CDT Intro

My name is Ryley, I’m the CTO of PresiNET and I’m a thru-hiker. That means that I enjoy some very long walks. In the summer of 2007 I walked the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), through the Sierras and Cascades in California, Oregon and Washington: over 4000km of continuously connected footsteps. This summer, I’m planning to try a similar feat on the Continental Divide Trail (CDT).

The CDT follows the Rockies south from Alberta, starting from Waterton, AB and ends at the Mexican border in New Mexico. Where the PCT is 99% a finished trail, the CDT is more like 70% trail, the rest being either a line on a map, or walking on dirt roads or the sides of highways. As a result of its more nebulous nature, every person that hikes the CDT essentially hikes their own trail.

There are some amazing things awaiting me on the CDT. Right from the start, the trail goes through Glacier National Park. I’ll be there very early in their season, probably setting out in mid or late June. There will be tons of snow-capped peaks, grizzly bears, and me! After that, the trail continues south into the Bob Marshall Wilderness, containing an amazing geological feature called the Chinese Wall – a 22 mile long “wall” of mountains that I’ll get to hike right along. In Wyoming, I get to traverse across Yellowstone National Park (going right by Old Faithful), and then soon after the Wind River Range, a beautiful mountainous area. Colorado has some of the highest peaks in the Rockies, and one of my choices will be how many I detour to climb. In New Mexico, I’m most looking forward to the Gila Wilderness, a series of canyons, rivers, and interesting archaelogical features.

Why am I doing this? I love being in the wilderness, especially by myself. I think of it as a kind of walking meditation. I’m also walking in support of Victoria Hospice, and specifically the Bharatpur, Nepal Hospice project that my mom is involved in. This project is a partership between the hospices in Victoria and Bharatpur. Their goal is to support each other in providing excellent end-of-life care.

Update: I’m now finished hiking, and you can read through my whole journal here.

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13 Responses to CDT Intro

  1. karen cunningham says:

    fantastic idea ryley. i can live vicariously. we will miss you a lot though.

  2. Ryley! I look forward to following your adventures via your blog. We sure do miss you around CFT! Interesting how easily we get used to having someone around almost daily yet how difficult it is adjusting to their absence….

  3. Chris Flanagan says:

    I’d be interested in knowing what equipment you bring with you and how well it works.

    Will you bring bear spray?

  4. Ryley says:

    Chris – I’m going to post so much about my gear you’re going to be exhausted 🙂

    As to bear spray, thanks for the reminder, I am vaguely planning on carrying it for the first part of the trip through Glacier National Park, as that’s where most of the grizz live.

  5. Anita says:

    Wow! This takes a lot of courage. I really like the idea of a walking meditation. I’m sure you’ll pass through some mind-blowing territory, but it might hardly feel spectacular because your scenery will change so slowly. I look forward to hearing lots of stories.

  6. Matt Green says:

    Ryley, this is awesome. Having walked the Camino de Santiago in 2009 myself, I understand the draw to this kind of adventuring.

    I wish you safety. Ultreya!

  7. Rocky BaKer says:

    Hey Ry!

    This is a great idea! I will look forward to reading your adventures! Just stay away from the bears and lightning!

    Have fun planning for now!

  8. Dave Rodenhuis says:

    Ryley, you’re terrific. I like especially, “I love being in the wilderness, especially by myself.” Very best,

  9. Joan King says:

    Ryley, how exciting! And what a worthy cause! I’m so proud of you for making a difference and a statement.

    Best wishes,


  10. Hey Riley,

    I was going to say that you’re crazy but know I understand the ’cause’ … congrats man! May God protect you all the way …

    Best regards from Brazil … 🙂

    Kássio Silva
    Canexus Ltd

  11. Robert Ball says:

    All the best Ryley, I will be following along on your SPOT location to watch your progress.

    “A very great vision is needed and the man who has it must follow it as the eagle seeks the deepest blue of the sky.”
    …Crazy Horse

  12. susan breiddal says:

    This is the day! I’m thinking of you-actually way too early in the morning and way too late at night…..but right now \i think of the excitement you must be feeling…..the smell of fresh air and the sight of those mountains….ahhhhh….have fun

  13. Robert Ball says:

    Hi Ryley, I see you are making progress. Hope the weather is cooperating and you are inspired by what you see. Wishing you good weather and a dry spot to sleep in each night. Happy Canada Day, too bad your are going to miss all the Birthday cake. Had mine already in the Oak Bay celebration today. Thinking about you and your safe journey….Bob B.

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