[Cdt-l] Gila Wilderness Opened or Closed?

Teresa Martinez tamartinez2003 at gmail.com
Thu Jan 16 17:43:32 CST 2014

Hi everyone-

This was the press release from the Gila National Forest today regarding
the Catwalk section in the area in question. While not addressing the
 various routes specifically, this may help with some understanding of the
area in question. Second - I encourage specific questions be sent to the
Glenwood Ranger District, for at least the official status of trails in the
area, so closure orders, if in place, are not violated if you choose this

Hope this helps.

Teresa Martinez

*Repairs Underway at Catwalk *

*Glenwood, NM; January 17, 2014*—Following assessments of flood damage to
the popular Catwalk National Recreation Trail this fall, U.S. Forest
Service personnel have been working with N.M. Department of Transportation
personnel to improve road conditions along N.M. Highway 174. These
improvements have now allowed Forest Service equipment to access the
Catwalk, where additional work is scheduled.

“Damage to the parking lot, picnic area, and trail system is extensive.
Work will be completed in phases, beginning with a short term plan to
provide access to the picnic areas and approximately ½ mile of the older
trail along the northwest side of Whitewater Creek, ” District Ranger
Debbie Cress said. She adds that the Forest Service hopes to reopen a
portion of the Catwalk by April, and intends to work with community members
and interested agencies throughout upcoming months to develop a long term
plan for the Catwalk. Community members can expect opportunties to
participate in public meetings and open house forums to provide their input.

Short term efforts to restore the Catwalk area include:

   - Channel work to return Whitewater Creek flows to the upper low water
   crossing. Currently, water is diverted to the southeast and running along a
   portion of the highway.
   - Clearing sediment, logs, and other debris away from picnic tables.
   - Clearing landslides and stabilizing handrails along the old trail in
   to the steps constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps.
   - Removing metal debris from the picnic area and channel.
   - Interpretive signing.

“I understand the community’s concerns about reopening this popular site as
soon as possible,” adds Ranger Cress. “My concern is ensuring the picnic
area and trail are safe for the public’s enjoyment. Planning our work in
phases will allow people to come and enjoy the area again as quickly as
possible, while providing the community an opportunity to participate in
creating a long term plan to continue the tradition of the Catwalk.” Please
contact the Glenwood Ranger District office for further information,

On Thu, Jan 16, 2014 at 10:29 AM, Shian Sung <shian.sung at gmail.com> wrote:

> I was hiking with Tom Holz (AKA Bigfoot) and we took the high-water route
> from Snow Lake to Doc's exactly as Jerry describes. This was on the advice
> of locals in Pie Town who had been down to check it out as well as the
> ranger's office for the Gila Wilderness. When we crossed over at the
> Meadows it did not look terrible, just slow going. If I had to do it again
> I might have just gone for it, especially after I read an account from
> another SOBO who went through maybe 1-2 weeks after we did:
> http://marks-talesfromthetrails.blogspot.com/2013/12/middle-fork-of-gila-river-cdt-2013.html
> He averaged around 10 miles a day (down from probably what was a high-20's
> to low-30's daily pace) through that section, so it was slow going but
> sounded very rewarding.
> We completely bypassed the southern section of Middle Fork south of Doc
> Campbell's after doing a lot of research (rangers who were being honest
> with us, other hikers, forest service trail crews) that said that while the
> stretch from Snow Lake to Doc's was doable, the section south of there had
> portions that were not only nearly impassable but also dangerous, with logs
> stacked on top of each other (a lot of the trees that get swept down the
> Gila end up getting jammed up in that section).
> There will be some northbounders next season who slog through that soon
> and we'll know what exactly it looks like - I don't know any other sobos
> from 2013 who did the southern Gila section - maybe Huck or one of the
> people in the front of the pack.
> -Shian (Barrel Roll)
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*About Risk – Jeep Gaskin “49, 3 kids, all of whom climb. in fact we're
going sunday. I'm going to die and so are you. so are my kids. in the
perfect world I'll die before they do, but there aren't any guarantees. so
I prepare them for life the best way I know how, doing the things that
prepared me to massage my mother’s feet and tell her not to be scared, that
it was her time to go. and that made it possible to kiss my dad one last
time and tell him I loved him, and walk away. if you have depth to your
soul and insights into life's lessons and you didn't get them from risk
then congratulations but I can't relate. climbing can be deltoids or it can
be zen; it can be runout or short safe falls; it can be skies filled with
lightning or crisp air ahead of mare's tails. It is never standing in a
grocery line.”*
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