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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Heavy Traffic on the CDT

So we've heard in from a few teams this week, but there are still plenty others out there. Here's a run-down of what they're up to and who they are...here's hoping they find that sought-after patch of cell reception to give us an update before the week is out.

Team 14, aka Team SoCo
This group is hiking a sizable chunk (some 70+ miles) through Colorado's San Juan Mountains, from Cumbres Pass to Wolf Creek Pass. Lawton, an '06 CDT thru-hiker, submitted a podcast earlier in the week, but unfortunately reception was just too spotty to make anything out beyond the basics ("This is Lawton Grinter, reporting in from the C-D- [garbled static]"). Here's more on the team:
Lawton Grinter: CDT thru-hiker ('06); father of The Walkumentary; experienced backpacker. Crested Butte, CO.
Matt Abbas: Colorado land surveyor (cross-country); avid hiker. Pueblo West, CO.
Felicia Hermosillo : aka Princess of Darkness; CDT thru-hiker ('06); experienced backpacker; fluent in Spanish. Crested Butte, CO.

On Wednesday afternoon the group was able to post an audible podcast. From the sound of it, the three are making great headway, despite such dramas as the treeing of a bear cub by SoCo's canine member. UTM coordinates: 13 0343361E 4146640N




Team 15a
This group hiking a loop through the San Juans, touching on the CDT for 30 miles or so. The round-trip will take them from Blue Lake to Elwood Pass along the trail in question. A few extra miles will be put in for the approach and descent from the actual Divide. Here's who's doing it:
Stephen Maxwell: AT thru-hiker ('06); LNT advocate; spending summer at Philmont Scout Ranch. Beaumont, TX.
Jon Kedrowski: GPS-savvy; completed Master's thesis on Colorado 14ers; avid photographer. Avon, CO.
Adam Doody: photographer, backcountry snowboarder, general contractor. Seattle, WA.
Andrew Matranga: Backpacker assistant map editor; JMT/High Sierra Trail thru-hiker ('06); Team Southern Terminus co-leader. Boulder, CO.

Team 15b
The San Juans are seeing a lot of project volunteers this week; team 15b is doing another loop from the Quartz Creek trailhead to Wolf Creek Pass. These loop hikes were planned in order to make the CDT through the remote San Juans a bit more accessible. Weekend trips there typically take some shuttling and tricky logistics, so when everything is all said and done, these loops should be a good example of how shorter trips along the Divide can be planned.
John "Steve" Smith: self-proclaimed "map and compass nerd"; aspires to hike John Muir Trail. Dickinson, TX.
Stephen Wade: Adventure racer; pilot; experienced backpacker (has hiked in Italy, Africa, Argentina, to name a few). Joplin, MO.
Bill Nelson:emergency physician, training in HAPE, HACE and hypothermia; triathlete. Joplin, MO.
Ryan Kingsley: LNT certified trainer; wilderness therapy field guide; search & rescue member. Louisville, CO.

Team 45
Turning attention to the trail in Montana, Team 45 is covering some 35 miles from Johnson Lake to the Lower Seymour Lake trailhead in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest. Here's a rundown of who they are:
Deanne Hansen: Currently on a Western roadtrip, skipping from Park to Park (daughter's wedding coming up, at Colorado's Independence Pass); Jim's wife. Pollock Pines, CA.
Jim Hansen: Currently on a Western roadtrip, skipping from Park to Park (daughter's wedding coming up, at Colorado's Independence Pass); Deanne's husband. Pollock Pines, CA.
Conor O'Neil: Avid backpacker, summer & winter; gets out 3 out 4 weeks a month; Emily's husband. Wilson, WY.
Emily Hall-O'Neil: degree in physical geography; Rocky Mountain Research Station supervisor/crew leader (flora/fauna inventories); Conor's wife. Wilson, WY.
Mitch Cheney: petroleum geologist; GPS-savvy; avid backpacker; Dan's brother. Houston, TX.
Dan Cheney: Mitch's brother and long-time hiking buddy.

Team 47, aka Grizzlybait
Team Grizzlybait picked that name themselves, by the way; I trust they are doing everything in their power to downplay it in the field. They're hiking 67 miles through the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest, miraculously spanning a stretch from I-15 (at Deer Lodge) to I-15 (at Elk Park). Makes shuttling about as easy as it comes.
Kevin Kondrat: Detroit Detective Lieutenant; licensed Captain, U.S. Coast Guard; experienced backpacker. Grosse Point, MI.
Mark Hanks: Boy Scout leader; AT & PCT section-hiker. Lexington, KY.
Jessica Carroll: Seasonal Forest Service employee; GPS whiz; Montana native. Red Lodge, MT.
Dallas Shewmaker: Gear rental company owner (www.lowergear.com); summited Whitney twice; JMT thru-hiker. Scottsdale, AZ.
Steven Nichols: PCT & AT section hiker; Boy Scout leader; cancer survivor; knows Mark and Dallas. Lexington, KY.

With so many out, we should have some great stories to relay next week. Wish them all luck!

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