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Advice: Hitting the John Muir Trail in a week
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Dan Carter
(dancarter) - F

Locale: Toyota Van
Advice: Hitting the John Muir Trail in a week on 06/07/2012 09:36:12 MDT Print View

I've been up in Yosemite climbing for the last three weeks and have decided to take a break and go hike the John Muir Trail starting around June 14. Since I'm in the Valley I think I can get a walk in permit pretty easily. I'm going to mail a re-supply to VVR, about half way. I think I can do the hike in 10 days so that'll have only 5 days of food in the pack at a time and 20+ miles a day. I've put in long days like this in the Gila Wilderness and I've been running and climbing for the past three months so I think I'm still in shape for it.
Is anyone else planning to be out there around then or wants to join me? What can the weather be like during mid to late June? I know the mountains can change quick but in general. This has been a light snow year so I think the trail should be good at this time. Are the bugs a big issue at this time?
Here is my current setup:
Sleeping/shelter: Go Lite poncho tarp, ground cloth, thermarest ridge rest cut in half and sierra designs nitro 30 bag for sleeping setup. Probably throw in a head bug net in case of bugs too. Think that will be enough.?
Clothes: shorts, smart wool long sleeve, 2-3 pairs of socks, cap2 bottoms, mountain hardwear pants (might leave these out), patagonia pullover mid layer, sierra designs microlite jacket, mountain hardwear pullover hooded shirt (might leave out), OR hat with sun shade, micro fleece beanie, running gloves, extra t shirt or long sleeve and La Sportiva Raptor shoes
Cooking: MSR simmerlite, 20oz fuel bottle, gsi 2 quart pot, spork. I know this isn't the lightest but it's what I already have and don't want to buy or change it up right now. I might get a smaller pot though.
Water: Aqua Muira or iodine tabs. 1 24oz water bottle for sipping on and 1 or 2 liter water bottle.
Other: compass, maps, petzl teka headlamp, ski poles, sunscreen, dr. bronners, random first aid needs, camera; thinking of doing a canon elph or my micro 4/3 olympus 410 with fixed 50mm lens. Thoughts?
Food: Consuming 3000-3500 calories a day with cold breakfast, snack throughout the day and large dinner. Sipping on gatorade mix throughout the day
Renting a bear canister in Yosemite despite having heard one can usually do without one.
And packing it all into my Gregory Z55 pack.
Probably not the lightest setup but I don't want to spend a lot of money right now refining it and this is kind of last minute.

Scott Bentz
(scottbentz) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
JMT on 06/07/2012 12:42:09 MDT Print View


Go for it!

Sounds like you are in good shape, have a lot of the right gear, and have thought it out.

One problem I see is your resupply. At the pace you are traveling (I did it in 13 hiking days with 1 layover) which comes out to about 18.4 per day you will be at VVR real early in your trip and then have to carry food from there on out. To me, it would be easier to send it to Muir Ranch even though it is more expensive.

I would look over your clothing layers again. Seems like too many shirts. I usually take a short and a long sleeve. As for pants, I think just a pair of shorts should do if you have something to cover your legs at night. If you are hiking a lot of miles you will not be sitting around much anyway.

That is what I can offer FWIW.


edit: I have the Gregory Z Pack and the Z-55 which are my least favorite just because there are no side pockets you can put your water bottle in for easy access. The Z-Pack was my first "lighter" pack. It rides real nice but the lack of pockets keeps me from using it.

Edited by scottbentz on 06/07/2012 12:45:22 MDT.

Jason G
(JasonG) - F

Locale: iceberg lake
resup on 06/07/2012 14:26:34 MDT Print View

I know its a little more expensive but muir trail ranch is more the halfway point for resupplying.

Kris Sherwood
(Tuskadero) - F

Locale: Washington State
Re: Advice: Hitting the John Muir Trail in a week on 06/07/2012 16:41:56 MDT Print View

Awesome, I am jealous! I agree with the others. Go with MTR as your resupply. MTR is much closer to the true halfway point and to be honest VVR was a bitter lame disappointment to me. And in the end, it will probably end up being more expensive because you will grab a soda and some candy.

Andrew F
(andrew.f) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Muir trail on 06/07/2012 21:53:34 MDT Print View

Sounds like a fun adventure!

You could save somewhere around a pound for next to no cash if you made a fancy feast alcohol stove.

I think you will be OK with the head net. It's still early and the bugs don't seem to be out in huge numbers yet.


Paul McLaughlin
(paul) - MLife
Re: Advice: Hitting the John Muir Trail in a week on 06/07/2012 23:20:02 MDT Print View

Sounds like fun. My two cents:
Weather - be prepared for afternoon thundershowers, they are pretty likely this time of year. Mostly they will happen around mid to late afternoon and be done by dinnertime. So early starts ar a good idea if you want to make the miles before the rain starts. You'll see the clouds forming up if a shower is on the way.

Bugs - this is not looking like a bad bug year from what I have heard but June is prime time, so bring the headnet for sure and plenty of bug juice.
And VVR is not halfway really, MTR is closer to halfway. However, there are always the free barrels at MTR if you need to add a little to your food load when you reach that point, although they may not be well stocked yet. Usually there is a lot of stuff in the free barrels, as long as you are not picky.

Donna Mudd
JMT - fallen trees on 06/08/2012 02:00:47 MDT Print View

Hi - if you are in the Valley I guess you are aware of the major storm damage and lots of blowndown trees along some sections of the JMT his year? The Inyo National Forest website has updates and maps showing affected sections of the trail. (Under "Reds Meadow Blowdown". I think they have set up an alternate route for PCT hikers for accessing Mammoth Lakes as the Road to Reds Meadow is still closed for repairs, but if you are not going into Mammoth guess that's not an issue for you. But the piles of fallen trees might slow you up a bit, given that you are planning high mileages - some sections sound very difficult...

Edited by DonnaM on 06/08/2012 02:04:53 MDT.

Dan Carter
(dancarter) - F

Locale: Toyota Van
Thanks on 06/08/2012 12:17:57 MDT Print View

Thanks everyone! I have decided to mail the re-supply to Muir Trail Ranch. That makes more sense. I'm going with a bivy and go lite poncho tarp for shelter. Looking at the weather I will probably drop the pants and only carry two shirts, sweater and wind breaker. My base weight has come in at 15 lbs. Food for five days is at 13 lbs. So just add water and bear canister if I decide to hike legit. Not too bad for thrown together and not buying much light weight stuff.

I'm not the biggest fan of the Gregory z55 either. It rides really well but I too wish it had side stash pockets for bottles and was a little more simplified but it's what I have so I'll use it. I've thought of cutting all the pockets and straps off of it but I probably wouldn't gain a whole lot and destroy the pack. Looking to upgrade to a Jam50 in the future of something similar. I just found out Go Lite won't have any in stock until October though. An alcohol stove in the future maybe.

Thanks again. I'll let you all know how it goes.


Susan Papuga
(veganaloha) - M

Locale: USA
Re: Thanks on 06/11/2012 04:21:00 MDT Print View

"... I will probably drop the pants..."

LOL: may slow you down!

Dan Carter
(dancarter) - F

Locale: Toyota Van
Complete. Trip report coming soon on 06/14/2012 08:11:49 MDT Print View

I wrapped up the spectacular John Muir Trail earlier this week. I will have a report over on my blog: I have some pictures up on flickr already.

Edited by dancarter on 06/29/2012 21:43:47 MDT.