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JMT Hike by Boy Scout
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Jennifer W
(tothetrail) - MLife

Locale: So. Cal.
Re: VVR vs. MTR on 08/18/2010 12:20:44 MDT Print View

Thanks Daniel. That's exactly what I was trying to find.

Nice, I like that sneaky move by your dad!

I was able to view the rest of your report in Explorer. Firefox was cutting off a portion.

Again, thanks for the thorough and detailed trip report.

Ben, Frank, thanks for the tips. The combination of all these little gems of details are so helpful.

Scott Bentz
(scottbentz) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Nice Job! on 08/18/2010 13:09:21 MDT Print View


Nice job on finishing the JMT. I took my son last year. He was 17 at the time. I wish I had done it when I was a teenager since last year was my first thru hike. I plan on doing it again and again.

As for VVR and MTR, I suppose you like MTR better because you had first class treatment. A bed, hot tub, clothes washed, food and lemonade. Most of us just stop off long enough to pick up a delivery that we paid $50.00 for.

I would stay at VVR next time and not got to MTR and just carry the extra 1.5 days of food from VVR. We were on a 13 day schedule. I don't like having to be tied to a specific date on that type of hike since so many variables can take you off your schedule.

We will be heading up and over Forester Pass next week. This time from the south to north.


Daniel Kopisch
(Eagle) - F

Locale: Menlo Park
re: Nice Job! on 08/18/2010 14:53:35 MDT Print View


I'm glad I did this as a teenager. I'm sure my dad would have loved to do this earlier too. All this hiking, camping and backpacking came late in his life due to the Boys Scout activities I'm involved in. Your son and you must have had an incredible time. Being on the JMT with your dad is just a very special thing. I assume being on the JMT with your son is equally special.
I can totally understand that people prefer the flexibility of being able to show up at VVR at any time vs. the rigidity of being at a fixed date at MTR. My hiking plan didn't plan for a stay at either one and I needed to re-supply at MTR, because we would not have been able to stuff the extra days of food needed from VVR into our bear canisters at our speed of 10 miles a day. Now that I stayed for a day at each one I have a clear preference that is mainly based on the respect I got. As a child who is not carrying the credit card I get a special perspective at service businesses. The differences between the two were enormous. Secondly I base my opinion on value for money. If I take the same services at VVR that I get at MTR I have to pay the same or even more money. Would I have bought 10 lemonades from the store at VVR as I took from MTR? Most likely not, but I saw lots of adults at VVR getting 10 beers during the evening. Would I have checked my email for 30 minutes at VVR for $60? Again I saw many people do excactly that. The good thing about VVR is that you have the choice to use a service (and pay for it). So you can take the ferry (and back) for $18, eat dinner for $20 and eat breakfast for $15 and restrict your bill to $53. Add in $6 for the shower and $6 for the washer and it is $65. Still less than half of the price for MTR. I clearly see why people choose VVR over MTR. If it weren't for the very unprofessional behavior of some of their staff, I would most likely think differently, but the contrast between the two places was very,very big. Respect and honesty really goes a long way in that regard.


Daniel Kopisch
(Eagle) - F

Locale: Menlo Park
I uploaded over 500 photos from my JMT hike on 09/07/2010 13:23:02 MDT Print View

I'm finally done with uploading over 500 photos. You can go to my website at

On that page you will find a table with 20 links (one for each day). Each link brings you to a page with the track of that day and geotagged photos, so you can see where they were taken.


Edited by Eagle on 09/07/2010 13:24:17 MDT.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: I uploaded over 500 photos from my JMT hike on 09/07/2010 14:30:09 MDT Print View

Just read your write up -- all 20 days! Congrats on completing your trip -- and thanks for sharing!!

Papa Manfred ought to be proud! Curious, did papa switch to UL gear? :)

Edited by ben2world on 09/07/2010 14:31:44 MDT.

Manfred Kopisch
(Orienteering) - F
Still switching to UL gear on 09/07/2010 15:33:53 MDT Print View

Hi Ben,

Proud "Papa" Manfred here :) It was an incredible experience for me to go with Daniel and his twin brother on the John Muir Trail. Chaning to ultra light gear is a journey for me, I just started on. My pack for our three week hike was -- thanks to all the input from this forum -- over 10 lbs lighter than my pack used to be on weekend trips with the Boy Scouts. But at 27 lbs for my pack weight I'm still a long way away from ULTRA light. Next summer I'm going with our troop to Philmont and I hope I can set a good example to the scouts with a pack weight of under 20 lbs. My first step will be to get a new pack. That will immediately drop my pack weight by roughly 3 lbs. There are gadgets like GPS and camera that I could drop, because I don't need them out there, but I really like to have them. We will see how the next 10 months of preparation for Philmont will impact my thoughts about how light I want to go.

Best Regards,


Scott Bentz
(scottbentz) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Going UL at Philmont on 09/07/2010 15:57:54 MDT Print View


Make sure you read up on all of the great Philmont information at the Scouting and Philmont Forum. We took a troop there a few years ago and this site was extremely helpful. As a troop we were all lightweight, some more than others. The heaviest pack weight leaving camp with 4 days of heavy Philmont food was 28 lbs. Most of us were at 22 or less full.

Your son's trip report was one of the best I've seen.