[cdt-l] Glacier National Park, SOBO in early July

Lawton Grinter lawtong at hotmail.com
Sat May 5 19:19:23 CDT 2007

Hi Dan, I hiked the CDT sobo last year starting June 15th at Chief Mtn. Port 
of Entry.  I don´t know anything about campsite updates or the opening dates 
for the Ptarmigan Tunnel but I can offer a bit of info on gear.

Sleeping Bags:  A 30 degree bag would have been absolutely fine last year 
and keep in mind our starting date was about 3 weeks earlier than yours.

Tents:  I started with 5 other people and our shelters ran the gammet from 
tarptents, to tarps, to tents, to poncho-tarps.  We had some nasty weather 
including downpours that lasted most of the night.  Everyone stayed dry . . 
. including those whose shelters weighed less than 1 pound.  My advice would 
be to take the lighter of the 2 shelters you mentioned as long as you are 
confident that the shelter you bring will keep you dry . . . because in 
Glacier there is always a good chance or rain!

Ice Axe & Crampons:  The 6 of us also used different gear to get ourselves 
across snowfields.  P.O.D. and I used ice axes and no crampons.  One guy 
used crampons and hiking poles.  And 3 others used nothing.  We all made it 
across.  However, I should mention that P.O.D. self-arrested twice crossing 
snowfields going up to Piegan Pass.  Without an ice axe and proper ice axe 
training, it could have been bad for her.  I would just say use whatever you 
feel most comfortable with, but if you do choose to use an ice axe, it´s 
VERY important that you have been trained in how to self-arrest.  And this 
may sound strange, but if you do choose to bring an ice axe, keep it 
accessible and pull it out before you cross a snowfield . . . I´ve seen a 
number of hikers crossing snowfields with their ice axes stowed on the side 
of their packs.  Seems weird to me to have an ice axe with you but not in 
your hand when crossing terrain that you might possibly need it for!

That´s my 2 cents.  Glacier is amazing.  Have a blast out there.

Best, disco

lawton grinter
PO Box 941
Crested Butte, CO  81224

Gutsy and I plan to begin our SOBO section hike of the CDT the week of July 
4, starting at Chief Mt. trailhead and hopefully hiking at least to Rogers 

Does anyone have an update on the Red Eagle campsites?  CDT-L messages 
posted in January indicated it will be closed.  Any other closings?

Will 30 degree bags be ok?

Is the Ptarmigan tunnel expected to be open by July 5?

We have a Black Diamond Megalight tent and an MSR Hubba Hubba.  If it were 
your choice, which would you carry?

What about ice axe and crampons?

I know that some listers are already on the trail, but if you have any 
suggestions, please respond.  Thank you for your comments!  I don't expect 
to see many of you out there--most SOBO hikers will be in GNP earlier, and 
NOBO hikers will be there later than us.


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