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[cdt-l] re: guides



Some additions to David's observations -

>As far as a "data book" there is nothing like the ones
>published for the PCT and AT. Of course that may
>change once there is a definitive trail/route. Until
>then hikers have to rely on the info available.

The CDT isn't ready for a "Data Book" yet - I hope it never will be, but 
that's personal opinion.  A Data Book requires a "final" trail location - 
and New Mexico isn't even close to that.  Actually, Colorado has some 
problems in that regard too.

>There are some loose planning sets other hikers have
>put together too. The one Jim and Ginny compiled
>(sorry I don't have the link, but it's in the
>archives) is probably one of the most recent.

There's a series of posts that we dumped on the list in Feb 2001.  They're 
labelled "CDT Planning Info"  I think there were nine of them.
http://mailman.backcountry.net/pipermail/cdt-l/2001-February/date.html

The intent was to give others some information that didn't show up anyplace 
else, but not enough to completely plan their thruhike.  If you haven't 
planned your own thruhike, then you'll likely get blown out someplace along 
the way.  The planning is what makes it possible to be flexible out there - 
and flexibility is one of the prime requirements for a CDT thruhike.  It 
ain't the AT - you CAN'T just follow the blazes.

>For CO I used Tom Jones guide by Westcliffe. It was
>good except for a couple places that were way off. As
>far as I know there are no plans to revise or update
>this guide. It was published in 1997 and is still
>available. Directions are N to S.

The Jones guide wasn't bad - but ---- don't trust the compass directions.  
And the listing of water sources (and directions thereto) was much better in 
Jim Wolf's books.  In one section of Colorado, Jones listed 1 water source, 
Wolf listed 5 - and we found six.

>I did not use Wolf's (CDTS) guides, though one of my
>hiking partners did. (At times it was nice to have all
>the different info to compare routes etc.) Based on
>the info I had at the time I figured good maps were
>better than outdated guidebooks. That still holds
>true, but Jim does publish updates and other info in
>Dividends.

We found Jim's guides to be entirely accurate  1/ as long as they were not 
entirely out of date - and he's been fixing that over the last several 
years.  And 2/ as long as you can "read".  When he says something is 
"obscure" it don't mean it's "just hard to find" -- it means you'd better be 
REALLY looking for it cause it's OBSCURE.  He means EXACTLY what he says - 
not what you "think" he's saying.

>Allan Stibora, who I met scouting routes for Jim Wolf
>in N. NM, was a wealth of info with CDTS proposed
>routes through the Tierra Amarilla. He's on the list
>and knows a lot about the trail and water sources
>through NM.

We've never met Allen, but we've found hinm to be a really good source of 
information.  Sooner or later, we WILL meet.

>I recently received the new NM guide by Bob Julyan.
>After a cursory review, it looks adequate considering
>all the gaps in the actual tread through the state.
>There are places where you'll need to seek out other
>route info, namely the Tierra Amarilla. Jim Wolf
>publishes a N. NM guide that should help in that
>department. Does anyone know if CDTS has a Southern NM
>guide out yet?

My understanding is that Jim is putting together an updated NM guide. Should 
be out in the spring maybe?  Check with him.

We got the Westcliff guide last Friday - Amazon has it.  I've read several 
parts of it - I'll give y'all comments later.  I found that I like the 
author - he has a sense of humor.  But there are still errors --- and there 
are still things that need to be said about it.  Later.

>Another good source of trail info for Southern NM is
>Joseph Gendron. He's on the list too. I started the
>trail in 98 with Joseph and Bob Julyan. The southern
>route depicted in Bob's book through the bootheel is
>the route I followed with them. However I did not go
>over to the base of the Little Hatchets. Instead I
>followed a more direct route from the N. side of the
>Big Hatchets into Hachita.

I'd like to see Joseph give someone some advice - anybody, about anything.  
He stonewalled us twice when we asked him for help - and yeah, we're still 
pissed.  So don't take our opinion about this seriously.  If he can (and 
will) help you - take it.  He knows about the "official" trail, at least 
through southern NM.

>I'm not sure how you'd get to the start of that route
>since I heard that Pat Harris, proprietor of the Egg
>Nest passed away last year. Also, the current access
>road is marginal unless you have a jeep or 4x4. Until
>the BLM relocates the road, and there are plans to do
>so, Tierra Comun will be a more difficult yet
>rewarding place to begin or end your journey.

When we went through Hachita (two years ago today), we talked to Pat.  He 
told us that having taken one group of hikers to the "official" southern 
terminus (as shown in the new Westcliff guide), he wouldn't go back there 
again cause he almost didn't get out.  Kinda makes it hard to use as a 
starting point for the trail.   You certainly want to check with the new 
owner of the Egg Nest before planning to start there.  He might (or might 
not) be willing to shuttle you to "Tierra Comun". The Westcliff guide says 
something about a "recently upgraded road" - but you might want to check on 
that, too - "trust, but verify".   More on this later, too.

Anyway - hope y'all are having fun with the planning.

Walk softly,
Jim

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