Chris (our 2019 Award Winner) hiked the entire 2650 mile Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) in 2016 but the Continental Divide Trail (CDT) is a significantly greater challenge, with more difficult terrain and a more isolated route that is not yet completely defined. Some stretches use back-country dirt roads and the occasional tarmac road where off road trail doesn’t yet exist. The CDT was designed to be a wilderness trail, and the majority of the route passes through protected wilderness (under the National Wilderness Preservation Scheme), other public lands (managed by the US Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management) and National Parks, including Yellowstone, Rocky Mountain and Glacier. The beauty of the wild landscapes and route through incredible remote landscapes are Chris' main reasons to attempting this trip.
In May, Chris sent us a message, "The next few sections are looking interesting... I'm about to enter the south San Juan mountains, which this year have had almost three times as much snow as a typical year, so are looking pretty much impassable at the moment on the official route. I'm currently plotting a route which takes most of of the lower passes and valleys, aiming to avoid the exposed ridges the official CDT takes. Currently there are about 40 hikers ahead of me on trail, and I don't think any have attempted any of the high routes yet, so I should have a bit of company down in the valleys!
I'm still hoping to continue north all the way to Canada, rather than have to jump around and complete the sections out of order. If all goes to plan, I should be on track to finish late August or early September, so here's hoping I can stick to the schedule."
We hope he does too - come along and find out.
On the door: £13