24th May

16.8 miles

Scenic Overview Camp (651.3) to Cumbres Pass (668.1)

I slept well. Despite camping above 10000 feet surrounded by snow it was not too cold. I was hiking by about 6.30am. The patches of snow I had to hike across had a hard layer of icey crust. It’s good to know that the snow is freezing overnight. Very soon we will be night hiking.

No sign of Crunchmaster or spontaneous. I hiked alone. It wasn’t long before I made it to the New Mexico / Colorado border. I just hiked the whole length of New Mexico. I had a couple of miles to walk to the nearest highway. I walked part of the way on the railway line. In a couple of days the railway will open for the tourists. An old steam train taking people from the nearby town of Chama to the mountains.

I made it to Cumbres pass by midday. I tried to hitch into the town of Chama. I waited two hours. Nobody wanted to stop and pick me up. I started to get cold. Cumbres pass is over 10000 feet. I did eventually get a ride. Spontaneous and Crunchmaster arrived later in the evening. They too had a very long wait for a lift at Cumbres pass.

I’m tired. I need to rest. My body is weak. I plan to rest in the town for several days, regain my strength then hit the high altitude snow covered mountains. I also need to upgrade my clothing and snow gear. The next section promises to be brutal. The most difficult hiking that I have ever done. Now where is that pizza I’ve been dreaming about.

I flund this tee pee looking thing on a hilltop

Colorado border

22 Responses

  1. Mike

    Congratulations! What an achievement? Is it fair to say that you are the first to hike the CDT? I haven’t read that you bave caught up to anyone.

    • BikeHikeSafari

      There are maybe 10 people in front of me. Still 2300 miles to go before I get to the Canadian border. Only one guy has overtaken us. A lot more hikes are behind and should be arriving in the coming days/weeks. Next is the length of the Colorado Rockies. Now that should be a challenge.

    • BikeHikeSafari

      3am starts. Not looking forward to the cold early starts but it’s the only way to avoid wet snow, we are not using snow shoes.

  2. philhalpin

    Good luck with the next section. Each day I wake up I look for an email from bikehikesafari. It is fascinating reading – the struggles, the beauty, the weather.

    • BikeHikeSafari

      Thanks for the kind words. Each day I wake up and look outside my tent hoping that there is no snow. Now comes the hard part.

  3. Hobbes

    I just got a 10 degree bag after screwing the pooch on Whitney with a 25. Made it to 13.6 before turning around due to being cold, tired & limited sleep. Yeah, those 3am starts are a bitch, but they pay-off with the hard snow. You can make really good time simply by walking over it.

    Good luck on your next section. A buddy & me are doing a southern traverse over the 4 big PCT passes starting Tuesday.

    • BikeHikeSafari

      The old hot water bottle trick works well. Full a Nalgene bottle with hot water before going to bed. It increases the range of your sleeping bag. Only use a Nalgene bottle, or similar sting rated bottle. Would hate to have the boiling water leak. Bummer about Whitney, good luck on the traverse.

  4. Heather

    Congratulations! Won’t be long until you’re near the towns of South Fork and Creede, one of my favorite areas of Colorado. I love to ski at Wolf Creek. We stayed in a cabin once at a resort near South Fork where a segment of the original Vacation movie was filmed. Good luck hiking your next section!

    • BikeHikeSafari

      Very difficult section coming up. A guy was killed by an avalanche at wolf creek this week. I’ll try and be safe.

      • Heather

        Oh no! That is terrible! Please be careful. Hoping for a blessed, safe adventure for you through this difficult section.

    • BikeHikeSafari

      I head off tomorrow, it’s not looking good.

      • lifetimetrails

        Why is it not looking good? I believe in you. You have the skills and the will to do this section. I’ll send you some Californian sun! 🙂

      • BikeHikeSafari

        Almost every hiker that went up to the mountains have turned back. They are all experienced hikers. Knowledgeable in the mountains. There has only been one hiker get through this year and he broke his ankle 6 miles from the road and the end of the trail!

  5. Roy

    I’m curious why you and the other two hikers don’t hike together, mainly for safety reasons if someone should possibly get hurt.

    • BikeHikeSafari

      I ask myself that question a lot. Maybe I am missing something.

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