Noob here, hoping to for some help on trip planning. I am looking at heading out to GNP in late July (3rd-4th week). I am coming from Saint Paul, and have never been out there. I have done quite a bit of backcountry camping in the Boundary Waters, but that is with a canoe, paddling and portaging. I haven't done backcountry hiking for the quite some time, 15-20 years. I am in pretty good shape, but am training for my time out there.
Currently, I am looking at trying to do the Boulder Pass Trail, but I have been reading that part of the park is the last to open, and it might not be open. If not, I will look into the 50 Mountain trail or maybe the CDT. I am heading out there with my g/f, and we are looking at a 5-6 trip in the backcountry. Any advice would be helpful. It doesn't appear that there are too many options for shuttling in the BPT/Polebridge area, so is hitchhiking possible? I have read that heading E-W is easier, and W-E is more strenuous. It looks like the BPT is around a Class II, maybe III, is there scree or talus that you need to work through? I've never used an ice axe or crampons, would I need these? Any books that you would recommend? Thanks for any help and advice, and can't wait to see the Crown of the Continent.