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[cdt-l] topo maps

"JDragotto" <jdragotto@dellepro.com> wrote:
>I was hoping that I was providing an economical way for some to look at the
>24K maps associated with the CDT.  I for one do not have $300.00 or more to
>purchase topos. Granted if you print a complete quad on a 8.5 x 11 piece of
>paper it is virtually impossible to read.


>What better way to see the lay of the land and do a little
>planning without spending a fortune?

John -
I didn't know at the time whose maps I was looking at - but it didn't really 
matter.  My concern was (and still is) that the maps that I had in my hand 
at the time were not adequate for navigation under the circumstances that we 
encountered on the CDT.  If Jonathon is using them, he could find himself in 
some difficulty.  Or he could get lucky.

I'm certainly in favor of cheaper maps - but only if they're "better" maps 
as well. The maps we used lied to us constantly, but you learn to live with 
that - and laugh at it - because the information is "sufficient".  What I'm 
saying is that if you get out there and NEED more map than you're carrying, 
that $300 investment in maps might well be something you'd wish you'd done.

One of the things that bothered me was that those maps were configured to be 
analogs to the PCT maps.  They were narrow strip maps with little detail 
(because of the scale and the 8.5x11 paper).  But the PCT is generally wide, 
well marked, easy grade (~5%) "wheelchair" trail where, if you're competent, 
you'd have to really work at it to get lost.  The CDT is an entirely 
different beast and the same maps won't work unless you get really, really 
lucky - particularly in the snow and in the desert.

The other part of this is what Bill Gurwell brought up - do you really NEED 
topos?  There were maybe 3 times in six months that I wished we had good 
topos - and two of the three were when we were actually using a topo.  The 
problem is that most of the available topos were of wilderness areas - and 
the interval was 50 meters.  That's about 165 feet - it hides a lot of 
detail.  And that detail is precisely what you want them for. Which is one 
of the things that bothered me - if the map is such that you can't discern 
local detail, then you might as well just carry a state road map.

But the bottom line is that we managed - even with maps that lied, no GPS, 
very few topos, 50 meter intervals, etc.  And, probably, so will you - and 
hopefully, Jonathon.  Keep in mind that while I may bitch about some things 
- we do wish you the best.  We would never wish you an "easy" trip - but we 
DO wish you an "interesting" trip.  "Interesting" is much more memorable.

Walk softly,

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