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JMT condition predictions for August 2011
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Christopher Holly
(climber72) - F

Locale: At my desk
JMT condition predictions for August 2011 on 06/08/2011 19:43:29 MDT Print View


I have looked through the forum and come up with some interesting older threads about trail conditions on the JMT, but am wondering if anyone can make an educated guess about it now.

We put in on July 28 and will take it real easy, allowing 20+ days to complete the trek. Why? Because we want to.

The questions we have are:

1)With the heavy snowpack this year in the Sierra, and Mammoth Mountain rumbling about staying open until August - will the JMT be passable for a group of 3 that includes a member who will have celebrated his 70th birthday a couple weeks before we put in?

2) With the elevated snowpack levels, will crossings require a cord in August - or are we over thinking the situation?

We understand that the JMT is a Foot Super highway, but we need to consider the willingness to use cramp-ons and the ability to fight strong currents with a knee that has needed replacement for over a decade.

(If Rich is reading this, I apologize for exposing your weakness, but I worry!)

So... can anyone give a current assessment of the JMT and an educated guess as to what conditions might be like come August?

Edited by climber72 on 06/08/2011 19:44:19 MDT.

Robert Richey
(BobR) - M

Locale: San Luis Obispo
JMT in August on 06/09/2011 23:05:26 MDT Print View

There has been a lot of discussion about this issue on the Yahoo JMT group site. You might check it out. My experience on snowy passes is that they're not a big deal and won't require an ice axe or crampons. Trekking poles will be a big help. Take the passes a little later in the day after the snow has softened. The north side of Forester Pass seems to be the place to be most careful on. As far as creek crossings, use of a rope typically is seen as greatly increasing the risk. Trekking poles are really helpful crossing the tough ones like Bear and Evolution. The latter can be crossed pretty easily a bit upstream from where the trail leads. You have to have some decent water shoes to make these crossings. I usually use lightweight fake Tevas, but just plowing through and wearing trail runners all the time is good as long as you change into dry socks once in awhile. If one of your troop is 70, who knows he might hike you into the ground. He should have all the time between now and then to hit the gym. So go geezers! I will be following after you starting August 6, but I have to drop out around Reds Meadow for a couple of days and only have 13 days in all. Should be good for Bishop Pass and a couple of side trips along the way. If I were retired I would just stand in line to get a walk-up permit and leave a couple of weeks later. Have fun and be ready for some really serious skeeters. Banzai!