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trip Report Dec 6-10, Chisos Mountains

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Offline African

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trip Report Dec 6-10, Chisos Mountains
« on: December 17, 2009, 03:55:37 PM »
I got a lot of great info on this website and I used it to PLAN the ideal 4 day trip. But weather became a factor and one of my buddies had to leave early, so we rolled with the punches

Planned Trip:
Monday: Check in @ PJ and do light hikes to get acclimated to backpacking ( Window Trail and Lost Mine Trail, possibly with only daypacks)
Tuesday: early start on South Rim, go up with Laguna Meadow, camp at SW3 and enjoy
Wednesday: Return to basin via Pinnacle but add some spice with some more uphill on Emory Peak
Thursday: Open day, check out Boquillas canyon sand dune, hot springs, river camp area, and any interesting trails we find out about

Actual

Monday :Check in @ PJ and were asked to avoid south rim on tuesday due to high winds, so we decided to do it immediately, Got our packs ready and hit the south rim trail at 10am, great way to wake up                                    
            the legs after a road trip :)     Great views, looks better than my memories from 18 years ago. camped at SE3 since SW3 was taken. SW3 is an amazing site with sunset vistas from your tent areas.          
            SE3 was tucked into the woods, but only a short walk from a a great sunrise spot. We almost had the mountain to ourselves so we hiked around the rim until sunset. Winds were getting fierce

Tuesday: Glad I staked out my tent because the wind was ridiculously strong all night and into the morning. I made myself get up before sunlight, put on every warm clothing that I had, and waited to take
             some sunrise pics. It was more impressive than I imagined, my buddies slept thru it. They realized what they missed when I downloaded the pics. I even saw a falcon and took its pic
             Hit the downhill trail at 9am, fought gravity again during the emory trail :). It was worth the effort. Snow still on the ground. Back at the basin at about 4pm. Winds are still howling

Wednesday: One of my buddies slept in,  but 2 of us hit the window trail. There was so much wild life. We saw a lot of birds and deer. Everyone at the basin was getting reports about bear and mountain lion                  
                  sightings. I wished we could say the same. They have greatly improved the window trail since I was there 18 yrs ago. Then we headed for the Hot Springs and some sight seeing in the area.                        
                  But after a couple of hours of switching from 105 degree hot springs to cold river water, we were relaxed and not moving much. We met a lot of cool folks there . We camped along side the
                  river, past the gravel pit campsite.
Thursday: One of the guys had to get home soon, so we left a day early and headed home :( I wished we could have done the Lost Mine trail


We ran into a guide and his customers at the hot springs, I wished I got his info. Next time we will definitly canoe the river. Hopefully after we complete the Outer mountain loop trail. I took a lot of pictures and would love to show ya'll my favorites. Let me know if there is somewhere where I should post them
      
              


« Last Edit: December 17, 2009, 09:17:05 PM by African »
Beatings will continue until morale increases

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Offline mule ears

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Re: trip Report Dec 6-10, Chisos Mountains
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2009, 04:10:55 PM »
Rolling with the punches is the norm for a Big Bend trip, that's one of the reasons they don't give permits more than 24 hours in advance.  Sounds like you guys did very well none the less.

Yes pictures will be mandatory, Homero says so. Here is how:

http://www.bigbendchat.com/portal/forum/photography-gear-and-tips/how-to-post-pics-on-big-bend-chat-t309.0.html
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 RichardM

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Re: trip Report Dec 6-10, Chisos Mountains
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2009, 04:12:06 PM »
I took a lot of pictures and would love to show ya'll my favorites. Let me know if there is somewhere where I should post them
Post'em right here!

You can either upload them someplace like Photobucket.com, flickr.com, dropshots.com, or any of a number of free sites, including http://www.bigbendgallery.com/uploads/ and then embed the URL to each image in a post.

If that's too much work, you can click on the "Additional Options..." link (visible after you preview) and them attach up to 4 to each post (watch out for file size limits).

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Offline homerboy2u

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Re: trip Report Dec 6-10, Chisos Mountains
« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2009, 04:59:43 PM »
I'm walking blind , people...I am a man with no idea where i am going here,please help the blind. Some pictures to enlighten our chosen path.

Gracias
Stay thirsty, my friends.

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Re: trip Report Dec 6-10, Chisos Mountains
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2009, 05:34:46 PM »
Homero that is great. :rolling:

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Offline jim2

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Re: trip Report Dec 6-10, Chisos Mountains
« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2009, 07:47:36 PM »
sounds like a great trip. the big bend sunrises can be beautiful. glad you saw a good one. looking forward to your pictures.

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Offline African

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Re: trip Report Dec 6-10, Chisos Mountains
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2009, 07:51:21 PM »
<a href="http://s125.photobucket.com/albums/p66/noahtsegai/BiBe/?action=view&current=IMG_0080.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p66/noahtsegai/BiBe/IMG_0080.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

<a href="http://s125.photobucket.com/albums/p66/noahtsegai/BiBe/?action=view&current=IMG_0101.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p66/noahtsegai/BiBe/IMG_0101.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

<a href="http://s125.photobucket.com/albums/p66/noahtsegai/BiBe/?action=view&current=IMG_0130.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p66/noahtsegai/BiBe/IMG_0130.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

<a href="http://s125.photobucket.com/albums/p66/noahtsegai/BiBe/?action=view&current=IMG_0216-1.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p66/noahtsegai/BiBe/IMG_0216-1.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

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« Last Edit: December 18, 2009, 07:58:42 AM by African »
Beatings will continue until morale increases

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Offline Al

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Re: trip Report Dec 6-10, Chisos Mountains
« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2009, 07:57:39 PM »
Nice photos.  Thanks!

Al

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Offline Undertaker

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Re: trip Report Dec 6-10, Chisos Mountains
« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2009, 08:09:29 PM »
Excellent  :eusa_clap: :eusa_clap: :eusa_clap:
Visiting BB since 1966, nothing like being lost and finding heaven.

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Offline fartymarty

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Re: trip Report Dec 6-10, Chisos Mountains
« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2009, 08:46:00 PM »
Hey Noah,

nice pics.  :high5:



hit the "Quote" button at the upper right of this post and you'll see how I imbedded your picture.

Got any more with snow?
Fort Worth

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BigBendHiker

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Re: trip Report Dec 6-10, Chisos Mountains
« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2009, 08:51:04 PM »
Nice trip report and pictures.   Thanks for posting.

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Offline African

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Re: trip Report Dec 6-10, Chisos Mountains
« Reply #11 on: December 17, 2009, 09:15:14 PM »
Thanks everyone for their compliments and advice!! I took over 500 pics and these are my favorites

fartymarty: very cool way to post pics, I looked thru my photos again and these were the only snow pics (the other pics were same snow different person) We showed up the day after and the only snow remaining was in the shaded area of the mountain trails
« Last Edit: December 18, 2009, 10:36:35 AM by African »
Beatings will continue until morale increases

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Offline fartymarty

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Re: trip Report Dec 6-10, Chisos Mountains
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2009, 09:51:10 PM »



















OOPS!..sorry Noah, I led you a little astray. I forgot that Richards resizing thingie was going to change the picture size. I didn't actually type the width and length numbers. I just started with the "img" letters in the brackets. The board actually does the resizing for you. When you copied my post it distorted some of your wide pics. Sorry 'bout that. I removed the size restrictions in this post. The board will put them back but in the proper format for the picture orientation. (I hope) &nbsp;:eusa_think:
Moderator (aka Richard) note: that ain't my "resizing thingie", it's the board's! I just resize ones uploaded to bigbendgallery (and sometimes attachments) that are too big.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2009, 10:09:10 PM by RichardM »
Fort Worth

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Offline Goldilocks

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Re: trip Report Dec 6-10, Chisos Mountains
« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2009, 11:40:42 PM »
Great report and pictures! You did well adapting to the weather and your friend's schedule. I would love to hear more details about your adventures if you have time to share.

I think the sunrise and mist pic might be a candidate for the 2011 calendar! It is beautiful!

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Offline African

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Re: trip Report Dec 6-10, Chisos Mountains
« Reply #14 on: December 18, 2009, 07:33:52 AM »
Thanks FartyMarty I went back and changed the ratio's.

Goldilocks: here's what I skipped over

Our first and last meals were in a little cafe next door to the Gage hotel. The ladies there were great and they looked out for us, we even met some friendly locals there.

Our first day was sunny, high's 60's low's upper 30's, and the trail had strong gusts. we started up Laguna meadow at 1030hrs. I used trekking poles for the first time in my life and was ecstatic. The balance and stability they give you is amazing. I inspired one of my buddies to get a walking stick at PJ but the other one laughed at us. Well, halfway up the mountain he stopped laughing and was hurting and failing behind. I gave him on of my poles and that's why you'll see me with only one pole in some of the pics. I HIGHLY recommend them if you're doing a lot of elevation changes in you backpacking trips (FYI: I have the black Diamond, flip lock aluminum poles) We didn't see anyone on the trail, only wildlife and snow. Compared to what it was 18 years ago, the trails are in great condition and a lot of work was put into them. The cast iron trailhead markers were awesome. We kept a moderate pace with plenty of breaks because we didn't want to exert ourselves too hard on the first day. Seems like the trail is used by horses a lot, thankfully we barely saw any horse doodie on the trail. It was my buddies first time out there and we chatted most of the way up, that's probably why we didn't much wildlife. We got to the south rim at about 1330 hrs. After 20 minutes we picked our jaws back up and explored the other campsites and views until we reached our site at SE3. We have yet to see a single soul. We usually do our trips between monday and friday for this reason alone. We cooked a quick meal then placed our everything in the bear box and didn't set up camp. The ranger warned us about bears crushing and stomping unattended tents. We stretched, basked in the warm sun like lizards, rested on the boulders by the rim. We then began exploring and working our way towards the south rim again, I wanted to get some sunset pics. After that amazing colored filled sunset we did a night hike back to our camp. One of my buddies had an android phone with google star map on it. It's an app that has the night sky and it moves as you move the phone. When you hold it up to the sky it will shows you what stars and planets you are looking at. VERY COOL. I have never seen that many stars in my life and I wish I had a camera that could have captured them. I heard that Big Bend had the least light pollution in the US, I believe it now. We got back and set up camp in the dark with no problems. The ground was easy to get stakes in but the were a lot of little spiders around. I actually woke up with 6 bites on my arms, all very minor. The winds got really really nasty in the middle of the night. I got up 10 minutes before dawn and wore everything but my sleeping bag at the rim. I spent the next hour taking pictures and killing my camera battery

I know the ranger meant well but he made us change our schedule for nothing. We actually went up and down the south rim during the most intense part of the wind storm. It actually became dead calm 3 hours after we returned to the basin. But he did recommend a great sunrise campsite in SE3.

Most folks prefer to go up the pinnacle trail, but we wanted to go down that way. Mostly because we wanted to use Emory Peak to break up the downhill trek. 2 of us went up Emory peak with all our gear, our buddy was hurting and started down towards Basin. There was still plenty of snow on the shaded parts of the mountain. We actually ran into a lone backpacker on the boot trail and then 2 women on emory peak trail. Emory peak trail is how I remember the old school Big  Bend trails. Steep, rugged, and rough so the trekking pole was invaluable. That was the hardest backing leg of our mountain trip and my legs were sore that night. My buddy is scared of heights but he braved the last 30 feet after we had to leave our packs behind. If you are not a strong hiker then I recommend you leave your packs at the bear lockers at the start of the trail. The wind was ridiculously strong up there, we found a nice wind break at the lower peak. We enjoyed the 360 view but headed back before our legs got cold. As we got close to the basin we started seeing more folks, our buddy was waiting for us by my truck. After a meal in the restaurant we indulged with a room at the lodge and several beers. Seems like they just finished a picnic area that was dedicated to the men that helped build the park. There was an interesting sign there that told about the history and contribution of the early hispanic workers at the park.  At about 8pm the winds just disappeared

Come morning 2 of us headed down the window trail. It's all gentle downhill till the window. I deer with a nice rack was ahead of us on the trail and he led us most of the way there until he got spooked by someone coming in the opposite direction. I saw the brightest blue-jay's I have ever seen, I never thought their color could be that vivid. The last part of the trail was these great stone cut steps and masonry  that criss crossing over the creek. We only took daypacks and we ran into a lot of folks along the trail. We returned to the basin and headed to the east side of the park. I wanted to climb the sand dune in Boquillas canyon, that was one of my favorite memories of the park. But I mistakenly thought it was on the trail to the hot springs. Once we got in the tub is was all over. We soaked and dipped for a couple of hours. Every single bit of soreness I felt was gone and my legs felts great again. My spiders bites itched like crazy but the were not troublesome. We were told gravel pit was a nice place to camp but once we drove past, it didn't seem that great. We went further along the road and found a nice secluded spot by the river.  There were a bunch of havelenas there but not much else.

Next day we got up at sunlight, checked in our permit, answered laughable questions from border patrol, and went back to the diner in marathon. Do Not Speed in that town, not even 1mph over. We cut through Fredericksburgh and saved over an hour in our drive. The next time we want to try to hit the Lost mine trail, Outer mountain loop, and canoe down the river


« Last Edit: December 18, 2009, 01:51:35 PM by African »
Beatings will continue until morale increases

 


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