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JMT

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Re: JMT

Postby CAMERONM » Tue Nov 07, 2017 10:21 pm

I have done it only in sections, much of it two or three times, usually in September or October, avoiding bugs, heat and people. My level of familiarity is now too much to feel compelled to do it as a thru; there are other great hikes that demand attention.



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Re: JMT

Postby sekihiker » Wed Nov 08, 2017 7:24 am

cloudlesssky wrote: I went over Cottonwood Pass to hit the PCT then headed north intersecting the JMT near Crabtree Meadow. Left the JMT in Le Conte Canyon and came out through Dusy Basin over Bishop Pass.

There's nothing quite like the BIG, wide open scenery along that part of the JMT. Sounds like a great trip.
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Re: JMT

Postby Bluewater » Fri Nov 10, 2017 1:29 am

I hiked it in 2011, 14 days, resupplied at TM and MTR. Ive been backpacking in the Sierra since my early 20's, but this was my first thru hike. I started the third week of September and couldn't understand all the talk of how busy the trail had become. Late season was great, just large vacant camp sites every night.

I 'accidentally' thru hiked it this summer in 18 days, one resupply in Dusy Basin and lots of side trips. I hadn't planned on it but ended up on the JMT because most of my planned cross country routes were inaccessible either due to very high unsafe water crossings (I started in July), questionable snow bridges/conditions or endless snow cups. I started at HS Meadows, went straight down to the Kern, then joined the JMT at the Wallace Creek jct. I was out for 18 days but took my time with side trips to the HST meet-up and x/c through Palisades and Dusy Basins. Once past Evolution Lake I switched to trail mode and did 20 - 25 mpd to Happy Isles. It was a challenge getting a shuttle from Yos Valley back to my car at North Lake, without a cell phone, I actually used phone booths!
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Re: JMT

Postby fishmonger » Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:04 am

Early years was JMT proper, but already in 1989 we chose some alternate routes. Same general direction. There are segments of the trail I've only seen twice, e. g. Reds Meadow to Silver Pass. Some years we went fast and light, other years we took our time with many detours and resupplies. It's the trail that ties together a lot of places and for us coming in from out of state, long trips to make the visit worth while almost automatically suggest to link everything together via the long trail.

Once you know the trail real well, it becomes an old friend you visit over and over again, just to enjoy his company.
When you know almost every bend in the trail, shape of boulders you have stepped on dozens of times, when you have seen places bone dry and covered in deep snow, you either decide to come back over and over again or you finally decide to go see some other place. I think I will be coming back many more times.

1988 19 days
1989 18 days
1990 10 days
1991 ? days
1992 ? days
1993 ? days
1994 ? days
2008 21 days
2009 20 days and 10 days
2010 19 days
2013 13 days
2014 16 days
2016 13 days
2017 10 days

layover days? I recall maybe 1 or two in those years total. We don't do well sitting around. Gotta keep moving. We have used about every resupply that exists over those years, although the normal pattern for a full JMT would be 3 resupplies: Tuolumne Meadows, Reds and Muir Ranch. For hikes with additional detours in the second half south, we sometimes do VVR instead of the Muir Ranch and then resupply over Kearsarge. Did Bishop Pass at Parchers in 2014, which was interesting, but ineffective from a time standpoint, One year we did Tuolune Meadows to Cottonwood Meadows with one resupply (Muir Ranch) in 10 days. Those days we ate cold, carried little camera gear, easily a decade before anyone used the term ultralight. Now we have other priorities and carry lots of warm food, coffee, etc to enjoy ourselves between resupplies.
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Re: JMT

Postby oldhikerQ » Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:59 am

Fishmonger,
Thanks for providing your list, as well as all of the inspiring trip reports. I will have to go back to your trip reports and see what places you have chosen to visit near the JMT. I still must do North Lake - South Lake at least one more time, as I want to spend some layover time exploring Evolution and Dusy Basins. I also want to spend a layover day at Wanda Lake so I can climb up to Wanda Pass and spend some time viewing the Ionian Basin.
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I — I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Robert Frost
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Re: JMT

Postby Lumbergh21 » Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:09 pm

oldhikerQ wrote:Fishmonger,
Thanks for providing your list, as well as all of the inspiring trip reports. I will have to go back to your trip reports and see what places you have chosen to visit near the JMT. I still must do North Lake - South Lake at least one more time, as I want to spend some layover time exploring Evolution and Dusy Basins. I also want to spend a layover day at Wanda Lake so I can climb up to Wanda Pass and spend some time viewing the Ionian Basin.


I was blown away this year looking down from Wanda Pass on a very short side trip before heading back north. Probably not 2018, but maybe 2019 will see me exploring this area, starting at North Lake and doing a bigger North Lake to South Lake loop (Darwin bench and lakes are totally awesome as well).
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Re: JMT

Postby fishmonger » Wed Nov 15, 2017 6:27 am

oldhikerQ wrote:Fishmonger,
Thanks for providing your list, as well as all of the inspiring trip reports. I will have to go back to your trip reports and see what places you have chosen to visit near the JMT. I still must do North Lake - South Lake at least one more time, as I want to spend some layover time exploring Evolution and Dusy Basins. I also want to spend a layover day at Wanda Lake so I can climb up to Wanda Pass and spend some time viewing the Ionian Basin.


I haven't really posted any comprehensive trip report in a while. I'll have to do one for the last summer at least. It wasn't a big trip due to snow and other complications.

For starters, here is a Gmap link to a list of alternates I consult each year to possibly do. Much of this is Sierra High Route, other things are home grown and maybe 30% of what the map shows I have visited. The best time of year for alternates is August in a normal snow year, as you need longer days for the increased effort and safe low snow. Looking at the map, it's actually missing a few routes I recently started to favor, so I may need to update the gpx file that defines it. The JMT proper is not on the map, or only in really short segments where there are few if any real alternates. Maybe I'll add that as a different color route on a slow day this winter, so you can see where I deviate. Overall most of these trails are never more than one valley away from the regular trail, so aborts are easy should the weather turn nasty. Patience on a slow computer, because this link takes a while to load.

Fishmonger's growing collection of JMT alternate routes - zoom into any area. These tracks are very detailed.

Another note - these are the "big picture" alternates that take you away from the JMT for a day or more. There are many small detours (dead ends mostly) not shown here, and we usually take those to find secluded or nicer camping within 30 minutes of the trail proper. I am always amazed how crowded the more obvious camp sites along the JMT can get when there are lakes and great viewing locations just a few minutes away from the official route. I don't always feel like posting where those places are, since I don't want to get there one of these days and find my favorite spots occupied my a group of boy scouts... :D
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Re: JMT

Postby oldhikerQ » Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:38 am

Fishmonger,
Thanks so much for the reply and the alternate route suggestions. I'll have something to study this winter while I'm working on my rehab.
Cheers
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I — I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Robert Frost
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Re: JMT

Postby Harlen » Wed Nov 15, 2017 2:52 pm

My longest stretches on it were in the Spring of 2016, when I skied the whole Yosemite portion of the JMT, plus Mineret Summit to Donohue pass in 4 days, with layover days, day-skiing out of the TMHut. Other than that, skied and hiked the rest of it as parts of other BC trips. Lovely, but crowded country, I reckon best seen in the snowy season.

036 (1).JPG

Near Island Pass

031 (1).JPG
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Last edited by Harlen on Thu Nov 16, 2017 11:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: JMT

Postby longri » Wed Nov 15, 2017 3:13 pm

Harlen wrote:My longest stretches on it was Spring of 2016, when I skied the whole Yosemite portion of the JMT...


I think you must mean you carried your skis for part of the JMT. It's not that common that you can ski from Happy Isles and when you can it's generally mid-winter, soon after a storm. And 2016 wasn't that great a snow year. It was burning off at the lower elevations by mid-March.
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