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P. Larson
(reacttocontact) - F
Colorado Trail. on 01/28/2012 20:25:53 MST Print View

I'm in the process of planning it right now. If I post a spreadsheet of my days, resupplies, mileage, would a few of you who have done the CT critique it for me?

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Most Definately on 01/28/2012 21:48:57 MST Print View

Most definately Paul. I would be happy to help out.
Posting a gear list would be a great idea. If you don't have something just make a not of it and list what you are thinking about getting. That way we can provide some suggestions before you buy anything.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Another Idea on 01/28/2012 22:00:14 MST Print View

Paul I noticed you seem to be new here. Welcome! Its the only website I'm active on, I hope you like it here. Couple ideas for you if you're just getting into this.

1. Go ahead and post a gear list, great way to start getting new ideas.
2. Andy Skurka has a book coming out on backpacking gear. I think its a book you'll like if you want a good overview of lightweight backpacking. You might learn the same stuff hanging out here but if you want a book to just sit down and read it might be what you want.

Once you start getting into the nitty gritty of planning your trip there are plenty of people here who know a lot about the trail. For starters has an online guide to the trail thats extremely helpful.

P. Larson
(reacttocontact) - F
Luke. on 01/28/2012 22:29:25 MST Print View

New to the website and semi new to the UL. I've heard, and have been lurking for a while now, and finally decided to post.

As for gear. My big 3 are: Golite Pinnacle (couldn't pass up the $79 sale price). Marmot Pinnacle sleeping bag (15 degrees). Thought about buying a different bag but figured 1) I just bought this bag this past summer 2) a 15 degree bag should work for every situation I come upon on the CT and 3) spending more money to replace something that is pretty new just to save a few ounces doesn't work for me at the moment. And my shelter (I am splurging on that) is going to be a Tarptent Notch.

A more in depth gear list will be posted soon. I don't have a scale so I am waiting to get one of those before I do.

As for Skurka's book, it's already ordered.

Edited by reacttocontact on 01/28/2012 22:30:32 MST.

Bob Bankhead
(wandering_bob) - MLife

Locale: Oregon, USA
Colorado Trail on 01/29/2012 00:29:23 MST Print View


Be sure to post the approximate dates for your hike. It will make judging your gear list and schedule easier and any comments more relevant.

It's a great trial, and Waterton Canyon will be open this year.


Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
Re: Colorado Trail on 01/29/2012 03:02:11 MST Print View

you might enjoy Fritz Nuffer's trip with photos:
- Golite 3-Season (20F) down quilt
- TiGoat Ptarmigan bivy
- Golite poncho tarp
- Two-thirds Ridgerest, the extra third under my hips (doubled as a frame for my Jam)
- Pack as a pillow

Most nights I slept in wool baselayers and a 100-weight fleece without a hat and was perfectly warm and dry.

9.4lb base weight, 24 days including Hope Pass and summits of Missouri, Belford and Oxford. Way more trees than I expected, but still a fantastic experience.


Edited by annapurna on 01/29/2012 03:03:22 MST.

P. Larson
(reacttocontact) - F
Re: Colorado Trail on 01/29/2012 08:48:46 MST Print View

At the moment, the tentative plan is to leave July 1. Mainly because I am going bat-s**t crazy just thinking about it. If it was possible to leave in a week, I would. I know leaving July 1 could encounter snow (but not likely at the moment, its been a pretty bad snow year so far here in Colorado) and bugs.

Bob Bankhead
(wandering_bob) - MLife

Locale: Oregon, USA
Re: Re: Colorado Trail on 01/29/2012 09:49:06 MST Print View

July 1 - you will definitely encounter snow in segment 7, up near the top of the big climb. That is supposedly the last spot on the CT to melt out. It was still there on July 25 of this past summer when we went over. The same is also true between Searle and Kokomo Passes in segment 8.

A fair number of folks slack-pack segment 7 from Breck to Copper Mtn. Sure wish we had done that! Leave your gear at the Fireside Inn B&B in Breckenridge (they're used to this and even advocate it), take the free Summit Stage bus to the trailhead and day hike over to Copper. Pick up the Summit Stage again at the Passage Point stop at Copper, ride it back to Frisco, and change to the Summit Stage bus back to Breck, Stay overnight again, then reverse this back to Passage Point. Walk through Coppr Mtn to the Plaza and take the gravel path back up to the CT. Turn right and head for Durango.


Edit: the map is too small to read well, but the red line is the CT. The red dotted line is a 50 yard gravel path from the Plaza right back to the CT. Get off at Passage Point, walk thru the tunnel and back to the Plaza. Stop at the outfitter if needed, then hop on the path and walk on.

As a CO resident, if you have a friend with a car who could meet you at Tennessee Pass, you could also slack pack segment 8. It would be a long day, but you'd save humping your pack over those two huge climbs and could spend one of the nights at the B&B and the next at the Leadville Hostel. Consider that in lieu of (or as an addition to) a zero day in Breck.

Edited by wandering_bob on 01/29/2012 12:33:57 MST.

P. Larson
(reacttocontact) - F
Re: Re: Re: Colorado Trail on 01/29/2012 10:47:02 MST Print View

I appreciate the "slack pack" idea, but in all honesty, that sounds waaaay to confusing. Hahaha. Again, my July 1 leave date is tentative. It'll all depend on the snow we get from Feb-April.

If it's not too bad, I won't mind walking through a little snow every now and again. And hey, free toilet paper. Hahaha.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Re Re Re Re Colorado Trail on 01/29/2012 21:24:11 MST Print View

Defintatly spend a night in the Fireside Inn, they were great when I was there.

Your big three should work fine, some people here would pick different gear to be lighter but what you have is perfectly fine.
I doublt if you'll encounter 15 degree temperatures but the extra warmth might be nice if you're really tired and your body isn't keeping itself as warm.

There was a good review of the Pinnacle and similar Golite Packs a while back here. I'll sum it up for you. The Pinnacle carried up to about 30 pounds if packed correctly. The best way to pack it was with a ridgerest folded up against the back of the pack and all the gear packed against that and the pack compressed tightly to stiffen it up. Inflateable pads worked but not as well. Up to 30 pounds some say the Pinnacle and Jam are just as good as a light internal frame pack. But after 30 pounds comfort drops off really fast.

You should be able to keep your packweight under 30 pounds as long as you are careful to keep your baseweight low. Make roughly 10 pounds your goal. You want the total weight of ALL your gear to be about 10 pounds. I think this is a perfectly reasonable goal with the gear you have as long as you carefully watch the weight of everythign else.

P. Larson
(reacttocontact) - F
Bugs on 02/01/2012 18:56:39 MST Print View

Were bugs an issue at all for any of you who did the CT? With my leave date planned for July 1, I'm assuming I'll have a few of them around me at all times.

I'm tempted to go with just a tarp and a headnet to keep the weight down but I'm not sure of this yet.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Re Bugss on 02/01/2012 20:56:01 MST Print View

I never had any bug issues but remember I was hiking in September so it might be different for you.
I never had issues on other summer trips but usually I've been on the front range where its drier. I did encounter some bugs in the Wimenuche Wilderness in July but nothing horrible.

Tim Drescher
(timdcy) - M

Locale: Gore Range
Re: Colorado Trail. on 02/02/2012 11:33:39 MST Print View

Hey Paul...

Here's a link to my daily journal I kept on the CT this past summer. It's a pretty lengthy read, but it will give you some good insight on the day to day life on this trail.

I brought some deet to start, experienced some bugs early on, ended up actually buying some more deet in Leadville, but recall hardly using any past this point. In some areas they were terrible, but as you know last year was a very wet year.

Susan Papuga
(veganaloha) - M

Locale: USA
CT Advice on 02/12/2012 05:10:31 MST Print View

I did the CT last summer between July & August. I carried the women's small Go-Lite pinnacle and it was more than sufficient to comfortably carry everything i needed, even when a combination of recent re-supply and the need to carry extra water through some dry sections boosted my pack weight. I used a katabatic gear 30 degree down quilt and was always warm enough. I had patagonis capilene 2 top and bottom that i wore on colder nights. rain and wet will be more of a concern than cold. make sure your shelter & sleep system keep you dry in howling rain and hail storms - you'll get plenty of rain and several hail storms on the trail.

Definitely stay at the Fireside Inn in Breck. Amazing hosts and two beautiful dogs to play with! Also, yes do pay attention to the snow melt in Segs 7 & 8 passes to avoid slack-packing or bounce logistics. Although there was still plenty of snow, I made it through, but would have preferred a clear passage, especially be careful what time of day you hit the snow or high areas. if it's late in the day, it will be slushy and you'll be post-holing.

For trip planning, the CT Association book is great, but you don't need to take it with you on trail. Just copy or cut out section information you might want to have with you. Also check our paul mag's website for great advice on resupply options and getting to and from trailheads and towns. Plus, hook up with Apple, the trail angel on the trail forums for help at his camp if you wish to go into Gunnison. The Wanderlust hostel there is a really nice place. For on trail, the CTA data book is all you really need for the way-finding. It's actually very well-marked with few exception.

Best of luck for a great hike!