[Cdt-l] Black Mountain Aldo Leopold route

david booth david.booth at internode.on.net
Wed Mar 17 16:49:21 CDT 2010

I have decided to hike the alternative Aldo Leopold route. However, I  
am a section hiker and I am departing NOBO in mid May, later than the  
thru hikers. So I don't expect a snow problem in Black Mountains by  
then. I believe the Gila would also be passable by then except it may  
have flood damage.
I have researched the Black Mountain route and actually prefer to go  
that way after resupply in San Lorenzo/Mimbres , resuming the hike at  
Emory Pass, hiking through the Aldo Leopold wilderness and hitching  
to Reserve at the northern end. Brett has some information on the GET  
site for part of the route and Jonathan Ley's maps show the route. If  
you hike the Columbus route it is possible to hike north from Emory  
Pass on Trail 79 and join the official CDT route near Reed Peak. The  
distance via this route Emory Pass to Highway 12 is around 160 miles,  
so its a long carry, but a similar distance to the Wolf Gila route,  
except Doc Campbells is an ideal resupply on the Gila Route. There is  
no resupply town on the Black Mountains route. You could possibly use  
the Hway 59 crossing as a resupply point  where you could cache some  
food or have a supporter meet you.
The area looks very remote and spectacular and I am looking forward  
to this part of my CDT hike this year.

The snow map shows Black Mtn route has currently up to 75 inches in  
the highest parts. (see link) This snowbound section is  three days  
at  8,000-10,000 ft.
The snow depth chart also shows high snow levels in the Gila are and  
particularly in the San Juans in southern Colorado. Reports of over  
90 inches at Wolf Creek pass in the last few weeks.

best regards to all
Aussie Dave
Canberra Australia

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