In exactly one month from now I’ll be hiking the CDT, also known as the Continental Divide Trail. I’ll be hiking northbound from New Mexico to Montana. It is known as one of the hardest thru hikes in the world. The full length of the trail is unknown, sources quote it as being anywhere from 4200km to 5200km.
Unlike many other thru hikes there are many trail options, known as alternates. There are many different maps with different routes. Making this hike a ‘choose your own adventure’ hike. I will need to rely a little bit more on my outdoor skills, navigation skills, knowledge of weather patterns and good judgement to make this hike a success. I shall embrace the brutality.
The CDT roughly follows the continental divide of the United States. The place where water either flows to the Atlantic or Pacific Oceans. So I should find myself up on ridge lines quite a lot. It is also known to traverse some of the most remote regions of the lower 48 part of USA. More info on the CDT can be found at the CDTC website.
On the trail I am known as Shepherd. I will be hiking the CDT with my former Pacific Crest Trail hiking buddy, Crunchmaster. While hiking together in Washington on the PCT we started to formulate a plan to for hiking the CDT. During the last couple of months we have discussed the hike and worked out our strategy.
I’m nervously ready to start hiking. But first I need to start some training hikes to toughen my hiking muscles and joints. Six months of cycle touring has kept me fit but with little weight loading on my body I will struggle initially.
As I’m an Aussie I’m faced with problems that locals don’t have. Things like visas, flights and logistical problems that are not always easy to solve from a distance. I will be arriving in USA around 8th April. Most of my gear will be waiting for me at a friends place in the desert of California. I will gather up all my gear, catch up with some old friends and make my way to the town of Silver City, NM. It will host the CDTC Trail Days from 26th-28th April.
If you are in the area come and say, G’day. I suspect I’ll catch up with some old hiking buddies, meet some new ones and learn a few things about the trail. I’ll start hiking the CDT on 18th April, exactly one month from today.
I will also finalise my very flexible re-supply strategy for hiking the CDT. I will also post that very soon. So stay tuned. I can’t wait to start hiking. I’m ready.
When I hiked the PCT I kept up a daily blog post. I shall be doing the same for the CDT. You can follow my journey if you like. For those of you reading this blog post many months or years later, head on over to my Continental Divide Trail Page and start reading the daily journal.
In the last couple of years I’ve really gotten to know myself on an intimate level that most of my fellow humans can not grasp. I really fell alive. I am more at home in nature than in an office. I am more at home in a tent than in a house. I am more at home in the wilderness surrounded by a few like minded souls than in a city filled with millions of like minded people.
In recent years I have become both more confident and more competent. I am determined to hike from Mexico to Canada on the Continental Divide Trail. Heading back to the trail will feel like heading home. I shall embrace the brutality.