View Full Version : CDT started, sort of

06-18-2005, 14:37
Hi Everyone,

I'm in East Glacier, Montana right now after a few trying days on the CDT. I left Waterton on Tuesday and hiked across the border under OK weather. It had been raining in the area for about 2 weeks straight and rivers were high. Worse, snow had fallen up high. The rangers were highly doubtful about the CDT, but I thought I should give it a try. As I started the climb up to the Divide, I ran into a hiker who was turning around as the snow was too bad. But, on I forged. After a 10 minute encounter with a moose, who wouldn't get off the trail, I plowed up hill under rain to get to the snow, which was bad. A lot of post holing, and no trail. I went cross country, far from where I should have been, but eventually got up to the Divide. Magnificent. And, dangerous. Fresh avalanches could be seen laying across where the CDT probably goes. I say probably, because snow buried everything. I ditched the idea of going along the CDT and decided to try another route over Flattop mountain. So, I bushwhacked down and around and eventually got off the snow right where the trail I was looking for cut through. Camp 1.

In the AM, I managed to get up the snow on Flattop, but the trail had long since disappeared. As this area was off of my map, I was just guessing about where to go. After 5 hours of getting repeatedly cliffedout and lost, I gave up and turned around for a tour of the high country around me. It hailed on me for a while. So, after 10 hours of hard hiking along snow and through a burned out forest, I got back to my camp on the previous night.

On day 3, I did the only thing I could think of, which was to retreat. Back down I went, then up and over Stoney Indian Pass, which, I think, I was the first person over from the north side. Lots of snow, almost no trail. A little tough, but doable. The south side was cake and I rolled down and along to the Belly River ranger station.

It rained all night and all morning as I slogged up a muddy horse trail to Chief Mountain, which is right on the border. It rained and rained as I hitched in vain. After sitting for 4 hours in the rain or in a manure filled horse trailer, I finally got a lift, but going north. My ride took me back up to Waterton, bought me lunch at a posh hotel there, then took me south on a tour. We saw a bunch of tourist stuff and then headed to East Glacier where I currently am now.

I ran into Blister this morning at the cabin behind Serranos where I'm staying. Gandalf, Skywalker (who did make it through Glacier, but on a lower route that was still plenty hairy), and Manzanita. Blister and Gandalf are going to try the lower route, Manzanita headed south this AM. I'm waiting for the PO to open on Monday so that I can send my passport home and mail my bucket to Helena. Slow, somewhat unpleasant way to begin a long trip, but there is nothing to be done about it except sit in town and drink beer and margaritas. Wildlife has been good, with close up encounters of a moose, big rack deer, and a mountain goat. Tons of bear sign, both black and grizzly, but no bear sightings, for which I am grateful.

More later, my laundry is done and I have a warm 22 oz. can of Steel Reserve to drink with lunch.

06-18-2005, 19:29
Bummer, bummer. It seems every other year or so Glacier gets hit with late snow. Hopefully you can get by on a lower route

Say hi to Blister and the others.

06-19-2005, 14:41
Had dinner with chris last night at sarronos (sp?) and did just that drank beer and margaritas - talked trail trash stories. Both of us bored and dying to get on the trail. Best wishes to Chris - I'll try to keep tabs on him through emails.
Kudos and happy hiking Chris! :dance