"I agree with Peter, the JMT is just an arbitrary course established by government bureacrats after John Muirs Death. The JMT is not even its own trail for much of the way, forced to share footsteps with the PCT. Everyone who does the JMT starts from or finishes at the Portal, they don't get a helicopter ride to the summit. John Muir himself would probably laugh at the idea of a summit start, asking "how do I get there to begin?"."
Arbitrary? Well, it's a trail that was made. If that's "arbitrary" so be it. But the JMT goes from Yosemite to the summit of Whitney. So if you do the JMT (hiking, ultra-running, whatever) it kinda seems like that's the route. Whitney Portal is simply the nearest trailhead. Most people end at Whitney, not start. So to talk about the comedy of a "summit start" might be the wrong way around, perhaps serving the needs of "record-seekers"? If Muir was going to laugh at anything (or cry), I would imagine it would be the existence of roads up in the Sierra, other development, over-logging, Hetch-Hetchy, bark beetles, disputed "records" for a "fast hike", or something more than then patent ridiculousness "summit start."
I dunno what "it's not even it's own trail" means. The OG JMT is really "forced to share footsteps" with the NKOTB PCT... so it's the other way around.
"The Whitney Zone is a very sensitive over-used environment. Out of respect to the land we race on, we should spend as little time there as possible.
Out of respect for the wilderness in general we should attempt to race on her terms not ours. Alpinists do things "car to car". This means the adventure starts when they leave the civilization of the paved road, and ends when they return to the paved road. Respect for the spirit of backcountry adventure implies a "car to car" race course."
Boy that seems to be heading towards specious-justification land. The "record" route should be from the Portal due to respect for the wilderness and "car-to-car" racing? I'm not sure where to even start with that.
Anyway, I really don't care one way or the other. It just seems like if you want to talk about racing, enduro-speed-crawling, or even hiking the JMT, adding a bit on the end (or start) of the JMT seems silly and contrived.
Also, as a tiny, tiny aside, does anyone ever do anything that's not a competition any more? Records, records, records. I'm faster than you. You tried, but you're not as fast as me. I know, it's human nature. (However... I bet right now... someone, somewhere, is doing something spectactular that isn't even planning on making a web page about it.)