[cdt-l] GDT info

RICHARD MALLERY dickebird at gmail.com
Fri Jan 26 21:05:07 CST 2007

This is the info I sent Jim and Ginny. Your best investment for this trail
is Dustin Lynx Guide Book. It is very precise and solves most problems you
run into as far as route finding. The Canadians have never learned the fine
art of switchbacks. Everything goes straight up and straight back
down--efficient actually. Although this trail has not had much work put into
it since the 70's, much of it intersects Canadian Parkland, Banff, Jasper,
Yoho, Kootenay, Waterton as well as other protected areas. Much of this is
pretty well developed recreational hiking trail. The interesting sections
are linking the good to the not so good. I have outlined some to the
problems I had. Many were just poor decisions on my part. I had a lot of
rain, so the high wet brush in areas made it more like swimming than hiking.
I hiked across Ireland a couple years ago and it rained for 10 days
straight. It is hard to keep gear dry no matter how careful you are when it
constantly rains. This area has the potential to be that way. I'm sure every
year is different.
If you have any specific questions I haven't covered drop me a line. If this
is not list appropriate your welcome to email me.
I did find my permit. I paid 52 bucks for the backcountry permit Waterton to
Jasper. Again if you are doing high daily mileage it is hard to stay on
schedule. Some days are diamonds, some days are stone. Now that I think
about that old John Denver line--aren't diamonds stones?
--Keep Smilin', Dick E. Bird

The pages I refer to here are from Dustins book.

1.I had problem at La Coulotte Peak, pg.24. Probably a stupid mistake on my
part but I found it confusing. Ended up dropping into Castle River valley
and walking through cold streams, game trails and logging roads to make it
back to Castle Mtn. Ski Resort.

Mistake No. 2, pg. 76. was listening to a very nice fisherman who invited me
to dinner. He said the last hiker he invited had been Chris Townsend. I
would usually have gone but I was on a schedule. I hate that. Anyway he had
seen a sow griz and two cubs near The Crown and told me I should go around.
Once you leave Dustins trail info. you are on your own and its not fun. I
ended up truly crawling through some thickets to get back on Dustins route
past The Crown. Next time I would fight with a bear rather than listening to
a generous fisherman.

Mistake No. 3 pg. 146 was trying to cross a small tributary at the very
beginning of the David Thompson Heritage trail. The trail hasn't been worked
on since David went through. This is as close as I have ever come to getting
seriously flushed into unforgiving water. I ended up finally going upstream
just a ways and finding a very safe and easy crossing then dropping back
down to the trail. More descriptive in the book.

When you reach the Howse River Delta pg. 160 just before The Crossing you
will be better off staying on the main trail. Unless the water levels are
down it would be painful to cross the many tribs to follow the Glacier Lake
Trail. I tried several times because I'm not that smart. Follow the main
trail all the way to Mistaya Canyon where you find a great foot bridge and
it's very scenic. The Saskatchewan River Crossing has restaurant, laundry,
rooms. I can't imagine they wouldn't hold a package for you.

Overview: Good and well marked trail through parkland. Dustin's book is very
precise. I had few surprises. I can't help you with food drops. Unlike most
LDH's I take my whole family with me when I go. Their job is to pick me up
when I emerge and not spend too much money while I'm gone.

The Sunshine area was very distinctive. I never saw the lodge but the trail
turned into a regular expressway through the ski area. I couple good
shelters at Bryant Creek and Eygpt Lake. Bryant was empty but I didn't stay
there, Eygpt was packed to the gills and I did. Did I ever mention I hate

Leaving The Sas. River Crossing the trail becomes a compound angle. You
follow a steep, rockysided streambed that climbs for several miles. The
forest that border the stream is to thick to maneuver in. Slow going but
well worth the price of admission once you reach the top. Then easy

Pinto Lake to Cataract Creek into the White Goat were confusing to me but I
followed a tributary and finally hooked up again. If I had stayed on the
main trail I think I would have found a junction but I got impatient and
decided to play Daniel Boone again.
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