[Cdt-l] NOBO hikers : Black Mountain Route

bcss at bresnan.net bcss at bresnan.net
Thu May 12 10:58:34 CDT 2011


Peter,

I actually agree with you about the Black Mountains and how dry they
probably are this year.  The Aldo Leopold was wet when we passed through
there last season but some of the water sources are surely dry this year.
The country north of Hwy 59 is also dry. It is cattle country and there are
windmills and ponds which are less affected by drought but not many right on
the trail. Some hikers go and cache water before they go. I think that might
be a prudent thing to do this year.  Aussie Dave hiked through there totally
unsupported last year so perhaps he could offer additional information about
water.    

The CDT is a National Scenic Trail which enjoys special protection status.
Our mapping job is funded by, and for the benefit of the USFS to establish
where those protections will occur.  The maps and mapbooks are the passion
of CDTA and myself, but are secondary to this. Please understand that the
mapping crew has no control over where the trail is located. Those decisions
are made by others.      

I think your problems in Segment 6 stemmed from using our waypoints but not
the maps they correspond to. If you had been using the Mapbook you would not
have been confused at Mud Springs or at Tyrone Road and you might actually
have taken a shortcut down Deadman's Canyon.  It may not have been on the
maps you are using, but it is clearly shown in the Mapbook and there is
nothing stopping anyone from going that way. It's just not the official
route and we did not map it. 

Mapbook sales for Colorado and New Mexico have actually been quite robust.
We have received some feedback and most of that has been good. I am sure you
are correct that it will only become more and more popular after we finish
the entire trail. All proceeds from the books go back into the trail and
that is a good thing.  

That was certainly not the only confusing spot on the CDT.  Might be good to
carry more batteries.  Lithiums last longer and weigh less. 

Have a great hike and stay safe.


best wishes,

Jerry Brown
mailto:bcss at bresnan.net
www.bearcreeksurvey.com

-----Original Message-----
From: pnuteater at gmail.com [mailto:pnuteater at gmail.com] 
Sent: Thursday, May 12, 2011 6:40 AM
To: bcss at bresnan.net
Subject: Re: [Cdt-l] NOBO hikers : Black Mountain Route

Jerry,

Thanks for the response. I am carrying a standalone gps but I only switch it
on when I think I need it so I can stretch out the batteries. My problem is
I don't always recognize when I really need it and this section was a
classic example of that. I didn't see any waypoint markers that were
exclamation points - I presume you mean they are only on the map. 

I understand your charter but it seems to me that the marked section is not
the official route until it is finished through to Silver City. It doesn't
seem logical, at least to me, to add at least another four miles of Tyrone
Rd hiking to what is already a long road stretch. I would suggest the
official route is through Deadmans Canyon until the other trail is complete.


Like everyone else I have met, I am relying on the Ley maps primarily
because we are thru hiking and the CDTA map set hasn't released the northern
half yet. I understand this all takes time and I'm very impressed with what
you have accomplished so far but we all need the whole trail. I think your
map set will become more popular once the set is complete. 

Thanks for the info on the San Juans. I also saw your note about bypassing
the Gila fire by using the official Black Mountain route. My problem with
that is it is over 200 miles of very dry section. At my age carrying ten
days of food and maybe six liters of water and doing 20+ mile days simply
isn't achievable and I think would be foolhardy to attempt. The Forest
Service gal in Silver City was very emphatic about the long dry stretches
and that normal year sources are all likely to be dry this year. I really
believe the folks who designate the official route need to figure out how
hikers could resupply and have reliable water sources before a calamity
occurs in the Black Mountain section. I for one would not risk my life under
today's conditions just to have continuous footsteps all the way. But I
don't believe everyone will be as cautious and reckless attempts to do that
section by inexperienced hikers could be a disaster in the making. 

Just my two pennies worth. 

Peter
Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

-----Original Message-----
From: <bcss at bresnan.net>
Date: Wed, 11 May 2011 12:43:28 
To: <pnuteater at gmail.com>
Cc: <cdt-l at backcountry.net>
Subject: RE: [Cdt-l] NOBO hikers : Black Mountain Route

Peter,

I agree about the confusion at Mud Springs.  We got confused there and
that's why we put the caution mark on the map. That's a good spot to get out
the gps for a few hundred feet. There is a waypoint 1/2 mile ahead at a gate
and heading towards it gets you on the right path. 

It does appear that you could take a good shortcut from mile 6.0 to hit the
road at mile 11.7 by going down Deadman Canyon but our mapping is funded to
only reflect the official route and really that's all time allows us to do.
I will cc this to CDTL so others might know that they have that alternative
when they get there.        

You figured right at the road to Tyronne.  The trail is built several miles
past there but it dead ends several miles in.  That is why the Mapbook has
it on the road from there to Silver City.  The new route won't be finished
for a couple of years as I understand it. It would help if there was some
explanation of all this on a sign when you hit the road. I will forward this
to someone in NM who might be able to do that.  BTW, there are a few more of
those caution marks along the way.  (Big red exclamation mark!)  The GPS
will help in those situations.  

Are you carrying a standalone gps or is it in your phone?  I know some are
just carrying gps enabled phones this year.    

I envy you being on the trail so early.  I was a bit sad when we finished NM
- it's really an interesting mix. 

FYI, the snowpack in the San Juans is not so bad this year.  I live on the
Animas in Durango and it went from 750 cfs last Friday to 1800 cfs on Monday
so things are beginning to break up.  


best wishes,

Jerry Brown
mailto:bcss at bresnan.net
www.bearcreeksurvey.com

-----Original Message-----
From: pnuteater at gmail.com [mailto:pnuteater at gmail.com] 
Sent: Wednesday, May 11, 2011 10:59 AM
To: bcss at bresnan.net
Subject: Re: [Cdt-l] NOBO hikers : Black Mountain Route

Jerry,

We got really messed up by the trail markings at Mud Spring. I checked the
gps waypoints and your route takes what is going to be the new route to
Silver City until it reaches Tyrone Rd. My question is why go that long way
round when it adds another 3-4 miles of road walking?

I was saving battery power on the gps and when we reached the road and saw
the markings continue on the other side  we went straight across at the road
but when we realized what had gone wrong were in the dilemma of trying to
get back to your route or keep going hoping that the new route was finished.
Since the latter was a risk and we had no water information we went back to
the road walk. But it does seem like there is lot of man-made confusion in
this area with all of the new trail markings on a trail that might just dead
end. Can you shed light on what is really going on here?

Thanks for any help

Peter Shaw, aka Peanut Eater
Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

-----Original Message-----
From: <bcss at bresnan.net>
Sender: cdt-l-bounces at backcountry.net
Date: Tue, 10 May 2011 17:55:52 
To: <cdt-l at backcountry.net>
Cc: 'david booth'<david.booth at internode.on.net>
Subject: Re: [Cdt-l] NOBO hikers : Black Mountain Route

Hi, Dave!  +1 on the Aldo Leopold. I really liked it.  No need to hitch at
this time.  Trail is open all the way from Silver City right now.

best wishes,

Jerry Brown
(970) 403-3527    Cell: (970) 749-0496
mailto:bcss at bresnan.net
www.bearcreeksurvey.com

-----Original Message-----
From: cdt-l-bounces at backcountry.net [mailto:cdt-l-bounces at backcountry.net]
On Behalf Of david booth
Sent: Tuesday, May 10, 2011 5:25 PM
To: cdt-l at backcountry.net
Subject: [Cdt-l] NOBO hikers : Black Mountain Route

I hiked the Black Mountain CDT through the Aldo Leopold wilderness  
last year. If the Gila fire diverts you hitch to Emory Pass and take  
10 days food, hike north. The trail is good.
Not much desert, water is available along the way. Better than  
flipping IMHO. And its also the "official" CDT.
If you need more details email me.
Aussie Dave
Canberra Australia
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