[Cdt-l] another CDT hiker in need of help

wingnut.hiker at gmail.com wingnut.hiker at gmail.com
Sun Jun 26 15:01:29 CDT 2011

Thanks bearcreek. I just tried it and it works great! Wish I'd known that  
in the Bootheel.

"Most gps receivers have a navigation screen than can be configured to show  
both “Bearing” and “Heading” on the same screen. Set these up so they are  
side by side. To dead reckon a waypoint, simply walk in a direction where  
these two readings show the same number and you will go directly to the  
waypoint. For me this is easier and more reliable than trying to walk a map  
line, which causes you to zigzag continuously. This works best if you turn  
the gps compass off as a poorly calibrated compass will systematically  
throw you off. (or make sure the compass is calibrated well)"

On Jun 26, 2011 10:56am, Moynihan <mary.moynihan at gmail.com> wrote:
> Sounds like the snow isn't melting as fast as we all would like. That was  
> two weeks ago I was at Stoney and I figured at least some considerable  
> amount would have melted off. I will tell you standing on the summit of  
> Elbert the other day, I let out a sigh looking north at the mountains  
> that seem to be holding more snow than the southern mountains. I know  
> personally, although I have been able to stay to the trail or xc at least  
> near the trail that I always have a backup plan in the heavy snow spots,  
> just in case. The Delorme atlases certainly will come in handy this year  
> (for me the North Mesa/HWy 150 road walk around the Gila Fire and who  
> knows what is to come in the 300% above normal conditions up near  
> Steamboat I'm sure you've all heard about.)
> Anyways, glad to hear your doing good Peanut Eater. Maybe I'll see ya up  
> north!
> Speedstick

> On Sun, Jun 26, 2011 at 9:08 AM, Peter Shaw pnuteater at gmail.com> wrote:

> Robert,

> I just made it to Stony Pass yesterday. I am very proud of myself that I  
> did it solo from Wolf Creek Pass but I have to tell you it was the  
> hardest six days of hiking I have ever done. There is still a large, no  
> enormous is the more appropriate word, amount of snow and there are  
> numerous places that my self-preservation instincts told me that I  
> shouldn't attempt. I did take a spill on the previous section (Cumbres  
> Pass to Wolf Creek Pass) and luckily only have a few scratches and  
> bruises when the scree slope arrested my slide so after that I have been  
> a lot more cautious.

> Navigation was really difficult, at least it was for me. I have the Ley  
> maps and a PN60W gps. On the gps I have Jerry Brown's CDTA waypoints and  
> the tracks that Out of Order made on a computer from the Ley maps.  
> Neither of those give you a detailed track of exactly where the trail  
> goes. And, I can tell you it rarely goes where you expect. I am still not  
> very good with working out all of the subtle changes of direction just  
> using the maps and because I have to get out glasses and then a  
> magnifying glass just to be able to see the details on the map I have  
> tended to use them for general direction and the gps for setting a  
> near-term course. What

> I typically did is move the cursor up to a waypoint (because I knew they  
> were on the real trail), get a bearing and distance, use my eyeball where  
> I think that point might be by looking at the terrain and using the  
> compass, fix on a feature and then head for it. There was often no point  
> looking for the trail although I often happened upon a short stretch  
> before it disappeared again. Cairns and marker posts were never there  
> when I needed them the most so they cannot be relied upon.I was  
> continually getting off trail even using this approach, mainly because I  
> was improvising, often guessing, where the trail might be and I was  
> batting no better that 500 to use a baseball term. The subtle changes of  
> direction were always present. Does the trail go over a pass or run up  
> the ridge instead - that happened three times in one day and the first  
> time before I knew it I was a quarter of a mile off trail and had a  
> massive hill in between me and the trail. After that I was much better  
> prepared for the next instance and was really careful about confirming  
> where the trail really went. This time my gps said I was only 50 ft away  
> from the trail but that it was up a steep grade. I went up there anyway  
> just to confirm where it went next and good job I did because this time  
> it went over the pass. Backtracking and bushwhacking were a major part of  
> the day's hike - you just have to accept that and not get mad with  
> yourself (easy advice that I rarely followed myself). In the trees, I  
> just got a bearing and followed it until the forest opened up or I  
> reached a creek or some other notable feature.

> Many times I came to a bowl and the trail went high enough that there was  
> a nasty, steep traverse on a side slope. Depending on the time of day and  
> the snow conditions I would make a judgement whether I could safely get  
> across. When the answer was no, then I had to improvise. The usual  
> approach was to cross the bowl down low enough there wasn'ta safety issue  
> and then find a way back up on the other side. Sounds logical but several  
> times I got myself into just as difficult a situation. Twice I had to  
> climb over knife-edged ridges of boulders with massive vertical drops on  
> both sides just to get back to the trail. If you have the Ley maps, I  
> would urge you to consider his note on CO40 about taking the divide. I  
> didn't heed that advice and there were two areas that I wished I had. I  
> can't advise you on the alternative but I doubt it was more difficult  
> than the route I took.

> With the gps you will also have a power management challenge unless you  
> want to carry a boatload of batteries. I typically would turn the gps off  
> for a while if I was really confident of where to go. Otherwise I would  
> turn off just the gps chip to save battery life and then switch it back  
> on just for a confirmation - that was quicker than restarting the unit  
> and it also showed my track so I could see if I was getting off course  
> or, more often, whether I was heading in the right direction to get back  
> on course. Even with that approach I was getting through a pair of AA 8X  
> super lithium batteries in two days.

> Please don't take this as a reason not to do the San Juan loop. It was  
> not only the hardest thing I have ever attempted, it was also one of the  
> most rewarding. If you have the time to just sit back and take in the  
> scenery you will be heartened and motivated to continue. If you have  
> someone else to do it with then that would be a great help as you can  
> share the chore of making first tracks. I was overtaken by another hiker  
> who used my tracks and I quickly found it was much easier following his.  
> He was less than half my age and unfortunately I couldn't keep up his  
> pace. The snow was melting so fast his tracks were gone in less than a  
> day. I am currently at trail angel Wiffer's house after she came and  
> picked me up in Silverton. By the way the road over Stony Pass is now  
> open and there was just enough traffic for me to yogi a ride down.  
> Unfortunately for you, I doubt you will get here in time to enjoy her  
> wonderful hospitality as she is only here until the end of June. There  
> are a very nice couple, Jill and Ben, who live in Chama who are new to  
> trail angeling, but I think they would be very helpful to you. I can give  
> you their address if you call me. If you get this reply before you set  
> out, I will be available to discuss further until Monday morning. My cell  
> number is 310 901 7198. Please call if you want to hear any of this in  
> more detail.

> Best of luck,

> Peter Shaw, aka Peanut Eater.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: cdt-l-bounces at backcountry.net [mailto:cdt-l-bounces at backcountry.net]

> On Behalf Of Robert
> Sent: Thursday, June 23, 2011 2:10 PM
> To: cdt-l at backcountry.net
> Subject: [Cdt-l] CDT hiker in need of help

> My name is Robert and I am currently thru hiking the CDT. I made it 20  
> miles

> north of Cumbres Pass when I got incredibly lost for hours. Due to lack of
> food and bad navigation skills I turned back around and now I'm back in
> Chama. I'm going to hitch hike to Pagosa Springs to go to the outfitter to

> get better maps and maybe a GPS. There lies my problem. I don't know
> anything about GPS. I'm not good with electronics. What should I do?

> *Is there anyone on this list that can talk me through the steps of  
> getting

> a GPS?

> *Or, is there anyone who lives in, or close to Pagosa Colorado, who can  
> show
> me how to work and sit up a GPS?

> *Or, even better, is there anyone close to Pagosa that would sell me there
> old used GPS, or let me rent there GPS? (money is kind of an issue - I'ma

> college kid on a budget)

> All I know, is that it was pretty scary being lost in the woods of  
> Colorado
> and, I know that there is a lot of snow ahead of me. Is there any Angels  
> out
> there?

> My e-mail is rbrtshivers at yahoo.com. Drop me a line with you phone number  
> and

> I will call when I get to Pagosa in a few hours. For now, I'm going to be
> hitch hiking and that might take awhile.

> Thank you in advance for anyone's help.

> Sent from my iPod
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> --
> To find out more about Mary and her hike along the 3,000 mile long  
> Continental Divide Trail please go to: www.marriedtothetrail.com

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