Forum Replies Created
April 18, 2014 at 12:01 pm in reply to: For Sale: 2 – Kelty Mistral 20 Sleeping Bag – $40 ea. #12935
Joseph, I still have both bags. I can ship via UPS ground for about $20.
Yes, they have been cleaned.March 7, 2014 at 8:58 am in reply to: Locations to meet family along JMT? #12742
Great question! Here are the places where you can drive up and camp NEAR the JMT. These are also popular resupply points, so you’ll probably use one of more them anyway.
Tuolumne Meadows – Yeah, if you’re starting from Yosemite Valley you’ll likely reach this on your third day, but take advantage of it.
Reds Meadow – On the backside of Mammoth Lakes lies Reds Meadow. There is a campground in this valley near Devil’s Postpile National Momument, but they will need reservations. Otherwise they will have to ride the shuttle in from Mammoth.
Vermillion Valley Resort (VVR) – This can be accessed from the west side of the sierras at Lake Thomas Edison. The big problem here is that you have to travel quite a ways off the JMT to reach this. In normal rainfall years, there is a ferry that you can take from one end of the lake to the other (well worth it IMO), but right now that lake is very dry and very low. Unless things change dramatically this spring, don’t count on the ferry. Still, this is an option.
Muir Trail Ranch – This is another popular resupply point, but it is not driveable. They would have to hike in to reach this spot. Some friends of mine did this on my first JMT trek.
That’s it. Not a lot of options. On the bright side, that means you’re in some pretty amazing wilderness (i.e. no roads). Have a great hike, and let me know if you have more questions.February 21, 2014 at 9:26 pm in reply to: Introduce Yourself #12735
David, welcome to SoCalHiker! Your September sounds EPIC! I know the word is overused, but anytime you can spend the better part of a month in the Sierras is, well, epic.
I’m sure you’ll have more than a few stories to tell when you return. Look forward to hearing them all.
Until then, join in the conversation.February 21, 2014 at 8:09 am in reply to: Vivian Creek to San Gorgonio: What is the REAL RT distance? #12734
Thanks, Hugo. I’m curious what you come back with. What kind of GPS do you have?February 21, 2014 at 1:00 am in reply to: JMT/HST September Solo; thoughts Please #12733
You’re the first person I’ve heard of resupplying at Parcher’s Resort. Thanks for alerting me to that option!
What’s your average daily mileage? You’ve got a lot of non-JMT miles in there.February 19, 2014 at 9:28 pm in reply to: Trekking Poles? #12730
I don’t have a write-up for Tenaja Falls (yet), but my buddy Josh does: http://californiathroughmylens.com/tenaja-waterfall-cleveland-national-forestFebruary 19, 2014 at 9:25 pm in reply to: I want to hike the JMT, but don't know how to start – not an american #12729
Welcome to SoCalHiker! The JMT is one of my all-time favorite trips. I’ve hiked it twice (so far) and have collected some of my favorite resources, including books and other tools.
A good place to start is with this Overview of the JMT. Then in the sidebar on the right-side of that page you’ll find a LOT of additional JMT resources, including a suggested itinerary, books, maps and other resources that I recommend, as well as a day-by-day journal of my latest trek on the JMT in 2010.
I don’t know of any “professional hikers” so I can’t really answer the intensity question. Is it hard? Sure! But if you’re in decent physical condition and willing to train for it, you should be able to handle it. My girlfriend has asthma and she was able to complete it — but we trained for it!
As for the cost, it really depends on a lot of factors. What equipment do you already have or will you need to purchase, rent or borrow to supplement? Are you willing or able to prepare your own meals or will you buy more expensive pre-packaged dehydrated meals? How many days will you take to hike the trail? Where and how will you resupply? All of these factor into the total cost of the trip.
As for the permit costs, they are minimal. The biggest expenses (other than traveling to the trail) will likely be food and supplies, and possible equipment (depending on what you already have). For the four of us traveling on my latest JMT trip we spent over $400US in shipping and handling charges for our food drops. Most of this info can be found on the pages in our JMT section. In the end, we probably spent a bit over $1000 per person for the 22 day trip. It can be done for less — or for much more.
As for organized groups, I’m not aware of any. There may be guides that are available for hire, but the group size will always be limited by permits.
Take a look at the JMT resources I mentioned above, and let me know if you have other questions.February 19, 2014 at 9:13 pm in reply to: Trekking Poles? #12727
Thanks for posting the question — and I’m glad you discovered an answer! As you saw, I am a fan of trekking poles, but when used properly. Having said that, I don’t always use them. For most shorter hikes I don’t carry trekking poles. For longer hikes with elevation gain/loss, I almost always bring them along. And for backpacking, I consider them essential.
As with everything, your mileage may vary. The key to success with trekking poles is learning to use them correctly — and I see far too few people doing that.
Santa Rosa Plateau is a beautiful area. Have you been to Tenaja Falls yet?February 5, 2014 at 6:52 am in reply to: GPS…need or not? #12453
Well said, Patrick. Thanks for joining the conversation!February 3, 2014 at 6:54 am in reply to: Sleeping Bag Recommendations? #12450
Both times on the JMT I started in late July, but even starting earlier in the month (and especially this year) I suspect a 20-degree bag would be perfectly fine. It will get down below freezing at night, but you can share some body heat.
A tent or tarp will also help you conserve warmth.
As for the bags you linked to, they all look like good choices. I cannot personally comment on any of them (I haven’t tried them) but I like Nemo as a brand and the gear review site gave a good breakdown of choices.
Ultimately, you’ll pick one and then try it out and see how it works out. Sometimes you can borrow gear from friends or rent gear to check it out (try REI). Let me know what you end up getting!February 3, 2014 at 6:43 am in reply to: Introduce Yourself #12449
Hi all! My name is Dani and I live in Houston, Texas. I have been a water rat and a lover of fresh air forever. I have also always enjoyed hiking, but it wasn’t until some time in the past year that I completely fell in love with it and now it is all I want to do. My boyfriend and I are getting ready to hike the JMT in July 2014. I am both nervous and so excited!
Greetings, Dani! Awesome to hear you’re hiking the JMT this summer. Let me know if you’ve got any questions.January 24, 2014 at 5:10 pm in reply to: If I Were To Hike For A Week On The JMT, What Would Be The Best Week? #12445
Danny, here’s a link to a trip report from 100peaks.com on a route up Whitney from Horseshoe Meadows. They had a 33 mile route with some cross-country scrambling.January 21, 2014 at 6:07 pm in reply to: advice for backpacking vacation in Jul 2014 #12433
Yosemite is an obvious choice, but it will be tough to get campsites or permits at this point. But there are a couple of other choices that are equally awesome.
I would consider hiking the Rae Lakes Loop. This is a 41 mile loop in Sequoia/Kings Canyon NP that goes through some seriously beautiful country. It’s still popular and you’ll still need permits, but because you have to hike in, it’s not nearly as crowded as Yosemite (where you have hotels, car camping, etc.).
Here’s an overview map of the loop:
It takes you on a section of the John Muir Trail. See my Day 18 on the JMT post for more pics of the area.
Does this sound like what you’re looking for? More/less miles? Let me know and I’ll try to help.January 20, 2014 at 11:41 am in reply to: GPS…need or not? #12432
Bill, I would suggest that you NEED a compass and a set of good maps (and knowledge of how to navigate with these).
A GPS device is a “nice-to-have” but not a necessity, and should never be relied on as the sole resource for navigation. Having said that, I have taken both a handheld GPS (a Garmin eTrek HC) as well as an iPhone and can provide some feedback.
I brought the Garmin primarily for the purpose of recording the actual trip, not for navigation. I did not load any detail maps, and the default maps are pretty much useless (at least on the model I own). But it did record my tracks. Also, the batteries (2 AA) last about 22-24 hours, so you could probably get by with a couple sets of batteries per food drop (just remember to turn it off when not hiking).
NOTE: I learned (the hard way) that my Garmin had a limit to the number of points it could store, then it starts pushing the “older” points out of memory. When I returned home from the JMT, I found that I had only the last 3-4 days of the trip in memory. Everything else was “forgotten” (overwritten). Bummer.
As for the iPhone, this was actually handy. I brought a USB cable and small charger, and recharged it when I could (VVR for example). Then I kept it completely powered off most of the time. If I wanted a second opinion just to be sure I was on track, I had downloaded the Harrison JMT maps to my iPhone and the GPS would show my position on those maps. Not the most convenient (I had to power up the iPhone, which took a while) but handy when I used it (about 3-4x total).
I’ve seen guys bring Goal Zero solar chargers (seems to be the popular choice) but this adds weight. I’d only do this if you really had a lot of electronics that you needed to use (cameras, etc.).January 20, 2014 at 9:31 am in reply to: If I Were To Hike For A Week On The JMT, What Would Be The Best Week? #12431
Great question! It’s about 200 miles from LA to Lone Pine. From Lone Pine you can hitch a ride up to Whitney Portal, then hike up Whitney… but you’d need a permit. You might be able to get a walk-in permit. This is the shortest route to the southernmost part of the John Muir Trail.
Getting to Lone Pine you can either drive up to Lone Pine (actually you’d park at Whitney Portal). Parking there is free.
You could also take the Antelope Valley Metro line from Union Station to Lancaster, then pick up the Eastern Sierra Transit Authority bus to Lone Pine.
If you can’t get permits for Whitney, consider starting at Horseshoe Meadows, just south of Cottonwood Lakes. This will add another day, but it’s much easier to get permits for.
As for “the best week” do you mean time of the year or the section of the trail?