[Cdt-l] CDTS route in New Mexico (or elsewhere)

Jackie McDonnell yogihikes at gmail.com
Tue Jun 18 11:10:21 CDT 2013

Medicare Pastor -- please don't think this is a negative post towards you,
because like you, I also have deep respect for Jim Wolf.  But the CDT is
constantly evolving, and the routes presented by Ley and BearCreek only add
to what Jim Wolf began so many years ago.

I think folks refer to the "Ley's Purple Route" and "Ley's Red Route"
simple for ease of visual recognition. Some routes ARE red on Ley's Maps,
and others ARE purple.  When speaking to other hikers about which routes to
take, we're all looking at Ley's Maps, so identifying those routes as
"Ley's Red or Purple Routes" is simple.  I hope I speak for all hikers when
I state that none of us harbor any disrespect to Jim Wolf.  It's just that
we all use Ley's Maps now-a-days.

As far as an "Official Route" goes . . . . . well, that's not so
straightforward when you're talking CDT.

The Appalachian Trail has a definite official route:  follow the white

The Pacific Crest Trail mostly has an official route, but let's be honest:
 Most PCT hikers don't stay on the official PCT the whole time, because the
official PCT is the horse PCT.  Horses aren't allowed along the Rim of
Crater Lake, nor on the Eagle Creek Trail.  So, the vast majority of PCT
hikers take those "hiker only" routes, which are not the official PCT.  I
feel sorry for PCT hikers who are so infected with a "purism" point of view
that they hike 1800 miles up to Oregon, just to bypass the Crater Lake Rim
simply because that trail is not the OFFICIAL PCT.  It's sad.

"Official" gets even more blurred when talking CDT.  As the number of CDT
hikers increases, so does the number of hikers who are infected with that
"purism" disease.  Those of us who have hiked the CDT recognize it for what
it truly is:  a corridor through which hikers choose their own routes.
 Those route choices are sometimes planned in advance from home, or
sometimes made as a spur-of-the-moment decision based upon current weather,
trail conditions, and/or hiker experience.  The beauty of the CDT is that
true CDT hikers -- those of us who love the trail and love thru-hiking --
don't give a damn what route another CDT hiker hikes.  Hike a trail, don't
intentionally choose highway walks, and walk from Mexico to Canada (or
Canada to Mexico) along the CDT corridor.  And every CDT hiker has his/her
own unique CDT.  It's simple, really.

It's unfortunate that this year we have a CDT hiker with an inflated ego
and sense of entitlement:  he's appropriately named "Balls".  He's critical
of hikers who choose different routes than he has chosen.  Balls is so
infected by the purism disease that he can't see the CDT for what it truly
is:  a raw, beautiful, choose-your-own-route through some of the most
amazing terrain in this country.  Balls is hiking the Jerry Brown Route,
which is a great route.  I *love* Jerry's maps!  But it's not the only
route.  It's unfortunate that Balls is so self-absorbed and infected by
purism that he is incapable of respecting other hikers and their choices.
 Other hikers will experience the Cirque of the Towers, Knapsack Col, Parry
Peak, etc.  Balls doesn't have the option to see those places, because
they're not on the BearCreek maps.  And THAT'S the problem with an
"official route".

My CDT Handbook (www.pcthandbook.com) presents many different route
options, and there are many which are not covered in the book.  Hikers have
the option to create their own CDT, their own unique experience.

I do recognize that in order to be a protected trail, there must be one
route which is recognized by government.  But I sure hope the raw,
individual character of the CDT stays alive for years to come.


On Tue, Jun 18, 2013 at 10:06 AM, MARY E DAVISON <pastormaryd at msn.com>wrote:

> I have an issue that is bugging me. Perhaps I am too picky. But I heard
> numerous thru hikers call the purple line on Ley maps the "LDT" or "Ley's"
> route as opposed to the "official route".
> Now, I use both purple and red routes as it seems best to me and lots of
> purple in New Mexico. And I immensely appreciate Ley's maps, Bear Creek
> maps, Jim Wolf's routes (generally the purple routes) and books and I use
> them all.
> But to the best of my knowledge most, not all, of the purple routes are
> Jim Wolf's routes. Ley provides maps and puts both Bear Creek and Wolf and
> some other options too on his maps. Thank you Jonathon!
> But I object to forgetting about the history and the presence of the CDTS
> and Jim Wolf's incredible work. Please don't call Wolf route Ley's route or
> the LDT.
> Ok. I have said my piece. I will quit now.
> Medicare Pastor
> Sent from my iPhone
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> Cdt-l mailing list
> Cdt-l at backcountry.net
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