[cdt-l] Difficulty of Routefinding

Brett blisterfree at yahoo.com
Wed Feb 21 00:30:25 CST 2007

>>because  the AT has a lot to offer even experienced long 
>>distance hikers.
There is beauty there, if you have eyes for it.<<

These are excellent points. As a footnote, I would just add 
that perhaps the most appropriate way to thru-hike the AT as 
the last in series would be to hike it southbound and 
starting late. Not only will this largely eliminate what 
might be an incompatible social hiking scene, but it will 
add a certain degree of additional challenge and remoteness 
that is more like the standard fare on the other two trails.

By late, I mean sometime in August, starting at Katahdin. 
Doing so in 2003 I quickly progressed through the finishing 
northbound crowd, then as the summer hiking season faded I 
found myself with quite a few empty shelters, especially 
from Virginia southward. Most of the other southbounders had 
started earlier, typically so much earlier that they were 
essentially uncatchable.

I even recall the occasional day with no human encounters, 
usually when it was cold and rainy, and the fallen leaves 
were grease-slick and hazardous. Sorta like early season on 
Fuller Ridge. Or maybe some Glacier NP high route in 

Beauty lies in the details on the AT. Honing one's knowledge 
of the eastern forests in advance of and during the hike 
will add a huge extra dimension to what the untrained eye 
would write off as merely a long, green tunnel.

- blisterfree

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Ginny & Jim Owen" <spiritbear2k at hotmail.com>
To: <cdt-l at backcountry.net>
Sent: Wednesday, February 21, 2007 12:04 AM
Subject: Re: [cdt-l] Difficulty of Routefinding

> 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.
> Ginny
> -----------------------------------------------------------
> http://www.spiriteaglehome.com/
>>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 
>>cdt-l mailing list
>>cdt-l at backcountry.net
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