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[cdt-l] cdt 2002 comments

I think you have a pretty good idea of when to start already.  I think
Mid-June is a pretty good baseline. I know some people who started in
late June in 2001 & got through So. CO no problem... then there were
others who had some problems with snow. A lot of it may depend on how
"fast" you hike Montana, Wyoming & most of Colorado. By the time I got
to the San Juans, I was ~6 days behind some people I'd started with, & 6
days ahead of some others I'd passed along the way. That's quite a
Personally, I'd rather err to start too early, because you can always
stop and wait if conditions are bad. If you start too late, you're
always worrying about your schedule.  If conditions are bad & you need
to wait out a late-season storm or something, you could camp at Two
Medicine for nearly nothing, or stay at the "Backpacker's Inn" in East
Glacier for ~$12/night (plus food).
I've come up with this rule of thumb (copied from my own web site):

Southbound, if you get through the bulk of the San Juans (say Wolf Creek
Pass) by the first week in October, I'd say you have a 75% chance of
getting through without any real winter-snow problems. Those odds go
down by 25% increments each additional week. Northbound, the same kind
of rule applies to the border of Canada, starting with 25% the second
week of September. All of this is just a really rough estimate of

I'm curious what others might think about those dates & odds.


-----Original Message-----

re: going southbound

Nice comments about when to start, directions to go
in, etc. The more I think about it, the more I am
leaning towards a southbound journey. I know it is
just an arbitrary line, but the idea of a continuous
journey appeals to me. Plus, a delay of  four or six
weeks to start means an extra four or six weeks of
money in the bank. (As much as I hate to admit it,
economics can play a factor in deciding when to do a
thru-hike...).  I figure that I can make the San Juans
before the snow really starts to hit knowing my hiking
style and pace...

My question for those who are experienced going SoBo
on the CDT, when to start up at Glacier? I am thinking
mid-June roughly. I realize alot depends on the
snowpack up in Montana, which can vary from year to
year, but just looking for a ball park figure.

(who is about to start working again for the first
time in almost 7 mos..the horror! :D)