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  1. #1

    Default Latest NOBO start date

    Greetings,

    I am wondering what is the latest reasonable start date for a NOBO thru-hike on the CDT? I graduate from college late April, so I am assuming I won't get to the southern terminus until early May. Is this too late to begin a NOBO? If so, what are the potential consequences of starting at this time (early May), especially as it relates to weather conditions and water availability? If not, what are some measures I need to take that I normally would not need to take had I started in April? Thanks!

    P.S., I would also appreciate any and all other tips and pieces of advice you guys have regarding the CDT!

  2. #2

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    Early May should work out fine. It will probably be a little bit hotter than a mid-April start, but has the advantage of arriving in the San Juans later when more of the snow has melted.
    May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.


    ~ Edward Abbey

  3. #3

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    @bearcreek, would you say that starting mid May is even more ideal (assuming hot weather is not an issue for me)?

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by cuiquentin View Post
    @bearcreek, would you say that starting mid May is even more ideal (assuming hot weather is not an issue for me)?
    Absolutely, but not a good idea unless you can handle some heat. This is not an issue after the first 85 miles, but Crazy Cook to Lordsburg is desert with very little shade. A hiking umbrella might help a lot. Between the cache boxes and existing cattle watering infrastructure, water is not a huge problem, but heat can be. I would suggest carrying some electrolyte additives regardless of when you go.

    Without snow, the CDT through the San Juans is a spectacular alpine hike through Colorado's largest wilderness area. With snow, it can be a full on mountaineering challenge requiring special equipment and skills. You can't really count on it being clear enough until July at the earliest.
    Last edited by bearcreek; 10-31-2016 at 17:10.
    May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.


    ~ Edward Abbey

  5. #5
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Investigate Glacier NP and Colorado snow pack rigorously before committing to a NOBO. 2015, or possibly


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  6. #6
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Venchka View Post
    Investigate Glacier NP and Colorado snow pack rigorously before committing to a NOBO. 2015, or possibly


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    ...2014 was a strange year. Colorado got a year's worth of snow in May. Glacier NP was almost snow free in early July. As a result, the NOBO folks were stopped in their tracks at the Colorado border. Those with resources flipped north to Glacier. It's all in the trail journals online. Frodo and Scout give a good account of dealing with the abnormal conditions.
    Good luck.
    Wayne


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