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hiking JMT Bishop Pass to Cottonwood Lakes
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Ryan Degnim
(rdegnim) - F
hiking JMT Bishop Pass to Cottonwood Lakes on 07/01/2010 08:30:24 MDT Print View

Hi I will be hiking a segment of the John Muir trail starting at the Bishop pass trailhead with the intention of ending at the Cottonwood lakes trailhead in 10 days. I have the Guide to the JMT by Kathy Morey with the Tom Harrison Topo maps included within it. Is it a necessity to have the actual Topo Maps by Tom Harrison? I plan on taking the Guide Book with me on the hike. Any other suggestions or knowledge on this segment of the JMT would be appreciated.

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: hiking JMT Bishop Pass to Cottonwood Lakes on 07/01/2010 08:44:25 MDT Print View

Ryan, I think there are several people here who are familiar with that trail portion. You might want to state any specific questions that you have. Personally, I have never used any Tom Harrison map. I try to about halfway commit the guidebook to memory in advance. Then I make a reduced copy of lots of pages so that the print is just barely readable, but I get about 8 pages onto the sides of one sheet of paper.

--B.G.--

Ryan Degnim
(rdegnim) - F
Water/ Trail query on 07/01/2010 11:55:27 MDT Print View

one specific question I have regards water. Are there any particular stretches on this segment of the trail which are void of water for some duration? How much water should we carry at a time? I was thinking 32-34 ounces. Also has anyone hiked in via bishop pass to the jmt is it clear how to get to the jmt or apparent when you have reached the trail? Thanks.

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Water/ Trail query on 07/01/2010 12:26:17 MDT Print View

The last time that I came over Bishop Pass, I was on cross country skis, and the trail there was covered by 5-10 feet of snow. However, the trail is fairly heavily used, and it drops down through Dusy Basin gradually. Then there is a steeper downhill that brings you to the JMT in LeConte Canyon. That junction ought to be pretty obvious. You are not going to turn north on the JMT. There is no trail continuing straight. Therefore, you turn south and head on a slight downhill.

I'd bet even my grandmother would make the turn correctly.

--B.G.--

Ben Crowell
(bcrowell) - F

Locale: Southern California
Re: hiking JMT Bishop Pass to Cottonwood Lakes on 07/01/2010 18:04:21 MDT Print View

"I have the Guide to the JMT by Kathy Morey with the Tom Harrison Topo maps included within it. Is it a necessity to have the actual Topo Maps by Tom Harrison? I plan on taking the Guide Book with me on the hike."
I'm hiking the JMT starting in a couple of weeks, own the guidebook, and personally I'm bringing the real Harrison maps and not bringing the guidebook. I've copied relevant info from the guidebook onto the backs of the maps. The JMT is a big, wide, well-maintained, heavily traveled trail -- BUT I would still feel very vulnerable hiking it with only those tiny, simplified, black and white maps in the Morey book. You can't see the green markings for forest. There is no UTM grid (are you bringing a GPS?). In a lot of places, I would have trouble making out the microscopic elevation labels on the contour lines. I would consider even the real Harrison maps to be a little on the condensed side, compared to a 1:24000 usgs.

"Are there any particular stretches on this segment of the trail which are void of water for some duration? How much water should we carry at a time? I was thinking 32-34 ounces."
You can go through the maps and look at how far apart the streams are. I haven't hiked that section yet, but it looks like there is plenty of water. How much water to carry is a matter of preference and opinion. Here is some information on the wildly inflated urban folktales about how much water you need to drink: http://www.lightandmatter.com/article/hiking_water.html IMO a perfectly valid answer is to carry zero water on the trail; just drink when you get to water. For various practical reasons, however, (e.g., you might not be camping near water), you probably want to bring at least some water containers. I'm bringing two half-liter water bottles of the type they sell bottled water in. Your choice may also be influenced by what water purification system (if any) you decide to use.

Paul McLaughlin
(paul) - MLife
Re: hiking JMT Bishop Pass to Cottonwood Lakes on 07/01/2010 19:12:17 MDT Print View

I have been from Bishop Pass to Whitney, and have also done the full JMT, and another time gone from Yosemite to South Lake. I'd take the maps. Actually, I'd take the maps and not the book, but I've been there before. You'll have no problem with the junction where you meet the JMT after coming down the Dusy branch. It's a very obvious junction. You'll have no long dry stretches of trail, with the possible exception of the section between the saddle next to Mt. Guyot and the creek below there. All along the JMT there are plenty of water sources, especially this year with the big snowpack. You'll find plenty of snow to cool your drinks! Have fun, it's a great walk.

Christopher Holly
(climber72) - F

Locale: At my desk
Light and Matter on 07/01/2010 19:31:05 MDT Print View

Benjamin,

Kinda new here, but the link you provided to the Light and Matter article on drinking water myths is thought provoking to say the least. I'm sure other articles of like content have been shared, but this is the first time I've seen one. I am gonna check out the data no doubt... Thanks for that!!

CMH

First Last
(snusmumriken) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Bring the JMT map pack (and a compass) on 07/01/2010 21:13:45 MDT Print View

The guidebook can be great for planning your resupply strategy, thinking about daily distances, and more, but once you are on the trail that guidebook will be dead weight.

Do bring the Harrison JMT map pack however - it is a really great set of maps. The trail is covered in 13 small maps, they are just about the right scale for on trail hiking, covers exactly the trail and just enough of the surrounding areas, are the right size to use and fit in your pocket without too much folding, and you'll feel a sense of accomplishment as you bring out a fresh one every day or every other day depending on hiking speed.

Bring a compass as well. The trail is well marked and you may never use it - but if you get lost you'll need that compass and a good map and the knowledge to use them.

Water is everywhere. How much you carry, as someone else mentioned, has more to do with if you treat your water and what method you use.