Always provided traction and protections. And my Injinji toe sock/wool hiking sock combo continued my twenty-year streak of ZERO blisters on my feet.  I strongly considered switching to a pair of La Sportiva TX-3 approach shoes for this trip, but in the end, I just wasn't ready to make that leap.  I don't feel comfortable with the reduced support during precarious night-hiking.  Maybe one day.....

My new Icebreaker wool baselayer onesie worked great, too. My wife helped me cut the lower legs and arms off, and remove the hood, and hem it all. I expected temps between 40 and 75 and that's what I got. This piece was almost perfect for that range, though I did unzip the front quite a lot during the warmer stretches. It would probably be too hot for a big climb in the afternoon sun.

Once again, I was extremely happy with the iPhone/Gaia app combo. It gives me all the navigational help I could need, and it's extremely easy to use. Frankly, navigational help isn't really needed during the day, and the only time I needed it at night was when I lost the trail above Upper Juniper Spring. I would have found it without the Gaia, but having Gaia was comforting.

And the iPhone does double duty as an emergency signalling device, a camera, and a storage device for digital field guides.  I particularly liked the starfinder program. I set my phone to airplane mode and the battery was more than adequate for a 24-hour hike.


What would you have done differently?

Not much. This was, I think, my ninth OML in 25 years, so I know the trail and what it takes.  It was the third time I'd hiked parts of it in the middle of the night. I'd already done a dry-run of this hike (so to speak) in July, so there weren't many surprises. Only two, really...and one of those shouldn't have been.

The first was that I lost the Juniper Canyon Trail proceeding counterclockwise above Upper Juniper Spring. Last July, I found it eventually, but this time I did not, and wound up bushwhacking until I relocated it. I should have seen that coming and prepared for it.  I still don't know how I missed it. Flabbergasting.

The second was the high nighttime humidity. I knew the relative humidity would be extremely high during the couple days I was in the park, but I failed to grasp that that would mean heavy mist in the mountains at night.  40-50 degrees and soaked in mist condensation is a recipe for hypothermia, especially when not moving.  In the end, I was fine, and the limited clothing set kept me warm enough, but had I injured myself or otherwise been unable to keep moving, I would have sorely missed my emergency metallized bivy sack that always travels with me. The 3.8oz weight penalty would, as Keepa pointed out, be justified.  Next time I go on a night hike, I'll probably bring it with me. 
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

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Offline steelfrog

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Re: The Sun Also Rises on the OML
« Reply #58 on: December 03, 2019, 08:17:14 AM »
I understand your reluctance to do Dodson at night given your last experience, but I've never had trouble finding my way on the Dodson at night.

Also, having done OML as a dayhike every which way, I think the best way to do it is from HW, get the BC hump out of the way first, around the Rim, down Juniper and then across Dodson.  I agree with dprather that doing the Juniper after Dodson is a bi atch.  Also, going down BC, with its loose and steep trail bed, is way tougher on the knees and more prone to falls than going down the bomber trail bed of the Juniper.  So go UP BC, and not worry about slipping down, and literally you can run down Juniper.  Then tackle the nice rolling hills of the Dodson after a nice downhill.

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Offline dprather

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Re: The Sun Also Rises on the OML
« Reply #59 on: December 03, 2019, 10:30:30 AM »
Thanks for your very detailed reply.  One of the really great "services" provided by BBC is these thorough discussions of "Why?"  You are providing us with a practical goldmine of experiences (and a vicarious thrill).

One comment and one more question (please):

Comment: I did the same abbreviated OML starting and ending at the same place last year as a 48-hour solo trip and I lost the trail near Juniper Spring just as you did.  I didn't even know I had lost the trail.  I was following a ledge that I thought was the trail until I stumbled into the real trail.  That was in full daylight.  I wonder what is going on right there that makes the trail indistinct?

Question: did you inform the powers that be at the Park of your 24-hour solo?  Since the permits we receive are for camping in the backcountry was a permit in any way needed?  What is your thinking about letting the Park know what you attempting?

Leave "quit" at the car.  Embrace the trail as your friend.  Expect to enjoy yourself, and to be amazed.

 


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