[cdt-l] OT- Great Divide Trail

Alistair and Gail Des Moulins aandg at telusplanet.net
Tue Jan 23 20:47:03 CST 2007

1. Maps.
I was in MEC (Mountain Equipment Co-op www.mec.ca (Canada's equivalent of 
REI)) today and saw that you can get all the Southern Alberta and SE BC maps 
in a package (CD) for $97.95 +6% GST tax. This must be similar to the 
National Geographic TOPO packages for each US state. I have not bought this 
as I have accumulated most of the maps I need in the old fashioned paper 
format. I bought another paper 1:50,000 map today and it cost $12.00 + GST. 
The Southern Alberta and SE BC pack contains all the maps up to Jasper. 
You'd need the Central Alberta package for maps north of Jasper. The company 
producing these is ETopo with a website www.etopo.ca . (Prices in Canadian 

3. Resupply
One of my friends hiked the GDT from Waterton to Mt Robson from July 23 to 
Sept 17 last year. He hitched east from Field to Lake Louise to resupply. It 
would be very difficult resupplying at "The Crossing" and the prices for 
most things are very high. They do have a great selection of postcards 

4. You can book campsites ahead. My friend did not get a permit until he 
reached Field/Lake Louise. But he did have the Annual Wilderness Pass. He 
did not reckon he could predict when he'd be at any particular campsite. He 
did meet a warden in the Egypt Lake area and was warned he'd be fined if he 
was caught without a permit again. He got a permit from Lake Louise for the 
rest of the trip to Jasper but did not keep to his schedule. The Jasper Park 
warden he met was not too concerned about him being a day behind schedule.
See http://www.pc.gc.ca/pn-np/ab/banff/visit/tarifs-fees_E.asp?park=1  for 
details of Park fees. Maybe you'll find other stuff of interest on the Parks 
Canada website too.

5. The Wilmore is a very fine area. Although generally less spectacular 
scenery than Jasper and Banff Parks, it is much less crowded than the 
National Parks. Having said that the backcountry of most of the parks is not 
too crowded especially during the work week.

6(a) My friend said one of the worst sections for navigation was in the area 
of the Corbin Coal mine north of Coleman. It's evidently a lot larger than 
shown on the maps.
(b) Don't expect too many GDT markers like CDT and PCT markers. My friend 
said he only saw 2 of them.
(c) Calgary is a city of almost a million people with international flights 
to many places in the US. It is 3 hours drive north of Waterton. Greyhound 
runs from Calgary to Pincher Creek on Highway #3 about 30 miles north of 
Waterton. I don't know of any public transport to the park from there - so 
Taxi would likely be the only option. 3 taxi companies seem to operate in 
that area.

Lastly, IMHO, as the GDT is the northern extension of the CDT, this maybe 
should not be considered Off Topic.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Ginny & Jim Owen" <spiritbear2k at hotmail.com>
To: <cdt-l at mailman.backcountry.net>
Sent: Monday, January 22, 2007 4:08 PM
Subject: [cdt-l] OT- Great Divide Trail

>I know some of you (i.e. Dickie Bird)  have hiked the GDT.  We're hoping to 
>do it this summer, if all goes well.  I have the guidebook and have looked 
>at Suge's site, but still have some questions:
> 1.  Maps - the guidebook lists all the Topo maps, but there is a series of 
> Gemtrek maps that cover the Canadian National Parks.  Can they be used 
> instead of the topo maps? Which maps can we omit if we are using the 
> Gemtrek maps?  I read that the Gemtrek maps are more current than the topo 
> maps and it might be possible to save weight and money by using them, in 
> places.  I expect that in some places the topo maps will be necessary.
> 2.  Anyone have maps for sale?  Do you know a good online source?
> 3.  Resupply - is denatured alcohol available at the shops in Canada?  Can 
> we resupply as we go or will we need to do maildrops to The Crossing and 
> Field?  I assume we can buy what we need in Waterton, Blairmore/Coleman 
> and Jasper.  Did you take any zero days in town?  If so, where?  Did you 
> do a maildrop at Sunshine? How did that work for you?
> 4.  Were you able to get the permits for Banff and Jasper when you were in 
> Waterton?  What is the advanced reservation cost?
> 5.  Anyone go to Kakwa Lake or to an intermediate spot between Mt. Robson 
> and Kakwa Lake?  I'd like to hike in the Wilmore - but an 85 km walk-out 
> after 12 days in the backcountry doesn't seem very workable.
> 6.  Any words of wisdom?
> Ginny
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