CDT General information
30 March 2016

So this year I hike the Continental Divide Trail. As every thru hike, this is a race against the time to get to Colorado before the new snow sets in deeply.

General information

  • Southbound thru hike from Canada to Mexico via Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico

  • Length is roughly 5000km depending on the route I choose

  • There are several alternates and crosscuts that I can use depending on the conditions(weather/snow, forest fires, closures, time)

  • Only ~70% are marked, there is a lot of cross country choose your own route travelling

  • It is a lot at high elevation

  • There are 2 stretches with few water

    • The great basin in Wyoming

    • The southern part of New Mexico

  • Starting southbound at end of June (which is the common start time) leaves me with few/almost no buffer since Colorado is generally around 4000m elevation and new snow is possible)

Questions and considerations I ask myself

  • High snow in Glacier National Park(Montana) where I start. This will make me slow and reduce the buffer I have to reach Colorado before new snow.

  • New snow in Colorado by the time I get there: I will send rain pants, long johns and extra gloves to a friend in Salida and just hope that I am fast enough.

  • The short time frame: I just hope I have no hip problems or other injuries this time and can make may way down there steadily.

  • Mosquitoes: I will have tons of them in the Montana, Idaho and Wyoming. But my tent has no mosquito netting and I will not use a bivy bag.

  • Permits and national parks:

    • I need a permit for Glacier(starting point) and I hope there won’t be a requirement for a bear canister.

    • I also need a permit for Yellowstone. I don’t generally look forward to yellowstone. According to trail journals I read the Rangers are very unfriendly and the stores don’t hold your packages. And there is a shitton of tourists and mossis. I don’t know which are worse…​

  • In Montana there is the chance of grizzly bears, I hope I see one and I hope it leaves me alone…​

  • Water sources in new Mexico and Wyoming: Since the CDT Coaltion now has a water report and almost everybody northbounding has a smartphone I am not that concerned.(According to train, whom I met at Shreks on the PCT you meet the NOBOs in the basin)

  • Almost all my gear from the PCT is broken or almost broken, so I need to buy new stuff.

  • The costs: Since the Euro dropped that much causing me to loose a third of my money this trip is very expensive. In addition all the prices are 2x(3x for accomodation) as high as in Germany. Thanks to Apache and Knifethrower I had a little lession in low cost hiking which will hopefully help me. The most important thing is to reduce my town stops, especially the overnights. However this will prevent me from charging batteries for my cameras(video + photo) and mobile phone(gps)…​

  • I will try to write daily blog items, however I am unsure if I do this in dual language or single language.

  • I will make a lot of video footage. I hope the battery life is big enough for the few town stops.

  • It is way more cold and wet on the CDT: I take a warmer sleeping quilt(350g of down) and an insulated jacked (primaloft)