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JMT 6 days
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Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
JMT 6 days on 08/11/2010 17:47:19 MDT Print View

Duck Pass south to Bishop Pass, leaving on Saturday (Aug 14). Basically the Evolution Valley plus a little on either side.

I do not have a scale so I realize without weights this might not be helpful. But I'm hoping that the exercise of writing it down will help me evaluate my choices.

Clothing worn:
- Chacos
- Wool socks
- Skirt
- Tank top
- Long-sleeved button shirt
- Floppy sun hat
- Bandana (yep, I wear it)

Clothing packed:
- Ray Jardine Bomber Hat
- Fleece balaclava (I can never decide on these two hats and sometimes wear them both at the same time.)
- Fleece leg warmers
- Polypro leggings (because I'm wearing a skirt)
- Silnylon rain chaps
- Patagonia Down Sweater
- Patagonia Houdini (Do I need both of these jackets?)

Cooking:
- Homemade esbit stove
- Small pot with foil lid and foil/duct tape pot cozy.
- Lexan Spoon

Food:
- Weekender Bear Vault (I think I can fit it all in, otherwise I'll have to take the Garcia.)

Sleeping:
- Torso length k-mart blue foam
- Go-lite ultra 20

Shelter:
- Homemade bug net tent with two guylines
- 8x10 flat Equinox tarp with 6 guylines (yeah there are lighter ones but it'll have to do.)
- 7 stakes (really need 10 but I'll use rocks if I have to set up tarp and net at the same time.)
- Polycro ground sheet

Odds/ends
- Extra camera battery, extra memory card and tiny coolpix camera
- Tiny dry bag for camera and batteries should there be a scary creek
- Plastic compactor bag
- GoLite Chrome Umbrella
- Extra trash bag for pack cover if it does rain
- 2 1-liter platypus
- Naked juice bottle for mixing drinks
- Small bag of tiny hygiene items
- Small bottle "backcountry bidet" (No TP)
- Head net

Pack:
- If it all fits, ULA Relay
- If it doesn't fit, Gossamer Gear G4
- Hip holster pouch with maps and journal
- Waist-belt pouch with snacks and sunscreen, DEET

Extraneous gratuitous weight:
- Strumstck with bubblewrap "case" and a couple of picks


Okay, writing this out my questions are:
RAIN. My rain gear sucks, admittedly. But I did survive Washington on the PCT with that set-up. Do you think I'll be just as miserable on the JMT?

JACKETS - I can't see needing the Patagonia down sweater unless it's too cold at night for my sleeping bag. I get cold below 40. Should I leave it home?

BUGS - How are the bugs anyway? As you can see from my list, I'm a bit paranoid by them. I survived Oregon PCT in July last year and still haven't recovered.

SHELTER - Am I nutty to try my homemade bug tent on a trip like this? I do have a Gossamer Gear One.

Any suggestions for something I've forgotten or should maybe leave home? I do not have time to purchase any replacements.

Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Forgot something on 08/11/2010 17:50:57 MDT Print View

Forgot to list:
- Aquamira drops
- Classic swiss army knife (love the tweezers and scissors)
- Reading glasses
- Matches for the stove

Jay Wilkerson
(Creachen) - MLife

Locale: East Bay
JMT 6 Days on 08/11/2010 18:03:48 MDT Print View

Temps are in the mid 30's in Yosemite in the early morning and the mosquitoes are definetly out in Sierras. I am preatty sure the temps are even lower higher up..We have had such a mild summer so far...

Nice list--bring the Patagonia jacket just to be safe...IMHO... You could always use it as a pillow...

Edited by Creachen on 08/12/2010 09:12:29 MDT.

Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Re: JMT 6 Days on 08/11/2010 18:17:14 MDT Print View

Thank you.

I just weighed it on the bathroom scale. 19lbs. That includes my bear can with food in it. I still have a little bit more food to buy, too, mostly cheese.

Doesn't feel too bad. I guess I can live with it.

First Last
(snusmumriken) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Raingear on 08/11/2010 19:26:51 MDT Print View

If anything the Sierra tends to have afternoon thunderstorms, nice short dramatic ones with thunder, lightning, wind, rain and hail. Skip the umbrella and go with a driducks jacket instead.

If you are only an occasional windshirt user skip that one as well - the driducks jacket is good for any foul weather plus the mosquitos can't bite through it. Speaking of mosquitos, they should be winding down now.

Definitely keep the down jacket, you'll need it morning and evenings in camp.

I know this is about gear, but a quick unsolicited route suggestion: When you are working up the switch backs up to Evolution valley there will be a trail off and up to your left that is marked with a handwritted sign "Darwin Bench - Lamarck Col - offtrail - mountaineering skills required" or something similar. TAKE THIS TRAIL. Just a mile or so up the trail is Darwin Bench, one of the prettiest places in the Sierra. My hiking partner and I only ran into one other person hiking through in the 24 hours we were up there.

Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Darwin bench on 08/11/2010 20:52:34 MDT Print View

A mountaineering route? Can I do it wearing Chacos and a skirt? Sounds nice otherwise.

I wish I had a dri-ducks jacket but I don't. I thought I had a rain jacket but I learned it wets through. I do have a poncho. A vinyl gas station poncho. Maybe I will bring that instead of an umbrella.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Darwin bench on 08/11/2010 21:10:53 MDT Print View

"A mountaineering route? Can I do it wearing Chacos and a skirt? Sounds nice otherwise."

It's not a mountaineeing route, Piper. Lamarck Col is class 2 at most, but that said. I don't know about Chacos. I'd go with trail runners were I you.

Do you have any info on the route from the Bench up over Lamarck Col?

cary bertoncini
(cbert) - F

Locale: N. California
I think not going over Lamarck, right? on 08/11/2010 21:37:52 MDT Print View

But around to Bishop Pass, so the Bench would be a side trip, right?

Not sure I'd want Chacos over Muir or Bishop, but I guess my Salomon's aren't a whole lot more supportive and did fine (did fine over Lamarck for that matter).

That being said, that would be too far for me in 6 days, especially with the Bench side trip.

Edited by cbert on 08/11/2010 21:39:02 MDT.

Jay Wilkerson
(Creachen) - MLife

Locale: East Bay
JMT 6 Days on 08/11/2010 21:45:39 MDT Print View

dscn0059 (4)
Evolution Valley awaits

Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Beautiful! on 08/11/2010 22:08:11 MDT Print View

Oh wow, that is so beautiful.

I bailed on this section when I was hiking the PCT in 2008. I went over Mather Pass and had enough with the snow and just wanted to quit. So I bailed at Bishop Pass and jumped ahead to milder hiking. I have to admit I still have anxiety about doing this section. I hope by this time of year the creeks are low enough I won't drown.

I hiked a section on the PCT a week and a half ago with Chacos. I've been wearing them all the time lately. The section I did had lots of rocks and sticks in the trail. My local hiking has lots of rocks, too, including rolly-poly potato-sized rocks. I have never once stubbed a toe or anything. With wool socks on I totally feel like I have shoes on. I forget I'm wearing sandals. I love wearing them.

The only complaint I have is if I'm doing a really long day they feel kind of hard. Not much cushioning.

But I really have no choice in shoes, either. I've ordered some shoes but they won't be ready until September.

Looks like there will be a high pressure system moving in to take away the cold summer we've been having. I wondered if I should wear a long-sleeved base layer instead of a tank top. Maybe I shouldn't even wear the tank top?

Ben Crowell
(bcrowell) - F

Locale: Southern California
Re: JMT 6 days on 08/11/2010 22:18:02 MDT Print View

19 lb including food for 6 days sounds fantastic to me!

"My rain gear sucks, admittedly. But I did survive Washington on the PCT with that set-up. Do you think I'll be just as miserable on the JMT?"
I did the JMT last month, and I believe it's usually drier in August than July. Your rain gear is more than what I brought, and I was fine.

"I can't see needing the Patagonia down sweater unless it's too cold at night for my sleeping bag. I get cold below 40. Should I leave it home?"
I was comfy at night, even at the higher altitudes, with a 15-degree bag, tarp, long johns, and a lightweight wool sweater. Not sure if you need both jackets. Your leggings would presumably be the equivalent of my long john bottoms if you're going to sleep in them.

"How are the bugs anyway? As you can see from my list, I'm a bit paranoid by them. I survived Oregon PCT in July last year and still haven't recovered."
Bugs are likely to be *much* less of a problem in August than July. In July, I was happy during the day with long pants, long-sleeve shirt, and sometimes a head net. At night I was good with the addition of 100% DEET and a second layer of clothing. I slept with a headnet, and that was fine; I'd think you'd be fine with the bug net tent, and you could even consider ditching it and just sleeping with the headnet.

"Any suggestions for something I've forgotten or should maybe leave home?"

moleskin, duct tape?
compass? (maybe not needed since the JMT is so easy to find, but I brought one)
If you don't use trekking poles, maybe think about tarp setup when camping above tree line. I brought a 1-oz collapsible pole for that purpose.

Have fun! Hope your Achilles tendons treat you well!

First Last
(snusmumriken) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Darwin Bench on 08/11/2010 22:26:28 MDT Print View

Just to clarify: Darwin Bench is a side trip. Start looking for the side trail about a mile before you reach Evolution Lake. You take the clearly marked and easy use trail (that has the mountaineering route sign) up for a very short stretch, maybe less than one mile and you are right at Darwin bench. There is a beautiful little lake there. You can continue on and there are several little lakes, streams, and a waterfall - all of it magical and beautiful.
The hard mountaineering part they are talking about is Lamarck Col, several miles beyond, you can leave that for another trip, but Darwin Bench is definitely worth a side trip. Wish I had a picture to illustrate, but my camera was malfunctioning when i was there a couple of weeks ago.

Jay Wilkerson
(Creachen) - MLife

Locale: East Bay
JMT 6 Days on 08/11/2010 23:10:01 MDT Print View

DSCN0089
First Darwin Lake
DSCN0087
Taken from Darwin Bench looking at McClure Meadows--'well surrounding mountains'

cary bertoncini
(cbert) - F

Locale: N. California
jacket on 08/11/2010 23:55:41 MDT Print View

I've almost always wound up wearing my warm jacket up in there. With the cold winds and the chance of surprising lows, it's always a good idea when going for more than a couple nights. I was up in upper Kern at 12K+ one year and we got hit with 3 nights in a row that were probably below 20.

Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Re: jacket on 08/12/2010 07:59:20 MDT Print View

I will keep the warm jacket. I think I'll add gloves. They're probably already in there anyway.

This is the last day to get ready. I'm leaving right after work tomorrow. I have to pick up my permit by 10:30 am at the ranger station and it's 6 hours of driving so I want to get a head start the night before.

Juston Taul
(Junction)

Locale: Atlanta, GA
Have fun! on 08/12/2010 08:22:41 MDT Print View

Have a great trip and be safe! Take lots of pictures. :D

Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Re: Have fun! on 08/13/2010 13:15:27 MDT Print View

Thank you. I really do hope I have fun. I have been having nightmares about this trip. Being swept away in streams. (For this reason I think I'll skip trying to visit the hot spring near MTR.) I have anxiety about this trip because my High Sierra experiences have not been good. I need to finish this section to have a complete PCT hike. So I'm hoping August will be kinder to me than June was.

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
Re: Re: Have fun! on 08/13/2010 17:34:51 MDT Print View

Just did a similiar route a couple of weeks ago, MTR to evolution lake. No worries on stream crossings, they're way down. Definitely consider Darwin Bench, it's a pretty easy hike up and it is in the top 5 of my coolest Sierra places.

Kendall Clement
(socalpacker) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
"JMT 6 days" on 08/14/2010 02:52:07 MDT Print View

Have a great trip, Piper! Can't wait to read about it. :)

Frank Deland
(rambler)

Locale: On the AT in VA
wool socks? on 08/18/2010 11:16:06 MDT Print View

I was surprised to see rag wool socks on sale in the Yosemite Sport Shop in the Valley. Did not think them still popular for summer time use.

Aug. 17th: Tenting area four miles from Little Yosemite Valley, 7AM 36 degrees. 10 AM down the trail, temps. 80 degrees.