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msmillertx

First trip to Philmont---have many questions...

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1. Is there a definitive website to help determine activities and itineraries?

2. Are there any activities/camps that are a 'must do'? Any to avoid?

3. Where is the best rock climbing camp?

4. What is the difference between hiking up Baldy Mountain vs hiking over the Tooth of Time? Any preferences?

5. We are flying into ABQ airport. What's the best way to get to/from Philmont: rental vans, bus, transportation company?

6. Are there any Philmont travel guide books similar to a Fodor's or AAA's guide that discuss history, camps, activities, preparation, etc--all in one place?

Thanks--

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Web site for the Philmont Staff Association is very good.

 

www.philmont.com

 

The Tooth of Time Trading post at Philmont has a web site where you should be able to find historical books, guide books, etc.

 

http://www.toothoftimetraders.com/philmont/

 

I've done Baldy, and the view is spectacular. Make sure you are in shape when you hike up that little hill, the trails are not your standard switchbacks, they go up at a very steep angle. There is also no water once you leave Copper Park, so hydrate ahead of time and bring plenty. Didn't get to Tooth of Time so I can't compare.

 

 

 

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Whoo-hoo. Going to Philmont. That is a big deal. Congratulations. I did a Trek with my Troop in the '90s and still think it is the highlight of my Scouting career. Would love to do it again, but I'm getting a little old and am too short now.

 

A great web-site is Selden Ball's site. The address is http://w4.ins.cornell.edu/~seb/philmont.html .

 

This is a real treasure trove of Philmont info. I've only done one Trek, so I am far from an authority, but my favorite program was Fly-fishing at Fish Camp. We came in over the Tooth and loved it. My son has done both and says Baldy is tougher, but there is something about the Tooth.

 

Good luck. One free piece of advice is to nail down the roster of youth and adults going with a serious deposit. Non refundable deposit. There are a lot of backpackers in a Troop meeting in Feb., but they tend to thin out in July.

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I don't know how you can do a trek at Philmont and not end with a trip across the Tooth of Time and then down the mountain to basecamp. It's an awesome experience. I'm sure others would disagree, but I can't imagine a more fitting way to end your trek.

 

I've done Baldy as well. It's a tough hike, but a spectacular view. Don't take younger, inexperienced crews up there.

 

You'll never get to do everything you want to do. So, prioritize what you want to do, determine how tough a trek you want, and choose accordingly.

 

Best of luck!

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1. You will be receiving a lot of paperwork from Philmont. In it will have a complete guide to every trek and the programs for that trek.

2. NO, they are all great. :)

3. We where told that Miners Park is the best, but this was from the staff at Miners Park.

4. Big Difference, there are treks that allow you to do both. Baldy is a lot more challenging climb than Baldy but I think the views are better climbing the tooth and on top of the tooth.

5. In the packet you receive from Philmont they will have all options for transportation. We took the train philmont picked up us at the train station.

 

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I took a crew (district crew made up from 3 troops) last year to Philmont. We were crew 731-F, and we took trek #9 which was in the northern part of the ranch.

 

Part of our itinerary included a side hike to Mt. Baldy on day 8. We hiked Mt. Baldy by backtracking the switchback trail we hiked into Copper park trail camp from Greenwood canyon. Where the newer trail into Copper park starts, you will find yourself in a small saddle between the highest elevations on that trail. There is a trail that starts there that bears SW and upward through light fir trees eventually breaking into clear area that is best described as an alpine meadow. This area is thick with rock fragments and moss and lichens but is easy to hike on and has a spectacular view...you may literally find yourself in the clouds as you will be at about 11600-11800 ft.

 

While on this route, you will constantly have Mt. Baldys N-NW face in plain view. Prior to ascending the NW face via what I'd describe as a "Ranger" trail...medium sized fractured rock (very stable and easy to hike), you will find yourself at the remains of an old mine head...long abandoned but intact with the exception of the roof. This a good place to eat lunch, but remember..No entering the mine! Philmont rules are very stringent on this.

 

We were on top of Baldy using this route by about 1130 am having hiked out of Copper park at around 8am....and our crew was a "junior" crew on our first trip to Philmont.

We descended Baldy by taking the steep and gravel strewn trail that is the main trail from Baldy town. I wish we had gone down the route we took up as the trail to Baldy town is little more than a river of well rounded and loose medium to small rocks all well rounded from constant use and erosion, it took us about 4 hours to get to Baldy town from the peak using this trail. The hike back to Copper park was mostly uphill and features a trail segment that is 100% mine tailings and is washed out to a perfact V shape...not very enjoyable to traverse.

 

I will encourage you to plan lots of training hikes with all the gear you plan to take along to Philmont. Have yorself and your crew wear the boots and clothing you'll be wearing while hiking Philmont. Train lots now, then train some more.

 

By being prepared you and your crew will enjoy Philmont...not just survive it.

 

You are about to take a journey you'll NEVER forget.

 

Feel free to PM or e-mail me with any specific questions.

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When I went in 02 the Philmont literature was the most helpful in selecting programs. Cypher's Mine is a must do, for sure a highlight of my Philmont experience, however I think each has it's own great, memorable moments. (The sing-a-long at Cypher's was top notch though, along with panning for gold.) We did rock climing at Cimmeroncito as I recall, the program was well suited to our needs as a bunch of North Dakota boys, never seeing hills much less mountains before. I'd recommend the Tooth, but I haven't done Baldy. In my trek we did Mt. Phillips, and Trail Peak in addition to the Tooth. *Trail Peak has B-24 wreakage from a test flight during WWII. I think the best bet is finding a program/trek that suits your needs distance wise and going from there. No sense in busting yourselves physically not to enjoy the programs. We flew to Colorado Springs and took a charter bus to Cimmeron, I'm not sure, but I'm guessing the same type of thing would be offered from ABQ. About the travel guide, I think again the literature from Philmont will help fill in some blanks. If you have any Questions feel free to drop me an email. You're group will have a great time, it's a life-changer for the better...

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Some answers:

 

1. Here are two websites:

http://www.troop6bsa.org/?cmd=philsearch

http://www.danyoder.com/philmont/

 

2. There are no bad treks at Philmont. Determine what program areas your crew wants to do, then work them into the trek searchs at the websites listed above. Each crew's interests will vary. If you want to avoid some areas, compare the program activities you can do back home vs. the program areas that will be great to do at Philmont.

 

3. We did ours at Cimarroncito and enjoyed it. I heard others do it elsewhere and enjoyed it just as well. Rock climbing was #1 on our list of program areas to do.

 

4. Baldy Mountain is a destination. The Tooth is on your way back to camp (on many treks). The Tooth is 9,003' above sea level. Baldy is 12,441'. Both are incredible, as is Mt. Phillips (11,711').

 

5. Can't help you on transportation from ABQ.

 

6. I would suggest joining the Philmont list server. Ask your questions there via email. Philmont veterans from around the country will share their insight with you. Be forwarned... you'll get lots of email.

 

You will find other publications on the Philsearch website. Click on the "Philmont Treks" icon on the left, then click on some of the publications. Tons and tons of information for crews going to Philmont.

 

Good luck!

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As Chief Decorah said, there are no bad treks at Philmont.

 

Also, to help set your mind at ease: the staff at Philmont are experts at helping first-timers negotiate the various mazes. Relax, and ask for help.

 

We were 2005 803-E, and had a wonderful time. The Scouts chose their trek. We went through the activities, got votes from each Scout on each one, tallied things up, and then found the treks that hit the greatest number of the most important activities. The boys then chose their top three selections.

 

I want to go baaack to Philmont!

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The big draw for me at Philmont was the activities at the daily destinations. Hike in the morning, arrive at the destination, set up camp, and enjoy.

 

Philmont is not the place to go if all you want is to rack up a lot of mileage. You can do that anywhere. Pick a relatively low mileage trek, arrive early in the afternoon, and take advantage of everything the staff has to offer.

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Are there any Philmont travel guide books similar to a Fodor's or AAA's guide that discuss history, camps, activities, preparation, etc--all in one place?

 

Yah, yeh need to get Coop Wright's Philmont Advisor's Guide. I highly recommend it. Contact coopwright@aol.com for the current pricing. Everything you need or want to know in one place, and the proceeds all go to supporting da kids in Coop's Crew.

 

 

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Just one small comment:

 

If you take Amtrak from Albuquerque to Raton, yes, Philmont picks you up. There will be a transportation charge for that pickup.

 

There's an unofficial Amtrak delay website (www.amtrakdelays.com)which histogram plots the delay at any given station on the line. Albuquerque is ABQ, Raton is RAT for station codes. Train 4, the EB Southwest Chief, has been fairly reliable, with only two delays of over an hour. Neither of those were over an hour and a half.

 

On your backhaul, Train 3 is more problematic, It has been over 12 hours late twice in the past three weeks.

 

OF NOTE for transportation planning/deciding: This summers timetable has Train 4 departing Albuquerque at 1240PM and arriving Raton at 517PM. You may be on a hard push to get through tent assignment medical recheck, shakedown, dinner, chapel and campfire. In fact, I'd bet something would fall out. Call and ask Philmont about how they handle.

 

 

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