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Astro on the CT 2020

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    • Astro on the CT 2020

      Got my hat and data book, so along with some sun screen got the extra things I think I need to do this section of the Colorado Trail. Using this as a trial for how I adjust to altitude so in probably 2022 I can do a thru hike. 2021 booked for finishing the AT. 8)
      Driving to Kenosha Pass Sunday night and then working on shuttle Monday morning to Waterton Canyon trailhead. This will set me up to do the first 71. 7 miles of Segments 1 to 5. If all is going well at that point, I will go another 12.5 miles to the Georgia Pass and where the CDT joins, and then back to Kenosha Pass. That last part will get me over 11,000 and almost 12,000 feet.
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      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • Now questions.
      Drybones, how far did you hike on the CT? Biggest differences from the AT?

      Anyone/everyone, I use bear boxes, poles, and cables when available on the AT, but sleep with my food otherwise. On the CT do I need go back to hanging a bear bag?

      Any other advice?
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • Astro, I have no experience on the CT, but my experience at elevation suggests you should be sure to bring plenty of uv protected lip balm and sun block.

      I understand the start of the trail (Section 1) has heavy bear activity. Have you considered a canister? Yes, they add weight, but they can double as a nice stool at camp.
      “Of all sad words of tongue or pen,
      the saddest are these, 'It might have been.”


      John Greenleaf Whittier
    • IMScotty wrote:

      Astro, I have no experience on the CT, but my experience at elevation suggests you should be sure to bring plenty of uv protected lip balm and sun block.

      I understand the start of the trail (Section 1) has heavy bear activity. Have you considered a canister? Yes, they add weight, but they can double as a nice stool at camp.
      What size do you use, and how many days of food does it actually hold?
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • I ordered a custom made bearikade several years ago. I think it is the same size as what they now call the Blazer.
      wild-ideas.net/the-blazer/

      It holds about a nine-day food supply, which I needed on the JMT to get me from Muir Ranch to Whitney Portal. You can also hold your food for the first day in your pack.

      I liked the Bearikade because it was a lighter-weight option. After I bought it I found out that it was not certified for Grizzly country, however. If you want a canister that you can take anywhere then you will want something on this list like the BearVault ...

      igbconline.org/wp-content/uplo…rtified_Products_List.pdf
      “Of all sad words of tongue or pen,
      the saddest are these, 'It might have been.”


      John Greenleaf Whittier
    • LIhikers wrote:

      when visiting Kathy's sister, who lives in Colorado, they always tell us to drink a lot of water as it is supposed to help fend off altitude sickness.
      Thanks, that is what I have heard along with electrolytes.
      Also thinking about spending a day there before starting.
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • I bought the Ursack Almighty a few months ago when I caught it on sale. Not as heavy as canister, packs better, does not make a good camp seat lol. I have not had a chance to try it out other than to fill it and pack it my pack for practice. I decided I'm tired of looking for that suitable tree limb at the end of a long day. Throwing a rock sack and has never been a problem for me, but it's just another thing to do that I now don't have to.
      "Dazed and Confused"
      Recycle, re-use, re-purpose
      Plant a tree
      Take a kid hiking
      Make a difference
    • jimmyjam wrote:

      I bought the Ursack Almighty a few months ago when I caught it on sale. Not as heavy as canister, packs better, does not make a good camp seat lol. I have not had a chance to try it out other than to fill it and pack it my pack for practice. I decided I'm tired of looking for that suitable tree limb at the end of a long day. Throwing a rock sack and has never been a problem for me, but it's just another thing to do that I now don't have to.
      Unfortunately, probably due to Covid-19 driving people outdoors, the Bearvault and Ursack products appear to be out of stock. Currently planning to hang like I did earlier on the AT. But will watch what others are doing and perhaps buy something along these lines prior to 2022.
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • Astro wrote:

      jimmyjam wrote:

      I bought the Ursack Almighty a few months ago when I caught it on sale. Not as heavy as canister, packs better, does not make a good camp seat lol. I have not had a chance to try it out other than to fill it and pack it my pack for practice. I decided I'm tired of looking for that suitable tree limb at the end of a long day. Throwing a rock sack and has never been a problem for me, but it's just another thing to do that I now don't have to.
      Unfortunately, probably due to Covid-19 driving people outdoors, the Bearvault and Ursack products appear to be out of stock. Currently planning to hang like I did earlier on the AT. But will watch what others are doing and perhaps buy something along these lines prior to 2022.
      Yeah, I was looking at the small BV at REI during the sale and they're out of stock. Say they'll get it back in the next 30 days, but that isn't gonna help you much.

      So I ened up getting -- what else? -- more socks.
      2,000 miler
    • Astro wrote:

      Now questions.
      Drybones, how far did you hike on the CT? Biggest differences from the AT?

      Anyone/everyone, I use bear boxes, poles, and cables when available on the AT, but sleep with my food otherwise. On the CT do I need go back to hanging a bear bag?

      Any other advice?
      I did the 1-5 you are doing, planned to do the whole trail but the right knee was in bad shape when I started and got worse with hiking too far too fast, had to come home at Kenosha and have knee surgery. The first 6 miles of road walk would have been boring except for the herds of big horn sheep that came down and walked beside me...that was neat. Walking seemed easier for me than normal until I resupplied at Baily and hit the trail next day, dont know if it was elevation change or what, but it kicked my butt that day. Even though I crapped out before the good stuff, this was my all time favorite hike...just seemed to connect with the trail...hope you do as well, would like to go back in the near future. I will not say it is the right thing to do, but I hung my food on the head of my hammock.
      I may grow old but I'll never grow up.
    • Astro wrote:

      Now questions.
      Drybones, how far did you hike on the CT? Biggest differences from the AT?

      Anyone/everyone, I use bear boxes, poles, and cables when available on the AT, but sleep with my food otherwise. On the CT do I need go back to hanging a bear bag?

      Any other advice?
      Hate to break it to you but you're not going to find many trees suitable for hanging on the CT. They're like Christmas trees.... tons of short dense branches a couple feet long.

      I think in section 3 a couple of years ago of bear actually shredded ursack that was tied to a tree also it was on Facebook. Ripped the bottom right out of it.

      You going to have to sleep with your food mostly.
      Not a problem above tree line where you are much of time, except those first few sections arent. Theres some better trees in first sections, but they are pines with high bottom limbs too. I hung food 1 time, in early part a long meadow had a suitable tree....along with cows. Lots of cows. Lots of mountain bikers too between Waterton and breck. They're nice people generally and they didn't mean to be butt wipes...but I was sitting at a nice overlook by myself eating lunch one day and two mountain bikers stopped. next thing you know half a dozen more that they knew also stopped pretty soon I was driven out of my little lunch spot.

      Have fun. CT was a great hike.

      The first couple of sections, not so much. I got sick 1st day.......ate less than 500cal/day first 5 days (basically 2 candybars / day was all I could force down) Still made breck in 4.5 days. Appetite came back when i got that real food in Breck.

      The post was edited 7 times, last by Muddywaters ().

    • 10 mile dry shadeless burned out stretch from river to firestation is fun in summer too........
      [IMG:https://images2.imgbox.com/0f/8a/iG6WxmwN_o.jpg]


      A couple I had passed earlier in day got to firestation as i was leaving....I said " theres no water, its off". The girl was about to cry before i told her i was just kidding...

      The post was edited 4 times, last by Muddywaters ().

    • No luck arranging my shuttle and looks like water might be getting dry in the early sections.

      My Western Mountaineering Ultralite 20 degree bag arrived today. So now I believe I will switch back to my original plan of the 161 miles of the Collegiate Loop.

      Plan to spend Monday around Twin Lakes getting acclimated and start Tuesday at Interlaken heading south on the East Loop (clockwise).
      Images
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      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • If kenosha pass campground is open, caretaker might be willing to shuttle you.

      they literally have nothing else to do but collect the money from the sites every evening.

      When I hiked it i talked to the wife of the couple that was doing it that summer for a while..... She was my age and had grown up in a town near me.

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Muddywaters ().

    • From PMags quick & dirty guide of the CT.

      About "Da Bears": While there are black bears on The Colorado Trail, they are not even as
      remotely aggressive as their High Sierra cousins. The black bears tend to stick to the valleys and
      are not habituated to backpackers like their Sierra cousins. A bear canister is overkill (IMO); normal
      bear precautions should be plenty
    • Mags wrote that a few years before increased activity began increasing bear issues a little.

      I had no bear issues, porcupines are a different story. An amorous one was trying its best to get in my net inner one night...couldnt get it to leave. I suspect it was female and wanted to mate. Ate my pack belt too for the salt....darn glad i put up the innernet....them things is ugly.

      But yeah...little bear issues.

      The post was edited 2 times, last by Muddywaters ().

    • Muddywaters wrote:

      Mags wrote that a few years before increased activity began increasing bear issues a little.

      I had no bear issues, porcupines are a different story. An amorous one was trying its best to get in my net inner one night...couldnt get it to leave. I suspect it was female and wanted to mate. Ate my pack belt too for the salt....darn glad i put up the innernet....them things is ugly.

      But yeah...little bear issues.
      My son and I were turkey hunting in upstate NY, I did not take a gun, just calling for my son, called a turkey within 10 yards but my son let it go back into the brush, saw a bird get up but still heard leaves rustling thinking a flock was coming our way only to see a large porcupine waddle up and start feeding on acorns under the leaves, we were in full camo and moved to within three feet of him while his head was under the leaves and watched him for several minutes before the wind changed and he caught our scent...did not kill a thing that day but it was one of my most productive days.
      I may grow old but I'll never grow up.
    • From what research I have done and heard from others it appears the worst bear issues are in the early segments, which makes sense because lower elevation and easier access so people leave more trash for them. Since I switched my plans back to the Collegiate Loop will not need to deal with that section this time. If I thru in 2022 I will have more to prepare for it then.

      Always put everything inside my tent except my poles which I lean between tent and rain fly. Starting to think maybe this trip I should put them inside also, so the salt might be less tempting to the wildlife.
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • Muddywaters wrote:

      Cant coment on east, cw us spectacular.
      Enjoy.

      Virus has screwed my plans. Because im avoiding planes primarily. Nowheres cool enough till oct that dont fly to.
      Driving to Ft. Smith to spend the night with my son. Then only 12.5 hours Sunday. A whole lot closer than the original 26 hours I would have been driving to Maine to finish up my AT hike this summer.

      Using Monday and the East to get acclimated before hitting the West. If I do a thru in 2022 it will be the West, but the opposite direction (SoBo).
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • Astro wrote:

      Muddywaters wrote:

      Cant coment on east, cw us spectacular.
      Enjoy.

      Virus has screwed my plans. Because im avoiding planes primarily. Nowheres cool enough till oct that dont fly to.
      Driving to Ft. Smith to spend the night with my son. Then only 12.5 hours Sunday. A whole lot closer than the original 26 hours I would have been driving to Maine to finish up my AT hike this summer.
      Using Monday and the East to get acclimated before hitting the West. If I do a thru in 2022 it will be the West, but the opposite direction (SoBo).
      sounds like a plan . I really enjoyed the CT. Trail and towns and people. Hostels in breck, twin lakes, salida, lake city were all good in own ways. Foods a little scarce in twin lakes...stores like a convenience more than grocery... I managed to buy a pack of sausage like hot dogs and eat those... I was craving some kind of meat..... They have mostly hiking food.

      I wouldn't mind spending more time in every one of those towns along the CT. In lake City I got a ride back to the trail from the mayor..... Learned alot about the town the people the issues etc.

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Muddywaters ().

    • Muddywaters wrote:


      I wouldn't mind spending more time in every one of those towns along the CT. In lake City I got a ride back to the trail from the mayor..... Learned alot about the town the people the issues etc.
      On the AT I spent a rainy night in Mildrem Thomson's barn (former Gov of NH) and had an interesting talk. The next morning his wife cooked me breakfast at the famous Mt. Cube Farm Sugar House after giving me a tour of the maple syrup making process.
      2,000 miler
    • For some reason, i found CO hotter than Sierra, at similar elevation. I wore long vented pants in sierra... Perfectly comfortable...too hot in CO...changed to shorts in Salida. Hands and back of calfs got blistered pretty bad ....i bought organic sunscreen by accident in a town.. or that might have been all they had..active ingredient was just zinc oxide.... Unless you were coated opaque white, you weren't protected. I wasn't going to have that stuff smeared all over my clothes and gear.

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Muddywaters ().

    • In Salida getting a hamburger and a salad at Uptown Grill. Only 13 miles to Monarch Spur RV and Campground where I will tent tonight and leave my resupply box. Tomorrow plan to get acclimated to the altitude by checking out Buena Vista before parking at Twin Lakes.
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • Just got an email from the Georgia Adventurer's Meetup Group...

      "Join us on a trip of a lifetime! This is a 160-mile high-altitude strenuous hike of the full Collegiate Loop section of the Colorado Trail. We'll leave Atlanta July 19th and return August 8th."

      They had a required 4 night backpacking trip in June where you were required to bring the gear you were going to use on the CT. Apparently they wanted to make sure that everyone who signed up for the CT hike would be capable of completing it. Not a bad idea.
      2,000 miler
    • Parked at Twin Lakes yesterday and at 3pm walked about 2 miles on Hwy 82 before 5 miles on CT. This morning another 1.5 CT miles before taking the East Loop. Trail and views awesome, but a acclimating to the altitude is no fun.
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • 9.8 m to Clear Creek Bridge. 1.5 to reach Collegiate Loop Junction, and then 8.3 East Loop. Trail and views are great. Altitude is tough especially when climbing. Tomorrow starts off with 3,000 ft climb.
      Will provide more details and pictures when I gave better service.
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • It it always looks worse on paper than it really is.

      and at least you're not climbing stairs like you often do on the AT...

      I recall the climb out of twin lakes on the CW was a 3200'. After a good meal of hot dogs the night before and a good breakfast of scrambled eggs and bacon and coffee at the hostel.......I walked right up it without pausing a single time. something that in a calorie deprived state just the day before would not have happened.

      Some people hate the days leaving town, I love them it's easier hiking for me than in the depleted state i came in.

      The post was edited 5 times, last by Muddywaters ().

    • Muddywaters wrote:

      It it always looks worse on paper than it really is.

      and at least you're not climbing stairs like you often do on the AT...

      I recall the climb out of twin lakes on the CW was a 3200'. After a good meal of hot dogs the night before and a good breakfast of scrambled eggs and bacon and coffee at the hostel.......I walked right up it without pausing a single time. something that in a calorie deprived state just the day before would not have happened.

      Some people hate the days leaving town, I love them it's easier hiking for me than in the depleted state i came in.
      I do love the switch backs. :thumbup:
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • Day 1 Twin Lakes to Interlaken Trail Head (7 miles)
      Arrived on Sunday evening and after grabbing a burger and salad at Highway 50 in Salidia, tented and dropped off my maildrop at Monarch Spur RV and Campground. While this was only 8,861 feet I was gasping for air just walking around (a lot different from 200 feet elevation).

      The next morning I got one last shower and converted everything from my ULA Catalyst to Circuit pack. When leaving the house it would not all fit in the Circuit. I had to rearange somethings and leave some out, but I eventually made it work. The differences were the 20* bag, thicker rain pants, and 7 days of food (usually try to limit to 5 days or less).

      I swung by Walmart in Salida to get some fresh batteries for my headlamp. Next I drove to Buena Vista and had a roast beef sub and spent some time looking over my map and databook. Then I drove onto Twin Lakes where I look around a little at the little town. At 3pm I started the approximately 2 mile road walk on Hwy 82 before joing the Colorado Trail at the underpass. Saw a couple of bike riders and not while taking a drink I saw my first hiker (Boots) come out of the underpass. It was sort of funny because he was trying to figure out which path was the trail and I then realized I was standing in front of the sign.

      After a while there was a yurt that was used as the office/headquarters of a group that did tours for 14,000 footers. The trail was really flat, which was nice since I was still adjusting to the intial altitude. While walking over the dam I was able to get some pictures of a bald eagle. Once I decided to set up my tent a power windstorm came along along and I had hold my tent down with my foot and eventually sat down in inside to keep it from blowing away. Fortunately there was no rain with the wind, and I was able to set up the rainfly later.

      Views are awesome
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      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • Bald Eagle on the dam. I keep trying to get closer and closer until he flew away.
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      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General