[Cdt-l] Wolverine's CDT Data Book

Jim and/or Ginny Owen spiriteagle99 at hotmail.com
Mon Feb 25 21:41:29 CST 2008

I don't envy you this project.  How do you do a single mileage list when the mileage from each source is so different?  The Westcliffe guides, Jim Wolf and Jonathan Ley each have different mileages for the same sections.  (FWIW, I think Jim Wolf is closest to reality, but even he is frequently short.)  Then there's the fact that there are so many different routes.  Are you trying to promote a single route for all hikers?  
The issue of reliable vs unreliable water is really questionable. It depends on the year, the time of year and how long the drought has been going on.  Jonathan's water notes didn't apply to the situation we found  when we hiked.  Many of his bad sources were good for us.  Some of his good sources were dry when we got there.  Wells can be dismantled or turned off without notice. This year's reliable water source is next year's invisible one.  As hikers we assumed that ALL water sources are unreliable.  At the same time, if you are willing to carry a fair amount of water, there is usually enough out there to get you through even in a very dry year.  

Date: Thu, 21 Feb 2008 17:11:44 -0700From: wolverine1970 at gmail.comTo: cdt-l at backcountry.netSubject: [Cdt-l] Wolverine's CDT Data BookGreetings!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 areas). 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 Montana/Idaho).Phase three is creating a comprehensive summary of GPS waypoints on the CDT.  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 begins. 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, Wolverine
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