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[pct-l] section hike info needed on "other" trail...

Hello All -

Hooray...it looks like I might just be able to get away for little 
hike on the CDT after all (the good Lord willing and the creeks don't 

Last time I started at the WY/CO border and came down the CDT to 
Cottonwood Pass (near Buena Vista - below Leadville).  I am hoping to 
be able to pick up again at Cottonwood Pass and to hike as far south 
as a little less than three weeks will get me.

I will be interested to find out how much the altitude will affect me 
this time.  I hiked during the same time of the year on my last 
section, but I had spent the entire summer at or above 8,000'.  This 
time I will be starting out with a solid year's worth of 
acclimatization all the way up to a lofty 675' <g>.

I am really enjoying reading Jim's (Guide to the CDT - Vol 5), Tom's 
(Colorado's CDT), and Dave's (Alternative Routes) books...can't think 
of a better way to get back in the spirit of the CDT!

I do have a couple of questions for those on the PCT-L list who might 
have current trail info on that other trail just over the hills:

Here in Alabama, it seems like much of the west has been on fire this 
summer <f>.  Are there any fires currently burning near the CDT 
between Cottonwood Pass and the NM border?  Is there a good way to 
get the latest info just before I leave for the trail?

How about water?  My daughter lives in Colorado Springs (AF pilot who 
sometimes flies over the area and a backpacker, herself) and has 
heard through the grapevine that things are really dry this year. 
Will I be running into problems with lack of surface water that goes 
beyond the water discussions in the guidebooks?  As with the fires, 
is there a good way to et the latest info just before I leave for the 

I am going to try a mix of "going cold" and the Esbit fuel tablets 
this time out.  I used the Peak1 Apex II on my two thru-hikes (loved 
it!) and the Peak1 Extreme (butane/propane) on my last CDT section 
(did fine).  I tried going cold for six weeks on the AT, but decided 
that warm food and an occasional cuppa was more my style when the 
snow started to fly <g>.

I have a couple of questions for those on PCT-L who have direct 
experience with using the Esbit tablets for this kind of hiking.

I am assuming that I will need to carry some HD aluminum foil to act 
as both as an "ash catcher" and a wind screen (I don't plan to take 
the funky little fold-up stove...lotsa rocks up there <g>). 

Are the Esbit ashes toxic?  I plan to carry them out in any case, but 
I am curious if I will have time to get down to civilization if I get 
them confused with the lemon pepper...

Have you had any luck with extinguishing the tablet and then relighting later?

Do you use a garden-variety Bic to light the tabs?

Thanks for the info!

Is there a chance that I will be seeing anybody from PCT-L on that 
part of the CDT (late Aug up til mid-Sep)?

Trace No Leaves,

- Charlie II  AT (MEGA'93)
                 PCT (Mex@Can'95)
            Chipping away at the CDT

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