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JMT reasonable time needed
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Ben Whitsett
(BenWhitsett) - F
JMT reasonable time needed on 02/12/2012 18:10:07 MST Print View

My buddy and I are planning our first through hike of the JMT. We plan to start a Tuolumne and hike toward Yosemite Valley, bus back to Tuolumne and head south. We really only have 18 days to hike, not including our travel days to and from Reno airport. We would like 2 or 3 days to chill at a few spots. Could we reasonably cover the distance in 15 or 16 days? We are both in pretty decent shape, but more importantly we have the will to keep going when we need to do so. I look forward to responses.

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
Re: JMT reasonable time needed on 02/12/2012 18:17:02 MST Print View

Based on what you say, absolutely. Anybody in "pretty decent" shape can easily do the JMT at that speed. But your "pretty decent" shape will vary completely with everybody else's so you have basically given no helpful information to allow anyone to make anything other than a wild a%$ guess.
1) How much hiking have you done?
2) How much at 10k+?
3) What is your longest day?
4) What is your longest trip, days?
5) When are you planning to go, June is much different than August?
6) What is pack weight?
7) Do you like to sleep in?

etc etc

Edited by gg-man on 02/12/2012 18:17:54 MST.

Alan Greene
(AlanGreene3) - F
re: on 02/12/2012 18:27:26 MST Print View

Unless you or your partner is really out of shape, I don't think it will be a problem at all. It took my friend and I 16 days last summer. We were both in decent shape but it was our first time hiking at 10,000+. We were in no rush, even taking a few half days and still finished easily in 16 days. We also had to deal with some pretty extensive snowfields which might not be an issue this year.

Ben Whitsett
(BenWhitsett) - F
Re: Re: JMT reasonable time needed on 02/12/2012 18:32:58 MST Print View

I know it's all subjective.

1. We both have done a bit of hiking, around 250 miles in the last two years.
2. Most of this has been in Sequoia and Grand Canyon.
3. Our longest day was 17.5 hours in the Grand Canyon, to the river and back in a day. 4. Our longest trip has been 5 days.
5. We plan to go sometime around the last week in August or first week in Sept.
6. My pack weight will be around 25, but J's is usually heavier, as he likes to bring extra stuff.
7. We both get up with or a little before the sun.

We also tend to move at a slower pace, but taking few breaks. Breaking every other hour for 10 to 15 minutes. I feel like we could speed our pace as we become more conditioned to trail, but the trail also increases in it's intensity.

I feel confident that we can cover the entire distance with 15 long travel days, just looking for confirmation from someone who has been on this trail.

Ben Whitsett
(BenWhitsett) - F
Re: re: on 02/12/2012 18:34:22 MST Print View

Good to hear Alan!!

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
Re: Re: Re: JMT reasonable time needed on 02/12/2012 18:40:27 MST Print View

You should have no problem. Just watch the blisters, the dust of the JMT can shred your feet especially the area around Red's Meadow. My son and I did the identical trip that you are planning in under ten days and he was recovering from pnuemonia. The altitude kicked his butt but our pack weight averaged about 15lbs.

Ben Whitsett
(BenWhitsett) - F
re on 02/12/2012 18:44:49 MST Print View

I was planning to send a resupply bucket to Muir Ranch. Also thinking about a night stay at the ranch, mainly for a shower and hot meal. I am thinking VVR might cause us to lose too much time on this trip. Red's Meadow serve hot food?

Chris S
(csteutterman) - F

Locale: Tahoe
Re: re: on 02/12/2012 18:48:31 MST Print View

My experience was similar to Alan's and I agree that you should have no problem. When we did it, it also took 16 days and we also weren't in any rush. For reference, a typical day was on the trail at 8am, in camp at around 5 or 6pm, with a 45 minute break mid morning for coffee and such, then a few short breaks throughout the rest of the day. We also took 2 short days where we were done by 3pm and 1 virtually zero day when we caught the morning ferry over to VVR.

Edit: To answer your next question, Reds does serve hot food. We had breakfast there. It was good.

Edited by csteutterman on 02/12/2012 19:10:14 MST.

Ben Whitsett
(BenWhitsett) - F
Re: Re: re: on 02/12/2012 19:05:57 MST Print View

So hot meal at Red's, free night in backpacker's tent cabin and hot meal at VVR and a $200 night stay and hot meals at the ranch. Sounds like a good plan.

First Last
(snusmumriken) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Why the bus? on 02/12/2012 20:35:26 MST Print View

Why do the whole hike downhill from Tuolomne to the Valley then take the bus back to Tuolomne and continue? That might feel like cheating. If you are going to do the whole thing, then really do the whole thing including the first day steep climb. If you are worried that you won't be able to do the trail in a comfortable and enjoyable pace in the time you have allotted, then just do the Tuolomne to Whitney portion.

Besides if you do it in two segments you will need two permits, one for Tuolomne to the Valley and a separate one for Tuolomne to Whitney.

Ben Whitsett
(BenWhitsett) - F
Re: Why the bus? on 02/12/2012 20:40:59 MST Print View

Logistically hiking from TM to the valley and riding the bus back around works out better for us. Plus we are more likely to get a permit to start the JMT from TM. We won't need two permits cause the permit will be for the JMT starting at TM and ending at the Whitney Portal. There is no rule saying we have to head south on our first day, we will be permitted to hike the JMT from TM. It just works for us to plan this way.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Why the bus? on 02/12/2012 20:46:23 MST Print View

If you are dayhiking from Tuolumne Meadows to Yosemite Valley, no permit is needed.

So, as far as the authorities are concerned, your actual backpacking trip will start at Tuolumne Meadows headed south.


drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Re: Re: re: on 02/12/2012 20:50:29 MST Print View

What free tent cabin?

Jim W.
(jimqpublic) - MLife

Locale: So-Cal
Re: Why the bus? on 02/12/2012 21:40:26 MST Print View

I wanted to do the whole trail in one continuous trip. I had done a bunch of pieces before. I also remembered seeing the "Mt. Whitney 211 Miles" sign when I was about 8. I had been amazed that a trail could be so long. This time I wanted to walk past that sign and keep going to the end.

For that reason I hiked up the hill. I did send a Large USPS Flat Rate Box to Tuolumne with food to carry me to MTR so I had about 8 pounds less to carry my first two days.

I was 43 and hadn't done any backpacking or regular exercise in 8 years. I trained by walking about 3 miles and cycling 5 miles per day. No physical problem other than sore feet doing the hike in 15 days.

Edited by jimqpublic on 02/12/2012 21:44:16 MST.

Robert Perkins

Locale: The Sierras
JMT reasonable time needed on 02/12/2012 21:51:38 MST Print View

It seems like a reasonable schedule. Are you doing the split for easier permit access or vehicle logistics? If you can pull it off, just day hike from HI to TM, or vice-versa. It isn't too bad, if you get an early start. We pulled it off last summer leaving HI at 6:15AM, and were munching on cheeseburgers at TM at 3:15PM. We could have hiked more, but we had family and friends that camped with us in the campground at TM, which leads me to another question...what free cabins at TM are you thinking of?

I have often thought of doing a split-hike as well, only from Reds Meadow. I live on the East side of the Sierras and vehicle logistics are a pain.

Chris S
(csteutterman) - F

Locale: Tahoe
re: Free Tent Cabin on 02/12/2012 22:32:46 MST Print View

I think he's referring to VVR, not TM. From the VVR website:

"We offer the first night in the Hiker Tent Cabin for free."

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: re: Free Tent Cabin on 02/12/2012 23:07:38 MST Print View

I wonder if they had that last year. It seemed to me that all the hikers were in the tent area.

Robert Perkins

Locale: The Sierras
JMT reasonable time needed on 02/13/2012 07:12:14 MST Print View

VVR or TM, he'll be disappointed with the "free cabin" at each. One doesn't have them, the other your piled in with several other people in bunkbeds, and listen to snoring and/or talking late into the night.

Overall it still sounds like a reasonable time-frame. Permits are much easier to get from TM, but there are ways of around getting your permit from Happy Isles. Get your permit listed starting point from Glacier Point or Camp in Illiouette falls area to start.

Ben Whitsett
(BenWhitsett) - F
Tent cabin on 02/13/2012 07:49:48 MST Print View

I was reffering to the VVR tent cabin.

Thanks for the good info Robert. I had never thought about from Glacier. Can you get a permit from Glacier.... hike down to the valley and start the JMT to Whitney?

Edited by BenWhitsett on 02/13/2012 07:53:19 MST.

john hansford
(jhansford) - MLife
JMT permits on 02/13/2012 15:14:34 MST Print View

I have just had my first three start dates for the JMT refused by Yosemite, and I offered three options for each. I had intended to climb Half Dome and Clouds Rest on the way, but if all else fails I will day hike HI to Tuol and start properly there. However, is it any easier to get a Tuolumne start permit? How about starting somewhere like Olmstead, going down to the valley, and then up again from HI ? Would an HI permit still be required? I particularly want to go N - S.