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CDT Day 35 Lost in the Snow

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22nd May

25.4 miles (41km)

Upper Canjilon Lake (600.4) to Hopewell Lake (625.8)

Things didn’t start well. I took a wrong turn leaving camp. Crunchmaster followed me, so did Spontaneous. We had walked a mile before we realised it.

Crunchmaster and I took a compass bearing and walked directly to the nearest section of trail. Big mistake. Thick woodlands and lots of snow. Soft, fluffy snow. It was slow going. By the time we got back to the trail we had covered 1.5 miles in 2 hours of hiking. Strangely, I really enjoyed The challenge.

I was sacked as the chief navigator. Spontaneous took over. He had us lost less than 1 mile later. He was sacked. Crunchmasters turn to be the chief navigator. Eager to impress he didn’t take his eyes of the GPS. It was made easy for him when we hit a small jeep trail which was easy to follow.

Lots of snow in the morning then easy trail with no snow for the rest of the day. It was easy but it was still between 9000-10000 feet. The altitude slowed me down.

There was one particularly difficult river crossing. The Rio Vallacitos was fast flowing. There was no bridge, only a small log to walk across. It was made all the more difficult because of the slope of the log, the flat surface was tilted at a 30 degree angle. I went first. I started to walk across. The fast flowing river was blurring my vision as I looked down to watch my feet.

I bailed and jumped back to the shore. For my second attempt I looked to the far bank of the river. Only looking down at my feet when necessary. This was more successful and I got across with no problem.

Spontaneous practically ran across. Crunchmaster also bailed on his first attempt. He had the same problem as me. On his second attempt he looked ahead and got across. Just. He almost fell near the end as he started to panic. For the second night in a row we stayed in a campground. Complete with restrooms and trash bins. So very civilised.

Despite getting lost and stumbling through deep snow I really enjoyed today. One of the best in trail. New Mexico is stunningly diverse.

just a little off trail
so we set off cross country
maybe not a good idea
glissading down a slope
this was much harder and more dangerous than it looked

Next – Day 36 Is that a Wolf

Everything you need to know about hiking the CDT:
Complete Guide to Hiking the Continental Divide Trail
CDT Resupply Guide
CDT Gear List

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About the Author:
Brad is an Australian who has completed the hiking Triple Crown after he hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, Continental Divide Trail and Appalachian Trail. He has hiked on every continent (except Antarctica) and has cycled from Alaska to Ecuador. He is an expert on outdoor gear currently living in Sydney, Australia.

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8 thoughts on “CDT Day 35 Lost in the Snow”

  1. I was a couple days behind you. I decided, I waded through the Gila, I can wade through this. At 6’3″ tall, I wore my gear and held on to the log as I waded across. Not bad!

    Reply
    • Some people turned around at that log when they judged it to be unsafe to cross. Sacked, slang for fired / let go / terminated. Very commonly used in Australia.

      Reply

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