I'm planning a southbound hike, leaving sometime mid-july to early august. As of now it's a solo trip, but for anyone planning for a similar timeframe and looking for a hiking buddy, I'd like to hear from you.
A note on time: I originally wanted to do the thru in 2 weeks, but after talking to a Yosemite ranger who did the trail a few years ago, I'm convinced to take more like 3 weeks. Seems like anyone who's done it will agree that a 2 week pace or faster cuts out seeing much of anything besides the boy scouts, whereas an extra week or so allows for checking out side peaks and enjoying a couple of rest days. Still figuring out resupply logistics and other details; have yet to get a permit but I'm planning to do the walk-up route anyway...
Best of luck to everyone in planning, packing, and waiting out the weeks or months that are left until you get on the trail.
Oh, and I LOVE the idea of doing the first leg backwards: TM to HI; downhill. As someone who's done that beginning section out of the valley a number of times as a day hike, I can say I will not in any way feel like I'm "cheating" when I follow this BRILLIANT advice. I'm even thinking camp in the valley 2 nights, with that backwards day hike section in the middle; leave the pack and gear stashed at the site that day, and take the bus to TM the next morning.
This also means not starting the thru hike battling for trail space with the huge number of people doing the mist trail day hike: a portion where families with elderly members and small children, as well as school classes and tour groups are abundant.
Ok, apologies for the lengthy post, but I just spent last nght up in Yosemite and I'm more excited than ever for the trip!