SUBSCRIBE | NEWSLETTERS | MAPS | VIDEOS | BLOGS | MARKETPLACE | CONTESTS
TRY BACKPACKER FREE!
SUBSCRIBE NOW and get
2 Free Issues and 3 Free Gifts!
Full Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
City:
State:
Zip Code:
Email: (required)
If I like it and decide to continue, I'll pay just $12.00, and receive a full one-year subscription (9 issues in all), a 73% savings off the newsstand price! If for any reason I decide not to continue, I'll write "cancel" on the invoice and owe nothing.
Your subscription includes 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Or click here to pay now and get 2 extra issues
Offer valid in US only.

Also on Backpacker.com


Enter Zip Code

Backpacker Magazine – May 2008

The CDT Project

We sent 209 readers out to GPS the Continental Divide Trail, the biggest, baddest long-distance path of them all. They brought back the makings of the first authoritative map of this American classic. These are their stories–and their favorite sections.

by: Kelly Bastone


video iconVIDEO AND PHOTOS FROM THE CDT
See video footage and a photo gallery from BACKPACKER readers and editors out on the CDT.

Team 17
Colorado, 37 miles, Stony Pass to Spring Creek Pass

Karst Hogeboom doesn't have to scrounge for hiking partners. The Rhode Islander hangs with guys who frequently hit the trail with their kids. Case in point: John Parsons, who just completed the AT with Hogeboom's 20-year-old son Maarten. When the posse heard BACKPACKER's call, they offered to pit their Appalachian moxie against the San Juans' much higher, much more jagged peaks. Fellow Rhode Islander Dick Gregory and Colorado's Mark Gingrich joined Parsons and the Hogebooms. They expected thin air–their route stayed between 10,800 and 13,400 feet–but they were unprepared for the millions of wildflowers. "Everyone said we should've been there two weeks earlier," Karst says, "but what we saw was pretty amazing."

Each hiker assumed a different role on the expedition. Gingrich: videographer. Karst: team leader and photographer. Maarten: GPS guy. Parsons and Gregory: note takers. "It was a real team effort," Karst recalls. "We had a blast thinking our efforts were going to help other people."

Team 36
Montana/Wyoming, 64 miles, Targhee Pass to Old Faithful

Some trips test your mettle and flood you with the glow of mild victory. Others call on every survival instinct and scare the crap out of you. Catherine Cox got the latter when her team endured a 42-mile-long waterless death march. Kurt Elvert, Erik Hansen, JC Harlan, Steffan Fay, and Cox had heard that water might be scarce here last July, but they figured the longest stretch between refills would be 11 miles. Unbeknownst to them, severe drought had changed all that.

On the first day, Cox's team hiked 15 miles before finding water at the South Fork of the Madison River. Each person filled three liters, hoping it would last them to Summit Lake, two days' walk and 40 miles away. It did–but barely. Rocky, obsidian-colored terrain amplified the 90°F temps. They breathed through their noses to reduce moisture loss. By noon on the third day, the hikers had only 1.5 liters between them. Summit Lake was still eight miles away.

As her thirst intensified, Cox obsessed about finding water–not the CDT. Several times, the team branched off the trail hoping to locate a stream, but their detours only added more mileage. When they finally reached Summit Lake, they were nearly stumbling in a dehydrated stupor.

Cox hiked the last 10 miles in an elated fog. The team had sufffered, but it had mapped a key segment and gained some toughness to call on in future epics. And what started out rough ended with a bang: Just as the team reached Old Faithful, a great geyser of steaming water shot into the air.




Subscribe to Backpacker magazine
Sign up for our free weekly e-newsletter
Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
City:
State:
Zip:
Email (req):

Reader Rating: -

READERS COMMENTS

Pete
Jun 20, 2009

Are the GPS waypoints for New Mexico now available?

David Sullivan
Nov 28, 2008

When will the data be available?

Doug
Jul 04, 2008

I love backpacker mag. But i seem to never see any articles on the American Discovery Trail.

Lindsey
Jun 28, 2008

Will the project be continued for the teams whose trips were cancelled due to wildfires last summer?

Chris Jaynes
Jun 21, 2008

I was wondering about the southern terminus. When I left Tucson, there was talk about where the trail was to end near Organ Pipe and the Yuma area.

Manitou
Jun 12, 2008

When will the maps be out for people to use?

ADD A COMMENT

Your rating:
Your Name:

Comment:

My Profile Join Now

Most recent threads

Southern
SEC! SEC! SEC!
Posted On: Aug 31, 2014
Submitted By: CajunHiker
The Political Arena
Ebola breakout
Posted On: Aug 31, 2014
Submitted By: Ben2World
Go
View all Gear
Find a retailer

Special sections - Expert handbooks for key trails, techniques and gear

Check out Montana in Warren Miller's Ticket to Ride
Warren Miller athletes charge hard and reflect on Big Sky country, their love for this space and the immense energy allotted to the people who reside in Montana.

Boost Your Apps
Add powerful tools and exclusive maps to your BACKPACKER apps through our partnership with Trimble Outdoors.

Carry the Best Maps
With BACKPACKER PRO Maps, get life-list destinations and local trips on adventure-ready waterproof myTopo paper.

FREE Rocky Mountain Trip Planner
Sign up for a free Rocky Mountain National Park trip planning kit from our sister site MyRockyMountainPark.com.

Follow BackpackerMag on Twitter Follow Backpacker on Facebook
Get 2 FREE Trial Issues and 3 FREE GIFTS
Survival Skills 101 • Eat Better
The Best Trails in America
YES! Please send me my FREE trial issues of Backpacker
and my 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Full Name:
City:
Address 1:
Zip Code:
State:
Address 2:
Email (required):
Free trial offer valid for US subscribers only. Canadian subscriptions | International subscriptions