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John Muir Trail
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Andrew Wolff

Locale: Chattanooga
John Muir Trail on 12/17/2011 15:00:30 MST Print View

This year I hiked the JMT North to South in 11 days in early September.

Little Yosemite Valley

I started out in Yosemite Valley on September 3rd after receiving a walk up permit that morning and spent the first day climbing out of the crowds to my first nights camp at Sunrise Meadows.

Cathedral Peak

Day two began with an early morning hike Past Cathedral Peak, through some more crowds around Toulomne Meadows and then up and over Donohue Pass in the afternoon to a high camp under the stars.

Lyell Canyon

Donahue Pass

I spent the next few days making my way south through fields of wildflowers, still at peak thanks to the late snow year, and enjoying perfectly temperate weather. I never pitched my tarp at night, just lay out under the stars.

Donohue Pass

Donohue Pass


Thousand Island Lake

Muir Trail Ranch

At almost exactly the halfway point on the hike I pulled into the Muir Trail Ranch for my resupply. This marked my entry into the higher passes of the southern Sierra as well as a turning point in the weather. As I climbed the hill out of the ranch the first big raindrops began to fall.

Muir Pass

The next morning I hustled up Muir Pass in a mix of drizzle and sleet after finding out from the backcountry ranger that there was an extreme lightening warning out and then made my way down and through LeConte Canyon in steady rain which slowly tapered off in time for me to make camp before sundown. This pattern repeated itself for the rest of the trip - but the clouds always cleared away.

Mount Wynne

Dollar Lake

Fin Dome

Rae Lakes

Glen Pass

Glen Pass

Vidette Meadow

Forester Pass

Junction Peak

Forester Pass

Forester Pass

Forester Pass

Mt Tyndall

Tyndall to Crabtree

Crabtree Meadows

My last nights campsite in Crabtree Meadows. A perfect crisp clear mornings hike up Mt Whitney. A few fleeting minutes of view from the summit as the fog rolled over and the last snow flakes of the trip wafted down.

Mt Hitchcock

Whitney Summit


My only regret is that I don't live closer so as to be able to explore all the side trails passed, basins unvisited and passes yet to be crossed, but Sierra High Route I will be back for you soon.

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: John Muir Trail on 12/17/2011 15:21:15 MST Print View

Great shots Andrew....recognized many of your photos from my own jaunts in the Sierras. Thanks for sharing

Tom Clark
(TomClark) - MLife

Locale: East Coast
Re: John Muir Trail on 12/17/2011 18:09:45 MST Print View

Looks like a great trip...thanks for sharing!

Andy Duncan
(bluewater) - M

Locale: SoCal
Re: jmt on 12/17/2011 22:40:21 MST Print View

Great tr and pxts Andrew, thanx for posting. I miss being on the Jmt! I started a few days after you heading south from mammoth and hit a crazy thunderstorm on Pinchot pass. The SHR awaits!

Larry Sullivan
(150mph) - F

Locale: Los Angeles
JMT on 12/17/2011 23:16:23 MST Print View

Nice shots. 11 days - wow, fast! Thanks for sharing.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: JMT on 12/17/2011 23:23:43 MST Print View

Thanks for sharing. Looks like a great trip. What do you have to say about the gear you used? Anything stand out good or bad?

Dana Sherry
(dsherry) - M

Locale: Southwest
thanks on 12/18/2011 06:50:38 MST Print View

Amen to the "I'll be back for the Sierra High Route"

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Re: John Muir Trail on 12/18/2011 14:29:19 MST Print View

Thanks for sharing the trip report. We just missed you by a couple of days.

Andrew Wolff

Locale: Chattanooga
JMT on 12/21/2011 20:19:04 MST Print View

Hey Tom, how are you doing, I met you and I think it was your brother in law at Trail Days this year.

Ken, I feel like I have my gear pretty dialed in for this sort of trip. I did bust a seem on the MLD Silnylon Zip pack at the hostel in Lone Pine on the way home so I guess I'll be looking for a new larger size pack at some point. I also bought a third pair of socks at Reds Meadows on the way through because the trail was super dusty at that point and I wanted to be able to wash a pair out and keep a clean sleeping pair. I had a Thermawrap and an R1 hoody and never touched the R1 until the last 2 nights but needed it then. Otherwise my main gear was a Spinntwinn with custom floor, WM Alpinlite, Bearvault and Golite Virga and Reeds which got a workout - Virga always soaks through under the packstraps but works well enough otherwise.

Brad, it would have been crazy if we would have crossed paths, I had one eye out for you guys even though I knew we were porbably 2 days or so apart.