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JMT North - South Records
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Jeffrey Cannon
( - F

Locale: Central California
JMT North - South Records on 05/14/2007 14:30:05 MDT Print View

A buddy and I are planning a 7-10 day trip the whole length of the John Muir Trail (North to South)this September. Does anyone know if there are established records for supported and unsupported trips in this direction?

Not that we will be in danger of breaking any of them, if would just be fun to know what the mutants have achieved.

Jeff Cannon

Shawn Basil
(Bearpaw) - F

Locale: Southeast
Re: JMT North - South Records on 05/14/2007 15:19:38 MDT Print View

Best memory is that it's just under 6 days. There are MANY folks looking to break the record this summer. I have to believe at least one will break the five day mark.

I won't be one though. I'm planning a nice liesurely 15 days.

Jonathan Chiappa
(chiappaj) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: JMT North - South Records on 05/14/2007 16:04:08 MDT Print View

I believe the current record is 5 days 7 hours 45minutes.

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: Re: JMT North - South Records on 05/14/2007 22:29:04 MDT Print View

Yeah Jon, like you don't know what the record is.

That 5 days is the Unsupported record.
The Supported is 3 days 21 hours and 5 mins.

Since you can make an attempt by going either way on trail, there is not a differnt record for each way, (you are still doing the same trail).

Here is all of the reading info you need on it.

There are at least 4 of us going for the Unsupported record this year and at least 1 going for the Supported.

The current records:


Kevin Sawchucks outright record:

Reinhold Metzger's current unsupported record:

The past records:

Blake Wood's record 1998:

Peter Bakwin and Buzz Burrell's attempt in 2000:

Peter Bakwin's record in 2003:

Brian Robinson's attempt right after in 2003, (excellent story):
Brian is coming back this year to go for the Supported record again.

Catra Corbett has the women's supported record at 5 days 10 hours during the first section of her YoYo Record.
Catra is going for the Self-Supported PCT Record this year and will try for the JMT Unsupported record next year, (and she can get it).

John Stamstad attempted the unsupported record in 2005 and would of had it if he had not had to catch a flight before he was able to finish.
He came back again in 2006 but had something go wrong inside his body, (intestinal? Not sure).
He will back for vengeance this year.
There is a very nice write up about this in July's issue of Trail Runner Magazine. His time would have been around 4 days 20 hours.
If any of the other 3 of us think they will get the record this year, we will need to plan on sub 4 1/2 attempt to keep it, (I'm sure that's about what John is going for).

Then came Al's attempt. You can find all of the info on it by typing (JMT Record) in the BPL Search Box.

Edited by awsorensen on 05/14/2007 23:34:48 MDT.

Jeffrey Cannon
( - F

Locale: Central California
JMT spped records on 05/18/2007 14:01:21 MDT Print View

Thank you all for your answers. I am enjoying reading the stories on the links you sent, Aaron. It should be interesting hiking during the early days of September as we might end up seeing quite a few record attempts in various stages. Not that trail running is much of a spectator sport!

Jeff Cannon

cary bertoncini
(cbert) - F

Locale: N. California
gee how come nobody is naming the record holder :) on 05/18/2007 14:12:54 MDT Print View

it's not like he's a near mythical figure or anything

oh, wait...

good luck you guys! i'll be pulling for you - pulling a sierra nevada or two in september and wishing you best luck!

Jorge DeLaSierra
(DeLaSierra) - F

Locale: SoCal
JMT North-South Records on 02/16/2010 08:02:21 MST Print View

Brett Maunne; 3 days, 12 hours, some minutes... 2009... unsupported. Look up all the blogging under "JMT record" or "JMT controversy". A guy named Ian and another named Popov have it under 4; unsupported. The star of them all was a 65 year old man, named Rhinehart, who did it in 5,unsupported, some years ago. Rhinehart was the first record breaker. There have been other records from different people covering the entire distance of Portal to Happy Isles. One gal did a "yo-yo"; that was Happy Isles to Whitney summit and then back to Happy Isles -- 12 days. (close spelling on the names). Happy Trails.


Spruce Goose
(SpruceGoose) - F

Locale: New England
Re: JMT North-South Records on 02/18/2010 06:02:31 MST Print View

Jorge, FYI: the posts prior to yours were from 2007.

Jorge DeLaSierra
(DeLaSierra) - F

Locale: SoCal
JMT North-South Records on 02/22/2010 21:39:10 MST Print View

LOLOLOL!! Wow.... gotta keep up with these postings ah..../ Thanks!

Kenneth L Muller
(ken_muller) - MLife

Locale: State of Jefferson
Back to the original post title... JMT North - South Records. on 06/20/2010 05:13:43 MDT Print View

Nice hero pose with the Painted Lady, Jorge. And even though this post initiated in 2007, I would like to continue on the same subject.

Back to Jeff's original question... What is the North to South record for the JMT? I find a lot of information on South to North excursions, but very little on North to South. Yes, it is the same trail, but...

On any "race" course that flows in two directions, there are distinct records for each direction. So it would stand to reason that the JMT should have established records for each dirction. That miserable last night often talked about between Reds Meadow and Tuolumne Meadow would no doubt be different going the other direction - over Glen, over Forester... up Whitney. Think about it.

The only "Fastest Known Time", FKT, mentioned that I have seen in the North to South direction is for the female unsupported record by Jacqueline Florine ( back in 2005. No listing for males going in that direction.

Just as the discussion of where the JMT starts and finishes deals out many opinions, so should this aspect of the "records". What are your opinions? As far as I am concerned, the John Muir Trail’s northern terminus is Happy Isles. But is it the road, as you car-to-car enthusiasts stress, or is it the sign, where all the South-to-Northers time themselves? Does the Mist Trail count? No. What about the trail around Tuolumne Meadows? I say old trail north of the highway. And the southern terminus is at the summit of Mt. Whitney. You don’t have to have a trailhead to have the end of the trail. Car-to-car philosophy works great if you are returning to your starting point. Only yo-yos do that in the case of the JMT. Point-to-point, Happy Isles (the sign, as most do) to Whitney, or Whitney to Happy Isles. If you wanna go Whitney Portal to Whitney to Happy Isles, that would just be a different record. Just as going North to South should be a different record than going the other, more common direction.

Kenneth L Muller
(ken_muller) - MLife

Locale: State of Jefferson
And why is this important? on 06/20/2010 05:32:35 MDT Print View

The import of the North to South record is minor compared to the outstanding achievements of Brett Maune, Sue Johnson, Michael Popov, Kevin Sawchuck, and Rheinhold Metzger. A north-to-south record would be a nice reference point, that's all.

In August, I plan to hike the JMT north-to-south. As an old guy on the north side of 50, I would like to go comparable to Rheinhold Metzger's previous best of 5d7h45m. I'll have a spOt tracker along. I invite your comments on a different record for the N-S direction. More details on my hike plan to follow...

Jorge DeLaSierra
(DeLaSierra) - F

Locale: SoCal
JMT North-South Records on 06/21/2010 14:20:23 MDT Print View

Greetings to all!

Kenneth, thanks for being out there! You are abosolutely right in all of your points. I like Mr. Metzger's philosophy on the subject; the trail begins and ends where you want it to begin and end... So true. However, if one is going to tell everyone about a personal accomplishment, one must be as accurate on the subject as possible. There is no doubt what the southern terminus of the trail is. The northern one is somewhat not clear; I figure it's at the Happy Isles sign.

I am training for a N2S run also; in 2011. I am used to that direction of travel and know where the water holes are, where to run, where to walk, and most important, when not to do either. This year, I dedicated the time to gear/food/nutrition research, baby- ultra running (50k), speedhikes and overall conditioning. Moreover, I read daily on all postings of JMT speedhikers and runners. The tales of their achievements are important to me; but, more crucial are their tales of failures and "crashes". They post such things to teach and warn the next JMT speedhiker. I dearly appreciate their good faith on this.

I will be on an altitute conditioning hike around the Kearsarge Lakes area on or about the 4th of July ('10). Then, on August 1st, I have scheduled a day-speedhike from the Onion Valley campground to Mirror Lake. These hikes are important to me because they tell me what I am getting myself into.

I will be following your run and your post-run reports with religious attention. I hope you are as generous as the others. At the end of it all, our long term health or lives may depend on a good faith posting. I wish you the absolute best of luck and success.

De La Sierra

Jorge DeLaSierra
(DeLaSierra) - F

Locale: SoCal
JMT North-South Records on 06/21/2010 14:35:58 MDT Print View

By the way Kenneth, good spot on the pic... Painted Lady; after leaving the lakes. Heavy backpacking JMT N2S Aug-Sep'09. I heard R. Metzger was ahead of me by one day; with his wife. I tried to convince mine to help me catch up to him but... our packs were just too heavy. In early Sept (app 3rd) we passed by Brett Maune as he adjusted gear in the lower Vidette Meadow area. I did not know who he was at the time. He looked like a "fresh-from-the-world" hiker and I just wanted a weather report! LOL!! Little did I know, right?


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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: JMT North-South Records on 06/21/2010 15:38:27 MDT Print View

"Then, on August 1st, I have scheduled a day-speedhike from the Onion Valley campground to Mirror Lake."

I hope that is not your plan.

There is no camping allowed at Mirror Lake, and there has never been for about thirty years now.


Jorge DeLaSierra
(DeLaSierra) - F

Locale: SoCal
JMT North-South Records on 06/21/2010 17:36:28 MDT Print View

Totally right. I meant Lone Pine Lake (MtW); not Mirror Lake, YNP.

Edited by DeLaSierra on 06/21/2010 18:06:45 MDT.

Nobody You Know
(DirtbagLiving) - F

Locale: Colorado
Timing this thing. on 06/21/2010 21:02:45 MDT Print View

Is there an official way to time someone doing this? Or is it just by word of mouth/witness? I'm just curious.

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: JMT North-South Records on 06/21/2010 21:13:29 MDT Print View

Jorge, from the way you wrote it, I had assumed that you meant Mirror Lake on the Whitney Trail. But, you meant Lone Pine Lake. That's only a few miles.


Jorge DeLaSierra
(DeLaSierra) - F

Locale: SoCal
JMT North-South Records on 06/21/2010 22:57:32 MDT Print View

Hey Bob... totally understandable. Do know that I will grab onto any help or tip that is offered; always. Thanks!

Rich, some magazines and/or websites will publish an article or so but, that would be it. Up to this point, I only know JMT speedhikers and ultra hikers to record their achievements via videos, logs and an honor system. That's all I've learned via BackpackingLight discussion boards. Perhaps someone can give us some inside scoop on this.

Kenneth L Muller
(ken_muller) - MLife

Locale: State of Jefferson
JMT North - South continued... on 06/24/2010 18:36:05 MDT Print View

De La Sierra,
I will keep folks posted through this website. I won't be setting any records, just fastpacking down the trail as quickly as I can. My right knee keeps talking to me this year... I hope it doesn't let me down on the hike.

The main issues I have had on previous hikes are:
1) Footwear - I begin to feel every rock through the soles of my running shoes. I am giving them up this year for lightweight Montrail Sabinos that have urethane shanks and reinforced forefoot.
2) Nutrition - I am trying Hammer Perpeteum this year along with some "normal" foodstuff. The jury is still out. Too much Gu and Clif shots previously.
3) Chafing - Vaseline and Foot Glide on the feet, crotch, and armpits. Just gotta keep ahead of it.

Gotta go. Hill climb workout this evening... more to follow. /// Ken

Kenneth L Muller
(ken_muller) - MLife

Locale: State of Jefferson
Re: Timing this thing. on 06/24/2010 22:49:46 MDT Print View

Rich/DirtbagLiving... Many folks get witnesses along the way, some hand out "calling cards" to the witnesses and collect names for reference. Brett Maune took videos of different locations and referenced his watch. You can check his stuff out on YouTube under the title of "bmaune JMT record". someone put all his videos together from the hike. He loaded them under the username of bmaunexxx