HELP--Snow on SHR vs JMT or other destinations
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Michael Schwartz
(greenwalk) - MLife

Locale: PA & Ireland
HELP--Snow on SHR vs JMT or other destinations on 05/29/2011 16:54:27 MDT Print View

Help, I must change backpacking plans and airline tickets in a few days. My hiking partner and I have to put a trip to the Winds trip on the shelf, along with the maps and books. Simply too much snow this year. We are thinking now of the JMT or SHR, and must start mid Julyish. Can anyone comment on the difference between the two in terms of snow and trail conditions? We know that a late snow may change things, but based on the snowfall this year, what can we expect. We also know that if we opt for the JMT, then we will face the walk-up permit system. My friend and I can pretty much go anywhere in the CONUS for almost 3 weeks. Need to go somewhere that's not blazin hot and doesn't have too much snow. Anywhere close to Salt Lake City?? Any suggestions would be appreciated. Mike

Susan Papuga
(veganaloha) - M

Locale: USA
JMT oe SHR snow on 05/30/2011 07:43:09 MDT Print View

I'm kinda in the same boat Mike. I was planning to section hike part of the PCT through the Sierras, but given the amount of snow, it looks like those areas may not be clear until at least the last half of July at best and maybe even August. So I'm looking for a new trip as well. Right now I'm reviewing some of the epic routes described in the May 2011 Backpacker Magazine. Too many to list here, so I'd recommend checking out that issue on line.

Paul McLaughlin
(paul) - MLife
Re: HELP--Snow on SHR vs JMT or other destinations on 05/30/2011 21:41:28 MDT Print View

JMT is much easier in snowy conditions than SHR, simply because it is a trail, not a cross-country route, and other hikers will have been there ahead of you to create a semi-packed trail through the snowbanks that linger. And they will be lingering - here is Wanda Lake from Muir pass on 5/24:Lake Wanda from Muir pass


AS to other options, further south in the Sierra may work - but if you are going for 3 weeks you'll hit significant snow almost anywhere in the Sierra. I haven't heard about the Oregon snowpack this year, maybe that's a possibility.

Michael Schwartz
(greenwalk) - MLife

Locale: PA & Ireland
HELP--Snow on SHR vs JMT on 05/31/2011 16:40:42 MDT Print View

Susan, have you made any decisions? I was looking at "something completely different": the Hayduke Trail but I think it might be too hot for me in July. Giving serious consideration to JMT for the reasons Paul gives. Thinkin on Yellowstone too. Must make my decision in the next day or two. Not easy.

Paul, good points. The JMT looks more doable for the reasons you give. Thanks for the pic too. Very encouraging ;)

Edited by greenwalk on 05/31/2011 16:41:40 MDT.

Susan Papuga
(veganaloha) - M

Locale: USA
HELP--Snow on SHR vs JMT or other destinations on 06/05/2011 03:47:05 MDT Print View

I'm looking at teh Colorado Trail because it's snow pack is projected to clear sooner than teh Sierras. it should be hikable by first week in July. So thru-hike is conceivably doable for the 486 mile trail adn still get me off trail and home by mid-august.

I aslo came acroos haydukes and just started researching that, so differnt, but at his point, I just want to salvage a fun trip.

Mark Hudson
(vesteroid) - MLife

Locale: Eastern Sierras
trt on 06/05/2011 09:50:13 MDT Print View

the tahoe rim trail will be mostly open by then and is a nice 170 mile loop around lake tahoe. Will be plenty of water that time of year, and not smoking hot yet. Much of the trail is over 9K so its never extremely hot. Huge temp swings between day and night, most often in the 40 degree range.

Its not too steep and resupply is fairly easy.

Michael Schwartz
(greenwalk) - MLife

Locale: PA & Ireland
HELP--Snow on SHR vs JMT or other destinations on 06/06/2011 00:22:33 MDT Print View

@ Susan: I, too, looked at the CT as an option for Plan B if the Winds and Sierras still have too much snow for my liking in July. Been reading other threads too and looks like the CT will be prime in July, so I think it's a great choice. Right now I am waiting and watchin before I make my final decision. Ya never know, you might see me on the CT but I wouldn't have the time to thru hike it.

@ Mark: Thanks for the tip. I'd forgotten about the Tahoe Rim Trail. Will keep it in mind, but I was hoping for a trail a bit longer cuase I have the time. Still, it looks great for a future trip.