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[cdt-l] back from 2001 hike
Well, I finally made it. Let out a couple "wahoo's!"
and hung with the boys at Antelope Wells. I'm back on
the list. Are there any other 2001'ers out there?
(there are only a handfull anyway & a bunch of them
are still hiking). I hope to provide as much info as
I can to 2002 hikers (but I'm not going to subscribe
to that other list). If anyone out there has any
questions about anything, I'm pretty fresh off the
trail... I plan to post some unsolicitied advice/info
as well. A few tidbits:
I started on June 15th & had no problems with existing
snowpack up north. The snow was about 60-70% of
normal. I only needed an ice-axe for about 20 yards
of crossing the Ahern Drift - chopped steps, etc.
That's a short distance, but there's really no way
around it & it would be very dangerous to cross in
early season without one. Of course, you could take
another (official) route through GNP and avoid the
I'd recommend using the CDTS/Jim Wolf guidebooks,
especially if you're headed south. There are a few
places where the other guidebooks WILL get you lost -
There simply isn't enough detail in them & the trail
is unmarked in those places. It would help to have a
good topo map for those bits, but the trail isn't
always on those either...
I had pretty decent weather the whole way. Plenty of
thunderstorms in July/August, but they never lasted
long. I got lucky & had no lightning in the few places
in MT/ID where cover is miles away in any direction.
Got 8 inches of snow in No. Colorado on Sept 8th, but
it was a fluke somewhat & cleared. I just got out of
the San Juans before a nasty cold front came through
around Oct 10-12th (I think). I talked to someone a
week behind me & he had knee-deep snow there. yikes!
In NM, I followed the CDTS route to Grants, then made
my own route to pie town (more details later), had no
problems hitching to reserve - plenty of traffic. The
trails in the northern Gila are not good. There is a
designated route along the divide (which I followed
for a little while), but it appears to be nothing more
than tree blazes - 0 tread & lots of nasty
bushwhacking & no water. I followed the Gila river
for longer than most do & it was a treat, although my
exact route would probably be impassable in the
spring. I had no problems with water in any of NM.
My water either came from towns/businesses/hunters or
stock tanks. The lack of surface water in the fall in
NM didn't matter. I hiked about 27-30 mpd in NM and
had a max capacity of 4 liters, although I rarely
needed it. Weather in NM was 60-75 & p/c skies
generally. Very pleasant for walking.
cdt 01 <--- yeah!
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