[Cdt-l] Wolverine's CDT Data Book

Matthew Robison wolverine1970 at gmail.com
Thu Feb 21 18:11:44 CST 2008


I have been working for the last several months to create a single, easy to
understand reference for hikers of the CDT.  My goal is to synthesize:

- CDTS guidebooks, supplements and newsletters (the last 10years)
- CDTA guidebooks
- The Colorado Mountain Club's Colorado Trail guidebook
- Miscellaneous articles and books highlighting particular hikes along the
CDT/Best of the Rocky Mountains (such as, Lonely Planet's USA Hiking Guide;
Lonely Planet's Rocky Mountain Hiking Guide; Mountaineering Book's 'Best
Loops of Colorado'; Fulcrum Guide's Colorado's Fourteeners; Yogi's Town
Guide(s); magazine articl; regional guides of New Mexico, WY, etc.)
- GPS Waypoints (waypoints culled from CDTS, CDTA and Colorado Trail
guidebooks; J. Fey's Maps; Trail's Illustrated Maps; Wade Clinger's "GPS
Waypoints of Colorado Fourteeners;"  the dated (1999) "Continental Divide
Companion; " individual experiences; outdoor-oriented websites; Backpacker
Magazine's CDT Project (TBD); CDTA's GPS waypoint project (TBD)
- Maps (J. Fey, USGS, Trail Illustrated, Forest Service, BLM, etc.)

The structure of the Data Book reflects the CDTS's Southbound oriented
guidebooks. Each state is broken down into segments, which are divided into
sections that often describe one day of hiking.  Each section of a CDTS
guidebook is its own document, with distance, altitude, and route
description composing the body of document.  Some cells are color-coded to
allow hikers to quickly assess key challenges or options of a particular
segment.  For example, the following colors indicate:
- unreliable/foul water (light blue)
- reliable/clean water (royal blue)
- comments, alternate routes, or northbound notes (light green)
- GPS waypoints (rose)
- the need to fact check or seek advice of a ranger (orange‡this is for my
information, but if I run out of time at least all of you will know the
areas needed confirmation.  I am contacting the relevant ranger stations to
clarify trail upgrades or identify better routes (say, to avoid burnt

Each section has:
- a header that describes which state (or part of a state), segment and
section is the subject of a particular page
- each footer lists miles in the section, the total elevation gained, and
the size of the document as a number of pages.
- the beginning of each section lists most (if not all) relevant maps
- Before the routes are described, there is a relief map of the section
visually summarizing elevation gain and loss
- the body of each section lists the distance (miles from the beginning of
the section), elevation and a description.

I have completed the first phase of this project: summarizing the entire CDT
in this "Data Book" structure.

I am currently engaged in phase two: reviewing my work (retracing the routes
on maps, especially J. Fey's maps), color coding the spreadsheets, and
filling in gaps (like transliterating the northbound CDTA guide of the
Henry's Lake Route to that of a southbound, CDTS-structured hike of southern

Phase three is creating a comprehensive summary of GPS waypoints on the

If you are interested in learning more, just email me at
wolverine1970 at gmail.com and I will send you a sample.

I'm working diligently to finish the project before the hiking season

I will be selling the document (essentially) at cost.  The number of total
guides ordered and whether people want both sides of paper to be printed
upon (plus packaging and postage) will define the final cost.  To be honest,
I'm completely focusing on completing the document; the pricing details will
be sorted out later.  Perhaps a greyscale can replace the color codes to
save money…it depends on what people want.

That's all for now.

Until later,

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