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Nobody You Know
(DirtbagLiving) - F

Locale: Colorado
JMT August on 05/19/2010 21:55:05 MDT Print View

I'm thinking about doing a solo hike of the JMT this coming August. I'm sure plenty of you on here have done this hike. I have lots of questions. Can you help me out?

Ed Engel
(Doorknob) - F

Locale: West of what you think is west
JMT on 05/19/2010 22:16:26 MDT Print View

Ask away.................

D S
(onthecouchagain) - MLife

Locale: Sunny SoCal
better get to step one..NOW on 05/19/2010 22:25:01 MDT Print View

You'll need a wilderness permit...better get on that now, if not, you will have to get to a permit office early in the A.M. (like 3 am) and stand in line hoping to get one of the walk in permits (about 40% of all permits issued if memory serves).

What are your questions? There are some excellent prior threads on the JMT including:

fishing
best spots (favorites)
off trail
gear lists specifically for JMT
trip photos
records
resupply destinations
bears
weather
bugs
water sources/strategies

just to name a few I've read myself...

couch

Nobody You Know
(DirtbagLiving) - F

Locale: Colorado
Thanks on 05/19/2010 22:41:45 MDT Print View

That list you posted has most of the topics I am interested in. I will search for them.

If you couldn't tell, this is just a "I'm just gonna go do it" thing. Should be interesting.

Brandon Sanchez
(dharmabumpkin) - F

Locale: San Gabriel Mtns
JMT August on 05/19/2010 22:51:02 MDT Print View

I was able to backpack the JMT after only a couple overnighers under my belt simply by looking at Backpacker Magazine's Gear Guide and referencing the guidebook. Very limited resources and it turned out wonderfully. With BPL resources at hand you shouldnt be worried at all, not that it sounds like you are haha. Its just walking right? I dont know about you but I started telling everyone I was going to do it before I even knew it was possible simply to motivate myself- cant make me a liar I told myself.

Ryan Teale
(monstertruck) - F

Locale: Almost Yosemite
JMT August on 05/20/2010 00:42:24 MDT Print View

I completed the JMT on Sept. 5th last year. I went North to South and took 17 days total including a rest day at Vermillion Valley Resort. Always willing to help and feel free to shoot me a PM.

Ryan

Scott Bentz
(scottbentz) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
JMT on 05/20/2010 11:09:26 MDT Print View

I too hiked the JMT last summer. 14 days total including a lay over day at Vermillion. I posted a trip report a few weeks ago on that part of the forum.

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=31741

As has already been stated, make sure you get on the permit thing ASAP. You probably won't be able to get permit for Happy Isles unless you walk in and wait in line. There's a ton of information here as to how to pack, what to eat, how fast, etc. Get the Tom Harrison map packs and mark out each day following a plan that others may have done at the same pace you want to do it at. That pace evidently can be from 4 days to 30 days or more!

Good luck. It's worth the planning.

Edited by scottbentz on 05/20/2010 11:22:11 MDT.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
JMT on 05/20/2010 11:18:38 MDT Print View

Back in the old days (with traditional gear) it was customary to take 25-28 days to finish the JMT. Then one friend set off to do it solo in 16 days. Unfortunately, we never heard from her again.

Now, with modern equipment so light, many hikers are doing it in two weeks or less. I guess the record is slightly less than 4 days, but that is extreme.

I met one fellow who was finishing the JMT on his tenth day, but he had dropped 15 pounds of body weight. I guess that is OK if you are young and strong enough.

--B.G.--

David Lutz
(davidlutz)

Locale: Bay Area
Bob....... on 05/20/2010 11:37:54 MDT Print View

.......dude, you can't drop things like "......we never heard from her again" into a post without providing more background...

Seriously though, it sounds like a learning opportunity to me, share more?

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Bob....... on 05/20/2010 11:48:00 MDT Print View

This gal was young and tough, and she had been a member of our local hiking group for a while. I had little doubt that she was capable of hiking the JMT, but her fast goal seemed slightly radical at the time.

She never showed up again. She might have finished it successfully and then moved off to Australia, or she could have died in mid-trail. She might have found Mister Right and moved off to raise llamas or something. We never heard a peep. We would have liked it if she had reported something back to us, like, "It took me one extra day." Or, "I sprained my ankle and had to quit."

--B.G.--

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
Re: JMT on 05/20/2010 12:56:56 MDT Print View

" met one fellow who was finishing the JMT on his tenth day, but he had dropped 15 pounds of body weight. I guess that is OK if you are young and strong enough."

I thought that was me until you wrote the part about young!

A note on planning. You can wing it all you want on miles days, camping etc. But you will have to put some thought into resupply. It's a long way between Muir Trail Ranch (Mile 107) and Whitney Portal (Mile 222) and running out of food (or having a bear eat it) will result in a day detour over a pass to head into town.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: JMT on 05/20/2010 13:19:17 MDT Print View

You know, I thought of an interesting business. It's too bad that the national park concessionaire status is so difficult.

If I was situated out at about Mather Pass or Pinchot Pass, and if I had a stock of freeze dried meals, maybe three different kinds, I could sell those to thru-hikers at a considerable profit. Getting there with an extra 25-pound load would take some effort, but that would be fun to test-market.

--B.G.--

Nobody You Know
(DirtbagLiving) - F

Locale: Colorado
JMT on 05/21/2010 22:33:50 MDT Print View

Well it's not happening this summer. I was hoping to do it between the summer semester and fall semester (approx 20 days) but there is just too much I need to do. And I'm not exactly a "UL'er" yet and wasn't looking to break any speed records. I wanted it to be something I could take my time with (to an extent) and actually enjoy the scenery. Maybe next summer. But thanks for all the help. You guys (and girls) rock!

Scott Bentz
(scottbentz) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Not Happening on 05/22/2010 08:00:02 MDT Print View

That is too bad! 20 days is actually a pretty easy pace. It would give you time to get to camp, do a side hike, maybe fish, take a nap, etc. It would only be about 11 miles a day. However, while hiking the JMT is not the hardest thing to do, getting all the stuff together, i.e. equipment, food drops, permits, etc., does take a bit of planning.

D S
(onthecouchagain) - MLife

Locale: Sunny SoCal
just do it on 05/22/2010 21:07:06 MDT Print View

Second that...20 days is PLENTY of time, even for your first time...don't let that limit your trip....if it is the permit thing----post on the forum under "trips" and see if another member may have an extra spot on an existing permit and would consider having you join?????

One year, we leapfrogged with a bunch of thru hikers going south like we were and ended up having a great time (reaching a total of 23 people all sharing stories/beer/good times for about 80 miles or so before we all started going at our own paces----awesome times.

couch

Nate Meinzer
(Rezniem) - F

Locale: San Francisco
Permits on 05/23/2010 11:41:14 MDT Print View

I've got one for Lyell canyon to Whitney Portal on August 12...if you do the first part as a day hike the 11th, you'd be all set.