Ascent of Emory Peak on 2012-01-30

Climber: Ben Lostracco

Date:Monday, January 30, 2012
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Emory Peak
    Elevation:7825 ft / 2385 m

Ascent Trip Report

We entered Big Bend National Park yesterday afternoon after driving west from Del Rio .... we paid a 20$ weekly car pass, the 14$ daily camping fee (on a first come first come basis) is paid directly at the different campgrounds. We checked into the Chisos Basin Campground for the first 2 nights, the plan was to stay 4 nights.

The plan for this first full day in the Park is to summit Emory Peak and Toll Mountain.

EMORY PEAK ...... a trail climb, 10.2 miles, 5h10 hours RT.
At 8h00 hours I left the TH at the Chisos Basin Visitors Centers on the Pinnacles/Emory Peak Trail generally southbound, 3.5 miles to the pass at elevation 6995' (bear boxes and a toilet is provided here). After a 30 minute snack break I continued southwest on the Emory Trail as it winds/climbs its way 1.6 miles to the summit, arriving at 11h10 hours (5.1 miles, 3h10 hours from the TH).
The trail is moderately easy except for the short 30-40 foot scramble at the summit ..... a large rocky pinnacle, capped with numerous antennas and a large and small solar panel, it goes without saying the full panorama is outstanding.
The "US Coast & Geodetic Survey, Chisos No 1, 1934" is embedded a few yards to the west of the highest rock surface.
I stayed on the summit for 25 minutes enjoying the view, before descending back to the pass at 12h15 hours, where after scouting the area I decided to climb Toll Mountain.

TOLL MOUNTAIN ..... herd path/bushwack, 1+ miles, 1h25 hours RT
I left the pass (elev 6995') at 12h25 hours at about 50 degree Compass Line. I followed the good trail past the near-by primitive camp sites where I ascended on a herd path (off and on) to the ridge. Once on the ridge I continued on herd paths and it bends to its north end, checking for the HP which was hard to do due to the vegetation.
On the way back I eye-leveled/chose my spot at GPS 29.25462, -103.29120. I built a small cairn and added orange flag tape. Another superb enjoyable summit.
The route that I took was windy/rocky and moderately steep, I lost the herd path only to pick it up again, some bushwacking in thorny stuff was involved, not fun. I came out having to pluck out a number of thorns in my legs !!! so gaiters or better still chaps, would be advised.
I descended to the pass at 13h50 hours.

After a 20 minute snack break at the pass, I was back down to the TH at 15h30 hours for an 11.2 miles, 7 1/2 hour day for both summits.
We will be staying at Big Bend for 3 additional nights wanting to visit mainly Santa Elena Canyon, Boquillas Canyon, Hot Springs and a climb to Lone Mountain.

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2625 ft / 799 m
    Total Elevation Loss:2625 ft / 799 m
    Round-Trip Distance:10.2 mi / 16.4 km
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:2525 ft / 769 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 2425 ft / 740 m; Extra: 100 ft / 30m
    Loss on way in:100 ft / 30 m
    Distance:5.1 mi / 8.2 km
    Route:pinnacles/emory tr from chisos basin
    Start Trailhead:chisos basin TH at visitors center  5400 ft / 1645 m
    Time:3 Hours 10 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:2525 ft / 769 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 2425 ft / 740 m; Extra: 100 ft / 30m
    Gain on way out:100 ft / 30 m
    Distance:5.1 mi / 8.2 km
    Route:pinnacles/emory tr sb from chisos basin
    End Trailhead:chisos basin TH at visitors center  5400 ft / 1645 m
    Time:2 Hours 0 Minutes
Ascent Part of Trip: emory1

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Emory Peak2012-01-30 a2625 ft / 800 m
2Toll Mountain2012-01-30 b420 ft / 128 m
Total Trip Gain: 3045 ft / 928 m    Total Trip Loss: 3045 ft / 928 m

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