50 miles in the Helena and Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forests. Big Sky Country. Amazing trail magic. A remorseless confession. 400 miles down!
65 miles. My first CDT cows! Remote road walking. Longer water carries. Private property to navigate through and around. My feet are now too big for my shoes.
An action packed 60 miles in the Scapegoat Wilderness. Incredibly scenic ridgeline walking. A grueling 18 hour, 33 miles day out-walking the arrival of a big storm. Navigating in dark. Give me back the bears, lightning is a thousand times more terrifying!
115 miles of total remoteness, the Chinese Wall, blister hell, blow-downs, thousands of stream crossings and a resupply at Benchmark Ranch.
Well, I’ve hiked the length of Glacier National Park! The 70 miles from Many Glacier to East Glacier were certainly adventure packed: mountain passes with dramatic views, two super scary Grizzly encounters, getting stuck in a rain/wind storm on Triple Divide Pass and crossing snow on Pitamakan Pass. Continue reading Many Glacier to East Glacier
Wow. Probably all I need to say. Glacier National Park is simply stunning. The first 30 miles of the CDT was filled with fields of wild flowers, huge alpine lakes, massive jagged mountains and great trail. The adventure has finally began!
East Glacier Park to Marias Pass
While I haven’t officially started the CDT yet, today I did hike a 16 mile section of trail from East Glacier up to Marias Pass, the pass I crossed coming in on the train yesterday. There’s a few reasons for doing this pre-hike: there’s a brutal cold snap sitting over Montana for a couple more days making the high country a tad unappealing; there’s still quite a bit of snow up high on the passes with some fresh falling yesterday; but mostly it’s so that when I do the 135 mile segment south of East Glacier in a couple of weeks it’ll only be 120 miles as I’ll skip ahead to Marias Pass and start from there. Details aside, I started my CDT hike today, although i’ll reserve the celebration for when I start hiking south from the Canadian border later in the week.
It’s finally time, time to start my journey on the Continental Divide Trail. I’m writing from East Glacier Park, Montana, the kind of town where kids ride their bike down the middle of the street with an unleashed dog happily prancing along and cars stop to let them pass, huckleberry everything is sold at the few shops and restaurants there are and the world’s largest purple spoon is on display as you enter the town, that’s right, largest purple spoon.
At 24 miles, 10 canyon/pass traverses and 8,000ft elevation gain, the Stansbury Front Trail (SFT) is an action packed weekend point-to-point hike. Highlights were watching the sun rise over the Great Salt Lake, getting pounded by a thunderstorm in the comfort of my tent, wildflowers everywhere, tons of solitude, a great workout and the massive and beautiful Hickman Canyon.
I drove down from Salt Lake City on Friday morning and arrived at the town of Bryce about 1 p.m. I jumped on the next shuttle into Bryce Canyon National Park. I’d never been here before, so the excitement factor was high.
It’s January 17th and I’ve decided it’s time I get with the rest of the world and welcome in 2016! I like to start out the new year with plans and resolutions firmly in place, so when I realized on Dec 31 that I’d been too busy to do that yet, I decided to stay in 2015 for a little while longer. But, before I get into 2016 plans, I have a few fun trips to catch you up on from the late fall and early winter: 3 canyon traverse from lower Millcreek to Little Cottonwood; the other 3 canyon traverse from Provo Canyon to Little Cottonwood along the Great Western Trail; and the East Rim of Zion National Park.
40 miles in 3 days. Epic views along a beautiful route. Freezing in my tent. Hiking with an injury isn’t fun. It’s hunting season, eek! This tri-canyon traverse was incredible. Continue reading Provo Canyon to Little Cottonwood Canyon, Great Western Trail
Injury recovery. Walking has never felt so liberating! Uinta Wilderness, Utah. Green River Lakes to Knapsack Col in the Wind River Range of Wyoming. Columbia Gorge to Mount Hood along the Pacific Crest Trail in Oregon.
After hearing the news that my hike on the Continental Divide Trail was over for the summer, I jumped on a plane to Australia and surprised my parents by arriving at their house unannounced. They were pretty shocked because I’d talked to them about 30 hours earlier from New Mexico and had told them I was headed back home to Salt Lake City. Ha!
The results of an MRI shows a stress fracture in the tibia of my left leg. I am SO disappointed!!! It’s a 4-6 week recovery before I can start exercising on it again. CDT 1 : Kate 0. I WILL BE BACK, to even the score, CDT. But probably not this year.
A wonderful four days! From flat desert and cactus, to mountain peaks and pine forests, to a canyon and the first natural water source on the trail! I love the CDT, brutality and all!
Extremely happy to report I’m headed back out on the trail! And… I have a trail name!
The first 60 miles on the trail have been absolutely incredible! The Bootheel desert is at the same time hostile and welcoming. The landscape is really impressive and life on the trail so far has been wonderful, I love it! The assault on the body has been tough, in fact I’ve returned to Lordsburg 25 miles early with a shin splint where I’ll wait while I recover before getting back on the trail. Stories and photos below…
Well, here I am! In my wildest dreams I couldn’t have imagined that I’d be sitting in a hotel room in southwestern New Mexico about to attempt to hike from the Mexican Border, through the USA, all the way to the Canadian border. Yet here I am! Here’s a quick update:
I am a planner, it’s what I do. But boy…. am I sick of planning! Gear planning, food planning, route and navigation planning…. not to mention 12 hour days at work trying to get things lined up for my time away, trying to get in some miles with my pack on, rehabbing my ankle, and all the things that come with dropping out of ordinary society for 5 months. I’m lucky if i’m getting 4-5 hours sleep a night during the week at the moment. At least a handful of times a day I find myself daydreaming about taking some nice big breathes of fresh air and taking my first steps from the Mexican border, and I know it will all be worth it. I CAN’T WAIT! With just a little over 2 weeks to go now, here’s some updates on what I’ve been up to with trip planning:
I’ve been looking for a cause I am really excited to support and help create awareness for while I’m on the CDT this summer. I just stumbled across the perfect fit…
When I hit the trail I’ll be doing so as a data collector for the Worldwide Pika Project. I’ll be collecting data on the Pika and its habitat that will be used by scientists in their studies on climate change.
In 2 short months I’ll have started my journey on the Continental Divide Trail! Today’s walk will have been a whole lot of nothing… except maybe some rattle snakes and dead animal carcasses. I am so excited I can’t sit still, metaphorically speaking at least because that’s all I’m doing right now actually, with trying to get work wrapped up and getting my trip planning done. So here’s an update on how it’s all going…
It is seriously impossible to stay on track planning for this trip. I’ll give you an example: I sit down with a goal of spending an hour researching trail navigation.
Mother Nature put on a private screening of her beauty for Guinness and I. We spent 3 incredible days discovering a new part of the High Uinta Wilderness.
7 words, that’s where it started. 7 seemingly innocuous words.
“You should hike the Continental Divide Trail”