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Thread: collegiate loop

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    Default collegiate loop

    Son I am definitely doing the loop this year. I am pretty well prepared and excited but any advice from those that have donebit. My first trip on the CT but not out west ornin CO. Thanks all.

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    Registered User colorado_rob's Avatar
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    Haven't done the actual loop, I plan to this summer, but I've lived in CO and hiked out here for 37 years now. Some advice would be timing; when are you thinking? Early July would be pushing it with respect to old snow hanging around as this is a heavy snow year so far, but might be doable, especially if you do the lower eastern loop first, like going clockwise from Twin Lakes (or CCW from Monarch). I'm actually thinking of this myself because early July weather is generally better than late July/August. September is spectacular, generally. Basically, August is not a great month for hiking in the CO high country, though I do it every chance I get anyway. Let me re-phrase: August is kinda lousy for peak bagging, but OK for just plain backpacking.

    I've got a complete set of TOPO maps in Jpeg form, if you feel the need for them. I can also share what will be my complete hiking/clothing kit if interested. Plenty of folks on here with CT experience as well, get their kit input, works for them, but probably different from mine.

    Plenty of 14ers along the way if you want some cool side trips. I'll be bagging a bunch of high 13ers along the loop, I prefer those to 14ers these days (having completed the 14ers a couple times now).

    Most of all: enjoy! the west side is spec-damn-tacular.

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    The more I think about it, the more I feel like the Collegiate West is my favorite trail except for the JMT. I hiked it in August 2014 as part of my CT thru hike. I want to go back and do the loop someday. I'll probably pick September. August was pretty stormy.

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    Garlic
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    Great choice. I've hiked both sides of the loop on separate CT hikes, decades apart. The new western trail is one excellent, impressive route. Route finding is easy, logistics are easy.
    "Throw a loaf of bread and a pound of tea in an old sack and jump over the back fence." John Muir on expedition planning

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    Just started planning my mid July loop...any tips as far as logistics...I assume I'll be flying southwest airlines into Denver with my 10 yr old son and Jack Russell...CR I'm interested in any gear info etc you want to share. I figured id carry a similar gear load as on my sept JMT thru...


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    Registered User lonehiker's Avatar
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    Your gear on JMT works for the CT.
    Lonehiker

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    Quote Originally Posted by lonehiker View Post
    Your gear on JMT works for the CT.
    Thx....for mid July would u recd 45* down quilt or 15* down bag...mid wt cap worn for sleep.

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    I always wear a light cap for sleeping as I am follicly challenged. As far as 45d quilt, I wouldn't as some nights at elevation can be pretty cool. I used a worn 30d bag. But, I don't sleep with any I insulating clothing just silk long underwear to keep bag cleaner. If you sleep warm you might risk it, but once again I wouldn't.
    Lonehiker

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    Quote Originally Posted by lonehiker View Post
    I always wear a light cap for sleeping as I am follicly challenged. As far as 45d quilt, I wouldn't as some nights at elevation can be pretty cool. I used a worn 30d bag. But, I don't sleep with any I insulating clothing just silk long underwear to keep bag cleaner. If you sleep warm you might risk it, but once again I wouldn't.
    I'd rather not...think I'll stick with the 15*...thx...I assume temps mid summer range from hot as hell to ice cold at elevation..

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    Registered User lonehiker's Avatar
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    I haven't hiked the west side yet, but the east side will be pretty warm. But, when a storm passes through, which they will, it cools down quickly. West side being higher could be much cooler especially at night.

    I plan on doing the loop in 17. To respond to one of your other threads, my resupply plans will be to start in the south and only resupply once in Twin Lakes. Splitting it in half. But, with you flying in, this might not be best for you. The Colorado guys will have to chime in.
    Lonehiker

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    Quote Originally Posted by lonehiker View Post
    I haven't hiked the west side yet, but the east side will be pretty warm. But, when a storm passes through, which they will, it cools down quickly. West side being higher could be much cooler especially at night.

    I plan on doing the loop in 17. To respond to one of your other threads, my resupply plans will be to start in the south and only resupply once in Twin Lakes. Splitting it in half. But, with you flying in, this might not be best for you. The Colorado guys will have to chime in.
    Thx...I like the idea of resupplying once at mid point but also need to keep at down as I'll be in a slower pace if my kid comes along...thx

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    Damn typo......Weight down


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    You'll be able to hike or (possibly tough) hitch to Mt Princeton Hot Springs on both sides of the loop.
    "Throw a loaf of bread and a pound of tea in an old sack and jump over the back fence." John Muir on expedition planning

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    Quote Originally Posted by garlic08 View Post
    You'll be able to hike or (possibly tough) hitch to Mt Princeton Hot Springs on both sides of the loop.

    Any idea how far off trail? If my son doesn't go I might shoot to hike it a little faster..10 days or so..

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    Registered User lonehiker's Avatar
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    East side you hike right by it.
    Lonehiker

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    Well, my daughter and I are planning a late July hike starting at Twin Lakes going clockwise.

    A minimal approach to food weight is to mail drops to Mt Princeton HS, mail drop to Monarch Crest store and cache an ammo box at Cottonwood Pass. I would then go back and pick up the ammo box once we're done.

    This will allow us to bring our food and use the ammo box to replenish a fuel canister. I need to contact the Monarch Crest store to make sure the new owners allow UPS deliveries and will hold packages.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hosh View Post
    Well, my daughter and I are planning a late July hike starting at Twin Lakes going clockwise.

    A minimal approach to food weight is to mail drops to Mt Princeton HS, mail drop to Monarch Crest store and cache an ammo box at Cottonwood Pass. I would then go back and pick up the ammo box once we're done.

    This will allow us to bring our food and use the ammo box to replenish a fuel canister. I need to contact the Monarch Crest store to make sure the new owners allow UPS deliveries and will hold packages.
    Thx...I haven't got map with me any idea what mile Mt Princeton HS and monarch crest store are. I'll be taking bus so can't do food cache... 2 drops for 10 days should be good....

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    From my pre-planning notes, Twin Lakes TH to Mt Princeton HS 48 miles, to Monarch Crest store 37 miles, to Twin Lakes 77.5

    Double check me, but I'm pretty close.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hosh View Post
    From my pre-planning notes, Twin Lakes TH to Mt Princeton HS 48 miles, to Monarch Crest store 37 miles, to Twin Lakes 77.5

    Double check me, but I'm pretty close.
    You know if you can send mail drop to those locations? Any idea how late in year open?

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    From PMags blog, he states you should contact them. I think the HS is pretty wired, there was/is some doubt on Monarch Crest store. I haven't yet, let me know if you find something out.

    Monarch Crest
    Gift Shop

    Address: 24500 US-50, Salida, CO 81201


    Phone719) 539-4091

    Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort
    3.7


    3-star hotel

    This upscale mountain resort is 12.4 miles from Buena Vista. … More

    Address: 15870 Co Rd 162, Nathrop, CO 81236


    Phone719) 395-2447

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