Sunday, June 18, 2017

2016 Philmont Notes

Raw notes from Philmont trek 608-BB1.

6-8-2016. Day One. In base camp.  Whole crew went around with the ranger to get checked in,  gear checked out,  basic training on Philmont skills and procedures. Opening night campfire.

Robert C. medical out - Mono.  Philmont staff took care of everything, got him on the 4:05 train back home to KC.

6-9,  First night on the   trail. (day 2) Arrived at Sioux campground at 6. Dinner at 8. 9pm, learning how we clean and brush our teeth.  One scout refused to bring a Toothbrush - not from our troop. I'll get him one at the next trading post. Sigh.

I'm on Bear watch duty - make sure the remaining oops bags and stuff don't get raided. 

6-10. Day 3. 5:30 AM get up. Cold breakfast. On trail at 7:40 AM. Next stop Dan Beard staff camp

Maggie Neel, Ranger departs tomorrow morning. Fantastic attitude and great skills.

Day 4, evening. 6/11,  5:00 PM. First night without the ranger.  Scouts definitely still 'storming'. Skipped program. Very good hike in through Beatty Lakes, over a ridge and down Sealy Canyon. Took a great side hike up to a knob on the ridge with Nick,  Nate, and Darren. Took a photo of Baldy with them.

Day 5, Sunday 6*12. 4am getup. Beautiful stars,  good coffee.  7am, finally getting the scouts out.  Sealy Canyon to Whiteman Vega.


Round cactus blooming
Daily Philmont rain showers
Sunbeam from the ground

Arrived Whiteman Vega staff camp, 11am. Mountain bikes,  trail building (make trail 4 inches wider).  Broken windmill. Big thunderstorms around the valley,  finally hit at 7pm. Early to bed.

Day 6, Monday, 6/13. Iris Park Camp. Missed the turn and had to backtrack. No sign at the trail.

Water is 1 Km from head of camp. Many cattle,  big skies,  no rain to speak of all day.  Spent the late afternoon doing laundry and washing hair with Kristy using the solar power well water.

Iris Park used to be the mountain bike staff camp back in the 1990s -  see photos of staff cabin and graphiti.

Day 7. 6-14. Tuesday. 7:15 AM departure. Down the valley to the well for final fill-up.  Over a ridge 'schwacking to get to the road.  Nearly perfect bearing,  came out within 50 feet of the windmill on the map that we were aiming for. Also broken.

4wd road hasn't seen traffic in 40 years.  Several difficult water crossings.  Fouled one up,  Nick improved one by building a rock bridge.

27800 steps,  about 9 to 14 miles. Overnight in Upper Greenwood Canyon.

Less than optimal camp ground.  Narrow,  steep slopes,  Bear bags way up the hill,  tents in a line in the only flat ground around. Earlier in the day had seen many bear marks and furry scat.  Not so much the past hour. Should be safer up here. 4pm arrival. Hour break then dinner and bear bags.

Nate P. injured out in the late evening with a slip on a small slope.  Knee sprained,  unable to put pressure on the leg.  Nick A. decided to send 4 to get the ranger in the morning - Nick,  Alec, Cas and Justin. They'll have to go to French Henry to find a radio to the medical ranger. They took food,  water, and detailed notes on the incident, all without adult prompting.

Unsure of next steps or timing this morning,  (9am, 6/15 Wednesday) but Kristy, John and I are hanging out doing laundry while Chris and Eric are playing around. Assuming it will be late when the 4 get back,  possibly with Rangers and a stretcher for Nate. That'd mean an AM departure tomorrow to Baldy Town for the remaining 6 scouts. We'll have to wait and see.

Up later this morning than usual - 6am instead of 4:40. Still frost on the tents and backpack covers. First frost we've seen this trek.

Reserving lunch for the scouts. Not sure if the group of 4 will be back this evening and if they will bring dinner. Still in a wait and see mode (12:20pm).

12:25pm - group of 4 has returned. They Got cell service at the switchbacks and called it in. Rangers should be here in a few hours.

4pm. Medics arrived.  Examined Nate and took him out via Greenwood Canyon and all the water crossing. Early bedtime tonight in hopes of an early departure for Baldy Town in the morning.

8ish pm - Rangers dropped off food for tomorrow.

Day 8, 6/16. Longest day so far.  Around 39,000 steps. Departed at 6am. Arrived Baldy Town 5:15pm.

(notes end here. Long couple of days - Baldy Town up Baldy Mountain, back down and across to Baldy Skyline. Skipped Miranda and the Mules. From Baldy Skyline to Ponil, mostly 4wd road. Scouts enjoyed the dinner and the show at Ponil saloon. Bus back to base camp, and a shower!)

Will England, 2017

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