Unpopular Opinion: The JMT sucks

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Does the JMT suck?

Yes
6
21%
Yes!
5
17%
Cake.
18
62%
 
Total votes: 29

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AlmostThere
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Re: Unpopular Opinion: The JMT sucks

Post by AlmostThere » Mon Mar 18, 2019 7:33 am

rightstar76 wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 3:01 am
After reading MountainMinstrel's story, I've been thinking. Have we lost our way on the trail?

Have we been flattering ourselves for hiking lesser known trails?
I hike, and occasionally talk about hiking. That's pretty much how I work. If people want to pretend I "flatter myself" they are of course free to do so, it has no bearing on what I do or how I interpret what I do.








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oldranger
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Re: Unpopular Opinion: The JMT sucks

Post by oldranger » Mon Mar 18, 2019 9:32 am

My trips are always destination oriented--looking for good fishing for nice sized fish. But it always turns out that fishing is secondary to experiencing the wilderness. I always try to find the easiest route to my destination. As a consequence I frequently take "highway" type trails, unmaintained trails, user routes, and my own off trail routes. No need to flatter myself it just is what it is.
Mike

Who can't do everything he used to and what he can do takes a hell of a lot longer!

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c9h13no3
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Re: Unpopular Opinion: The JMT sucks

Post by c9h13no3 » Mon Mar 18, 2019 10:42 am

dave54 wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:29 pm
If the trail has an online trip report from someone in the bay area or LA
Given that these are likely the most popular home cities on this forum, I bet you'll get some disagreement here.

And this self-flattery isn't conscious most of the time. People deride hikers they see on the JMT, promote what they have done as being awesome. Hell, the main reason people post on forums is for the ego boost.
"Adventure is just bad planning." - Roald Amundsen
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rightstar76
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Re: Unpopular Opinion: The JMT sucks

Post by rightstar76 » Mon Mar 18, 2019 7:43 pm

There is deep stuff here in this thread (even if it doesn't appear that way on its surface).

So, I mean don't we agree that we ignored MountainMistrel when he shared his personal experience as to why he is doing the JMT and his feelings as to why he feels hurt by our tendency to elevate ourselves above through hikers?

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dave54
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Re: Unpopular Opinion: The JMT sucks

Post by dave54 » Mon Mar 18, 2019 8:10 pm

Lumbergh21 wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 11:33 pm
dave54 wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:29 pm
Any trail that requires a permit lottery is not worth hiking.

If the trail has a 'Friends of" group or its own website it is not worth hiking.

If the trail has an online trip report from someone in the bay area or LA .... well, you get the picture.... I hike to get away from the insanity of the world, not join it on the trail. Something is seriously wrong when I have more solitude on my living room couch than at a campsite.
... You may want to rethink these rules. :wink:
OK, let me rephrase my rules. If it has footprints it is not worth hiking! :D

I recall a memorable hike a few years ago. I was on the trail in August, and there were no footprints on it since meltout. I was the first that year. Now THAT'S a great trail!
=~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~
Log off and get outdoors!
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Wandering Daisy
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Re: Unpopular Opinion: The JMT sucks

Post by Wandering Daisy » Mon Mar 18, 2019 9:24 pm

There WAS backpacking before the internet (and the "information age"). Trip reports were much less common. If you happened to be a member of a club, like the Sierra Club, you could submit your trip report to their monthly publication. Some hard-core backpackers wrote guidebooks, but not many, because that was the day before self-publishing. A lot of people did routes that were basically word of mouth. Or a friend would take you on a route they had done. More likely, you just sit down with maps and make your own route. The number of people who did thru-routes was quite small. If the JMT were not known as the JMT (in other words, pre-JMT) I dare say you would be thrilled with the trip if you stumbled upon it. The publicity and crowds in our internet age has sort of ruined the experience. But do not fault the route (trail) with that.

I had done bits and pieces of Roper's High Route over the years. I read the book and thought that it would be fun to piece it all together into one continuous trip. And it was! As have many others. Does that make the route less?

For all those who think they do not like trails, go to Alaska and go into the wild, without trails and see how far you get. If the Sierra is getting too civilized for you there are plenty of less used wilderness areas. Just go hike your own hike and quit criticizing those who simply are hiking THEIR own hikes.

I am sure there are some nowadays who write reports for the ego boost (perhaps more who simply have their own blogs), but a lot of us here on HST simply like to share experiences. This forum needs both "takers" (those who read and glean information from reports) and "givers" (those who submit reports). I enjoy reading other's trip reports, no matter how grand or small the trip. I do my part and write my trip reports. Rather than "ego boost" I feel more "satisfaction" in having done a challenging trip and shared it with others. (exception- the photo of the big fish IS an ego boost :D )

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bobby49
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Re: Unpopular Opinion: The JMT sucks

Post by bobby49 » Mon Mar 18, 2019 10:18 pm

Wandering Daisy wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 9:24 pm
For all those who think they do not like trails, go to Alaska and go into the wild, without trails and see how far you get.
Exactly. Go to Alaska and look for a trail. See how far you get past the last puddle.

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MountainMinstrel
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Re: Unpopular Opinion: The JMT sucks

Post by MountainMinstrel » Tue Mar 19, 2019 6:35 am

rightstar76 wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 7:43 pm
There is deep stuff here in this thread (even if it doesn't appear that way on its surface).

So, I mean don't we agree that we ignored MountainMistrel when he shared his personal experience as to why he is doing the JMT and his feelings as to why he feels hurt by our tendency to elevate ourselves above through hikers?
I just wanted to mention here that I was not hurt by anything said here. I leave that stuff to the snowflake millennials :unibrow: . The point of my post is that there are many reasons to hike. Sometimes those reasons take you offtrail, and at other times, they take you on the mountain highways.

BTW, thanks for your comment on the loss of my grandmother. She passed probably 35-40 years ago, so there is not a lot of pain left...just good memories.
Just an old musician who loves the Mountains.

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mckee80
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Re: Unpopular Opinion: The JMT sucks

Post by mckee80 » Tue Mar 19, 2019 7:35 am

When I was planning my first backpacking trip two years ago (at 46), I read hundreds of reports on here. I was gung-ho on the idea of avoiding people. As it turned out, I ran into an unexpected situation on the first day, made a bad choice (for me), and ended up bloodied and humbled. The rest of the trip was very different than I originally planned. I stuck to the "highways" limping along with my bent trekking pole, got lots of "you won't believe the view when you get over the next ridge" from people coming the other way, helped a guy look for his lost dog, met a three generation family on a trip. Every person I talked to had a huge smile of wonderment on their face. For me, at that time, it was the perfect trip.

I think that in order for someone to be passionate about the wilderness, they need to experience it, and it needs to be personal to them. For some of those people on the JMT, their passion for the wilderness is going to be ignited. For some, it might be the first step in lifelong exploration. When the population doubles in 70 years or whatever, and most of us are dead, some of these people and their kids are going to be the ones to protect these places. Maybe these electronics people take on the trail will allow them to create things that prove important in conservation efforts.

I do wonder about the generally accepted belief that those new to the wilderness treat it worse than those before them. There is certainly more awareness now, with signs at trailheads, videos you watch before you backpack in national parks, etc. It would be interesting to see some numbers on amount of garbage/misuse per number of people.

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Lumbergh21
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Re: Unpopular Opinion: The JMT sucks

Post by Lumbergh21 » Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:46 pm

MountainMinstrel wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 6:35 am
I just wanted to mention here that I was not hurt by anything said here. I leave that stuff to the snowflake millennials :unibrow: . The point of my post is that there are many reasons to hike. Sometimes those reasons take you offtrail, and at other times, they take you on the mountain highways.

BTW, thanks for your comment on the loss of my grandmother. She passed probably 35-40 years ago, so there is not a lot of pain left...just good memories.
I hiked the JMT in 2015 only a little over a year after my first ever backpacking trip. It was my second to last night on the trail and the end of an amazing hike was very near as I was camped near Wright Creek. As I lay there, it suddenly struck me that my grandfather had died of cancer 30 years ago to the day. I admired my grandfather greatly. He was the man who had taught me to fish and had taken me on camping trips from when I was 5. He had instilled in me a love of the outdoors. I'll never forget that night staring at the stars and thinking about him and how grateful I was for what he had given me. It's been nearly 34 years now, but no matter how long, I feel like he will always be with me, and there are places that are special not because of where they are but because of who shared them with me.

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