View Full Version : JMT trip report

08-09-2005, 14:46
Hey folks,
I just finished the JMT from near Muir Trail Ranch to Whitney. I am having some girlfriend issues, so I am not sure whether I will be able to get to that northern section this summer.
It was a tough trip gear wise. The second day into it my whisper-lite exploded. I was boiling water for some instant mashed potatoes as I reached into my pack for my bear bag sfter the stove had been running for a few minutes. I hear an explosion and see my stove turn to ball of fire. There was a leak in the seal. I had to sit around and watch it burn out. I also had my platypus start leaking.
I found the trail quite challenging. On the AT, there a big climbs which are often followed by ridge traverses. Not on the JMT. You go up 4,000, down 4,000 over and over again. The altitude makes a difference as well. I was doing around 18 miles a day, and I was destroyed.
The Sierra monsoons are going on right now. A few boyscouts were killed right near Whitney by a lightening strike. During the same storm I was caught on top of Pinchot pass. You can go miles without seeing a tree, so I just had to hunker down. I was hailed on both on Pinchot and Muir.
Mather and Forrester still had significant snow patches. I used my ice axe on both. There is still a lot of snow on Muir pass, though it is not on steep terrain. If people are planning to cross Forrester or Mather early in the morning, I recommend ice axes.
The scenery is stunning. I feel like you could not take a bad picture in the area.
No bear problems, though two hikers told me that they had packs taken near Muir Trail Ranch. A ranger told me that bears were climbing to 12,600 feet north of Forrester Pass in search of packs.
I recommend the trail, but keep the mileage low! :sun

08-09-2005, 16:09
I have posted some of my pictures on the "Other Trails" picture section.

Big Dawg
08-09-2005, 23:29
Congrats Bankrobber! :clap

The JMT is on my list of trails to accomplish,,, may be years before I can finally do it. I'm so used to the eastern mountains,, I just know my jaw is gonna drop when I finally make it out west to hike. I know the pictures I've seen probably don't do it justice. Anyhoo, I'm going to check out your pics now :)

08-10-2005, 00:06
Sounds like you had some bad weather as well as bad luck. (and bad girlfriend vibes) Things go in cycles i believe so don't get discourged.
Usually the weather is pretty good on the JMT. I would consider myself lucky to see and travel across some snow in August up there. (but then to each his own)
Lightning sucks anytime and there's not a whole lot you can do about it except stay home. especially on a trail like the JMT when you are often above tree line for half a day at a time sometimes. My rule on lightning is that if the flash and boom are closer than 3 seconds, i worry and search for a way down, if not, i don't worry about it.

I once had a gas fuel stove blow up on me too. Won't use them anymore. I didn't know too many experienced hikers where still using whitperlites. They are heavy, bulky, clog easy (in my experiences) and too hot for cooking efficiently. In the old days (70's-90's) i think they were the vogue. (most thru-hikers were using them) but i never saw any advantages. They said they worked good at high altitudes but mine didn't. I found out that people climbing the Himalayan peaks were using GAZ (propane/butane) so that's what i switched to. (in the 90'sthat is, now i use a "pocket rocket" , which is basically the same thing only lighter)
Anyway, don't give up on the JMT. Go back when your energy cycle is on the other swing. I think you'll thoroughly enjoy that trail.

08-10-2005, 13:57
Congrats on the hike. The section from MTR south to Whitney (most of the JMT) is definitely the most scenic. I can totally sympathize with the girlfriend woes, as this brought me back from the CDT after only a month. The trail is definitely challenging physically and if your mind isn't in the right place, it will tear you up. I was very happy to get through the Sierras in 2003 with only one storm, and that north of Tuolumne. Almost total blue skies every day, which helped a lot.

08-10-2005, 18:25
The trail is definitely challenging physically and if your mind isn't in the right place, it will tear you up.

I'm going to get my azz kicked, I'm going to get my azz kicked, I'm going to get my azz kicked! :datz (reverse psychology)

Actually, I saw the elevations and it's less per mile than the LT. Still, I'm allowing 20 days and have 4 more if I need them.