[cdt-l] Difficulty of Routefinding

Ginny & Jim Owen spiritbear2k at hotmail.com
Tue Feb 20 23:04:20 CST 2007

We'll tell you how it compares after we've hiked the GDT this summer :-)  
>From what I saw on our previous visit to the Jasper area - the CDT is much 
less traveled, so there is often very faint treadway, if any.  The Jasper 
area is a national park, and like our national parks is pretty easy to 
navigate - so you'll enjoy Glacier, Yellowstone and the Wilderness areas - 
which are comparable.  The Canadian parks had some really steep climbs - 
more so than most of the CDT which is largely built for horse travel.  The 
CDT is steeper than the PCT, but not as steep as Canada or the AT - for the 
most part.  Altitude is more of an issue on the CDT than any of the other 
trails.  Climbing 4000' at 9000' is a lot more strenuous than doing it at 
5000', even when the grade is only 10%

As to the progression - most people do the AT, then the PCT then the CDT.  
Each trail has a very different feel and a very different culture.  On the 
AT, the people are the trail. While there is a lot of natural beauty, there 
isn't much wilderness.  The PCT is a little more wild, the CDT much wilder 
than either.  I think it would be a bit difficult to do the AT after the PCT 
and CDT because your expecations and experiences would be so different.  
Most AT hikers are fairly new to backpacking and especially to long distance 
backpacking. They start out and 15 miles is a really big day.  They enjoy 
the social aspect of the trail, often more than the physical hiking/nature 
part of it.  A PCT or CDT hiker who starts the AT would soon find themselves 
outpacing their companions because they would be likely to start with higher 
mileage. That means they would not get into the community aspect as much as 
the first time hikers.  I think that although they might enjoy the AT a lot 
on their own terms, they would have a very different experience from the 
first time long distance hiker who starts with the AT.

We did things a bit out of order too - the AT, then the CDT then the PCT.  
The CDT spoiled us.   We were disappointed in the PCT because it was 
comparatively unchallenging and not nearly as scenic or wild as the CDT.  I 
think the same thing may happen to people who hike the AT last.  I've heard 
a few who have hiked other long trails say, "I have to hike the AT to get my 
triple crown, but I'm not looking forward to it."  That really is too bad - 
because  the AT has a lot to offer even experienced long distance hikers.  
There is beauty there, if you have eyes for it.

Hopefully Ken or Marcia, who hiked the AT last of the three - can put in 
their two cents worth on the subject.



>From: "Trevor Lind" <ltrevor at hotmail.com>
>Reply-To: cdt-l at backcountry.net
>To: cdt-l at backcountry.net
>Subject: [cdt-l] Difficulty of Routefinding
>Date: Tue, 20 Feb 2007 19:34:47 -0800
>I'm curious how tough the routefinding on the CDT is. How would it compare 
>to the Mount Assiniboine to Jasper section of the Great Divide Trail which 
>I have hiked?
>Also does anyone have any thoughts on a preferable progression on the 
>triple crown? I hiked the PCT in 2002 and may do another thru hike attempt 
>in 07 or 08. I'm leaning towards the CDT and may never hike the AT or do it 
>after the CDT.
>Buy what you want when you want it  on Sympatico / MSN Shopping

>cdt-l mailing list
>cdt-l at backcountry.net

Play Flexicon: the crossword game that feeds your brain. PLAY now for FREE.  

More information about the Cdt-l mailing list