Anyone hiked Theodore Solomons Trail (the JMT Alternate Trail)?
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Roleigh Martin
(marti124) - MLife

Locale: Moderator-JohnMuirTrail Yahoo Group
Anyone hiked Theodore Solomons Trail (the JMT Alternate Trail)? on 03/04/2014 19:06:18 MST Print View

Has anyone in the group done the Theodore Solomons Trail (a 271 mile alternate to the JMT)?

http://www.amazon.com/Guide-Theodore-Solomons-Dennis-Gagnon/dp/0934136343/
Link

This is a 271 mile trail that averages a lower elevation than the JMT but starts at Glacier Point and ends up just south of Whitney at Cottonwood Meadows.

I want to learn as much about this trail as possible. This may be the JMT 2 trail we've been talking about on the forum.

I'm curious how well one could follow the trail using the USGS maps he suggests. There was a posting (see link below) that asserts that some of the USGS maps indicated in the book are wrong:

http://www.highsierratopix.com/community/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=10246
Link

And a reply to the person who made this assertion advises where to turn to.
If you have done this trail or parts of it, what year did you do it in? I've also read that some of the trail is so unmaintained that it is now a bushwhack in part.

Has anyone taken an enlarged map of the JMT and sharpied the route of the TST (the acronym for this trail) to compare it's path with the JMT. I'd love to see the two routes compared.

Thanks!
Roleigh Martin
Lead Moderator (JohnMuirTrail Yahoo Group--2600 members now)

Roleigh Martin
(marti124) - MLife

Locale: Moderator-JohnMuirTrail Yahoo Group
Re: Theodore Solomons Trail (the JMT Alternate Trail)? on 03/05/2014 14:41:07 MST Print View

So nobody on the forum have hiked the TST trail? Bummer.

Andrew F
(andrew.f) - F - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Theodore Solomons Trail (the JMT Alternate Trail)? on 03/05/2014 14:54:00 MST Print View

I hadn't even heard of it until your post. It's an interesting idea, though. It certainly is easy to trace a route from Yosemite to Whitney without touching the JMT and I think would be a really cool trip. Do you have any info on where exactly it goes?

Roleigh Martin
(marti124) - MLife

Locale: Moderator-JohnMuirTrail Yahoo Group
Re: Theodore Solomons Trail (the JMT Alternate Trail)? on 03/05/2014 14:58:21 MST Print View

Fair use copyright law probably allows me to post this one summary image of the trail from the book. The trail starts at Glacier Point above Yosemite Valley and ends at Cottonwood Meadows (the TH just south of Whitney Portal).Route of the TST showing 15 min USGS Quadrangles

Andrew F
(andrew.f) - F - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Anyone hiked Theodore Solomons Trail (the JMT Alternate Trail)? on 03/05/2014 15:16:45 MST Print View

Interesting. That's definitely further to the west in some spots than what I had laid out. I think you could probably substitute a few significant sections to include more alpine scenery without duplicating the JMT. For instance I'd rather go over Goodale Pass than go all the way west near Balloon Dome. Or go through Goddard Canyon instead of Blackcap Basin. Also one could easily start in northern Yosemite (e.g. Sonora Pass or Crabtree in Emigrant Wilderness) and link through Vogelsang to Merced Lake if you wanted to add even more alpine goodness to it. There are many fantastic trails in the Sierra other than the JMT, and it's good that there are people out there who are interested in exploring them. It seems I am not the first person to want to piece together an alternative to the JMT of equal length and quality.

Bob Bankhead
(wandering_bob) - MLife

Locale: Oregon, USA
Anyone hiked Theodore Solomons Trail (the JMT Alternate Trail)? on 03/05/2014 16:14:31 MST Print View

"Guide to the Theodore Solomons Trail" by Dennis Gagnon, Western Tanager Press, 1987, ISBN: 0-934136-34-3.

The TST is a lower elevation alternate to the JMT which stays within the bounds of the timberbelt of the Middle Sierra.

An older forum post said: "Going south from Clover Meadow just outside the Ansel Adams Wilderness, the trail has been abandoned for 10 years. Dropping into and climbing out of the San Joaquin River Canyon is an exercise in route-finding. The best part is the solid bridge over the river. The trail south of the river is almost as bad."

Parts of the "trail" could exist only on a map these days.