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JMT speed record attempt
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Nate Meinzer
(Rezniem) - F

Locale: San Francisco
Ditto what jay said on 08/09/2009 21:34:34 MDT Print View

All I know is that if Jay was a fastpacker, the quality and quantity of JMT photos around here would seriously suffer.

Michael Popov
(mpopov) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: JMT Record - Summit or Portal on 08/09/2009 21:58:48 MDT Print View

Art, I agree with everything you say here. Except that if someone wants to call it a JMT run, it should be run from terminus to terminus (where the northern terminus is is another good question). But if someone wants to run from the Portal, it should be called the "Whitney Trail - JMT bundle", as it is essentially two trails stacked together on top of each other.

I can't say much because of historic precedents, but if I were to choose, I'd choose the original historic John Muir Trail without any extra timed approaches. It's not that hard, really. I don't see what all the fuss is about. If one feels that it's "logistically easier" to go from car to car, then one probably should not undertake the trail in the first place when you're 25 miles away from the nearest civilization at the most times and with car access only at miles 163, 196, and finish.

This needs to be discussed with all previous record holders for the supported attempt, and see what they think.

Edited by mpopov on 08/09/2009 22:06:47 MDT.

Michael Popov
(mpopov) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
JMT pictures on 08/09/2009 23:43:05 MDT Print View

Mark Davis at Trail Camp on the evening bf the attempt

Michael Popov and Mark Davis at Trail Camp

Edited by mpopov on 08/10/2009 00:08:36 MDT.

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: JMT pictures on 08/10/2009 01:16:04 MDT Print View

I agree that if there only a small handful of people who really want anything to do with or have the input that counts, then it is only those peoples opinions that matter.

In retrospect to the previous records, the JMT goes from Yosemite to Whitney.

It is however another 10,000' of climbing in that direction and is hard to justify taking away a record that has already been established.

Kilian is now going for the record at the end of Sept.
From what I have read on the post that talk about his attempt have the JMT stated as 211 miles and for all I know Kilian is or may go for the record on the actual JMT at that distance?
This is not what is currently and hence more reason the discussion needs to be brought up.

Just my two cents...

Edited by awsorensen on 08/10/2009 17:39:12 MDT.

Michael Popov
(mpopov) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
September attempt on 08/10/2009 08:53:21 MDT Print View

I have a strong suspicion that Kilian is going to scratch all the local ground rules, will have marshalls timing him from the top and along the route, and will actually start from the top for the supported attempt, because everywhere in Europe JMT is classified as a 211-mile trail. So much for Sue's record. Europeans know better than Americans how long the JMT is. It's really sad.

Edited by mpopov on 08/10/2009 09:22:38 MDT.

Mark Davis
(Trailster) - F

Locale: Cascades
JMT on 08/10/2009 11:46:51 MDT Print View

Hi Michael

Sorry to hear about your shoulder. That is unbelievably bad luck. I have to say you are one tough cookie to have gone ahead with your attempt with that kind of injury. Again I am glad you and Aaron made it to Tuolumne Meadows safely. I hope your shoulder is feeling better and recovers fully soon. I've helped a couple of people with dislocates in the past and I have seen how painful that is.
Get some rest.


Mark Davis
(Trailster) - F

Locale: Cascades
PICS on 08/10/2009 11:52:02 MDT Print View


I almost forgot, Thanks for the pictures!


Peter Bakwin
(pbakwin) - F
Re: Re: JMT pictures on 08/10/2009 14:56:24 MDT Print View

Well, I said my piece on the summit vs. portal thing.
But, Aaron, there really is no support whatsoever for
the notion that the JMT is north to south! Most people
hike it that way, but so what. If people want to keep
NoBo and SoBo records that's fine, but let's not get
into this idea that the trail is from Yosemite to
Whitney. Nonsense.

Rumor is that Killian probably won't do the JMT this
year. So .... Sue's record appears safe for another
year! Hopefully today Sue is summiting Granite Peak,
MT, and thereby polishing off all the state highpoints
except 400 feet of Denali ("No, I'm not going back!"),
and leaving only a vacation to Hawaii! She's a tough
cookie & deserves that record.

Better luck next year Michael!

JMT 2003 3d22h04m
JMT 2001 4d14h39m

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: Re: Re: JMT pictures on 08/10/2009 17:27:42 MDT Print View

This is just my two cents.
I would just like to see some type of conformity on the matter. I really don't fell the need for a N-S and S-N record.
When ever you do see anything on the JMT, it is always N-S though. You do not see any thing saying it is from the other.

The list goes on and on.

If the supported record were to stay car to car and never been discussed again, that would be even better, but should be agreed upon because the Mount Whitney Trail is not part of the John Muir Trail.

I also love posting on BPL because I like to speak my mind and no one on this site really takes an offence to this.
It is just my opinion though and I never mean to do any harm or foul from it.
Besides, the JMT is such a tough trail that I could never even imagine averaging 60 miles a day on it.
You guys desirve all the praise you can get for being able to keep going and completed the trail in the times you, Sue and Michael did.

Yes, Sue is one tough cookie!!!
Her level of effort she laid down on the trail was amazing.

Edited by awsorensen on 08/10/2009 17:35:14 MDT.

Peter Bakwin
(pbakwin) - F
NoBo or SoBo on 08/10/2009 18:20:10 MDT Print View

Sure the JMT is usually described from north to south.
You have to describe it one way or the other, and
the convention has come to be north to south. This
makes sense, since most hikers are going to do it in
that direction. However, it does not mean that you
are not hiking the JMT if you hike south to north,
and for obvious reasons the fastest trips are going
to be done that way. Either direction is equally

When Buzz & I set out to set the Colorado Trail
record in 1999 (he succeeded, while I dropped out
with an injury) we elected to start in Denver mainly
because the majority of backpackers hike that
direction. We knew that starting in Durango would
be easier, but we felt better about starting going
the other direction. That was just the run we were
doing at the time. The current supported and
unsupported records were set by starting in Durango.

I agree this is a great forum to vet these issues
& it is super to have so many experieced folks
involved in the discussion. In the end, everyone
is going to do what makes the most sense to them,
and I believe that everyone will accept what others
do. I suppose there may come a time when different
people hold the Portal vs. Summit records (as there
was before Buzz & I did the JMT in 2000). OK, no
big deal.

Buzz & I felt strongly when we did the JMT in 2000
that one should stick to the current official route.
Hence, we used the gross horse trail into Happy Isles,
rather than the Mist Trail, and the official route
through Tuolumne. I did the same in 2003.

New records on the big trails (LT, CT, JMT, etc.)
are getting TOUGH! On that note, has anyone heard
anything about Scott Williamson on the PCT? He
should be finishing up before too long, no?


Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: NoBo or SoBo on 08/10/2009 18:22:59 MDT Print View

Thank you for the insight.

Michael Popov
(mpopov) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
no NoBo and no SoBo on 08/10/2009 23:02:14 MDT Print View

Listen to us.. Arguing like a bunch of kids. Well, maybe there's a grain of truth somewhere beneath, we just need to dig it out.

Peter, I personally don't mind starting from the portal as long as this is the universal approach to the trail start. I was just voicing that this is not a true JMT trail, but two different trails run together. If you feel it's better this way, I'm ok with this, you've been longer at this game than I was :) Maybe some day we can see some sort of agreement on where to begin both formats.

Aaron, why is SoBo is the only true trail? That's not entirely correct. The majority of people hike SoBo and most guidebooks and websites are geared towards SoBo. But come on, you know that classic direction is NoBo, in conjunction with PCT. But then again, it's absolutely subjective. Both directions are legitimate. One of them will be faster, and it is NoBo. But heck, this is a great argument!

Sue IS one tough cookie, did someone mention her record was "soft"?

Edited by mpopov on 08/10/2009 23:05:27 MDT.

David T
(DaveT) - F
. on 08/11/2009 00:22:47 MDT Print View


Edited by DaveT on 05/17/2015 22:57:25 MDT.

Michael Popov
(mpopov) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: classic direction? on 08/11/2009 11:19:27 MDT Print View

Yes and no. Yes, because there's majority of people hiking it SoBo, acclimatizing and culminating with Whitney. That is a traditional way to do it. But the classic way the JMT is done is NoBo.

The google search on the "classic direction" returned only one result, which is this:

From the review on the "John Muir Trail: The Essential Guide to Hiking America's Most Famous Trail":

"Backpackers trying to save space and weight have a couple of options. One is to simply tear out the sections of the book you will be using. You hardly need the classic South to North directions if you are hiking the other way."

I could not find anything on the SoBo direction being classic. If someone can, that'll be awesome. I'm curious in the matter.

Michael Popov
(mpopov) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Pre JMT album on 08/11/2009 12:53:58 MDT Print View

The girl named Rocket. Just finished JMT. Her real name!

Whitney Range. Clouds are starting to form and darken.

My home away from home

Dayhiking down to Consultation Lk. The Salomon backpack was the one used on JMT.

Trail Crest

Skypilots. Grow only at elevations of 10000-13000 feet.

Whatcha got for me there, human?

The storm is raging in the background.

Consultation Lake and Trail Camp Swamp as seen from Mt. Muir

Made it to the top of Mt. Muir. Much better views than from Whitney!

Morning at Trail Camp

Outlet of Consultation Lake. Lots of spooky trout.

Consultation Lake

Alpine tundra flowers

Au naturel ice bath!

More alpine tundra flowers

Trail Camp Swamp

View from the tent

Camp food, asian style stir-fry.

Little fishing in Lone Pine Lake using trekking poles

This happened one day before the run. It did set the tone for the whole run.

Coming down Forester Pass

Morning at the Mather Pass

Trail Crew at work on Muir Pass approach

Low flying clouds in Tully Hole. Got pelted by hail there.

Pet deer at Tuolumne Meadows

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: Pre JMT album on 08/11/2009 13:28:25 MDT Print View

Great Photos !

David T
(DaveT) - F
. on 08/11/2009 14:22:21 MDT Print View


Edited by DaveT on 05/17/2015 23:08:14 MDT.

Brett Maune
(bmaune) - F

Locale: SoCal
Golite Storm Dragons on 08/11/2009 15:19:38 MDT Print View

Does anyone know where I can get a pair of 11/11.5 Storm Dragons? Golite appears to be discontinuing the line and this is the shoe with which I've down all training hikes/failed attempt. I thought I secured a pair but apparently that has fallen through...My newest pair is already pretty beat up and I'd like to have a virgin pair for the second attempt if possible.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

James Patsalides
( - MLife

Locale: New England
Storm Dragons on 08/11/2009 15:22:59 MDT Print View

I just got a new pair from yeah, I couldn't believe it either! Good luck.

Peace, James.

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: classic jmt on 08/11/2009 15:24:24 MDT Print View

Hey Dave,
I understand what you are saying.
I have been directly involved in a few newscasts where I was a first hand witness to everything that happened.

When I watched the news about both later on that day, they both did not even come close to what really happened and the way they explained the story did not go in context with what really happened.

But hey, if you would like to join Michael for his attempt next year so you could verify it first hand, we could certainly use another person???

Michael, great pictures. Thanks for posting them.

Edited by awsorensen on 08/11/2009 15:25:11 MDT.