PDA

View Full Version : Anybody thru'd the Colorado Trail with a Hammock



Cannibal
03-03-2009, 18:52
I think I just had a nervous breakdown! :confused:

There has been lots of talk lately of the Trail and life upon it. Made me miss it.:crying
Then Red Hat makes a post about a thread over on WhiteBlaze which forced me to go look.
Then I see a thread Mags started about the Colorado Trail and his little resupply guide for a thru hike.
Then I looked out my window at the sun covered mountains.
Then I got onto the Colorado Trail website.
Then I thought about ordering a map. Then, then, then. :scared::scared::scared:

Above tree line you say? Not all the time and I think I can be pretty creative. I know Food has a bunch of time on the Colorado Trail and would love some advise from him. Anybody else got any boot time on the CT. I'm going to start lobbying at work (and home...Genuine Draft is gonna throw things at me.:scared:) for 4 or 5 weeks this summer and thru the darn thing! Sick and tired of living under a roof!!!

Anybody have any good info?

GOLFER
03-03-2009, 19:58
I think I just had a nervous breakdown! :confused:

There has been lots of talk lately of the Trail and life upon it. Made me miss it.:crying
Then Red Hat makes a post about a thread over on WhiteBlaze which forced me to go look.
Then I see a thread Mags started about the Colorado Trail and his little resupply guide for a thru hike.
Then I looked out my window at the sun covered mountains.
Then I got onto the Colorado Trail website.
Then I thought about ordering a map. Then, then, then. :scared::scared::scared:

Above tree line you say? Not all the time and I think I can be pretty creative. I know Food has a bunch of time on the Colorado Trail and would love some advise. Anybody else got any boot time on the CT. I'm going to start lobbying at work (and home...Genuine Draft is gonna throw things at me.:scared:) for 4 or 5 weeks this summer and thru the darn thing! Sick and tired of living under a roof!!!

Anybody have any good info?

HERE, HERE!!

Walking Bear
03-03-2009, 21:00
I have hiked some short sections of it. We always camped below tree line. The trail does go above tree line. However, I think that on most of the trail you would find plenty of places to hang from. Just don't plan on an over night above the trees.

Cannibal
03-03-2009, 21:54
Just don't plan on an over night above the trees.
I've got a few ideas about that; more testing is required. :sneaky::D

Well, the hard part is over...Genuine Draft has given her blessing. Whew. I had to make a trade; she gets to hike for a month on the AT after Trail Days. Seems fair enough to me!:D

Now, I just need to talk work into the idea. I think I can pull it off since the trail is only 485 miles and I've actually got access to the mountains for training, I should be in good form at the start. Assuming, I get off my lazy butt and start really pounding miles again. :rolleyes: Anyway, I should be able to do it in a month with relative ease. I can be 'semi-supported' for two day sections every weekend which will help bust out some miles. I might even be able to do it in 3 or 3.5 weeks; don't know yet.

So, back to my gram counting ways just as I was starting to enjoy carrying all the extra "fun" stuff. Ya'll need to back off those Blackbird orders so that I can get a single layer made before July. :glare::D Just kidding, don't be hating. I'm actually considering taking my trusty ElDorado. Nothing wrong with it and it is still lighter than the 1.7 single BB. Although that's a hard thing to ask a man to do, leave behind an uber comfy hammock. The jury is still out.

Genuine Draft will cover my Meetup Group "thing" for the month that I'm out. Heck, we might even schedule a hang that I can walk into; that would be cool. The important things is that it will be covered.

That only leaves work to get out of for a month. That may require a little more thought.;)

Thanks for the PM food. I know you know the CT pretty well.

Coffee
03-04-2009, 08:00
I would love to take a month off this year. Not really in the cards. Shooting for a week hike this summer. Other trips to see friends or wedding taking up the rest of vacation.

I would be up for joining you if you want some company for a week. The only thing is I live below sea level and will not be too happy the first day on the trail. Think I am going to save OR for another time. Which would just leave the LT section as the other choice.


Next year something is going to happen. Thinking about buying a motorcycle and taking off for a month or so. Or do the hiking thing again.

Cannibal
03-04-2009, 08:44
I would be up for joining you if you want some company for a week. The only thing is I live below sea level and will not be too happy the first day on the trail.
I'll start training carrying an oxygen bottle. :tongueup::D
You know you're welcome to join me.

Coffee
03-04-2009, 18:13
I will add it's killing me to be in Virgina now and not take off for the Mountains. I think thru hiking should of came with a warning label about this.

Cannibal
03-04-2009, 18:17
I will know the feeling soon enough. I was planning a week or so hike after Trail Days, but with wanting to do this CT thru I don't think I can push for much time off. Now, it will just be Trail Days-no AT hike. :(
I just keep telling myself it will be worth it to stroll thru the San Juan Mtns.

Coffee
03-04-2009, 18:31
It comes down to the little things. Giving up some trips now, for more later.

Terraplane
03-05-2009, 05:13
Cannibal,

I "attempted" to thru the CT last summer. Leg problem stopped me at Breckenridge, about 105 miles into it. I hope to finish it this summer. There will be challenges later on finding a place to hang. Early on you go through a burn area with no good hanging but it wasn't too far to trees. They moved a section just befoe Molas Pass that is all on the Continental Divide Trail that looks to be 17 miles or so above tree line. This was my first time to backpack and hang and I loved it.

Be ready to carry a lot of water at times. I had 6.5 liter capacity and used it through the burn areas. Mostly just had 2-3 liters. It depends on spring snows and last year was a good one!

I used a pad with SPE with mixed success and could have gone to ground with that. This year I have a thin pad from JRB that velcros with my Winter Nest to make a ground bag if needed.

Terraplane

Cannibal
03-05-2009, 11:42
Terraplane-
Thanks for the heads-up!:shades: I have heard the same thing in the past couple of days about stretches of dry. So yeah, I'm planning for that pretty carefully. Even considering stashing some water at certain points ahead of time. The above tree line sections are what I'm looking forward to right now. I've been playing with some climbing gear of late and think I may have some solutions for no-tree hangs. Still going to be a trick in finding an ideal spot to hang among the rocks, but the challenge is what makes life enjoyable for me.

Probably not a smart thing, but I refuse to be prepared to go to ground. Let's just call in stubborn in lieu of stupid. If I do have to go to ground, it will be an uncomfortable night to be sure. I will survive and have something to complain about the next day as I go searching for trees.

One thing that makes this hike extremely appealing to me is the constant availability of accessible trailheads. Genuine Draft will be able to help me with easy resupplies and gear adjustments; particularly for the first 200 miles. It also allows me to make some water caches in critical areas. My pack weight should be significantly lower as I'll be able to carry less food between reups.

When are you thinking about taking another shot at it this summer? I'd be glad to offer assistance if you need/want it. At the very least, I'll bring you a pizza and a 6 pack.:D

Walking Bear
03-05-2009, 13:31
I hiked some of the CT in Wyoming a few years ago. Part of the trail follows the devide. You can see streams and snow fields below you but no water on top. One spot had a spring in one location off to the side of the trail. It was a wet spot. We had not had access to water for quite a while and had to hike down over the side quite a way to get to a snow field and water.
Then had the bad luck to break the filter after about 5 bottles were filled.:scared: It was the only filter we had and no other water treatment except to boil. Came across a road and a camper parked later that day. They had some trail magic with some super glue. Got the pump on the filter repaired. :D Even had a great cold beer while the glue set.:)

Coffee
03-05-2009, 16:02
I was thinking about ways to carry water when I was playing around with the Hay Duke idea last year. Stupid job got in the way :(

But I was thinking about sewing a new water bladder sleeve into the pack. In the same spot on the inside of the bag next to your back. But wide big enough to hold 2 or 3 gatoraid bottles accross and up. That would give you plenty of water storage. If it would leak you could make it in a way it would leak out of your pack, away from your gear. It would be next to your back and easier to carry the weight. And all your eggs would not be in one basket. One leaks no big deal.

Just a thought.

Cannibal
03-05-2009, 16:07
Oh, finally telling your secret about Hayduke huh? :tongueup:

I keep meaning to write Brian at ULA and see how it went for him. Still, 20 miles without water is one thing. 75 - 80 miles without a water source is a whole other ball of wax. I still can't really envision that, but freely admit that the challenge of it appeals to me.

When we going? :D

Coffee
03-05-2009, 16:35
If I don't get a motorcycle, how about half of it next year. I can let it out since it didn't come to be. Or at least that is what I tell myself.

But come on it's only 80 miles. That's only 3 big days of hiking. Not to mention the one source that is radioactive. That is my personal favorite of the trail, which is more of a route.

Coffee
03-05-2009, 17:22
My plan would be use an inflatable pad for insulation underneath, then cowboy with the tarp when there are no trees. I'm not afraid.

Cannibal
03-05-2009, 17:30
My plan would be use an inflatable pad for insulation underneath, then cowboy with the tarp when there are no trees. I'm not afraid.
Never, never, never!
Where there is a will there is always a way. I'm so against the ground I'm trying to figure out a way to hang a hammock in my casket when the time comes. :scared::rolleyes::lol:

Coffee
03-05-2009, 17:32
Never, never, never!
Where there is a will there is always a way. I'm so against the ground I'm trying to figure out a way to hang a hammock in my casket when the time comes. :scared::rolleyes::lol:

I am thinking viking style in my hammock. Reinforced with some metal to prolong the process.

Cannibal
03-05-2009, 17:34
That's what I'm talkin about! :thumbup1:

ringtail-THFKAfood
03-07-2009, 11:25
Cannibal,

Sleeping above timberline sometimes is a unique experience. I just down loaded a picture from a ground dwelling trip. The focus of that trip was the view at dusk and dawn.

WARNING to moderators: I posted a nonhammock picture -- feel free to delete it.

dallas
03-10-2009, 09:33
Cannibal,
Hope you get the time off from work to do your hike.
Who know, maybe we'll see you on the trail this summer.

If you figure out a way to hang in the alpine sections, be sure to let us know how you did it. That sounds like one of the reasons there aren't more hammocks on the CT. We're taking ours anyway.

John

Cannibal
03-10-2009, 09:40
Hang em high and let em fly!

Where there is a will there is a way and I am more than willing if my option is sleeping on the ground. From what I understand, the alpine sections are fairly short. Should be easy enough to plan my days so I'm below treeline when it's time to camp. But, food is way right when he said sunrise and sunset are a thing of beauty above the trees. The atmosphere is just different and celestial bodies are brilliant in the sky, even as the sun is rising. I really want to figure out a way to wake-up in my hammock and look at the skies above the trees.:shades:

Coldspring
03-10-2009, 09:53
I really want to figure out a way to wake-up in my hammock and look at the skies above the trees.:shades:

There's not much of a view from a Blackbird.

Cannibal
03-10-2009, 09:57
There's plenty of view "up" when the tarp is in the pack. ;)
Actually, I get a fairly decent view if I'm positioned with my head way left of center. If I'm closer to the center, the view out the footend is not too shabby either.

Terraplane
04-02-2009, 20:55
Terraplane-
Thanks for the heads-up!:shades: I have heard the same thing in the past couple of days about stretches of dry. So yeah, I'm planning for that pretty carefully. Even considering stashing some water at certain points ahead of time. The above tree line sections are what I'm looking forward to right now. I've been playing with some climbing gear of late and think I may have some solutions for no-tree hangs. Still going to be a trick in finding an ideal spot to hang among the rocks, but the challenge is what makes life enjoyable for me.

Probably not a smart thing, but I refuse to be prepared to go to ground. Let's just call in stubborn in lieu of stupid. If I do have to go to ground, it will be an uncomfortable night to be sure. I will survive and have something to complain about the next day as I go searching for trees.

One thing that makes this hike extremely appealing to me is the constant availability of accessible trailheads. Genuine Draft will be able to help me with easy resupplies and gear adjustments; particularly for the first 200 miles. It also allows me to make some water caches in critical areas. My pack weight should be significantly lower as I'll be able to carry less food between reups.

When are you thinking about taking another shot at it this summer? I'd be glad to offer assistance if you need/want it. At the very least, I'll bring you a pizza and a 6 pack.:D


Wow! I thought I lurked here a lot. I completely missed this 3 weeks ago.

Cannibal, I plan to head to Breck about the 3rd week of June to start back southbound from where I ended last year. It all depends on the snowpack. Last year I started just before the end of June and went over 30-40 large drifts and some snowfields. I pitied the ones ahead of me. I developed pinched nevers in my hips which left me with numb thighs. Too tight on the hip belt, I guess. I still have it some of the time now. I hate to take on a partner since I'm sorta iffy.

I have backcountry skied to the huts in the Leadville area so am really looking forward to getting back to that area. We got lost in an unmarked Wilderness area and had to back track, finding a house with someone home at 10:30 pm. Really long day to ski with 50 lbs on your back!


Terraplane

dallas
04-07-2009, 15:26
Cannibal,
When are you planning on starting?

My son and I are going to do sections 3 - 7 starting July 1st. You will probably pass us if you start around then. Hope to see you on the trail.

John

Cannibal
04-07-2009, 15:30
Bring me a Lone Star beer please! :D
If all goes to plan (hahahahahahaha), I should put boot to trail on July 3rd. Hope to see you out there. I'll be looking for 2 hammocks.....right? :)

Coffee
04-07-2009, 16:09
So you say you are starting July 3rd?

Cannibal
04-07-2009, 16:17
That's my current plan; gives me an extra couple of days 'paid' with the federal holiday and all.

Coffee
04-07-2009, 16:23
That's my current plan; gives me an extra couple of days 'paid' with the federal holiday and all.

That's got me pondering.......

Cannibal
04-07-2009, 16:24
Don't ponder....PACK!

Coffee
04-07-2009, 16:30
Don't ponder....PACK!

Right now all my hiking gear is on the dining room table ready to be packed for Norway. Leave on Friday for a couple months of hiking, I mean working over there.

Is the first section cool or should I wait? If Genuine Draft can take me to the airport on the 12th to fly back and you help carry some O2 bottles I could be convinced. It beats Sunday's getting turned back kayaking by netting gators adventure.

Cannibal
04-07-2009, 16:44
Phooey, gators don't like the taste of kayaks.

I'm more than certain GD would be able to provide transportation, it not I can make my dad; I get to pick his home when he's old you know. :D First section is mellow relative to the later ones. Lower elevation will help with the O2 bottles.

dallas
04-07-2009, 21:54
I'll be looking for 2 hammocks.....right? :)

but of course!

Coffee
04-07-2009, 22:24
I'll be the guy cowboy'ing on the bald if the weather is nice.

Coffee
04-09-2009, 15:30
I blocked off the 3rd through the 12th off from work. Details to follow, but I'm in for the first week.

Cannibal
04-09-2009, 15:46
Sweeet! :cool:

pgibson
06-08-2009, 11:59
Cannibal, in one of your posts here you mentioned trying to use some climbing gear to hang with. Just curious what you are planning to use? I started technical rock climbing when I was 12 and now I also love vertical caving. So the idea of hanging off climbing gear is interesting.

Cannibal
06-08-2009, 12:43
Mostly been fussing around with cams; Black Diamond to be specific. It's really going to boil down to finding the right formations with the right surfaces. I've got a couple of spots that seem promising, but haven't had any real tests yet.

pgibson
06-08-2009, 14:01
BD makes some of the best out there. Most of my cams are BD but I also have a few Wild Country Tec Friends (the original cam design) Would love to see some pics if you do get to hang with them on the trail. You could also look at Trango Big Bro's they may be a bit more bulk than a few cams but they have a broader range of effective placement than most cams. http://www.trango.com/prod.php?id=34 or the Link cam from Omega Pacific again they are designed to have a greater range of placement.http://www.omegapac.com/op_climbing_newproducts.html They use a double axle design that allows more dynamic range. Scroll to the bottom for a vid of them. They are a bit pricy though.

Paul

east_stingray
06-08-2009, 14:04
Cannibal, if you're looking for cams they've had double axles on SAC a bunch lately. Can't tell if you've already got them or not.

SmokeHouse
06-10-2009, 10:27
Cannibal,,, I’m really interested in the Colorado Trail for next year. Hope to see some pics and a report. Have a great time...

Cannibal
06-10-2009, 10:34
Cannibal,,, Iím really interested in the Colorado Trail for next year. Hope to see some pics and a report. Have a great time...
I'm planning to document the whole thing on video so I should have some good stuff for you.

SmokeHouse
06-10-2009, 11:37
That would be awesome... :thumbup:

Cannibal
07-09-2009, 20:24
Coffee and I are back in Denver. :(

My right knee decided that it didn't want to go for a long hike. Got to the point I could no longer bend it past about 20 degrees. Ah well, I got some good nights in the woods with a good friend. Well, he used to be a good friend but now I wonder. I actually caught him laying on his pad *ON THE GROUND* taking a nap...right next to his hammock! :rolleyes: What is the world coming to? Pictures as proof to follow in a couple of days.

I'm off the trail, but I haven't had my fill of camping yet. See ya'll in a few days.

angrysparrow
07-09-2009, 20:26
Sorry to hear it, Cannibal! Heal up...try again later. The trail will wait on you.

GrizzlyAdams
07-09-2009, 20:36
really sorry about that Cannibal, had to be a disappointment.

'bout Coffee and the ground. Yeah, makes you doubt sometimes that he is a True Believer, one of the elect. A little too pragmatic and not enough fervor :cool:

Grizz

Coffee
07-09-2009, 20:50
What can I say, sometimes a blue ccp on the ground is just what is called for.

gargoyle
07-09-2009, 22:08
Gettin' old sux!!

Walking Bear
07-09-2009, 22:21
Sorry to hear the hike got cut short. Give it a shot latter. Sometimes the body just will not go as you would like.

NCPatrick
07-10-2009, 10:18
What can I say, sometimes a blue ccp on the ground is just what is called for.

Another "blue pad of happiness" moment?

Cannibal
07-11-2009, 22:56
Another "blue pad of happiness" moment?

:rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:
If I had a quarter for everytime I saw that silly blue pad of happiness, I'd buy another hammock. :D

No worries about it getting cut short, just another bump in the road. I'm gonna pound it out in sections on the weekends over the course of the summer and now I'll be able to take Genuine Draft with me, which will be nice. My own fault; I didn't train like I should have and I pushed too hard too quick. Lesson learned...again. Maybe it'll stick around a little longer this time, if not, oh well. :D

Coffee
07-12-2009, 15:36
Another "blue pad of happiness" moment?

Yes it was now that you mention it. One of my favorite pieces of gear.

BillyBob58
07-12-2009, 21:37
Sorry to hear the hike got cut short. Give it a shot latter. Sometimes the body just will not go as you would like.

As has so often been the case with me the last few years, the spirit has been willing but the flesh is weak! Sorry to hear it Cannibal, you'll get 'er done next time! So what did Y'all end up doing, car camping? That can be loads of fun too! Especially in a glorious spot!

Coffee, how did the elevation treat you?

Coffee
07-13-2009, 23:38
As has so often been the case with me the last few years, the spirit has been willing but the flesh is weak! Sorry to hear it Cannibal, you'll get 'er done next time! So what did Y'all end up doing, car camping? That can be loads of fun too! Especially in a glorious spot!

Coffee, how did the elevation treat you?

Thanks for asking, Ask Cannibal how the back side of me looked going up hill.:lol:

I was fine. The day in Denver helped. I spent a day hiking up a 14'er and in Rocky Mountain NP. It was a good time.

Cannibal
07-14-2009, 12:42
Yep, spent most of my time looking at Coffee's backside on the ups. Course, it helps that his legs are as long as circus stilts. :lol:

He did great, I was very surprised. I, on the other hand, did terrible. Didn't feel it the second day, then the knee started going on the third. The fourth day was a joke. Coffee whooped me to be sure! And, that's with his 75 lb bag of candy in his pack. :scared: The rafting trip I would call a draw, but he did get scolded by the guide once. I was a good boy. :D

Coffee
07-14-2009, 18:27
You say scolded I say,.......

I had a good time and got to see and do a lot that I wouldn't got to any other way. Not the trip we had planned, but a good vaca. Now back in the grind putting in some hours of OT.

boarstone
09-13-2009, 13:10
While on the subject of hammocking on the CT anyone tried the Grand Enchantment Trail from AZ to NM? w/a hammock? Or parts of it? Thanks.

LyttleBryan
10-06-2009, 08:21
Yeah, this thread speaks to/for me.