Continental Divide Trail 2008

  1. Generally i was a bit disappointed with Montana, it wasn't rubbish but just not quite the big mountain country I was expecting. The upside of this though, we were able to walk right on top of the divide for most of the way.

    Up until this point we hadn't taken any of the semi-official 'cut-off routes', but by the time we got to the Anaconda cut-off it was late September and we were worried about waist deep fresh snow in Glacier so we took it. In retrospect it was a late winter so we shouldn't of...

    The further north we got my initial dissapoint faded as we entered The Bob Marshall Widerness (Chinese Wall & Pentagon Peak). Then in the final week the temperature plumeted, but it didn't matter because were walking through the awesome Glacier National Park and the end was just a few days away. It was the 9th of October when we got to Canada, what did we do to celebrate? Ate a massive steak and got as pissed as lords of course!

    Songs used:
    1. The Lima section is Gimme Shelter by The Rolling Stones.
    2. The Leadore Section is I Wish I Knew What I Know Now by Neil Young.
    3. The Salmon section is Pacific Coast Highway by Burt Bacharach.
    4. The Anaconda section is I Was Kaiser Bill's Batman by Whistling Jack Smith.
    5. The Helena section is A Forest by The Cure.
    6. The Bob Marshall Wilderness section is Ramble On by Led Zeppelin.
    7. The Glacier National Park section is War Pigs by Black Sabbath.
    8. And finally the the run to the Canadian border is We are the Champions by Queen.

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  2. Well for me Wyoming was the unexpected highlight of the CDT and probably my favourite state. First up there was the Great Divide Basin which I was expecting to be deeply unpleasant, but in actual fact the water / heat / shade situation was much better than we'd experienced in New Mexico. Don't get me wrong, it was baking hot and there was one point where we walked 15 miles without any water, but it was definitely more of a wilderness experience than New Mexico (which just felt a bit barren), it was wild and remote and I actually kind of liked it.

    Next up was the Wind River Range, bloody hell this was a picture postcard pretty place! We took slight detour from the CDT over Jackass Pass through the Cirque of the Towers and then out over Texas Pass. Glad we did because that place was amazing. The rest of the range was pretty special too, we clocked up our favourite swim of the CDT at Green Lake in the northern end of the range.

    What's that little loop the loop on the map all about?
    We had always planned to detour from the official route after the Windies to take in the Grand Teton National Park, the plan was to do it as a continuous South to North route. But my dad & brother came out to visit and thought starting their hike in the Tetons was a bit much, so we continued along the CDT into Yellowstone (as a warm up) then Doubled back and traversed the Tetons from North to South. If you've never been to the Tetons I'd totally recommend it.

    After the Tetons my dad hired a car, we ended up getting a lift the equilant milage that we'd just walked in the wrong direction (we were already the last north-bound CDT hikers on the trail and were a bit worried about winter setting in). We got dropped off in Yellowstone National Park and walked a section through to Old Faithfull, watched it blow it's top then we hopped back into the car and finally got dropped off at Lima, where we continued on foot.

    Songs used:
    1. The Encampment section is Wasn't Born to Follow by The Byrds.
    2. The Great Divide Basin Section is Horse with no Name by Neil Young.
    3. Southern Wind River is So Long, Lonesome and The Birth and Death of the Day by Explosions in the Sky.
    4. Northern Wind River is Harvest Moon by Neil Young.
    5. The Togwotee Lodge section is Who Knows Where the Time Goes by Judy Collins.
    6. The Grand Teton section is A Song for our Fathers by Explosions in the Sky and White Room by Cream.
    7. The Grand Lake section is Feeling Groovy by Simon & Garfunkel.
    8. And finally the Yellowstone National Park section is For a Few Dollars More by Ennio Morricone.

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  5. New Mexico was without doubt the worst section of the CDT, it's not very mountainous and there wasn't many footpaths, a lot of the time we were walking on dirt roads or bush wacking. It was hot as hell, not a great deal of shade and very little naturally occuring surface water. Most of our water was pumped out of the water table for cattle and we usually had to filter it from their troughs... Some weren't that bad, some were bloody awful, I was quite surprised by what I was happy (genuinely really happy) to drink when desperate!

    It wasn't all that bad though, it was interesting walking through the desert, although I wouldn't really want to do it again (once is enough). The Gila River and surrounding wilderness area were amazing (not to mention the hot springs). Pie Town was super friendly, just before Cuba and then further north towards Colorado was all good. It was also the cheapest state and the stars at night were awesome.

    Songs used:
    1. The Crazy Cook section is Two of Us by Aimee Mann & Michael Penn (Beatles cover) and Hotwax by Beck.
    2. Lordsburg section is The Golden Age by Beck again.
    3. Silver City section is It's Natural to Be Afraid by Explosions in the Sky.
    4. Gila Hot Springs section is Half the World Away by Oasis.
    5. Pie Town section is The Good, the Bad & the Ugly by Ennio Morricone.
    6. The Grants section is The Weight by Aretha Franklin.
    7. The Cuba section is Uptown Top Ranking by Althea and Donna.
    8. And finally the Ghost Ranch section is You Fly Me by Fingathing.

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Continental Divide Trail 2008

Simon Cook Plus

The Continental Divide Trail or CDT is a 3100 mile wilderness trail that runs along The Rocky Mountain Range crossing 5 states, 25 National Forests, 4 National Parks and 3 Indian Reservations. Me and Paul Walked it in 2008 from May to October, we were…

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The Continental Divide Trail or CDT is a 3100 mile wilderness trail that runs along The Rocky Mountain Range crossing 5 states, 25 National Forests, 4 National Parks and 3 Indian Reservations. Me and Paul Walked it in 2008 from May to October, we were unaided carrying all we needed to survive on our backs only leaving the trail to re-supply, take a shower and sink a few well deserved beers! We averaged about 20 miles a day, 6 days a week for a total of five and a half months, while tackling everything that Mother Nature had to throw at us including mountainous terrain, adverse weather conditions, water scarcity and not forgetting the rattle snakes and grizzly bears!! This is why only a handful of backpackers try this annually and even fewer finish in the same year.

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