View Full Version : Sierra Section Hike Resupply
A question for those with extensive PCT/JMT. A friend of mine is planning a 5 week section hike from Walker Pass to Sonora Pass beginning in mid-June. They will not have trail legs.
Any recommendations on resupply? Carrying food from Kennedy Meadows to Muir Ranch is a collosal pain (especially if they want to hike up Whitney). I have heard of pack companies hiking in resupplies and leaving them in bear boxes.
How about hiking up and over Kearsarge Pass and resupplying in Independence?
Lots of people go to Indepedence. (and hitch the 40 something miles to Bishop and resupply there) There isn't a large store in Independence, (or atleast there wasn't in 6/08) only a gas station/convience store that seems to work fine for some to resupply out of........depends on how picky you are. (I wouldn't want to...we hitched to Bishop and would do that again)
The hike over Kearsarge Pass is beautiful. Though finding a quick ride out of/or back to the parking lot there isn't something you want to count on. (it's a dead-end road)
I'm not going to restate what has already been abundantly written about here and elsewhere about all the resupply options on the JMT/PCT through the Sierras. Either the JMT or PCT websites can supply U w/ info about resupply opps if U R in the initial stages of planning resupply for that section of your hike. In addition, the book authored by Winnett and Morey that I recommended to prospective JMTers in the JMT thread will help U plan your resupply through the Sierras. There R some posts about resupply, including some of my own, on the JMT thread that is currently floating around. U may want to see my post and others regarding an Independence resupply. Add those posts to what Chickety has already covered and U have the nuts and bolts about an Independence resupply. The hike out is beautiful over Kearsarge Pass. In mid June U shouldn't find it very difficult to get a ride into Independence from the KPTH. Getting back to the TH can be problematic. If U can get a round trip ride arranged before U go into Independence U should take it. I'm not 100 % sure, but I think a taxi service does exist in Independence. Even during late June there may be some PCTers still floating around near Kearsarge Pass TH that U can carpool with to get back to the TH fron Indy.
No need to carry all the way from KM to Muir Trl Ranch. There R other options, albeit somewhat limited options, but there R other ways to resupply other than doing a full carry from KM to MTR. Some of what U will do is dependent on how fast U hike or how many times U want to go in/out from the trail. Thing about resupply in the Sierras is, sometimes, and often does, requires more hiking time(miles) out and back to resupply than what some hikers R used to.
Even if U do decide to carry from KM to MTR, there R campsites, a ranger station, and bear boxes where the JMT southbound and PCT northbound finally meet and the JMT veers away from the PCT to attain the summitt of Mt Whitney and come to its southern terminus. The PCT largely shares the same tread with the JMT after this until near Tuolomne Meadows where they depart for the last time. This is all based on your friend heading north on the PCT. No need to hike all the way up Mt Whitney w/ a full load. What many nortbound PCTers do is set up a camp here, or near here, and than take a lower weighted pack to the top. What some choose to do is set up camp here and then get up early the next day to summitt and come back down. It sounds like what your friend is doing is basically following the the PCT tread and the PCT doesn't go to the top of Whitney. Going to the top of Whitney and coming back down usually requires most hikers spend an additional 1/2 to a full day doing this side trip. If your friend has never been atop Mt Whitney definitely do it. Its a walk-up. Make sure when he gets his permit that he tells them he's also hiking Mt Whitney.
I purposely left resupply things vague because learning what your options R will help your friend in so many ways. If he or she has any questions about any specific resupply options in the Sierras along the PCT/JMT corridor lemme know if I can help. I've done many of them.
Yes, you can get a commercial packer to bring supplies in for you BUT they can no longer leave them anyplace. The powers that be changed the regs so now they are required to meet you within 24 hours of arriving at the transfer point.
Packer resupply is expensive - the cheapest is $400 and it goes up from there, depending on how much they bring and to where. This is a realistic option only for groups where you can split the cost amongst you.
I know of two packers who specialize in hiker resupply, but there are others. From the east side of the Sierra (out of Bishop and Onion Valley) contact Dee Berner at Sequoia Kings Pack Train at firstname.lastname@example.org (email@example.com) or call 760-387-2627. Website is http://horse-pack-trips.gordonsguide.com/sequoia/index.cfm (http://horse-pack-trips.gordonsguide.com/sequoia/index.cfm)
From the west side, try Cedar Grove Packers - http://www.sierragatewaymap.com/cedar_grove_packers.html (http://www.sierragatewaymap.com/cedar_grove_packers.html)
Go up Whitney, backtrack 2 miles to Trail Crest, take the main trail to Whitney Portal, easy hitch to Lone Pine.
You can also follow one of two creeks (there is a trail) down into Roads End and get an easy hitch into Cedar Grove, where there is a small store.