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JMT 2014 Thoughts and insight.
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Brian Mix
(Aggro) - MLife

Locale: Western slope, Sierra Nevada
JMT 2014 Thoughts and insight. on 10/28/2013 14:15:32 MDT Print View

I'd like to do the JMT next year. How far in advance do you JMTers recommend applying for/obtaining necessary permits and planning your actual hike? I will be traveling at a slow pace, looking at 14 days travel time. I can take more or less time to do it,whichever makes sense. I don't have a gear list. I don't know what my pack weight will be. Is this a big deal? It seems to me that I will take everything in my normal packing kit and my 52L pack will give me some extra volume to fit additional food and bear can. My normal summer pack is 42L and ample space wise. Is there more to it that I am missing? It's just a longer hike than I normally hike right? Maybe I'm over simplifying it? Any help and insight is appreciated.

permit on 10/28/2013 18:17:01 MDT Print View

168 days in advance, by 730am. You will go into random ( lottery) selection.

After that lottery, phone calls and business hours requests will be processed.

If you dont get it in, you probably wont get it.

Walk-up strategy usually works fine too, although it is nice to be able to plan.

Edited by livingontheroad on 10/28/2013 18:24:14 MDT.

Scott Bentz
(scottbentz) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
JMT 2014 on 10/31/2013 23:46:20 MDT Print View

"I will be traveling at a slow pace, looking at 14 days travel time."

That may be slow or not for you. When I hiked the JMT with my brother and our kids we did it in 14 days which included 1 layover at Vermillion. I would say 14 days is not considered slow. To me, the slow pace is the 21 day plan you find in a few guide books (my son just hiked it in 5 days and he would say 14 days is slow!).

As far as packing, I wouldn't treat this like a different hike. I would take what you normally take, granted you have a good list. You won't need to add things even though you are out longer than usual. Depending upon your resupply location(s) food will be the real change. There are a ton of great gear lists for the JMT you can peruse here on this site.


Jeff Jeff
(TwoFortyJeff) - F
Re: JMT 2014 Thoughts and insight. on 11/02/2013 20:35:48 MDT Print View

I got a walkup permit the day before my hike.

Pack weight doesn't matter. Take what you need and nothing else.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: JMT 2014 Thoughts and insight. on 11/02/2013 21:03:54 MDT Print View

I've never missed getting a JMT NOBO walk-in permit.

But I do plan for a "tourist day" on the front end, just in case.

Keep in mind that it is 100 miles between Muir Trail Ranch and Whitney Portal. Depending on your speed, 100 miles might mean a lot of food weight. Plan your canister and your mind accordingly.

Edited by greg23 on 11/02/2013 21:07:48 MDT.

thoughts on 11/11/2013 17:38:42 MST Print View

For some, 14 days would be fairly easy.
For some, it would be a death march.

May depend on how well someone adjusts to the altitude.

Im planning to hike it in 2014 with my son if snow allows for an early enough start, but we will probably take a moderate pace for a couple of reasons:

1) dont want any injuries
2) since we will be flying on pre-purchased tickets, need a firm return date we KNOW we can make. See # 1
3) we kind of would like to enjoy it as much as possible.

Finishing a day later than planned, would cost $150 to change the tickets, and the incremental price for a next day ticket would likely be $300 each compared to 7 weeks in advance. It would cost me probably at least $750 to not show up on time.

Edited by livingontheroad on 11/11/2013 17:49:59 MST.

Billy Ray
(rosyfinch) - M

Locale: the mountains
Re: thoughts on 11/11/2013 18:10:24 MST Print View

Don't worry about the words 'fast' or 'slow'. They are relative terms anyway that don't translate well from one person to another.

But. Some want to do it as fast as they can for whatever reasons. That's okay.

But. My idea is to do it as slow as I can. After all, it's some of the most beautiful and spectacular country you'll EVER see, so why rush. Rather, dally as much as you can in the beautiful palaces. Maybe take lay-over days to suck up more of a particularly special place. Or take a few side trips to mountain tops or secluded lakes.

If you look at your topo map an hour or so before you think you want to make camp each day, you can usually find a great spot maybe 1/4 mile off the trail if you want to be away from the hordes and have a great spot to yourself.

Anyway, that's my view. I'm sure there are others. All valid.

Bill D.