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  1. #1

    Default JMT in early June

    Can anyone tell me what sections of the JMT are passable in early June without special equipment (iceaxe, crampons)? I understand that the snow is a bit heavier than normal so far this year.

  2. #2


    From what I remember, June 13th is the date that is recommended for NOBO thru-hikers to leave Kennedy Meadows.
    Some years, that's too early and if it is a high snow year, you would want to have at least an ice ax and know how to use it IMO.
    The northern portions of the JMT have lower altitude than the southern end.

    You will also most likely experience some high water fords.
    Knowing some fording techniques would be a wise move also.

    Have fun.
    Don't let your fears stand in the way of your dreams

  3. #3


    My thought now is to start at Tuolumne Meadows and head South for 4 or 5 days. I'm hoping the lower elevation on that section will make it more easily traversed. I think the only iffy part would be Donohue Pass. Any other thoughts?

  4. #4


    That should work.
    Make sure Red's Meadow is open.
    You could even possibly go there beforehand to talk to people there and find out about hikers coming thru.
    You may see some early PCT NOBO'ers there too.
    Depends how early in June you are talking about i guess.
    Don't let your fears stand in the way of your dreams

  5. #5


    The 7th of June.

  6. #6


    Quote Originally Posted by rgouge View Post
    The 7th of June.
    snow is around normal this time of year. If (and that is a big IF) the weather follows normal patters, there will be a ton of snow only on the really high passes by June 7. However, if we have another cold spring, you will need snow shoes for major sections of the JMT.

    That said, good waterproof boots, gaitors, poles and some lightweight crampons and you can do the entire trail in any condition. The thing that will be an issue for sure in early June will be water crossings - many of them will be much deeper than during summer, and you will probably need to take your shoes off several times a day in some areas.

    Here's Donohue Pass on July 3, 2009 - and we are talking a below normal snow year with cold June weather (83% of normal snow year, we are currently about 100% of average). No problem without special winter gear, but imagine this for the last mile up and the first mile down from the pass in early June.

    If we should get a few more good storms, we may get up to 2006 snow levels and that looked like this around July 10 at Wanda Lake below Muir Pass:


    The only passes that are somewhat dangerous with lots of snow are Forester, Glen and Mather. Especially in early morning when the snow can still be frozen solid, the trails the early PCT hikers carved into the snow fields can be very slippery. Afternoons, things get soft and slushy.

  7. #7


    Wow, that's a ton of snow!

  8. #8


    2 feet fell yesterday in Mammoth, another 2 feet on the way in another storm this week. April 1 was over 100% normal for the southern Sierras, so we're heading for a good base before spring kicks in. I would not be suprised to see above snow amounts in July, so for June this year, bring your wading pants, as runoff is going to be pretty high in almost all places. If it is cold again like last June, bring crampons and winter gear.

    keep an eye on this graph


    and remember that the above photo was taken in the green line year...

  9. #9


    Mammoth Mountain extended the ski resort operations through July 4 weekend. Another 25 inches coming down this week. Definitely a good snow year, meaning early June will be on the heavy snow side, even with an unusually warm spring following the current snow falls.

  10. #10
    Registered User
    Join Date


    Mammoth still wants skiers!


  11. #11
    Registered User puddingboy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Cedar Rapids, Iowa


    Im gonna be working near mammoth lakes on a SCA crew, all this snow looks awesome but also challenging.

  12. #12


    143% of normal snow in the region for May 2

    Even with a warm spring, it will be white on all passes in June, possibly into July.

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