[Cdt-l] Thru-Hike 08 planning, Route Choices, etc.

Doug Carlson doug-sue71 at comcast.net
Fri Jan 25 11:22:28 CST 2008

Two of us hiking nobo never could find Latham Springs.  We came from Summit Lake and planned to camp there, but we searched for over an hour and never found it.  I know we were right in the area, but we could not come up with any signs or indication that water was in the area.  

Ended up melting snow for water.  
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Jim and/or Ginny Owen 
  To: Scott Polewach ;  
  Sent: Friday, January 25, 2008 12:06 PM
  Subject: Re: [Cdt-l] Thru-Hike 08 planning, Route Choices, etc.

  1.  Jim Wolf's guidebooks are great and will save you a lot of effort looking for the trail and water sources.  The maps are helpful, but imo the guidebooks are also necessary.
  2.  CDT miles are much tougher than either the AT or PCT. Many hikers have said that the CDT is the toughest hiking they've ever done.  Both the maps and the guidebooks are low estimates of the distance.  Reality is almost always longer than described.
  3.  In some places the NF maps are also a necessity.  Jonathan's maps don't show a lot of the side trails and roads that you may need for either navigation or bailout.
  4.  Mosquitoes were a problem in Colorado when we were northbound, in southern Montana when southbound.  Biting flies are worse.
  5.  You probably won't need an ice axe until Chama.  Although you hike at 10,000' in northern NM, it isn't sidehill.  We've never used crampons. Didn't need them. You may not need the ice axe if you aren't in CO until June 20.
  6.  The San Juans are worth the effort.  
  7.  Few people do the Ferris Mtn route.  It may be more scenic, but the BLM route is marked and easy to follow and has water (of a sort) and doesn't have private property issues.
  8.  Macks Inn cut-off is shorter than the official route and water isn't a problem as long as you find Latham spring.  (That's where the guidebook is helpful.)  I think water is more of an issue on the Henry's Mtns route. 
  9.  The Anaconda cutoff is mostly paved road walking (over 20 miles including some highway walking) and some dirt roads with a stretch thru posted private property.  If you don't like to hitch, it gets you directly into town, vs. having to hitch from the trail.  


    From: spolewach at hotmail.com
    To: cdt-l at backcountry.net
    Date: Thu, 24 Jan 2008 21:55:38 -0500
    Subject: [Cdt-l] Thru-Hike 08 planning, Route Choices, etc.

    I'm planning on NOBOing starting in the last week of May. I plan to finish by the end of August/beginning of September. I thru-hiked the AT on 06 and did a 850 mile section of the AT and the PCT in 07. I plan to do another 850 mile AT section this spring so that I'm prepared for the CDT. I am planning on the toughness of the CDT miles to be somewhere between AT and PCT, in general. I do have Yogi's guide, and my LeDorme maps, and J. Ley maps are on the way. How many NOBOs actually found the Wolf guides to be useful? Most of the information that I've read about mosquitoes is written by southbounders. What will the biting insect situation be for someone on my timeline? I plan on picking up my ice axe in Ghost Ranch, NM. Would Cuba be a better place, or even earlier? Will instep crampons be useful in the San Juans if If I plan on entering them around the 20th of June, give or take a few days? I'm not a big hitching fan, so I'm currently planning on going straight through from Grand Lake, CO to Rawlings, WY. Is this 240 mile section especially tough? Most importantly, I'm trying to figure out what route I want to plan on taking for my CDT '08 thru attempt. I think that I'm pretty decided on taking the Wolf Route through Southern NM and the San Juans instead of the Creede. I don't really understand the choice that I have to make between the Red Desert ant the Ferris Mountains...what is the character of the hike through each area? Scenic, mileage, trail condition, water, private property, etc. I also don't really understand the route choices between Henry's Lake and Mack's Inn. Obviously the resupply on Mack's Inn route is more convenient, but what again, what is the character of each hike? For the Anaconda/Butte choice, has anyone actually hiked the Butte Route? >From what I've heard, the Anaconda route makes more sense in pretty much every way (shorter, easier resupply, more scenic, less ATVs, etc.) Thanks, Hermes aka Scott Polewach 

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