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Re: [CDT-L] Winter on the CDT

>>  Ryan wrote:
>>  At any rate, I wanted to invite response from those who have >>  hiked
the CDT in the wintertime in the Northern Rockies.


In 1990 I skied from Old Faithful to Shoshone, across Shoshone Lake to the
Lewis Lake Channel, crossed the road and went down to Heart Lake then turned
south towards Sheridan Lake and on down to the Snake River following it out
to Flagg Ranch. This trip was the hot springs tour, many opportunities for

In 1992 we skied in from the southwest corner of the park and trudged around
the Bechler for about 4 days until we made it to 3-River Junction. There we
camped for 3 nights eating most of our food waiting out a heavy snowstorm
that layed down a couple feet per day. Fortunately the hot springs at
3-River are the nicest in the park. Our original plan was to pick up a food
stash near Grant Village and head out across the center of the park towards
Canyon Village. Unfortunately the deep snow was too much for us, pulled
groin muscles and inflamed hip joints from carrying 100 lb. backpacks. We
headed back out to the southwest, the way we came in.

My guess is that any rivers you encounter such as the upper Yellowstone will
be frozen over. Since Lake Yellowstone freezes over completely, you can ski
along the shore to make the most miles. I've been out to Stevenson Island on
skies and across Shoshone Lake. Occasionally you'll hit pockets of standing
water on top of the ice, but the ice is plenty thick out there by the end of
January. The Snake River was frozen over at most places on our 1990 trip,
but near Flagg Ranch the river doesn't freeze over due to hot springs. We
had to wade the river, which is quite wide at that point. We also had to
wade some streams in the Bechler. It's no fun to ski in wet boots! I don't
think there are that many hot springs in the upper Yellowstone, so this may
not be an issue.

I have friends that have done most or parts of the trip you're describing.
They all still live in or near the park, I think. If you want I can give you
their names and you can try to contact them. They may even want to join up
with you. There are a couple winter keepers at Lake Hotel that I know would
hold a resupply box for you. Myself, I'm shooting for a late winter trip
(early March) into Titcomb Basin in the Wind Rivers.

Take care,

Mark Dixon
Laramie, Wyoming

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