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Good trail maps?

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Good trail maps?

Postby Bryan K » Sun Sep 05, 2010 12:05 am

I'll be in Colorado in a few days to hike the Decalibron,Quandary,Belford/Oxford and Elbert. Here in western Washington there is a great local company that makes maps that are great for general routing along trails. The company is called Green Trail and they make 15 minute maps. Are there any maps similar in Colorado that could help out with general info for the trail? I am prinitng maps from TOPO for each of my hikes too.
I am an avid hiker and if anybody would like to join me on any of these hikes feel free to drop me a message.
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Postby MoapaPk » Sun Sep 05, 2010 12:30 am

Won't Nat Geo print custom maps for anywhere you want?

I recall stopping in an outdoor store in CO in 2001, and there were pre-printed plastic-paper maps for any area that I wished to visit.
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Postby mconnell » Sun Sep 05, 2010 12:47 am

I am pretty sure that you can get the Nat Geo maps custom printed for any area by going to REI and printing them from the kiosk.

That said, I have only been on Decalibron and Quandry of the peaks you list. On those peaks, I never felt the need for a map. You can easily tell where to go. Even if the weather turns, it is pretty obvious how to get down and you'd be hard pressed to get very lost in either area. (Keep in mind that you this advice is given from someone who ignores the "10 essentials" in favor of the 1 essential: Common sense. I rarely carry a map, don't know where I put my compass, day hike in the wilderness wearing jeans and a cotton t-shirt and not carrying anything, etc.)
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Postby MoapaPk » Sun Sep 05, 2010 1:08 am

FWIW, I climbed Quandary in a whiteout/snowstorm. Basically went uphill, the skies cleared enough for a view, then I followed my footprints back down.
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Re: Good trail maps?

Postby MtnHermit » Sun Sep 05, 2010 2:56 am

TheMaintenanceMan wrote:I'll be in Colorado in a few days to hike the Decalibron,Quandary,Belford/Oxford and Elbert.
If you're only climbing 14ers, why on earth would you need a map?!?! If you can find the TH, then the path is so beaten down and crowded with people, you'd have to try to get lost. Worse on weekends.

But if you must have maps, join the 21stCentury and go 24K GPS maps. Easily carry several states at 24K. I've totally abandoned paper maps. Did my first Grand Slam decades ago with paper and a wrist altimeter, the GPS maps beat paper in every way. As you move, the map instantly centers on your position. Zoom in for detail, out for scale. I wouldn't give you a wooden nickel for a GPS w/o the maps, but with maps . . . only way to go.

This is a very polarizing topic, as many nay sayers as advocates. Funny how the nay sayers carry a MP3 player and cell but dis a GPS with Topos.
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Postby Bryan K » Sun Sep 05, 2010 7:02 am

I will have custom printed maps from Nat'l Geo TOPO with me of the specific routes that I plan on taking. The "Green Trails" maps that we have here are a great way to see the area on a small (11x17) cheap ($6) map and to be able to identify surrounding peaks. I rarely use those maps for navigation since they're 15 minute versus 7.5 from TOPO.
I'm not an old school hard core guy as I do have an MP3 player, but a GPS can lose battery power and I'd hate to be the talk of local forums as being the guy from out of state that got lost in a whiteout and didn't know the area. Also here is Washington where the routes can sometimes completely disappear in a matter of a few minutes maps are essential. Try navigating down a volcano in a whiteout without a map, not too easy.
I just want to have my bases covered, that's all.
Thanks for the insight.
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Postby MoapaPk » Sun Sep 05, 2010 2:05 pm

Just as a reminder, since the topic keeps coming up: if you use a gps, always have spare batteries, preferably Li metal. Choose a gps on the ability to have backup batteries. Li metal batteries are very light, and have a shelf life on 10 years; there is no excuse not to have backup batteries for a gps (that will take them).

Edit: sp.
Last edited by MoapaPk on Mon Sep 06, 2010 4:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby mattpayne11 » Mon Sep 06, 2010 3:48 am

I've found the maps from the TOPO program to be very good, but some trails are not mapped properly. Some of the trails illustrated maps are a bit better in that regard. For all around maps though, the TOPO maps are great. I've got quite a few online on my website (http://www.100summits.com). The nice thing about TOPO is that you can print custom areas - pretty handy!
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