JMT Hike - Early June
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Joshua Gray
(coastalhiker) - MLife
JMT Hike - Early June on 06/21/2010 17:41:58 MDT Print View

Hey everyone, this is my first post, even though I have been a lurker for a while.

A buddy and I have been planning to do the JMT for a while now and I will finally have time off for it in 2012...I know its far in the future, but that's what Med School does to you.

Anyways, I was trying to compile a list of gear and needs for our trip. It will be very early into the JMT season, we will leave June 1st and do the JMT in 18 days. I have to be at my residency program likely by the 21st. So if you are willing to look over my gear list @ https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0AgokygNHPLfHdFJKNEltZ1R1MjUySXVaaUtqdE5yREE&hl=en&authkey=CKbBl8ME and tell me what you think.
(All gear I don't have yet is marked in red.)

I actually haven't bought any of the climbing/winter gear yet, so any suggestions/alterations are definately welcome!

Also, if anyone has any idea of the expected conditions that early in June, there is not a lot out there, so let me know. Obviously, if the date is eventually approaching and the Sierras have been hit hard that winter, our trip will be abandoned and moved to a better locale.

We will be going southbound and resupplying at Tuolumne Meadows and at Muir Ranch.

Thanks,
Josh

Edited by coastalhiker on 06/23/2010 13:42:58 MDT.

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
Re: JMT Hike - Early June on 06/21/2010 18:04:46 MDT Print View

Depending on the year you could have serious snow. For perspective, this year would have been challenging to complete this trip without skis or snowshoes. Also, you will want to look into when Tuolumne Meadows and MTR open for the season. This year MTR wasn't open until June 19th. You may not have resupply option without adding some miles and a day.

Here is a historic picture of when tioga road opens for the last few years. Just because the road is open doesn't mean there are any facilities open at Tuolumne meadows.

http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/seasonal.htm

Google PCT trail jounals and read through what the PCT hikers are going through this year. It's been a bad winter but you would be heading into the hills very early.

Joshua Gray
(coastalhiker) - MLife
Re: Re: JMT Hike - Early June on 06/23/2010 11:58:40 MDT Print View

Thanks Greg. Didn't realize Tuolumne wouldn't be open then. Not really a big deal, just adds 2 days worth of food on at the beginning. I guess the bigger problem will be if MTR will be open by then.

I guess my biggest fears were the snowmelt/stream crossings and Forester Pass. From the looks of things, Forester won't be too bad. From the PCT logs this year (140% snowpack), Forester wasn't that bad, with the logs I read doing it in trail runners and microstuds.

Thanks again for the link and what a great idea to look at the PCT logs.

Paul McLaughlin
(paul) - MLife
Re: JMT Hike - Early June on 06/25/2010 17:01:32 MDT Print View

That time frame is when the first bunch of PCT hikers go through, so it's quite doable if you are comfortable traveling on the snow and have some good route-finding skills (trail may be snow-covered and harder to follow).
You'd reach MTR about the 9th, so the odds are they will be open. You'll have a pretty good idea of the snowpack status far enough ahead to make alternative plans for the resupply if need be - as long as you are prepared to spend some extra time or money or both to make it happen.
Stream crossings can indeed be dangerous at that time of year, but there aren't a lot of bad ones on the JMT.
I looked over your list - here are my comments:

I'd find some lighter camp shoes if you feel you need them. Try Sprint aquatics - mine are 2 oz for the pair.

I'd skip the down booties. There may be plenty of snow on the ground, but the weather will be pretty warm.

Driclime windshirt is heavy for what it provides.

You shell is rather heavy - lots of lighter shells and some for pretty cheap, like a Marmot Precip, 12 oz and often found on sale for $70.

Gloves - You sould be fine with just some light gloves that time of year - I like powerstretch glove liners at 1.5 oz for summer in the Sierra.

Lighter gaiters will do just fine - look at Dirty Girls.

Nalgene bottles are heavy.

If you take crampons, get the lightest ones you can, because you will carry them a lot more than you'll use them. Camp has some very light aluminum models. Same for the axe. Camp has one that's about 8 oz.

Are you planning some climbs along the way? You won't need the other climbing stuff just for the trail, even if there is lots of snow.

I'd get something lighter to replace that leatherman.

Otherwise it looks good.
In general, you should be aware that you'll walk on a fair amount of snow, and that there will be lots of water around and on the trail, so your feet will be wet. Be prepared for that, and test out your footwear accordingly to be sure your shoes and socks work well and are comfortable when wet and will dry quickly.
You should have no problem finding dry spots to camp and rest on.
Weather is usually warm in June, but as always it may vary a lot.
Bugs may be horrendous, very bad, or just bad down in the canyons. I'd bring a headnet for sure, and plenty of bug juice. You'll likely be able to escape bugs by going higher where it's snowier, unless it turns out to be a low snow year.

Have a great trip!