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John Muir Trail (JMT) Record Attempt - Unsupported, Without Resupply
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Reed Thayer
(ninjamaster) - F
Setbacks on Attempts 1 & 2 on 09/25/2006 13:21:43 MDT Print View

My brother Al asked me to pass this information on to you. He'll provide details and impressions later.

Attempt #1: Al began from Whitney Portal on Wed. 9/20 at 11:30 am, well-rested. At the trail junction, Al stashed his stuff and headed up the 2-mile trail to the summit. Was pleased to make the summit in 4 hr 28 min. The night before, winds at summit had probably been about 100 mph, but Wed. was "blazing and beautiful." Seemed strange that no on else was up there. On way back down, he noticed large, black birds cawing overhead. Found his food spread around, half his jerky gone and holes pecked in his Accelerade bags. Stunned and discouraged, but not defeated, he descended to Whitney Portal, spent the night there, and found a ride down to Lone Pine, where he resupplied and treated athlete's foot that was making toe-taping for blister prevention difficult.

Attempt #2: Al began again from Whitney Portal on Sat. 9/23. At mile 7 he developed a blister bad enough to turn him around. He's now holding at Whitney Portal and will advise me of his next move.

Al and I are both very grateful for your interest and encouragement and the good thoughts you are sending his way.

Janet, Al's Sister

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
Re: Setbacks on Attempts 1 & 2 on 09/25/2006 19:20:54 MDT Print View

Oh, most excellent to hear the status of Mr. Shaver. Not so excellent to hear that things aren't going well. I hope there'll be enough of a window to make this happen. It's an exciting attempt he's after.

Colleen Clemens
(tarbubble) - F

Locale: dirtville, CA
Re: JMT Attempt on 09/27/2006 10:12:01 MDT Print View

Aaron - just FYI, not trying to be a snot. Muir did not design or lay out the Muir Trail. i'm not at all certain that he ever walked that exact route in one go. the route was laid out and surveyed by Theodore Solomons. funding was obtained in 1915, a year after Muir's death, and was completed in 1938 (the 100th anniversary of Muir's birth). ok, i'm done being a nerd now (yeah, right).

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
JMT Unsupported on 09/27/2006 11:16:06 MDT Print View

Thank's Colleen,
I remember hearing something about that, but I thought it was just Yosemite. I am planning on doing this same attempt Al is next year. I'm still not sure if I'll go for the 5 day 7 hour record, but I will be putting the word out just in case once my list of stuff is complete, (hopefully it will be Al's record). I'm still waiting on a pair of Reed pants for Christmas.
I was planning on taking a day to go up Whitney with my brother and start the following morning, but now starting at the Portal sounds like the better way from what everyone is saying.

Reed Thayer
(ninjamaster) - F
Attempt #3 begins tomorrow on 09/27/2006 21:25:45 MDT Print View

Al called in today to update us all.

Attempt #3: After giving his blister 4 days to heal (on the "speed-heal plan"), Al plans to begin his run again tomorrow, Thursday, Sept. 28. The blister skin has reattached to the tissue underneath it, so with a different sock combination and his taping system he hopes he can go the distance. He plans to emerge from his journey on Tuesday. As you go to bed at night, please send my brother a good thought. He'll be running ridges and traversing valleys by headlamp while we sleep. And Aaron, over the phone I read your comment to Al, the one saying that you hope to be running to beat Al's record. He asked me to tell you that your comment will inspire him along the way to set that record. Thanks again to all of you in the "Fellowship of the High Sierra."

Janet, Al's sister

First Last
(snusmumriken) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Best of Luck to Al! on 09/28/2006 13:52:40 MDT Print View

Third time's a charm. We're all hoping he'll make it.

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
Re: Setbacks on Attempts 1 & 2 on 09/28/2006 14:37:35 MDT Print View

Gets you kind of tingly thinking he's out there right now running. He'll be out there running and running and running all the while we're brushing our teeth or eating dinner, or sleeping, or chatting on the phone. That's a lot of miles to cover in such a short time. Can't wait to hear about it from his perspective!

Carol Crooker
(cmcrooker) - MLife

Locale: Desert Southwest, USA
We're rooting you on on 09/29/2006 18:23:17 MDT Print View

Go for it Al!
We're rooting you on!

Drew Thayer
(dthayer17) - F
Thinking of you, dude on 09/30/2006 15:49:36 MDT Print View

Every morning, when the sun rises over the atlantic, I know you're still running out there in the cold darkness. And when it sets, I know you've still got three more hours of radiation before more clothes go on. I wish you a trip free of friction injuries and impediments so you can unleash your stamina like you know you can. Ride, on brother. You're in a beautiful place.

-Drew (nephew)

kevin davidson
(kdesign) - F

Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson
Record Attempt Racing Change of Weather on 09/30/2006 16:16:28 MDT Print View

Hopefully, Al will beat a change of weather in progress in the Sierra. High winds, plunging nightime temps. and lowering highs. Chance of precip, including snow.

Rats. I'm leaving for a Yosemite high country trip, maƱana, too.

Reed Thayer
(ninjamaster) - F
Al has exited JMT on 09/30/2006 19:06:27 MDT Print View

Al called to say he had made the decision to hike out at 6 a.m. Friday from north of Rae Lakes. Every step was hurting due to blisters, and intestinal bugs had gotten to him. It was a 26-mile hike to the road and then there was no traffic. Finally, he got a ride to Fresno, where he spent the night in a motel. He's now ultralight backpacking in the city, working out a way to get to his car in Yosemite Valley. He's not going for Attempt #4, but plans on getting some more Sierra hiking in before descending to the lowlands again. I'm sure he'll have details for you. He really enjoyed hearing me read to him your enthusiastic messages of support. Thanks to all!


Reed Thayer
(ninjamaster) - F
Al exited JMT early on 09/30/2006 21:37:54 MDT Print View

Al called to say that after running all night (he hit Forester Pass at 11 p.m.), at 6 a.m. Friday, he decided to quit the JMT and head out to the west. Blisters were making every step painful, intestinal critters were making themselves known, and he had "bonked." However, he still had 26 miles to hike out to a road, which had virtually no traffic. Finally, he caught a ride to Fresno where he slept at a motel. He is now ultralight backpacking in the city and trying to get a ride up to Yosemite Valley to his car. He enjoyed hearing me read your enthusiastic and supportive comments over the phone. He plans to stay high while he's still acclimated and do some short hikes if he's able. Thanks to all,


Locale: South West US
Re: Al exited JMT early on 10/01/2006 00:52:58 MDT Print View

My friend was on Mt. Whitney this last Wednesday and said that he was "rained off the mountain" and came home early. I bet Al hit some of the same type of weather.

Edited by oiboyroi on 10/01/2006 00:56:20 MDT.

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
Re: Al has exited JMT on 10/01/2006 09:07:24 MDT Print View

Can't wait to hear some stories from Al. Someone from the boards must live in the Fresno area that could give Al a ride???

Carol Crooker
(cmcrooker) - MLife

Locale: Desert Southwest, USA
Share! on 10/03/2006 11:05:39 MDT Print View

Alright Al,
Let's hear some details - but save the good stuff for the follow on article:)

Al Shaver
(Al_T.Tude) - F - M

Locale: High Sierra and CA Central Coast
Third Time Less Than Charming on 10/05/2006 15:05:37 MDT Print View

Alas I am not wearing the victor's laurel wreath as I do victory laps around Degnan's Deli in Yosemite Village. Instead I am holed up at the internet cafe in Lone Pine deleting unsolicited offers to "Enlarge My Thingy". An ignomonious end to a noble quest.

Suffice it to say that I took on a 40 mile/day challenge with 30 mile/day feet. Advice and support from all were much appreciated, but not enough to toughen my tender tootsies.

Carol and Cat will fill in the details with their wrap-up report.

Thanks and Cheers to all!

Jeffrey Cannon
( - F

Locale: Central California
JMT Record attempt on 05/14/2007 13:54:17 MDT Print View

I am quite interested in your trip as a partner and I are going to attempt a 7 day north to south trip starting Sept 2nd. We are going to have several food drops so technically we are not "unsupported". Also, we plan to sleep and eat cooked meals. We are hoping to add just enough mileage to a 30 per day schedule to get off of Whitney at a reasonable time on the 7th day. If both trips go off as planned, we should cross paths at some point.

Based on your research, do you know if there is an "official" record for a north-south JMT thru hike? Not that we will be chomping at the bit to walk any faster, but it would be fun to know.

Also, I notice that you live in the Santa Cruz area. We live near San Luis Obispo and would love to hook up for a training hike sometime this summer. Any interest?

Jeff Cannon

Kenneth L Muller
(ken_muller) - MLife

Locale: State of Jefferson
Re: re: JMT on 05/24/2007 18:56:31 MDT Print View

Sorry to say dude, but you are wrong. The Mt Whitney Trail starts at Whitney Portal and joins the JMT at the trail junction just to the west and a few hundred feet below Trail Crest. The JMT's southern terminus is the summit of Mt Whitney.The Mountaineers Route... the REAL way up to the summit!

Jorge DeLaSierra
(DeLaSierra) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Useful Comments on 12/14/2009 18:07:38 MST Print View


Simply stated, your JMT run report was awesome. Keep up the good work and good luck to you!

Jorge DeLaSierra
(DeLaSierra) - F

Locale: SoCal
"John Muir Trail (JMT) Record Attempt - Unsupported, Without Resupply" on 03/08/2010 18:23:30 MST Print View


I have a bug for conquering the useless... You and I know that no one on the other side of the trailhead will give a flying rat's tail about what a speedhiker might have accomplished in 3-5 days. But, I have to give it a go. I don't know why yet... I just have to go. Your report, as well as Brett's, Popov's and Ian's, tell me lots.

I have been "training" since November 2009 and just recently went on a full dress rehearsal; 32.5 miles in a little over 9 hours. I have a busy training schedule for this summer and beyond. I want to give the JMT a supported "go" on 2011 and an unsupported "go" on 2012 for my 50th birthday.

The training I am undergoing is telling me plenty about myself but, I have so much to learn in regards to nutrition and gear; not to mention I am a diabetic (type 2 --no meds) and I have to be careful not to bunk too low on sugar... Heck, the more realistic the training gets, the more I realize that a JMT record will not be possible. I went from "record" thoughts, to five day plans. I am now training for a six (6) day speedhike. It is reality hitting me and I am content it is so. Anyway, thank you for your report and I will be in touch with some questions later.

Happy Trails!