Philmont Trek Route 10 (now Route 5)

Date: Tue, 09 Apr 2002 22:46:53 -0400
From: Dave Edelman <>
Subject: RE: [Philmont]: Re:2002 Trek 5

In 1992, I was an advisor on trek 10, which is now called 5. It was my first backcountry experience at Philmont and it was fantastic. I've been back to Philmont three more times and each successive trek was higher up on the "food-chain" but this trek is the one for program. This year I will be returning with a crew that will have two advisors who were youth on that original outing in 1992. In fact, one was my crew leader, I am happy to say that the crew selected trek 5.

As others have commented, the trek has the double layover and it is an excellent idea to schedule a morning climb at Cito. Coming down from Mt. Philips is a long gentle run and it is well worth doing lunch and program at Cyphers Mine. Just remember that this may slip your schedule to the point that you hit the early afternoon thunderboomer. In our case, we took refuge on the porch of the (then closed) Hunting Lodge. If you have to, you can most likely get part of your crew done with climbing at Cito, and take that part of the crew, with appropriate adult leadership, to do the food pickup.

I'm not sure that this is still the case, but my notes show that the conservation project was done at Beaubien and it was trail construction.

I urge you to do the plane wreck though I do remember that some of the crew had to be motivated a bit since they had sleep firmly on their minds :(

The one disquieting note was on our way up Philips, we were hiking with a sister crew from our council and they were about ten minutes in the lead. We unexpectedly overtook them sitting down at a pack break. When we asked what was up, they told us that "this was it, we were at the top." In fact what had happened was a crew on its way down had played a trick on them and they fell for it. This happened one other time in 1997 when four or five crews were turned around to Clarks Fork when they had almost made Shaffer's Pass 'cause some misbegotten crew with at least the tacit approval of their advisors informed everyone that this was the wrong trail. I have done four treks and I can count the number of dimwitted crews who pulled stunts like this on the fingers of one hand and still have a spare finger to flip them the bird.

Climbing the Tooth of Time is special any time of the day; coming down can be a bit of a trick, one of the crews that climbed up with us actually lost a member in 2000. He just kept on going down 'til he found a house in the valley and called for help. Stay to the left on the way down :)

Tooth Ridge Camp is a great place for a final reflection and possibly a campfire. If so keep it small and clean it up. Invite your sister crew if it appropriate and maybe even some crews who just happen to be there with you.

Over the years we have done reflections, thorns and roses and moments of silent meditation. We have always taken a fair bit of time on our way into base camp to sit and each of us talk about what we did and what we accomplished.

Have a great time, watch the youth as they grow magically almost before your eyes and be prepared to tell everyone that the photographs just don't tell the half of it.

Dave Edelman
ASM, Troop 8
Staten Island, NY
Advisor to 712-F3 2002

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