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Colorado Trail next week
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Kevin Landolt
Colorado Trail next week on 06/21/2010 17:38:22 MDT Print View

I'll be beginning my thru-hike of the CT next week. I'm still on the fence about attempting it with only one resupply or going with the origional plan of two resupplys. I hope to hike it in less than 18 days.


- Shelter
Golite Poncho/Tarp
Five aluminum stakes/superlight cord (20ft)
Tyvek Ground Cloth (7x2)
- Sleep System
Feathered Friends Vario (rated to 45 degrees) (long version) weighs too much! 22oz
Thermarest Z-lite sleeping pad trimmed and cut to 1/3 length
- Clothing
Patagonia Long Haul runners
Patagonia Capaline 1 t-shirt
Patagonia M.Wool 1 zip-neck (modified)
Patagonia Houdini Wind-shirt (modified
Patagonia endurance socks (2 pairs)
Patagonia Nano Puff pullover
- Shoes
Montrail Hardrocks (older models)
- Pack
ULA CDT (modified)
- Other stuff
Aqua Mirra
Capaline/Fleece Beanie
UL Trango knife
2 one liter Plattypuss's
BD Ion Headlamp
New Generation Spot PLB
Leki Super-Macs (one with duct tape)
Map/Compass/Bic Lighter

- I'll post weights later, but my Base Weight at the moment is 6.5 pounds - including the Patagonia Nano Puff/camera, which I'm on the fence about bringing.

I'm really happy with my system, but one thing bugging me is my sleep system. I'm six-foot and the FF Vario is just too long - it basically comes up to my upper forehead. I'm thinking about chopping it (if only I knew how to sew!). It also weighs entirely too much with it's Epic fabric (which I do love), totalling 22oz. I feel like I need to leave my Nano Puff pullover at home or figure out a way to modify the Vario. I've only used the Vario on alpine bivy's, as a half bag, but stuffing the extra fill up underneith a synthetic belay jacket. I guess I could do the same with the Nano... we'll see.

Bob Bankhead
(wandering_bob) - MLife

Locale: Oregon, USA
Re: Colorado Trail next week on 06/21/2010 18:39:28 MDT Print View

Respectfully, I think you're going to freeze your butt off. Unlike the PCT, the CT rarely goes below 9000 feet except at each terminus, and most of it is over 10,000 feet. The old mantra of "climb high, sleep low" is only of limited help to you.

Although it's almost too late to switch now, you could have a much warmer 32° bag for 16 - 17 oz, or better yet, given your UL system, a quilt like the Nunatak Arc Specialist. Tom can customize the length to exactly what you desire. Something to think about for Xmas when you return.

Check the Colorado Trail forum over at Lots of good current info over there.

I'm starting the CT SOBO on July 22. Here's just my clothing list.

1.75 eVent stuff sack 8 liter
? Icebreaker 200 zip T = 8.38 (undecided)
4.63 Integral Designs windshirt
4.00 Reed WP/B pants
11.40 Montbell Peak rain jacket
11.50 Micropuff pullover
5.63 Icebreaker 150 wool bottoms
2.50 Icebreaker boxers (2nd pair)
1.00 liner gloves
1.38 Balaclava - Mtn Hdwr Polartek or Icebreaker


10.00 long shirt
11.50 long pants
3.75 Thorlo trekker socks
40.00 Merrell mid height boots
3.63 Tilley hat
6.25 Green Icebreaker 140 LS crew

Good luck.

Kevin Landolt
RE Colorado Trail on 06/21/2010 21:01:36 MDT Print View

Thanks for sharing your thoughts Bob, and good luck on your hike as well.

I'm actually a CO native and currently split my time between Fort Collins and Leadville, so I'm familiar with the environment/conditions here. I spend a good chunk of my time on the trail, but admit to being more of a climbing bum, and this will be my first attempt at thru-hiking a longer trail. I am really comfortable with my systems - I use them often and have them dialed. I spent two snowy weeks in the Wind Rivers (most days and nights above treeline)last fall experimenting with my Vario / puffy jacket system and was really impressed with how far I can push that system(granted, I spent more time doing sit-ups at night than actually sleeping, but...).

I was hoping to attempt the CT with a basweight of five pounds or less, but I'm feeling pretty good about my current base-weight - 6.5 pounds. Only packing dry food and hoping to hike around 27 miles a day.

Weight in ounces


Patagonia Houdini Windshirt - 3.75
Patagonia Wool Zip/neck shirt (modified) - 5.5
Patagonia Capaline 1 t-shirt - 4.5 (wearing)
Patagonia Long Haul Running Shorts - 6.75 (wearing)
Patagonia Nano Puff Pullover - 9.4
Patagonia running socks (extra pair included) - 3 (1.5 in pack)


Golite Poncho/Tarp (doubles as a rain jacket/triples as a pack cover) (modified) - 7
Stakes/Cord - 4
Tyvek Groundsheet - 3.25


Feathered Friends Vario half-bag (long) - 21.5
Trimed Z-Lite foam pad (modified)- 9


ULA CDT (modified) - 18

Other Stuff

Beanie/visor - 1.25
Spot/Camera - 11
Aqua Mirra - 2.5
BD Ion Headlamp - 1
Lighter/Knife/Compass - 3
Maps - 2
Hand Sanny - 2.5
TP/Ziplock Bags 1.5
Leki Poles - ?

Baseweight - 6.5 lbs

Happy Trails

Edited by distantfellow on 06/21/2010 21:23:33 MDT.

Nobody You Know
(DirtbagLiving) - F

Locale: Colorado
Re: RE Colorado Trail on 06/21/2010 21:26:12 MDT Print View


I am also a climbing dirtbag turned CT hiker. Let's get our trad on sometime. I might be out your way (Leadville) in mid August. After my 10 days on the CT.

Bob Bankhead
(wandering_bob) - MLife

Locale: Oregon, USA
RE Colorado Trail on 06/21/2010 22:01:46 MDT Print View


My apologies, Sir. You've actually spent the time dialing in what you know works for you AND you know the local conditions. I stand corrected; you will NOT freeze your butt off (like me, you've no doubt already done that a few times during the dialing-in process). Please ignore all my comments except possibly the sleeping bag replacement suggestion. Save weight, and get the size you really need.

I see so many hikers on the trails each year who seem to think all they have to do is read Ray Jardine's books, then load up a bunch of high-priced UL gear which they've not used beforehand, and enjoy a pleasant walk through the forest while listening to their MP3 players.



David T
(DaveT) - F
CT on 06/22/2010 01:05:40 MDT Print View

"Only packing dry food and hoping to hike around 27 miles a day."

Good luck with your effort, and make sure to take good care of your feet and body in general. A couple years ago, a friend of mine and I did 27 mile days for 14 days, and bailed after that, with a variety of nagging aches and pains. Those long miles day definitely added up for me, with no zeros or near-o's or partial days into town to let the body recover.

There are a lot of semi pointless ups and downs on the CT, hopping the toes of descending ridges, and many more ups and downs in general. Lots of up 3,000 feet to get above timberline, only to immediately go down 3,000 feet. Not ideal.

Not to put a damper on it, but I was pretty disappointed by the CT (maybe the PCT and lots of hiking above timberline in the Sierra has spoiled me?). Lots of dirt road and old logging road walking, sometimes limited views (due to following roads in the forest), and for a number other reasons. I wish it had been a purpose built trail, instead of feeling like what it is, a cobbled together assemblage of existing trail, open roads, old closed roads, and whatnot. However, we did bail before the best part - the San Juans!

Dont Wantto
(longhiker) - F
which part? on 06/22/2010 07:01:30 MDT Print View

hey dave,

we are thinking of doing the CT in august with only about 30 days.. we'll fly in from sea level and can probably not average more than 14 - 15 miles / day.

based on what you and others say, we ought to skip some early segments near denver.. but would that make it much harder to acclimatize? It's not clear to me if we would go further by start near Breck say or if we would just spend more time panting and be sick...

Kevin Landolt
Thanks for the comments on 06/22/2010 11:50:44 MDT Print View

Thanks for your comments everyone. I can't wait to get on the trail! I'm definately motivated by the endurance aspect of thru-hiking and feel like 27 miles a day is a good goal, but I have no idea how my body/mind will feel after a week or two. I fortunately had a really big winter/spring alpine climbing in RMNP and ski-touring in the Never Summers, so I have a good base level of fitness from frequent 12+ hour - high output - days. To prep for this trip I have been trail-running like a fiend, so hopefully that will help.

Attempting the CT with only one resupply (Monarch Pass, end of segmant 15)will obviously add condsiderable weight, especially taking into account my decision to go stoveless (ProBars are heavy), but my pack will lighten up noticably day to day. I think the biggest variables for me right now is my ability to tolerate the dryfood diet and to stay motivated and gain milage that first week or so (which is always the hardest period for me when I'm solo, re-adjusting to life outside of my normal existance).

Anyway, I'm really psyched to get going, and I'll be sure to check back here and write up a little trip-report no matter how it goes.

My mantra for this trip is simple

"Meditate, Self-Motivate"

Good luck to everyone attempting the CT this summer!

Edited by distantfellow on 06/22/2010 11:52:42 MDT.

Dont Wantto
(longhiker) - F
do report back! on 06/22/2010 12:05:36 MDT Print View

I'm sure many here but certainly I would love to hear how this trip goes.. I'm especially interested in the cold food aspect as on long trips like this, I'm much more interested in walking than stopping to eat.

Let us know how you handle cold food and what you think of the weight tradeoffs..