[Cdt-l] Where to begin

Jim and/or Ginny Owen spiriteagle99 at hotmail.com
Wed Mar 19 19:35:59 CDT 2008

Can you start a week later?  It might help.  
One suggestion - in 1999 we had a very high snow year but wanted to start around June 1.  We started at Warm Springs (between Anaconda and Butte on the Anaconda Cut-off) and hiked north to Glacier.  We had snow, but it wasn't all day every day.  The Bob Marshall had a lot of snow and snow melt, but still it was doable. (And we had the entire area to ourselves - not a human footprint for six days! Plus it is really beautiful in the snow.) The McVeigh video showed them doing the same thing, starting at Deerlodge Pass and heading north. If you can fly to Butte, there are three easy access points and the first few days are mostly on lower elevation dirt roads.  Or you can catch Greyhound from Butte to Anaconda or Warm Springs and head north from there, adding a couple of days of lower elevation hiking.  The Winds and the Anaconda Pintlers are at 10,000' so snow is more of a problem.  Yellowstone does melt out early, but then there are the Centennials, which usually have snow until July. 

Date: Wed, 19 Mar 2008 16:50:01 -0700From: caryl_bergeron at yahoo.comTo: cdt-l at backcountry.netSubject: [Cdt-l] Where to begin

We hiked the southern half of the trail in 2007 and are doing the northern half, Rawlins to Canada, this coming summer.  We'd like to start around June 1 but are trying to figure out a way to do it without dealing with all that snow, same issue as Colter has.  Starting at Rawlins and heading NOBO doesn't seem feasible at that time due to The Winds.
One idea we've heard is to start at Lemhi pass headed south to Rawlins, then get up to Glacier and head back south to Lemhi.  The main issue is getting into and out of Salmon Idaho may be difficult.  We hear the main advantage of that approach is the trail tends to be on the south side of the hills and, consequently, melts early.
On the other hand, transportation would be a lot easier in and out of Butte.  But we don't know what the snow situation would be in the Anaconda-Pintlers.  Does anyone know when the trail from Butte to Lemhi Pass is relatively snow free in a normal to slightly below normal snow year?  What about between Helena and Butte?

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