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tuswm
10-28-2010, 13:42
I spent two winters living in Yosemite NP and have always wanted to hike the JMT (not possible in the winter). I have been dreaming of hiking the JMT for years now. This is the best I can come up with for time. I know I will not be able to do this for at least the next 3 years if I donít do it on these dates.
We have a small window to work with.
Last day of class July 22
Travel July 23
Spent time with old friends in YNP July 24
Start trail plus half dome July 25
July 26 Ė August 9 only 15 days to hike the JMT
Travel home August 10
rehearsal wedding and dinner August 10 (my GF is the maid of honor)
wedding August 12 (Must be home for this)

My Major concerns are:
#1. Permits: If I canít get a permit for the exact date I need I feel like I might not be able to do this trip at all, that why the dates are so important.
#2. 14 miles per day average? That seems like a lot since ill be going from sea level and out of shape to altitude. It seems like there will be no room for error. How much time will I lose to resupply? I am worried that having mandatory miles will detract from the experience. This isnít a wedding, this is the wedding. We canít miss it. This is my biggest worry once I get a permit.
#3. Transportation? I have never taken public transportation to the wilderness.
#4. Food drops: Food and cooking is my camp luxury. Also I have never done a food drop before.

My minor concerns are:
What gear to take? What gear to leave? I have Soo Much gear. I have lead many trips in to other places so I have so many cooking systems, water purification systems, and sleeping systems. I know I am a gear junkie. I know I will be happy either way, I do know I need another bear can.
Good map/ books
My Girl friends minor concerns are, bears and getting lost, running out of water.


I could write a book on my gear and why I might or might not take but I would like to hear your ideas
Pack: osprey atmos 65L worried about weight vs comfort vs mandatory miles
Tents: TT Dubble rainbow<3lbs larger, drafty for cold weather, for me untested in wet weather.
REI helf dome>6lbs warmer and more wind resistant.
Sleeping bag: Would my REI sub Kilo be warm enough, its lower limit is about 30 (rated to 20) Do I need to bring my marmot 0. Itís twice the weight and twice the size. My pad will be a z rest foam pad. The square foam pad work much better then inflatable mummy pads when your bags are zipped together.

Stoves: various alcohol stoves light but not good for cooking and SLOW, not fuel efficient
Canister stoves MRS Pocket Rocket- good for simmer, ok boil, bad for cooking(small flame)
MSR reactor -fast but not good for cooking or simmering, fuel efficient
snow peak giga-bad for low temp control, ok boil, ok fuel, but good for cooking
White gas- MSR simmerlite heaviest but works the best in cold weather and works with white gas or regular unleaded
Pots If I go with a canister stove ill probably bring my GSI dualist because it saves space and it has everything you would ever need. But if I go with white gas Iíll probably take my pot I made.
Filter vs steripen both have failed me before
What min temp should I bring clothes for in late July?

tuswm
10-28-2010, 15:09
I would like to hear about how you guys dealt with miles per day to make your departure flights and things like that.

How many miles you did per day? Was it hard? Did you feel rushed? What type of shape were you in? how much time did you spend on zeros or neros for resupplying? How many days did you spend on the trail?

Helmuth.Fishmonger
10-28-2010, 15:44
14 miles per day is fine. you go less in the beginning, more in the end. My kids did that at age 10 already.

I don't fly, so I can't help with that. I would hate to have to deal with those logistics. Take your time, go there early, hike the pace you want to go. Take more food if you feel even a 14 mile per day average is too much. What is a zero?

here's our 2010 log with links to GPS maps
http://didnt.doit.wisc.edu/outdoor/Muir2009/calendar/log2010.html

this is with two kids, and we did more than just the JMT. Took a few days to hike our supplies to Muir Ranch and VVR, then hiked from Tuolumne to the Valley and back, just to avoid the permit craze down there, and then hiked the rest at a decent pace, sometimes slowed to just 10 miles a day by weather.

I never feel rushed when I am there. I don't have to catch a plane.

you'll probably find a lot of useful info on our web site - links page is good stuff and we also posted gear and other info there.

http://didnt.doit.wisc.edu/outdoor/Muir2009/index2010.html

tuswm
10-28-2010, 15:54
zero is a 0 mile day for rest and or resupply, Thanks for the reply, ill check out those links tonight. I have done a 3 week hike on the AT averaging 19 MPD but that was solo. But that was easy miles by comparison.

Helmuth.Fishmonger
10-28-2010, 17:10
zero is a 0 mile day for rest and or resupply, Thanks for the reply, ill check out those links tonight. I have done a 3 week hike on the AT averaging 19 MPD but that was solo. But that was easy miles by comparison.

we usualy resupply in about 1 hour - have your food wait for you at the trail when you get there. The only time you spend is repacking into bear canisters while you eat what you can before moving on.

I do not recall having ever spent a zero mile day on the JMT in 15 trips - too much to see.

tuswm
10-28-2010, 21:22
Dont you have to take a boat some where to get food? the muir ranch right?

Megapixel
10-28-2010, 21:29
As far as the permit goes, on the first available day you are allowed to make the reservation, fax the proper form to their office the night before. They will receive it when they open, and you should have no problems. That's what I was told, that's what I did, and we had no problems in July.

tuswm
10-28-2010, 21:36
this is with two kids, and we did more than just the JMT. Took a few days to hike our supplies to Muir Ranch and VVR, then hiked from Tuolumne to the Valley and back, just to avoid the permit craze down there, and then hiked the rest at a decent pace, sometimes slowed to just 10 miles a day by weather.

avoid the permit craze? can you elaborate?

I have had to deal with trying to get a group permit for the grand canyon that sucked.

Spirit Walker
10-28-2010, 23:16
A few thoughts:
1. You have until July to get in shape. I definitely suggest you make the effort. You'll enjoy the hike a lot more.
2. Resupply at Tuolemne Mdws., Reds Meadows and Muir Ranch. You barely leave the trail, so you can do easy in and outs. VVR is an option, but it takes a lot of time.
3. Consider alternative entry points. You don't have to start in the Valley - if you can't get a permit, go up to Tuolemne, or take an alternate route to T. Mdws. There are several possibilities. If you are really stressed for time, starting at Tuolemne will cut out a couple of days. Or, start in the south and hike back to Yosemite. If you are hiking slower than you'd like, you can always cut out at Reds Mdws or Tuolemne.

tuswm
10-28-2010, 23:54
Any recommendations for a good online map where I can see all of these places?

el31415
10-29-2010, 05:19
Here's a google document taht I used as scrapbook for my JMT planning
there's link for map and other stuff

https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=1gqViqxaO8FNWscQCOp5s4t4iUbph-VwwglBtiapg8f8

el31415
10-29-2010, 05:31
here's the map I used

http://www.onthetrail.org/jmtmaps.html

Helmuth.Fishmonger
10-29-2010, 11:21
Dont you have to take a boat some where to get food? the muir ranch right?


you don't have to take the boat, in fact you don't even have to go to that pickup (VVR at Lake T Edison). However, if you like a hot shower and really good food, and then bypass the 60 switchbacks up to Bear Ridge with a different route back to the JMT you may just want to send some resupply pack to that resort.

Muir Ranch is a 15 minute detour from the actual trail, and your last chance to easily resupply for the second half of the trail. No boat for you, as you mail the bucket with food to them and they use a boat and 4WD truck to get it to the ranch.

Dogwood
10-29-2010, 14:04
How cool are you under pressure? - with a tight fixed time frame? Do you easily get the feeling you are being rushed? How well do you handle that? How well do you think you will handle that while hiking? Are you traveling/hiking alone? or with your GF? If she also will be hiking/traveling with you how well does she respond to the above questions/situations? How do the two of you react under a pressed situation TOGETHER? You are cutting it close, not because 14 mpd is all that big a deal, but because shart happens causing delays, especially with your proposed schedule and situation. Basically, everything, and not everything about just the hike, has to be excellently planned, and executed, coming off without too much of a hitch. You have air/bus/train travel involved for one thing.
If you are concerned/worried about this now, "I am worried that having mandatory miles will detract from the experience. This isn’t a wedding, this is the wedding. We can’t miss it. This is my biggest worry once I get a permit.", how might this feeling carry over into your time actually hiking? *IMO, having this attitude while on the trail, possibly magnified by a worrying GF, WILL effect your JMT hiking experience!

When I hike I will often commit to and achieve daily/weekly milestones, but I also always build some flexibility into my hiking schedule. You are not going to have a great deal of flexibility with many aspects of your journey. Personally, even though I most often meet my milestones, and I handle pressure quite well, I DO NOT and WILL NOT, thru-hike/hike with a stressed out/hurried attitude! It defeats one of the chief purposes why I hike - to get away from that attitude/way of living!

Also, despite sharing much helpful trail beta, be aware that Hellmuth has done umpteen JMT hikes so he has the advantage of intimately knowing the JMT whereas you do not!

Now, if you still want to thru the JMT with your time frame/schedule, which is certainly doable(I have done the JMT under a very similar situation in 2007 and again in 2008, and I thrued the JMT again in 2009, but under a more relaxed schedule), I will be more than glad to add to the time saving tips you have already received. Right now I got to go back to work. I'll be back.

tuswm
10-30-2010, 18:14
I know this is months away. But the more I think about it the better off I feel. We went on a hike this past weekend with most of the gear we will take on the JMT 35 miles in 3 days but much less day light (grand canyon of PA with changing leaves). We were both about 20 lbs base weight - bear cans. We are used to doing 7 - 10 days with out resupply.

We spent much of our past hike being exited about the JMT. I think we have both decided if we get there in good shape 14 MPD wont be too much of a problem. I think we might even be able to get ahead a day and that would help me relax much more.

Has anyone here taken public transportation from the south end to an airport? At the north end we have friends so we are not too worried about that.

tuswm
10-30-2010, 19:44
I was reading this thread.
http://whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?t=65853
Lots of good info there about taking buses to the air port. What is the area called at the end of the trail? Is it like Yosemite valley, everything right there? do you take a bus to an area with hotels? I feel like I could prep and leave for the JMT in 24 hours and finish but I feel like I have no idea about what I have to do once I finish the trail to get home in one day.

Also there isn't anywhere to resupply the past 100 or so miles?

Helmuth.Fishmonger
11-01-2010, 16:49
What is the area called at the end of the trail? Is it like Yosemite valley, everything right there? do you take a bus to an area with hotels? I feel like I could prep and leave for the JMT in 24 hours and finish but I feel like I have no idea about what I have to do once I finish the trail to get home in one day.

Also there isn't anywhere to resupply the past 100 or so miles?

which way are you walking? south? The town of Lone Pine is there, 12 miles below the trail end, hitch a ride or pay for a shuttle down to town.

There is plenty of lodging in Lone Pine. Getting out of there to an airport in a day depends on what day you arrive. Buses don't run to Reno every day.

Resupply between Muir Trail Ranch and Whitney Portal at the sourthern end is possible if you go in late season and pay a packer to bring the food to you ($$$ and scheduling issue unless you have a sat phone), or you can hike out at Kearsarge Pass and hitch a ride to Independence and resupply, hitch back up, continue on, lose at least one full day by doing this.

Miner
11-01-2010, 18:11
Even coming from a desk job at sea level, I normally do about 15miles/day when just starting out in the Sierras. Many start in Yosemite and hike south since the mountain passes get higher as you move south. It helps if you do some weekend trips ahead of time in mountains nearby. Even spending some time at 3000-4000ft helps since its still higher then you live at. You definitely will be happier if you have at least done some training of your leg muscles and stamina before you hike.

I like getting up eary and hiking late. Since I'm stopping when its almost dark and can't see much, I don't feel the need to find a scenic campsite (ie. popular over impacted with likely bear problems). I often stop early and have dinner on the trail before continuing hiking and camp elsewhere since bears won't be attracked to my camp as much since I didn't cook there. By hiking all day, this leaves alot of time during the day to stop at scenic places and enjoy them for awhile since I have a couple of hours of freetime into my schedule.

The weather in the Sierra during the summer months is usually very mild. Thunderstorms are common in the afternoons and can bring hail and cold temps. I have seen snow in July, but its rare. Lightweight gear is fine as long as it includes some sort of rain gear and shelter (I use only a tarp and bivy sack). If you don't sleep high on the passes, lows normally will be above freezing though being prepared for 20F and above is fine for playing it safe.

Most water is good and abundant and many don't treat. However, horses use the trail and I've seen them dump in the water so I normally carry at least some chemicals for treatting some of the water.

Bears aren't your biggest wildlife concern in July. Mosquitos are. Bring a bug net and deet if you value your sanity in places. I personally like Permethrin treated clothing and cover up when they are bad so I don't have to bath in Deet.

The common resupply points are Toulumne Meadows, Red's Meadow, VVR, Muir Trail Ranch, and Independence via Keasarge Pass. The most time consuming one is going into Independence as its a 12mile hike one way plus a hitch down and back up (though the trail is scenic). VVR can be reached by a twice daily boat shuttle across the lake rather then hiking the few miles over. The rest are just off the trail unless you want to take the bus from Red's Meadow into the town of Mammoth Lakes and buy your food instead of a mail drop at the store in Red's Meadow. There is the option of paying a horsepacker to drop your food off but this will be pricey.

tuswm
11-01-2010, 21:12
Even coming from a desk job at sea level, I normally do about 15miles/day when just starting out in the Sierras. Many start in Yosemite and hike south since the mountain passes get higher as you move south. It helps if you do some weekend trips ahead of time in mountains nearby. Even spending some time at 3000-4000ft helps since its still higher then you live at. You definitely will be happier if you have at least done some training of your leg muscles and stamina before you hike.

I do plan on going north to south and both my GF and I are active and athletic. She is a marathon runner who makes me weight packs before starting. If mine is heavier she will steal things from my pack to get a better work out. She has been known to do 20 miles days with 50% of her body weight and I have still not met any man that can keep pace with her up the hills. I know even if I do not start off averaging 15 miles a day I can end up there. I did a few weeks on the AT last spring and averaged just over 20 a day. Besides I all ways do extra running before backpacking trips.


I like getting up eary and hiking late. Since I'm stopping when its almost dark and can't see much, I don't feel the need to find a scenic campsite (ie. popular over impacted with likely bear problems). I often stop early and have dinner on the trail before continuing hiking and camp elsewhere since bears won't be attracked to my camp as much since I didn't cook there. By hiking all day, this leaves alot of time during the day to stop at scenic places and enjoy them for awhile since I have a couple of hours of freetime into my schedule.

I have had plenty of bear encounters over the years and my bear can has the teeth marks to prove it. It is one of my favorite souvenirs. But all this talk of mosquitoes does have me a little concerned about what I should pack as a defense. Are you talking about a head and face net?


The weather in the Sierra during the summer months is usually very mild. Thunderstorms are common in the afternoons and can bring hail and cold temps. I have seen snow in July, but its rare. Lightweight gear is fine as long as it includes some sort of rain gear and shelter (I use only a tarp and bivy sack). If you don't sleep high on the passes, lows normally will be above freezing though being prepared for 20F and above is fine for playing it safe.
I was thinking my Tarp Tent double rainbow would be fine. I have a REI crappy REI sub kilo 20* that <2# but its more like a 30*. My marmot 0* is big and all most 4# and too hot over 30*. The GF has a great marmot 15* bag. I wish I had a solid 15 or 20* bag.

I also had question about what you guys did for stream crossings? Is bare foot a bad idea? CROCKS seams great but heavy. Helmuth took some 3.5 oz shoes. how did they work? I was looking at getting a pair for $4. Also many pictures of people in glaciers have gators on. I do not own any, will I be miserable with out them?



Most water is good and abundant and many don't treat. However, horses use the trail and I've seen them dump in the water so I normally carry at least some chemicals for treatting some of the water.
I am thinking i should take my MSR sweet water filter so I can pump water right in to my bladder with out having to empty my whole pack pack tp get to it. I think I will leave the steripen at home so i dont have to worry about batteries.


Bears aren't your biggest wildlife concern in July. Mosquitos are. Bring a bug net and deet if you value your sanity in places. I personally like Permethrin treated clothing and cover up when they are bad so I don't have to bath in Deet.


The common resupply points are Toulumne Meadows, Red's Meadow, VVR, Muir Trail Ranch, and Independence via Keasarge Pass. The most time consuming one is going into Independence as its a 12mile hike one way plus a hitch down and back up (though the trail is scenic). VVR can be reached by a twice daily boat shuttle across the lake rather then hiking the few miles over. The rest are just off the trail unless you want to take the bus from Red's Meadow into the town of Mammoth Lakes and buy your food instead of a mail drop at the store in Red's Meadow. There is the option of paying a horsepacker to drop your food off but this will be pricey.

I think Ill just have to suck it up and mail a lot of food to Muir ranch. I think I would only need to pick one point before that for a resupply. 2 resupplies seams like it would be plenty. I also thought I read that getting a horse food drop was only 50 bucks, that is the same as the Muir ranch right?

Also I have a question about permits. Yosemite looks like you have to fax it in 168 days ahead of time. Wow why couldn't it be like 4 months or something simple. Also is that the only permit I will need?

Also anyone around philly have an extra bear can I can borrow? Ill let you borrow my steri pen as collateral. Or some other piece of gear like my tarp tent or MSR reactor.

Helmuth.Fishmonger
11-03-2010, 11:25
if you are as fit as your comments suggest, you will be disappointed in how quickly you reach the other end of the trail. We always hated getting to the end "so early" when we did it in 10 or 11 days. Don't worry about the bugs - bring some deet and a real tent to get them out of your face at night, or go late in the season if you really hate them, because once you hit September, they are gone. The flowers and all the green as well as a lot of the water will be gone, too.

sleeping bag - July/August just about anything works, as the nights are rarely cold even higher up. I never zipped my 20 degree REI bag this July, even though it was much colder than normal.

Water filter - if not familar with the Sierra, take one. I don't use one and I have made my share of mistakes taking water where I should have filtered. Most ultra light hikers just bring a small bottle of liquid bleach and treat suspect water sources, don't filter the rest. Most of the water up there is perfectly fine. Just need to be smart where not to get it (high use areas, standing water, below trails)

resupplies heading south:

Tuolumne Meadows
Reds Meadow
VVR
Muir Trail Ranch

you go light between them, and then pack the remaining 7 or 8 days at MTR, or less if you move faster. By the time you get there, you'll be adjusted to altitude and carrying the packs, so the extra weight won't matter much. The climb from there to Muir Pass is one of the most stretched out gradual climbs on the trail, so it won't hit you that hard. By the time you hit Mather, the packs are already lighter. After that it's all forgotten.

Permits - if you MUST start in Yosemite Valley, you need to get it reserved the day the reservation opens. Not having time to wait for a free walk-in (sitting at the ranger station at 1am as if a new playstation is available at Walmart), you will have to do that. If you decide to skip Yosemite Valley to Tuolumne Meadows (9 times out of 10 my choice), you can pretty much plan on getting a walk-in permit the day before you start at the ranger station.

Cooking - I have always used propane/butante stoves up there. Bear cans - rent the Bearikade Expedition or weekender, costs about $60 plus shipping flat rate for the entire JMT and it's by far the best canister. Lighter and larger than the others and they don't lie about volume like Bearvault does.

crossing shoes - in 11 of my 15 trips, i've done the barefoot thing when crossing deep water. Works just fine. The super light crossing shoes we bring now are luxury and not really necessary, but they make sure you don't hit a fishing hook in Evolution Creek. Other than that I consider camp shoes of any kind useless.

other thoughts - Permethrin on clothes seems to do very little in the Sierra. Deet and long sleeves are much better protection, the rest is more a state of mind thing. I used to get all frustrated when the bugs were thick, but now I just put on clothes and deal with the rest. We have a headnet for the person who must cook outside in case it gets bad, but we never really used it, even though we always hike in peak bug season. We do built a lot of camp fires where legal, and that keeps them at bay, too.


gaitors - if you go in early season, you will want them. We use pretty heavy duty gore tex boots and with gaitors, you can hit the multi-mile snow slogs around Muir Pass in early season just fine, and even breaking through the snow (it will happen, I promise) you keep the cold and wet stuff out of your shoes. A much bigger advantage of tight tall gaitors is that we can cross a lot of streams without having to stop for shoe change. This summer we crossed dozens of streams that without the gaitors would have put water into the top of our tall boots, not missing a beat. But you don't need them - others just walk in their trail runners through the creek and dealk with cold wet feet later. They accept that, I don't. Just a preference thing, not something that has to be done in a particular way to ensure you see the other end of the trail.

tuswm
11-03-2010, 14:57
so would late July to early august be mid or peak season? Thanks for the long reply, you have answered a lot of my questions.

Helmuth.Fishmonger
11-03-2010, 16:10
so would late July to early august be mid or peak season? Thanks for the long reply, you have answered a lot of my questions.

late july start would put you at the beginning of peak season. More or less guaranteed low or no snow, but still water, with bugs in some areas, but diminishing, especially at lower elevations. They seem to move up to the higher lakes as those warm up, and in late August they are gone.

tuswm
11-03-2010, 22:56
http://www.bearvault.com/bearvault_pct.php

bearvault 500 @ REI $80

bearvault 500 shipped to Kennedy Meadows, Tuolumne Meadows or Echo Lake $65

I thought this was cool and I hope that someone else finds this useful.

Dogwood
11-04-2010, 04:01
The last thing I would encourage is a speed/rushed feeling/tick tock tick tock times awasting thru-hike of the JMT. There is just too much great scenery to rush this trail!!! Damn shame, IMO! In my earlier post I stated I've done something very similar to what you are planning. I have made this mistake myself. I regretted it! I think it absolutely fantastic that you are making your dream of thru-hiking the JMT a reality. I wonder if a rushed thru-hike is not impacting the quality of achieving your dream, though. But, to each their own. However, what you are planning is definitely doable. I would like to offer some time saving advice and pts to ponder.

Some of what I'm going to say is going to sound like some doom and gloom, BUT I only say these things because you and others may have not considered them. You might think about some of my pts as they might prove helpful.

Consider that you, and your GF, will hike continuously for 15 days straight with no "zeros." Has she, or for that matter you, ever hiked continuously for 15 days with the elevation changes as you will encounter on the JMT? Also, consider that she, and I suppose you, have to be back in MD, on the other side of the country in time for the wedding rehearsal and dinner, on Aug 10, after having hiked for 15 days straight, get from Whitney Portal to the AP(I assume Reno, LAX, San Fran, Fresno/ Bakersfield), catch a flight, fly eastbound across the country(jumping ahead on the clock), travel from the airport(I assume Philly) to the rehearsal, and then attend the rehearsal(with smiling faces!). Busy day! More on that to come!

You have 3 or so resupplies. Miner listed the most common. Since you are on a tight schedule, as Spirit Walker mentioned, the most expeditious places to resupply are at Tuolomne Meadows, Reds Meadow, and Muir Trail Ranch. These places are closest to the JMT and will get you in/out the fastest.

Resupply at TM can be bought at the decently stocked trail food small grocery store or a box can mailed to the adjacent PO(not sure of hrs!). There is also a small snack bar/cafe adjacent(OK bfast and limited menu sandwiches) to the PO and grocery store.

Personally, I have always took the bus from RM into Mammoth Lakes to resupply and/or for gear. Really, no time for that in your situation though. I find Reds Meadow store to be a hit or miss, mostly miss, type of backpacker resupply. I would mail myself a resupply box there if you can. Stop for an ice cream, bite to eat, grab your box, and go!

I like going to VVR for a "zero" They offer 1 night free stay to JMTers and PCTers in canvas tents on raised wooden platforms sleeping on a cot, have laundry(you will be hiking in the heat of summer with some mosquitos and your GF is along for the hike, she might appreciate the rest, shower. laundry, etc!), showers, resupply opportunity, internet, ph, freshly prepared huge portioned meals(Bfast burrito is awesome), and the both of you might enjoy the novelty of taking a boat to your VVR resupply stop on lake Edison. You could also mail a resupply box there. If you did time a "zero" there to get into VVR on the morning boat you might have the option to take in Mono Hot springs down the road from VVR. GF, and you, might enjoy the Hot Springs! Taking this resupply option would most likely cost you some time though! VVR does have a morning and afternoon boat shuttle so if the timing worked out this could be a doable resupply.

Kearsarge Pass and for that matter any of the other resupply options I'm aware are going to eat severly into your time. By far the most expeditious place for your next and final resupply would be Muir Trail Ranch. You would have to mail a resupply box there.

Half Dome, especially in late July, will be BUSY. Expect 3 hrs minimum to get from the JMT/Half Dome trail junction to the top of Half Dome, ooh ahh brief so this is Half Dome looksie, and back to the JMT.

You said you want to hike the actual JMT. If that is so, realize the southern terminus of the JMT is at the summit of Mt Whitney. Unless you have a hang glider or helicopter transportation you have another roughly 7 miles to get to the Whitney Portal TH/parking lot! That will take about 3-4 hrs, again it will probably be busy. The fastest I have ever gotten from Mt Whitney summit to the WP parking lot was 2 hrs 45 mins at a very fast pace(mostly running!) It's all down hill but IMO it always takes longer than I think it will! From the WP parking lot it HAS ALWAYS taken me AT LEAST 1/2 a day IF IF IF I get to Lone Pine quickly and make the bus connections to Reno, Fresno, LAX, or San Fran! If you plan on finishing your hike on Aug 9 and being at the(whatever) AP to catch your flight back to the east coast in time for the rehearsal I would strongly advise you think about NOT getting to the AP with public transportation. IMO, the most expeditious way to get to ANY Major AP so you can catch your flight is to have a rental car waiting for you at WP parking lot! Your friends might be able to help in this regard.

You never mentioned what AP you are flying in to or how you are getting to YNP(I assume Yosemite Valley), but the fastest way I know how to get from ANY Major AP to YV is by renting a car at the AP!

As Less stated I would apply, and get my permit reserved and have it waiting for me at the YV Backcountry Office upon your arrival there or have it mailed to you. You might want to stop by the BCO anyway for any last minute trail beta. You can also save yourself some possible bear canister hassles if you rent one(cheap!) at the same YV Backcountry Office and drop it off at the WP TH at the small store located there.

I just mention SOME(there are others) factors that might impact that 15 day and 14 MPD schedule you plan on keeping!


All right, this post is long enough! Happy Trails!

tuswm
11-04-2010, 13:28
Dogwood
Are you in NJ now? I just moved to philly.
Also I am going to stop using the word worry to describe my concerns. I am a very carefree person but it doesnít sound like it reading my post. I just want to plan what I can so I donít lose time on the trip. Also this tread is just getting me more excited to go. You guys are making it seem easier and easier.

The last thing I would encourage is a speed/rushed feeling/tick tock tick tock times awasting thru-hike of the JMT. There is just too much great scenery to rush this trail!!! Damn shame, IMO! In my earlier post I stated I've done something very similar to what you are planning. I have made this mistake myself. I regretted it! I think it absolutely fantastic that you are making your dream of thru-hiking the JMT a reality. I wonder if a rushed thru-hike is not impacting the quality of achieving your dream, though. But, to each their own. However, what you are planning is definitely doable. I would like to offer some time saving advice and pts to ponder.
We need to apply for permits 168 days ahead of time and according to my screen saver on my phone we have 95 days till permits are due. One thing that we are doing is asking our school to let my GF out of her summer practicum a week early. We have asked if we could make it up or skip it. We are in grad school to be teachers. Itís not like she has a final. The practicum is basically mandatory volunteering in a summer classroom. Itís a small school and right now we both have 4.0 GPAs so I am hoping that we can get her out a week early. If we can do that I will have almost no concerns at all. Also I plan on being in superman shape going in to this hike.


Some of what I'm going to say is going to sound like some doom and gloom, BUT I only say these things because you and others may have not considered them. You might think about some of my pts as they might prove helpful.

Consider that you, and your GF, will hike continuously for 15 days straight with no "zeros." Has she, or for that matter you, ever hiked continuously for 15 days with the elevation changes as you will encounter on the JMT? Also, consider that she, and I suppose you, have to be back in MD, on the other side of the country in time for the wedding rehearsal and dinner, on Aug 10, after having hiked for 15 days straight, get from Whitney Portal to the AP(I assume Reno, LAX, San Fran, Fresno/ Bakersfield), catch a flight, fly eastbound across the country(jumping ahead on the clock), travel from the airport(I assume Philly) to the rehearsal, and then attend the rehearsal(with smiling faces!). Busy day! More on that to come!
We have done research on public transportation but we donít plan on booking anything till we get a permit. Also we live in Philly now a few minutes from the air port, and the wedding is about an hour away. Also I did make a typo in my original post. For travel sake I plan to finish the hike and spend the night in a hotel before flying home the day before the rehearsal dinner. But the 15 days in a row with no rest is a little intimidating.

You have 3 or so resupplies. Miner listed the most common. Since you are on a tight schedule, as Spirit Walker mentioned, the most expeditious places to resupply are at Tuolomne Meadows, Reds Meadow, and Muir Trail Ranch. These places are closest to the JMT and will get you in/out the fastest.
I think that is exactly what we will do and start off with one bear can and have the second one waiting for us at the Muir Ranch

Resupply at TM can be bought at the decently stocked trail food small grocery store or a box can mailed to the adjacent PO(not sure of hrs!). There is also a small snack bar/cafe adjacent(OK bfast and limited menu sandwiches) to the PO and grocery store.

Personally, I have always took the bus from RM into Mammoth Lakes to resupply and/or for gear. Really, no time for that in your situation though. I find Reds Meadow store to be a hit or miss, mostly miss, type of backpacker resupply. I would mail myself a resupply box there if you can. Stop for an ice cream, bite to eat, grab your box, and go!

I like going to VVR for a "zero" They offer 1 night free stay to JMTers and PCTers in canvas tents on raised wooden platforms sleeping on a cot, have laundry(you will be hiking in the heat of summer with some mosquitos and your GF is along for the hike, she might appreciate the rest, shower. laundry, etc!), showers, resupply opportunity, internet, ph, freshly prepared huge portioned meals(Bfast burrito is awesome), and the both of you might enjoy the novelty of taking a boat to your VVR resupply stop on lake Edison. You could also mail a resupply box there. If you did time a "zero" there to get into VVR on the morning boat you might have the option to take in Mono Hot springs down the road from VVR. GF, and you, might enjoy the Hot Springs! Taking this resupply option would most likely cost you some time though! VVR does have a morning and afternoon boat shuttle so if the timing worked out this could be a doable resupply.
I think I will do all mail drops, it just seems like it would save so much time. If we can swim an extra week I would love to spend time at VVR and take the boat and see mono hot springs.

Kearsarge Pass and for that matter any of the other resupply options I'm aware are going to eat severly into your time. By far the most expeditious place for your next and final resupply would be Muir Trail Ranch. You would have to mail a resupply box there.

Half Dome, especially in late July, will be BUSY. Expect 3 hrs minimum to get from the JMT/Half Dome trail junction to the top of Half Dome, ooh ahh brief so this is Half Dome looksie, and back to the JMT.
I plan to give half done its own day for planning purposes; this will also give us a small head start on the miles, so day would not start at mile 0. Also I stared at that thing for two winters and hiked all around it several time. I will not walk past it one more time without climbing it. I consider it a must.


You said you want to hike the actual JMT. If that is so, realize the southern terminus of the JMT is at the summit of Mt Whitney. Unless you have a hang glider or helicopter transportation you have another roughly 7 miles to get to the Whitney Portal TH/parking lot! That will take about 3-4 hrs, again it will probably be busy. The fastest I have ever gotten from Mt Whitney summit to the WP parking lot was 2 hrs 45 mins at a very fast pace(mostly running!) It's all downhill but IMO it always takes longer than I think it will! From the WP parking lot it HAS ALWAYS taken me AT LEAST 1/2 a day IF IF IF I get to Lone Pine quickly and make the bus connections to Reno, Fresno, LAX, or San Fran! If you plan on finishing your hike on Aug 9 and being at the(whatever) AP to catch your flight back to the east coast in time for the rehearsal I would strongly advise you think about NOT getting to the AP with public transportation. IMO, the most expeditious way to get to ANY Major AP so you can catch your flight is to have a rental car waiting for you at WP parking lot! Your friends might be able to help in this regard.
I was thinking spend the last night up on the mountain and set my alarm and try and have breakfast on the top. Then come down and take the bus to a hotel near the air port. Then I would have a whole day to worry about flying home the day before the dinner. Do you see any logistical problems with this? What did you guys do about return travel clothes? Buy them? Mail them?



You never mentioned what AP you are flying in to or how you are getting to YNP(I assume Yosemite Valley), but the fastest way I know how to get from ANY Major AP to YV is by renting a car at the AP!
We would either flying in to Fresno or San Francisco. Then probably take a train in to the valley because of the rock slide forcing the busses to take a 4 hour detour. I donít know if that will be cleaned up by then. It usually takes years. I also think it would just be fun to take the train. Then I am hoping my friends will get us from there and we can spend the day at their house and they will take us grocery shopping. Then start Half done the next day. What do people do with back packs while on half dome?


As Less stated I would apply, and get my permit reserved and have it waiting for me at the YV Backcountry Office upon your arrival there or have it mailed to you. You might want to stop by the BCO anyway for any last minute trail beta. You can also save yourself some possible bear canister hassles if you rent one(cheap!) at the same YV Backcountry Office and drop it off at the WP TH at the small store located there.
I might do this. This sounds like a good idea. I can see spending 60 bucks to rent one. I would like to find one to borrow around here. Someone has to have one gathering dust in a closet.



I just mention SOME(there are others) factors that might impact that 15 day and 14 MPD schedule you plan on keeping!


All right, this post is long enough! Happy Trails!
Thanks again for all the info.

sbhikes
11-04-2010, 13:45
I think I would be really bored with less than 15 miles, but that's just me. I don't carry a lot of gear and I really enjoy the hiking. I'd rather hike all day than lug a heavy pack 8 miles and rest the rest of the time. This summer I did 20 mile days and still had plenty of daylight for camp.

The public transportation in and around Yosemite and the 395 corridor is excellent. You shouldn't have any difficulty with getting around and resupplying. Hitching is pretty easy, too. I went last summer without a plan for how to get back to my car. I still managed to hitch to town and catch the last bus back to my car. I was off the trail and back to my car in a few hours.

You don't have to complete the trail, either. You can just hike as far as you can go in your allotted time. You can always do the JMT again.

I'd bring a headnet for sure.

Helmuth.Fishmonger
11-04-2010, 15:13
The public transportation in and around Yosemite and the 395 corridor is excellent.


for American standards...

I sure miss the days the Greyhound still came through on 395 every day...

Dogwood
11-04-2010, 15:42
If you are flying into San Fran I find it relatively straight forward getting to YV. From the San Fran AP take a city bus to the San Fran Amtrak station. The San Fran city buses(forget the name of the city busline) run quite often, at least every 1/2 hr to the Amtrak Station. Take Amtrak to Merced. Connect in Merced with the YARTS bus to YV. Just make sure you make those Amtrak/Yarts connections! Buy your combo Amtrak/YARTS ticket at the same time. YARTS will have prices and times. Might save a few bucks and ensure your connection times! That puts you in YV on July 23. I would stay at the Backpackers Campground in YV. The Backpackers Campground is cheap, quiet, within walking distance of the Backcountry Office, PO, grocery store, etc It's also located close to the free YV bus that will take to the JMT northern terminus at Happy Isles. It's a VERY short bus ride to the Happy Isles TH. These buses start running quite early in the morning. If you fly into Fresno or LAX I think it will take longer getting to YV. I don't know of any public transportation, one bus, or even a series of buses, that will take you to YV from Fresno. Greyhound from Fresno might be an possible option to link up somewhere with a YARTS/or equivalent 395 bus to get you to YV. As Helmuth stated I don't think Greyhound travels 395 anymore. Check with them though! Likewise, I know of not any public transportation from the JMT southern terminus or Lone Pine on Hwy 395 that will take you directly to Fresno. I have always hitched from/to Fresno to/from the Sierras on a more relaxed time schedule. You don't have that option. From Reno AP you could take at least two connecting buses to get to YV. If you fly into Reno, AGAIN, confirm your connections to YV!

After your hike, Fresno is closest to Lone Pine/Whitney Portal, but how you would get there from Lone Pine I do not know. Flying home from LAX from the southern terminus is another good option. Reno is the other best option that I know of. You could also fly back home from San Fran, but going back to San Fran will probably entail a longer trip back through Yosemite NP.

I plan to give half done its own day for planning purposes; this will also give us a small head start on the miles, so day would not start at mile 0. Also I stared at that thing for two winters and hiked all around it several time. I will not walk past it one more time without climbing it. I consider it a must.

Where are you getting this day? Are you cutting your time short visiting with your friends in YNP? Are you saying you actually are not starting on July 25 but instead later in the day on Sunday July 24 2011? That might be a good idea because you jump start your hike. You could stay at the Yosemite NP campground shortly after Nevada/Vernal Falls and before the JMT/Half Dome trail junction. Alternatively, and I shouldn't be publicaly advertising this, but if you could make it all the way to the top of Half Dome on July 24, sleep there. Shhh! GF, and you, would certainly enjoy the GREAT sunrises/sunsets from atop HD. Take water if you decide to go with this option! Check on the water availability at the spring on the way up the HD spur at the Backcountry Office!

BTW, even though it's steeper with many stone steps I recommend you take the Mist Tr rather than the "official" JMT from near Happy Isles. IMO, it's more scenic. The Mist Tr connects back up with the JMT. The Mist TR may even be a few tenths of a mile shorter than the JMT.

I assume you want to stay atop Mt Whitney on the night of Aug 8(I would not advertise this!, take water from Guitar Lake or the immediate vicinity, no water after that all the way to the top of Mt Whitney!), hike down Whitney Portal on Aug 9, connect with public transportation on Aug 9, and be at a hotel near whatever AP the night of Aug 9. This type of scenario sounds GREAT, BUT IT DOES impact your hiking time and plays into your MPD! Not to get overly anal about little things like this or try to make you feel stressed/worry but these are the types of things that many of us can overlook when computing actual hiking time and MPD! You may find that you are not actually devoting an entire 15 days to hiking the JMT! The days will be long though! Expect to hike!

While I totally agree with Sbhikes that public transportation in and around Yosemite and the 395 corridor is generally good and hitching is pretty easy you need to make sure you connect with these options. Buses don't run frequently enough and/or always exactly to the place where you are going to just assume you can jump on a bus and get to your flight on time. Hitching is a hit or miss totally unreliable option for someone on a tight schedule needing to be somewhere at an appointed time! Again, verify your travel arrangements! They need to come off without much of a hitch with your proposed schedule.

Helmuth.Fishmonger
11-05-2010, 09:43
If I were to fly to the Sierra (never did, never will), I'd do the following:

Buy a round trip ticket to Reno, take the CREST bus to Lee Vining and either transfer next morning to the YARTS bus or hitch hike into the park (if you start in Tuolumne Meadows, it is almost guaranteed you can start next morning, waiting for bus means a big delay only to see the asphalt trails in the overcrowded and to-be-escaped-from Yosemite Valley. But that's just me.

Once you get to the end of the trail, get to Lone Pine by hitch hike or $30 shuttle, take the bus to Reno next morning. that bus runs 4 days of the week, so you have a good chance you'll be leaving the next day.

Done.

Anything on the western side of the Sierras is a logistical challenge. The only reason to ever go there is if you must see Yosemite Valley, and that place really only is of interest to those who have never seen it or must do the complete JMT to feel good about themselves. You'll probably "lose" two days before you start in the valley if choose to include it, then another two days to get to Tuolumne. If you are pressed for time, consider Tuolumne Meadows as the starting point.

re bear canisters: rent the best, don't buy the crappy BearVaults
they have a flat rate for the JMT - "Call Wild Ideas, LLC for special rates applied to long thru-hikes JMT, PCT, AT and others." I think it was $50 last year, plus postage.

I've owned BearVaults and others, but these are superior in every respect.

http://www.wild-ideas.net/b_weekender.html

It costs about the same to rent these for a JMT as it costs to buy a heavier and smaller and much more difficult to open BearVault. You probably want to rent two Weekender models. The Expedition is big enough for me to fit 10-11 days of food in it.

I recently measured the size of these things to verify who was advertising the truth, and both Bearikade models were larger than advertised, while the BearVault was smaller. I sold the blue Bearvault.

http://didnt.doit.wisc.edu/outdoor/Muir2009/faq/canisters_t.jpg


here are the advertised and measured actual volumes in cubic inches:

BearVault BV500 - 700 advertised - 650 measured - 41 ounces / 1162 grams
Bearikade Weekender - 650 advertised - 675 measured - 30.9 ounces / 877 grams
Bearikade Expedition - 900 advertised - 925 measured - 36.5 ounces / 1035 grams

Even the Expedition is lighter than the Bearvault, and the opening/closing of them is much easier, plus they are darn good camp stools (http://didnt.doit.wisc.edu/outdoor/gallery/JMT2010/20100726/slides/DSC_2435.jpg)with their large flat tops. Waterproof, smell proof due to o-ring seals at the top, and no bear ever has been reported to get into one of these, unlike the BearVault, which has been breached by smart bears. And again - you can rent them if you don't plan on going back to bea country frequently.

Helmuth.Fishmonger
11-05-2010, 09:45
one more thing - join the mailing list on this Yahoo Group, ask your questions, and you'll have your mailbox overflow with advice...

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/johnmuirtrail/?yguid=22585984

Dogwood
11-07-2010, 02:00
Tuswm, remember in an earlier post I advised you to confirm your traveling connections, which is especially important for you since you are on a fixed tight traveling and hiking schedule, or you could experience unwanted delays that would impact your time(MPD) on the trail and other off-trail commitments?

You stated you absolutely needed to be back home in time for a wedding rehearsal and dinner on Aug 10, 2011? You said you have a fixed number of days planned for thru-hiking the JMT. You said you want to thru-hike the JMT, which, when going SOBO, begins at Happy Isles in Yosemite Valley and finishes atop Mt Whitney. You stated you don't want to miss Half Dome.

I was not intending to be anal in my posts or make unnecessary long winded posts. I made my previous statements so you would not have a cavalier take-it-for-granted attitude in regards to your travel arrangements because it would potentially lead to problems. I HAVE MADE THIS ERROR BEFORE WHILE LEAVING/ENTERING THE SIERRAS ON HIKING TRIPS! I HAVE MISSED FLIGHT, BUS, and TRAIN CONNECTIONS, SOMETIMES RESULTING IN COSTLY TIME DELAYS AND ADDITIONAL FEES! I DON"T WANT YOU TO MAKE THE SAME MISTAKES AS I HAVE!

If you do as you previously stated, travel on July 23, 2011, a Saturday, from the east coast to Reno and expect to take the CREST bus south to the town of Lee Vining, without confirming your connection you would have had a rude awakening because the CREST bus from Reno AP/Reno Greyhound to Lee Vining currently only operates on a Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri schedule, as it has in the past and, as I expect, will continue to operate in July 2011. Likewise, the same CREST route that goes Northbound from Lone Pine to Reno operates on the same days of the week(Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri). It leaves from Lone Pine at 6:15 A.M. to go all the way to Reno AP on the same bus! Aug 8 and 9, 2011 are on a Mon and Tues. The bus trip from Lone Pine to Reno takes roughly 6 hrs! It's my guess you would have to/want to be in Lone Pine the night of Aug 8 for the early bus departure on Aug 9 to Reno, thus potentially eating into those 15 days you think you have to thru-hike the JMT, IF you were to fly in/out of Reno and expect to take public transportation!

As stated earlier, other viable busing/train options to other MAJOR INTERNATIONAL APs do exist from Lone Pine.

I suggest you visit the most comprehensive website I know of regarding public transportation in/around Yosemite NP/JMT.

www.yosemite.com

You might also find it very helpful to check out the Eastern Sierra Transit Authority and YARTS websites. And, of course, check out the CREST website, specifically regarding connections to/from LAX.

Happy Trails! All doable as I said before. Just plan your trip wisely!

tuswm
11-07-2010, 02:46
Wow lots of good info posted since i last checked. I just got home from pumpkin chunking. I spent 8 hours in the car today. I have to wake up in a few hours to spend another 10 hours in the car tomorrow but I will look in to all of this when I get back. We should also be finding out in the next two weeks if we can finish with school obligations a week early.

Dogwood
11-07-2010, 19:12
IMO, if you could add even only a few(2 or 3) more days to your planned hiking and traveling days and not travel on a Sat July 23 MORE public transportation options will be available to you and I really think a planned "zero" while on the JMT will make your trek So Much More enjoyable! IMO, if you could somehow swing a few more days it might make your trip so much more enjoyable for your GF and you! You would be golden!

tuswm
11-19-2010, 02:31
Update:
Friday 7-22 finish class and get on a night flight
7-23 take bus and arrive in YNP at 1130 AM/ have dinner with friends
7-24 hike half dome
7-25 to 8-9 (16 days) to get from half dome to Mt Whitney 203 miles (12.7 MPD)
Wednesday 8-10 finish hike and get shuttle/ make way to hotel near airport
8-11 fly home
8-12morning to recover / rehearsal dinner at night
Saturday 8-13 wedding

thoughts:
we have to be here till the 22nd booo!:mad:
only 12.7 MPD that sounds relaxing.
Finishing hike on a day that the shuttles run.

More questions??????
It looks like getting to YNP will be easy but, I dont like the idea of buying plane, or bus tickets till I get the permit?
Still unclear about transportation to air port from the Whitney portal, any advice.
what do you do with your packs on the plane? I was thinking about putting it in my large duffel bag but what about it getting smashed? like the frame or pots and pans?
what have you guys done about return clothes for the plane?

tuswm
11-19-2010, 02:34
Some good sites I found for transportation
http://www.yosemite.com/tripplan/transportation.html#a
http://www.mtwhitneyshuttle.com/WhtnyPrtl-LnPn%20to%20Las%20Vegas.htm

Rambler
11-21-2010, 21:33
Are you kidding me? Are you sure whoever is planning your wedding wants you gone until the day before? Once you pass Reds Meadow there is no more cell phone reception. (Satellite phone at VVR, e-mail at MTR).

I suggest you start at Tuolumne Meadows (Lyell Canyon). Most of the first day would be a scenic, gentle-incline hike through a wonderful expansive Meadow. Climb up and over Donohue Pass, to camp a mile or so below. Wonderful scenery. You will have saved a couple of days of a long uphill climb out of Little Yosemite Valley. It will take pressure over having to drive yourself day after day through your hike.
If you are worried about not doing the whole trail. At a later time you could hike down to the Little Valley from Tuolumne, enjoying a couple of days of hiking downhill. Hey, you could do that on your Honeymoon. I met a hiker on the JMT with his new fiance shortly after they became engaged at the top of the Half Dome.
Happy hiking.

PS My daughter was engaged in July, married in October. My wife, the wedding planner, was none to pleased when I disappeared into Yosemite fro a couple of weeks in August! You would not believe all the details that go into planning a wedding.

QiWiz
11-22-2010, 08:24
Reading this thread has got me thinking (again) about hiking the JMT. Have a great trip (and wedding). I'm already overcommitted for 2011 but 2012 looks good. What do all of you think is the most perfect time to hike the JMT?

tuswm
11-23-2010, 17:07
Thanks guys.....we are going to be in the wedding but it is not our wedding.

tuswm
12-08-2010, 13:07
book for planning or book for dreaming? Book to brin alone, or book to read and then take a few notes along once you figure out that this trail doesn't need much route info, while the pre-hike logistics are what you need to learn about, however, very little of that can be found in most books.

Among JMT repeat hikers, this new guide is getting good reviews:

http://johnmuirtrailmap.com/

Good stuff for a first timer


Thanks I just ordered the book.

tuswm
12-09-2010, 02:39
Already got the book. and its small and has great color topo maps. The whole book is about the size of a normal map for the AT that might only cover 10 or 20 miles. I cant believe anyone would complain about carrying something this small and informative.

Helmuth.Fishmonger
12-09-2010, 12:50
Already got the book. and its small and has great color topo maps. The whole book is about the size of a normal map for the AT that might only cover 10 or 20 miles. I cant believe anyone would complain about carrying something this small and informative.

you must not be a true Ultralighter - statements like this are considered blasphemy among the enlightened who choose to go so light, they'd leave themselves at home if they could! :D

tuswm
12-09-2010, 15:03
you must not be a true Ultralighter - statements like this are considered blasphemy among the enlightened who choose to go so light, they'd leave themselves at home if they could! :D

I have taken some UL tips from people on here to help me go lighter.....
z-rest vs prolite4 -1
tarptent vs rei tent-4/2
cut .5 lbs off or osprey pack-.5
2 oz aquamira pro filter vs steripen or MSR filiter-.5
no more nalgene -.5*2
down layering jacket -1
no pillow -.5
no deodorant
if you cant wear it at one time you packed too much cloths - 1
new sub 2 lb down sleeping bag - 1

I saved about 8 pounds with these tricks, so that lets me carry my luxuries(Things that are UL blasphemy)
food is my trail luxury, I am gourmet cook so good food, spices and energy +.25
GSI dualist (too many benefits for such a small weight penalty to split between 2) +.5/2
snow peak giga (alcohol stoves dont mix with real cooking)(more efficient fuel on long carries)+0
leatherman wave vs UL knife (can fix broken things) +.5
reasonably priced bear cannister (I only use it every other year or so $65 2,9# vs $289 @ 2,5# = $56 per 1.0 OZ difference) +.25
digital camera + 1.6 oz joby tripod + .5
cell phone +.5
2.5 map book and compass (worth not being lost with no food or water in the sierras like I was last time) +.25
I figure that is only an extra ~ 2.5 pounds on my back (not too noticable when you are lugging 40+#s away from the muir ranch)....plus....
I still like mid weight boots
I use hiking poles

I also figure I can save more weight with a diet then by buying new toys and being in better shape is better then having a lighter load any day. I also figure for every 2 lbs I leave behind I will save less then 1 lb in my pack since my GF is coming. She carries her things, I carry my things and our things. She is always cold, I wish we could figure out a better clothing system for her.

What is the worst weather we should expect in early August? Night time temps? Do we need to bring gortex shells or will water resistant wind parkas be OK? From what I can tell it look like most night will only get down to 45 and freezing might be the worst we get?

Dogwood
12-10-2010, 01:58
What is the worst weather we should expect in early August? Night time temps? Do we need to bring gortex shells or will water resistant wind parkas be OK? From what I can tell it look like most night will only get down to 45 and freezing might be the worst we get? -Tuswn

Get a general idea of your clothing gear you think you will bring along. Make a last minute weather check for your hiking area and be prepared to tweak your gear set-up as needed if weather patterns changed from what you have already planned.

Helmuth.Fishmonger
12-10-2010, 14:32
What is the worst weather we should expect in early August? Night time temps? Do we need to bring gortex shells or will water resistant wind parkas be OK? From what I can tell it look like most night will only get down to 45 and freezing might be the worst we get? -Tuswn

Get a general idea of your clothing gear you think you will bring along. Make a last minute weather check for your hiking area and be prepared to tweak your gear set-up as needed if weather patterns changed from what you have already planned.

It can snow on the JMT in any month of the year. Massive rain- and hailstorms possible every month of the year. Much less likely in August than other months, but possible.

tuswm
12-13-2010, 23:13
Are the storms there all day or do they usually not last too long?

So what is the problem with spending the night near the top of Mt Whitney?

Has any one ever taken the side trail to devils post pile? tell me about that.

Dogwood
12-14-2010, 01:40
Hellmuth is spot on.

You can do multiple hikes in the Sierras in Aug and never encounter nasty weather, but then comes that time when you wish you had that rain jacket. Since you don't know the JMT it really can't hurt to take along an UL rain shell that also doubles as a wind shell and provides SOME insulation, even if it's rather minimal.

Staying atop Mt Whitney or at a SMALL(room for 3 - 4 smallish tents) about half way up(sorry don't have elev for you) is certainly possible, not necessarily problematic though, IF you plan accordingly! No water at the summit or at the SMALL flat camping area half way up! You could camp near Guitar Lake or near other definite water sources before you climb in earnest though. There is also elev., possible wind, exposure, colder temps, etc to consider if you plan on sleeping at the summit or at the SMALL(easy to miss) half way campsites. AGAIN, I would caution you ahead of time that this SMALL campsite area can easily be missed and is usually occupied during the busy season, like when you will be there in Aug!

DEFINITELY, stop by the Devil's Postpile Geological formation. It will not take you out of your way. If you are heading to Reds Meadow Store you can hike by DP to the store or get a ride to Mammoth Lakes from near D

Helmuth.Fishmonger
12-14-2010, 13:09
Are the storms there all day or do they usually not last too long?

most summer storms end in the evening before sunset, but over the years I have noticed that this pattern is getting less and less reliable. Back in the 80s, in a typical drought summer, you could expect maybe one or two T-storms in the afternoon for the entire hike and then sun coming out before 7pm again. All that hasn't really worked out in the last three years.

2008 July 12 - MASSIVE storm, 6" of hail where we were caught in it just below Donohue Pass (thought we're gonna die of hypothermia, sat in wet tent rolled into wet sleeping bags and our aluminum space blankets (http://didnt.doit.wisc.edu/outdoor/muir2008/photos_HDcam/gallery/tape2/images/054_donohue_pass.jpg) (LIFE SAVERS!!!) for hours. By sunset, it changed to light rain and we packed up and ran down the pass to about 10,000 feet, set up the tent in the rain at night and spent the night huddled together with two dry sleeping bags for 3 people, plus a few space blankets. Next day we got a short break, then rain again for most of the day. Same day most of the Sierra was hit hard, with 50 homes near Independence destroyed in a mud slide triggered by the storm - read this account from July 13, 2008: We net Catra just below the Pass, they were heading back to Tuolumne Meadows: July 13 (http://trailgirl.blogspot.com/2008/07/expect-unexpected-yosemite-sign.html)

Last year we had some storms that started at 6am with lightning - unheard of in the Sierra in July. This year we had two storms that started late in the day and then lasted all night and through the next day and eventually, almost 40 hours after they started, broke up. The second storm was followed by 40 degree weather (that is the high for the day around July 25 and we were on Forester, probably well below 30 degrees at 11am). Next day the storms came back as we were running down from Trail Crest to the portal, skipping the summit to reduce our risks to be fried by lightning.


So what is the problem with spending the night near the top of Mt Whitney?

Only motivation. The view from the summit isn't that much better than Trail Crest. I have a hard time even in summer to do the 4 mile detour. Haven't been up there in years, although each time I had a good excuse (weather, no acclimation when heading north, etc.) :D

If you have never been up there and you are going south, definitely go up there, as it is the big "goal" you want to reach, which you don't get on a northbound hike (that direction ends on asphalt trails and traffic jams...)


Has any one ever taken the side trail to devils post pile? tell me about that.

Big basalt blocks and lots of tourists. I looked at it in 1988, never went back. If you're into cool geology, this is probably intersting enough to visit, but it isn't anything one must see. If you take the bus to Mammoth for a resupply visit to the post office, you're going past this place anyway. If you have your stuff mailed to Reds, I'd skip it and spend the extra time somewhere far away from the masses dropped off by the shuttle busses in that valley.

tuswm
12-14-2010, 19:33
Wow your kids have grown So much in two years.

Dogwood
12-15-2010, 02:43
Helmuth, sounds like you not only don't like tourists, you also don't like people. LOL!

NO MATTER WHERE YOU HIKE IN YOSEMITE, SEQUOIA, KINGS CANYON NP's in Aug, AND CERTAINLY ANYWHERE ON THE JMT, YOU WILL YOU WILL YOU WILL, MEET OTHER PEOPLE. GET OVER IT!

Helmuth.Fishmonger
12-16-2010, 12:02
Helmuth, sounds like you not only don't like tourists, you also don't like people. LOL!

NO MATTER WHERE YOU HIKE IN YOSEMITE, SEQUOIA, KINGS CANYON NP's in Aug, AND CERTAINLY ANYWHERE ON THE JMT, YOU WILL YOU WILL YOU WILL, MEET OTHER PEOPLE. GET OVER IT!


are you off your meds again?

tuswm
12-16-2010, 16:13
When I did a winter loop around hetch hetchy I didn't see a single person more then a mile or two from the dam. I did see thousands of those little gummy salamander things, deer and a family of bears.

Helmuth.Fishmonger
12-16-2010, 17:29
When I did a winter loop around hetch hetchy I didn't see a single person more then a mile or two from the dam. I did see thousands of those little gummy salamander things, deer and a family of bears.


talking about winter - I will be heading to the Sierra in April for a gear test trip, and I plan on doing the whole JMT in winter conditions in April 2012. should I meet anyone in April, I think that's going to be this group seen on Mist Trail in summer...

http://didnt.doit.wisc.edu/outdoor/gallery/JMT1989/day%2001/slides/JMT_1989_0527.jpg

Helmuth.Fishmonger
12-16-2010, 17:29
When I did a winter loop around hetch hetchy I didn't see a single person more then a mile or two from the dam. I did see thousands of those little gummy salamander things, deer and a family of bears.


talking about winter - I will be heading to the Sierra in April for a gear test trip, and I plan on doing the whole JMT in winter conditions in April 2012. should I meet anyone in April, I think that's not going to be this group seen on Mist Trail in summer...

http://didnt.doit.wisc.edu/outdoor/gallery/JMT1989/day%2001/slides/JMT_1989_0527.jpg

Helmuth.Fishmonger
12-16-2010, 17:30
how do you nuke a double post here?

tuswm
12-16-2010, 22:32
be a paying member

nawlunz
12-18-2010, 14:26
talking about winter - I will be heading to the Sierra in April for a gear test trip, and I plan on doing the whole JMT in winter conditions in April 2012. should I meet anyone in April, I think that's not going to be this group seen on Mist Trail in summer...

http://didnt.doit.wisc.edu/outdoor/gallery/JMT1989/day%2001/slides/JMT_1989_0527.jpg

I will witness what you have captured with your camera...Scary! :)

tuswm
12-19-2010, 01:28
SOoooo I was at Marshals the other day. I saw a mini collapsible spinner rod and tackle box. I cut off the handle. If I can find a UL tackle box I think I can get the whole set up down to 8 OZ. Only $20. Using math.....UL math......is this a good thign to carry on the JMT?

Dogwood
12-19-2010, 02:03
Easy does it Helmut. No reason to get sarcastic. And understand, each person must HIKE THEIR OWN HIKE, NOT YOUR HIKE! Let's give others the opportunity to decide for THEMSELVES what is right for them based on our suggestions and opinions! You have much experienced and knowledge to offer. Let's keep it positive if we can!

tuswm
12-19-2010, 17:20
talking about winter - I will be heading to the Sierra in April for a gear test trip, and I plan on doing the whole JMT in winter conditions in April 2012. should I meet anyone in April, I think that's not going to be this group seen on Mist Trail in summer...

http://didnt.doit.wisc.edu/outdoor/gallery/JMT1989/day%2001/slides/JMT_1989_0527.jpg

You know what good for these people. I bet they learned something and maybe they like nature more. but what about the fishing rod?

tuswm
02-02-2011, 20:49
I am faxing in my permit request on Saturday. Wish me luck. Has anyone here been turned down yet?

Blissful
02-03-2011, 20:51
I am faxing in my permit request on Saturday. Wish me luck. Has anyone here been turned down yet?

If you check the web site you can begin faxing Friday evening for weekend lotteries.

tuswm
02-05-2011, 12:52
If you check the web site you can begin faxing Friday evening for weekend lotteries.

I am filling my form out now, Then I have to brave the "ice storm" here in philly to find a fax machine. Wish me luck.

tuswm
02-07-2011, 15:01
I DID NOT get my permit and because it was over the weekend the best I can hope for is to resubmit my permit for 3 days later. starting on Tuesday instead of Saturday. Remember I have that wedding to get to on AUG 12 on the east coast. issue of MPD is now coming more in to to play.

I need options

option 1
I did call and get a permit to start from wawona on the 23rd....but getting to the JMT from the trail head looks like it might take 4 days by it self. I dont have a good map so I cant even tell how many mile till the JMT and it would also cut off TM for the first resupply.

option 2
resubmit permits tonight to start on Tuesday. possibly start early and stealth camp? I would love recommendations on what to put for our permits. We have two people so we can fax in two separate permit requests.

option 3
first come first serve. We would not get there in time for opening of the back country office on the 23rd so we would wait and try to be there for opening on the 24th that means we could start on the 25th IF we get a permit.

option 4
if we blatantly just start early and get caught starting early what will they do to us? A small fine would be totally worth it.

option 5
hike north?

Helmuth.Fishmonger
02-07-2011, 19:01
northbound permits with Whitney Portal entry will be even harder to get in advance.

Why not start at Tuolumne Meadows? Wawona? That's totally on the other end of the park.

Tenaya Lake, Tuolumne Meadows, anything that doesn't go to Happy Isles and you should not have a big problem getting a reservation.

If you haven't seen it, visit Yosemite Valley by bus, go back to Tuolumne by bus a few hours later, start hiking from there.

tuswm
02-07-2011, 22:11
no I tried all of those trail heads when I called today. Everything that possibly goes to the JMT is booked solid for the 23rd 24th and 25th I am sending in a 2 separate permit request for 6 different trail heads for the 26th. I was thinking maybe I could go out a few days before the GF and hope against hope to get a first come first serve permit.

Helmuth.Fishmonger
02-08-2011, 02:25
no I tried all of those trail heads when I called today. Everything that possibly goes to the JMT is booked solid for the 23rd 24th and 25th I am sending in a 2 separate permit request for 6 different trail heads for the 26th. I was thinking maybe I could go out a few days before the GF and hope against hope to get a first come first serve permit.

thing is - you can't go and get a walk in for anything but the next day, unless it is after 11am and you ar ready to go right away and permits are still available. So going a few days early won't work - you have to start on the next day after you get the permit. You can't just wait a few more days until your GF gets there and then walk in with that permit.

The good news is - walk in permits are relatively easy to get, especially at the less popular trailheads. I doubt you'll have a problem to get a Lyell Canyon permit unless you sleep in and it's a Saturday morning.

tuswm
02-08-2011, 11:59
OK so the GF has to work till Friday. I was thinking I could leave Thursday. be waiting outside the office Friday morning and get a permit for 2 people to start Saturday morning. Then visit my friends Friday night and wait for my GF at the bus station Saturday morning.

tuswm
02-08-2011, 12:10
just get rejected for happy isle and another one for 26 I think I will have to bank on the first come first serve permits

tuswm
02-26-2011, 12:11
what do you do about cooking pots when they dont fit in your bear can?

Helmuth.Fishmonger
02-26-2011, 13:47
what do you do about cooking pots when they dont fit in your bear can?

I never put them in the can - just clean them and leave them in the open outside your tent. The bears will waste little time sniffing and move on. they are smart enough to know they can't eat them

schnikel
02-27-2011, 11:23
Faxing my permit request tonight at 5:30! Cross your fingers! My wife and I are plannig a JMT thru starting Aug.15th and finishing up around Sept.4th or so.
I think we are going to try to start at Glacier Point and not even try to get a permit starting from Happy Isles. Either way it will be one heck of a hike!
Schnikel

Red Hat
02-27-2011, 18:54
no luck faxing on Thurs night or calling Fri morning... faxed fri night and waiting to see if we got lucky on the weekend pools... frustration!

tuswm
02-27-2011, 22:50
It too me a while to get a permit too. I am starting like 5 days after I wanted.

schnikel
02-28-2011, 18:17
Just got my confromation e-mail!
My wife and I will be starting 8/15/11 from Glacier Point! Hope to see you all out there. Can't wait!!
Schnikel

tuswm
03-04-2011, 11:59
Logistic time………any advice

Two weeks out……..
Mail small resupply box to red meadows
Mail resupply 5 gallon bucket to the Muir Ranch. How much does this usually cost including mailing fees.

Friday July 22
Last day of class
730 flight
Fly out at night and arrive in San Francisco around 1AM,
Saturday travel (taxi?) to bus station 10 miles away, if possible get sleep and groceries. Then catch the bus at 630 AM to the train, to the bus to Yosemite.
Sunday- Monday Visit friends, play tourist, mail jump box, get final permits, food, and fuel to last to Red Meadows.
Tuesday – get early start…We have 220 ish miles to go.
Resupply at red meadows
Resupply at the Muir ranch and spend the night
Summit and exit the trail on Wednesday aug 10th
Hitch to lone pine; pick up drop box, shower and sleep
11th get a 625 bus, arrive at Reno air port at noon, and flight 666 leaves at 115
12th rehersal dinner
13th wedding

tuswm
03-04-2011, 12:01
Questions.
We plan to carry on our back packs collapsed (22x14x9) with anything delicate in them, they are just small enough to carry on and I don’t want the frames damaged. Then have one checked bag for the two of us. (any suggestions about flying with packs that you think we should know?)

Sending a jump box from YNP to Lone Pine, any advice on where to send it and where to stay after the hike?

What could happen if we start Early? Fines? Kick us off? Jail?

What about mailing fuel canisters? I don’t want to rely on having to buy them where you can’t find them. I would prefer to just put them in the resupply boxes and mail them.

Is it advisable to carry bug spray and of a head net? How much bug spray do you need for 2 weeks?

tuswm
04-01-2011, 12:34
Well It finally happened. Today while packing for a 3 day trip I broke my pack. the zipper had a catastrophic failure.

I have a osprey atmos 65. I like the volume because I do a large portion of winter back packing, extended no resupply trips up to 2 weeks, usual max is 40 lbs, and go with the GF and carry my stuff and "out stuff", and do carry a bear can from time to time. So I think framless is out.

What should I do?
call osprey? ask for warranty?
\
return to REI even though it lived a good life 1000+ trail days, it went on a diet, and its like pink now due to sun damage.

suck it up and buy something? ULA is at the top of my list, mostly because I see them mentioned the most. But what one?

Blissful
04-01-2011, 17:25
I'd call Osprey. Should be lifetime warranty