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John Muir Trail

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    • John Muir Trail

      Hi everyone! How's life been at the cafe? Clarity's life has been moving WAY faster than 2mph these days...it's good, but definitely different than trail life was.
      I'm planning to take a month off next spring/summer to hike the JMT. Who here has hiked it? Time to start my planning! :D
      www.appalachiantrailclarity.com - Life on the A.T.

      Sometimes you find yourself in the middle of nowhere, and sometimes in the middle of nowhere, you find yourself.
    • I tried to get a permit last year but couldn't, 95% of those who apply are rejected...10% of the permits go to foreign countries, I doubt it would get read but I've been thinking about writing Pres. Trump..."America first"...I also don't believe tax payer money should go to something only a small minority picked by a gov't. bureaucracy get to use.
      I may grow old but I'll never grow up.
    • Drybones wrote:

      I tried to get a permit last year but couldn't, 95% of those who apply are rejected...10% of the permits go to foreign countries, I doubt it would get read but I've been thinking about writing Pres. Trump..."America first"...I also don't believe tax payer money should go to something only a small minority picked by a gov't. bureaucracy get to use.
      That was my first thought, good luck getting a permit.
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • The JMT is great, I did it two years ago this August.

      I got my permit on my first try. I do not think it is as hard as they say, what it takes is a willingness to be a little flexible. Yes, if you want to hike the traditional SOBO from Happy Isles your chances are slim. But there are plenty of other entry points and each of them has their own allotment of permits.

      I actually applied for and received two different permits. Permit 1 was for entry at the Cathedral Lake trailhead in Tuolumne Meadows heading NOBO to Happy Isles. I allowed three days for this section, took it slow and easy with my wife. This direction was 'mostly' downhill so it was a great chance to ease into the hike and get use to the altitude (I arrived from sea level). Also, from this trailhead you are virtually guaranteed a Half Dome permit to go with it. I got a Half Dome permit and was glad that I did.

      I also applied for permit number 2, a JMT permit leaving Tuolumne Meadows SOBO three days later to Whitney Portal. There is a shuttle that will take you from Yosemite Valley to Tuolumne Meadows and also a YARTS bus. The second permit allowed me to (once again) stay in the 'Hikers Section' at the Tuolumne Campground and start back on the JMT the next day. I also obtained this permit on the first try for a date in August!

      I am sure that there are many different combinations you could put together, but I liked this one for the ease of transportation, the ability to get a Half Dome permit, the ease of acclimation and the fact that it was still almost a traditional SOBO hike.

      Hope this helps,
      Scott
      “Of all sad words of tongue or pen,
      the saddest are these, 'It might have been.”


      John Greenleaf Whittier

      The post was edited 1 time, last by IMScotty ().

    • Drybones wrote:

      I tried to get a permit last year but couldn't, 95% of those who apply are rejected...10% of the permits go to foreign countries, I doubt it would get read but I've been thinking about writing Pres. Trump..."America first"...I also don't believe tax payer money should go to something only a small minority picked by a gov't. bureaucracy get to use.
      I'm flexible. I've got 6 weeks of dates to play with and I couldn't care less where I start. I just want to hike. :)
      Regarding acclimation, at those high elevations, how does one's body react? What effects should I expect?

      Awesome advice Scotty! How many miles did you average each day? I've already got the date on my calendar when I can start applying for permits! :)
      www.appalachiantrailclarity.com - Life on the A.T.

      Sometimes you find yourself in the middle of nowhere, and sometimes in the middle of nowhere, you find yourself.
    • From personal observation, an ascent of over 3000' in less than a day gives me a headache when exerting. Tylenol Is recommended for most folks but doesn't seem to help me. I also seem to dehydrate more quickly, so I drink more fluid prior to the ascent. Some folks experience appetite suppression but I don't.

      Avoid alcohol completely until symptoms dissipate.

      An upset stomach may occur, but most folks tend to overcome this issue by avoiding high fat content foods. I prefer high carb and protein snacks rather than a heavy meal.

      Unfortunately one cannot take steps to speed acclimation other than to be in good physical condition. By that I mean steps available to most folks.

      Farther more I would plan to reduce physical exertion for the first day or two. Don't plan on high mileage initially.

      Lest we forget.....



      SSgt Ray Rangel - USAF
      SrA Elizabeth Loncki - USAF
      PFC Adam Harris - USA
      MSgt Eden Pearl - USMC
    • I like the way Scotty did his hike. I Joined the JMT on my SOBO Lash of the PCT that year. I took it easy first few days. I had a girlfriend with me for the first week & she started getting a headache on the second day. We just took an early day & dropped down some to camp. By the time I went over Whitney I never even notice elevation affecting me. I did camp on two of the high passes. One just about running up for pictures of the alpine glow in the lakes. By the time I finished taking pics I reallized how chilled I was. I fired up my stove & changed out of my sweaty clothes. I grew concerned about how my stove was working & then though, "DUH, you're at 11,000' There's less oxogen to funtion normally!"

      Take it easy first few days, keep hydrated, & you should be fine. At least at the start hike high & sleep lower. I suggest an ice axe or at leastr a BD whippet on hiking pole depending on when you hike. I found the ice axe usefull for cutting steps across a steep, icy snow slope on a northern flank of a mountain. Also take when the sqeeters or out when planning. I hit them No of Yosemite & they were in swarms. I welcomed the cool nights so I could put on fleece that they couldn't bite through.

      For resupply I bought some food at the market in reds meadow. I used Vermillion Vally Resort as opposed to Muir Ranch because it was cheaper & dropped down to Cedar Meadows? More to meet a friend than heading east to one of the bigger towns.
    • Altitude sickness is unpredictable and effects people differently, my daughter-in-law who was sky diving every week end flew into Peru (12000 ft I believe) for a backpacking trip, checked into the hotel, passed out, fell and broke her nose...fortunately she's a lot tougher than her husband, didn't slow her down for an 8-day hike in the mountains, I on the other hand have had no problems at all, for some reason it seems to affect older people less, or so I've read...best wishes for a great hike!
      I may grow old but I'll never grow up.
    • twistwrist wrote:

      Drybones wrote:

      I tried to get a permit last year but couldn't, 95% of those who apply are rejected...10% of the permits go to foreign countries, I doubt it would get read but I've been thinking about writing Pres. Trump..."America first"...I also don't believe tax payer money should go to something only a small minority picked by a gov't. bureaucracy get to use.
      I'm flexible. I've got 6 weeks of dates to play with and I couldn't care less where I start. I just want to hike. :) Regarding acclimation, at those high elevations, how does one's body react? What effects should I expect?

      Awesome advice Scotty! How many miles did you average each day? I've already got the date on my calendar when I can start applying for permits! :)
      Since I started at the Yosemite end of the trail with a high point at 9000 feet, symptoms were minor. Just easily winded and more tired than usual. Mountain Mike is right, by the time you get to Whitney the altitude has no effect (at least on me). I actually enjoyed camping higher up (although it did get cold). The last night I camped on the summit of Whitney. I did see some day-hikers who hiked up from Whitney Portal that I worried about since they seemed a bit disorientated . They were making their way down at that point.

      I was in no hurry, I took my time and enjoyed it. I hiked addition miles than the JMT, about 300 miles in 21 days. Some days were spent just enjoying where I was and doing a little trout fishing (the fishing is unbelievable).
      “Of all sad words of tongue or pen,
      the saddest are these, 'It might have been.”


      John Greenleaf Whittier

      The post was edited 1 time, last by IMScotty ().

    • before I joined the Navy my highest altitude camping trip was probably a thousand feet above sea level. That would have been high school. No problem hiking or camping.

      Navy tech school I helped with a Scout troop. Highest camping there was three thousand feet. I took it easy but I was skinny and in better shape. Not a problem I was more concerned about all of us in 3 season gear. It got down to 5F. With a 50 mile per hour wind.

      Highest I have been was when we traveled to Lassen. Volcanic Park on Mt. Lassen. We went to all 3 lakes. I think the highest one there is about 10 thousand feet. Snow there in the summer. I noticed I had to slow down.

      Not counting flying on commercial jets as I sat the entire trip.

      But I do have to slow down at altitude. If I walk at Cheaha, 1200 to 2400 feet I have take it easy but it's not flat walking.
      --
      "What do you mean its sunrise already ?!", me.
    • I live at approximately 50 feet above sea level. I start to notice the elevation affecting me around 4000-6000 feet. Above 6000 or so is when hiking starts to get a lot more strenuous for me, trying to follow my syblings who live in the Denver area on hikes was quite a challenge.

      I would love to do the JMT some day, but I don't know that I could jump into it without acclimatizing myself to some significant elevation for a few weeks beforehand. Without that I honestly worry that I could have trouble with Mt. Whitney and other 14,000 footers.
      >>>Advertise here! Affordable rates and no long term contracts. Send a PM for more details!<<<
    • SarcasmTheElf wrote:

      I live at approximately 50 feet above sea level. I start to notice the elevation affecting me around 4000-6000 feet. Above 6000 or so is when hiking starts to get a lot more strenuous for me, trying to follow my syblings who live in the Denver area on hikes was quite a challenge.

      I would love to do the JMT some day, but I don't know that I could jump into it without acclimatizing myself to some significant elevation for a few weeks beforehand. Without that I honestly worry that I could have trouble with Mt. Whitney and other 14,000 footers.
      After 3 or 4 weeks, you should be good to go for Whitney...

      Everyone is different about altitudes. Now, 500feetASL shouldn't make any difference at all JimBlue. The O2 level is almost identical at that altitude to sea level. I wonder what your O2 saturation level is.....

      I have noticed effects at 14,000ASL, especially with heavy exertion. I really haven't noticed it much in skiing, except above 11,000ASL. But, knock wood, I've never gotten the headache or nausea. Or vertigo. Or disorientation. But, I've seen all of it....including HAPE, which is WAY more common than people think. I have a friend that got HAPE at Beaver Creek. It was the prolonged stay above 8500ASL that did him in...dude was in pretty good shape, too.
    • One of the nice things about starting at Tuolumne is you are starting at 8600 feet, a good altitude to start acclimating at, but the hiking north from there is pretty relaxing. A JMT permit entitles you to spend the night before in the 'Hikers Campground' at Tuolumne. I arrived at the end of the day, got a good nights sleep, and already felt better in the morning. I felt that first night was an important part of my acclimation. After about three days I was use to the altitude.
      “Of all sad words of tongue or pen,
      the saddest are these, 'It might have been.”


      John Greenleaf Whittier
    • EdDzierzak wrote:

      JimBlue wrote:

      What ever the altitude is at Albuquerque, NM I had trouble there walking up one flight of stairs. That is when I was a teenager.Oh. I was having breathing troubles from the air I wasn't over weight but I rather skinny and underweight.
      ABQ is about 5300 feet.

      yeah a mile high. We were all used to 500 to 700 feet up.
      --
      "What do you mean its sunrise already ?!", me.
    • EdDzierzak wrote:

      JimBlue wrote:

      What ever the altitude is at Albuquerque, NM I had trouble there walking up one flight of stairs. That is when I was a teenager.Oh. I was having breathing troubles from the air I wasn't over weight but I rather skinny and underweight.
      ABQ is about 5300 feet.
      Wonder if that had anything to do with why Bugs took the wrong turn? ;)
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • I was at a conference at Keystone CO (9000 ft +?) One of the speakers blacked out during his talk. A few minutes in, we noticed his grammar was a little off. Subtle at first and no one was quite sure what was going on. Then it gradually got worse to the point he was just reciting random words. Then he just stopped talking and stood there motionless for about 30 seconds. Then he just sat down. It was very odd. He got up about a half hour later, apologized and got through his whole talk on the srcond try. He said he was altitude disadvantaged because he cam from Australia.
    • odd man out wrote:

      I was at a conference at Keystone CO (9000 ft +?) One of the speakers blacked out during his talk. A few minutes in, we noticed his grammar was a little off. Subtle at first and no one was quite sure what was going on. Then it gradually got worse to the point he was just reciting random words. Then he just stopped talking and stood there motionless for about 30 seconds. Then he just sat down. It was very odd. He got up about a half hour later, apologized and got through his whole talk on the srcond try. He said he was altitude disadvantaged because he cam from Australia.
      Wow, that's the early stages of hypoxia. There's a famous ATC tape of a Kalitta Charter pilot who had some O2 issue at 14000ASL, you could hear the pilot losing touch with reality and then slurring and then a random word or two. Somehow the plane descended to 11000ASL and the pilot got his senses back. 9000ASL...that poor guy had more issues than the altitude, most likely COPD or something causing low O2 saturation levels. Dude would have caused a horrific crash at Loveland or Vail Pass on I-70(12,000ASL and 11,000ASL!!!). In other words, folks fly into DIA from Miami, rent a car, drive to Vail, no issues. Your speaker was either drunk or has some serious health issue...
    • My wife and I are planning on doing it in sections. With our first section the easiest. We'll start up at the meadows and hike down to the valley. We'll be sure to hit all the highlights on this hike. There's supposed to be some nice side trails, including the dome.
      Where is the hot spring up the meadows? Is it north on the trail?
    • ScareBear wrote:

      odd man out wrote:

      I was at a conference at Keystone CO (9000 ft +?) One of the speakers blacked out during his talk. A few minutes in, we noticed his grammar was a little off. Subtle at first and no one was quite sure what was going on. Then it gradually got worse to the point he was just reciting random words. Then he just stopped talking and stood there motionless for about 30 seconds. Then he just sat down. It was very odd. He got up about a half hour later, apologized and got through his whole talk on the srcond try. He said he was altitude disadvantaged because he cam from Australia.
      Wow, that's the early stages of hypoxia. There's a famous ATC tape of a Kalitta Charter pilot who had some O2 issue at 14000ASL, you could hear the pilot losing touch with reality and then slurring and then a random word or two. Somehow the plane descended to 11000ASL and the pilot got his senses back. 9000ASL...that poor guy had more issues than the altitude, most likely COPD or something causing low O2 saturation levels. Dude would have caused a horrific crash at Loveland or Vail Pass on I-70(12,000ASL and 11,000ASL!!!). In other words, folks fly into DIA from Miami, rent a car, drive to Vail, no issues. Your speaker was either drunk or has some serious health issue...
      and when I was a kid we were on a family road trip. We drove up to the summit of trail ridge road RMNP. Back at the hotel that evening we found my older sister had no memory of the gift shop at rhe summit.
    • LIhikers wrote:

      No experience with the JMT but glad you dropped into the Café! :thumbsup:
      Hey! I've dropped in a time or two to lurk. ;) I've missed y'all too!

      Mountain-Mike wrote:

      I like the way Scotty did his hike. I Joined the JMT on my SOBO Lash of the PCT that year. I took it easy first few days. I had a girlfriend with me for the first week & she started getting a headache on the second day. We just took an early day & dropped down some to camp. By the time I went over Whitney I never even notice elevation affecting me. I did camp on two of the high passes. One just about running up for pictures of the alpine glow in the lakes. By the time I finished taking pics I reallized how chilled I was. I fired up my stove & changed out of my sweaty clothes. I grew concerned about how my stove was working & then though, "DUH, you're at 11,000' There's less oxogen to funtion normally!"

      Take it easy first few days, keep hydrated, & you should be fine. At least at the start hike high & sleep lower. I suggest an ice axe or at leastr a BD whippet on hiking pole depending on when you hike. I found the ice axe usefull for cutting steps across a steep, icy snow slope on a northern flank of a mountain. Also take when the sqeeters or out when planning. I hit them No of Yosemite & they were in swarms. I welcomed the cool nights so I could put on fleece that they couldn't bite through.

      For resupply I bought some food at the market in reds meadow. I used Vermillion Vally Resort as opposed to Muir Ranch because it was cheaper & dropped down to Cedar Meadows? More to meet a friend than heading east to one of the bigger towns.
      Wow, I guess it would affect the performance of a camp stove at those elevations. I successfully used my Jetboil in 20 degree temps, so hopefully it will work ok. GOod to know to have some uncooked food in my canister.

      IMScotty wrote:

      One of the nice things about starting at Tuolumne is you are starting at 8600 feet, a good altitude to start acclimating at, but the hiking north from there is pretty relaxing. A JMT permit entitles you to spend the night before in the 'Hikers Campground' at Tuolumne. I arrived at the end of the day, got a good nights sleep, and already felt better in the morning. I felt that first night was an important part of my acclimation. After about three days I was use to the altitude.
      Cool. I'd ideally like to start at Tuolomne, but to really give myself the best chance of landing a permit, I'm going to be wide open about where and when I start next summer. I've got a 5 week window of which I can start...hoping I can start there too.

      Appreciate everyone's advice and words. This is just the beginning...you may remember how many newbie posts I had as a prospective AT thru-hiker. Starting that all over again with the foreign land of JMT. ;) Thank you all! <3
      www.appalachiantrailclarity.com - Life on the A.T.

      Sometimes you find yourself in the middle of nowhere, and sometimes in the middle of nowhere, you find yourself.
    • I hiked it in August, which was a great time, I had beautiful weather. That said if July and September are your two choices, I would go with September. Last July I hiked north out of Tuolumne, and the mosquitos just killed me those first few days. They were not a problem the previous August and probably not a worry at all by September.

      I expect that in September you will have the place more to yourself. That could be a good thing. The negative is the possibility of early season storms. Even in August it was surprisingly cold at night, no doubt it will be more so in September. You can control the temperature somewhat by planning your daily miles to end up lower in elevation than I typically did. That last night when I slept on the summit of Whitney I was freezing. My water bottle froze solid, I'd guess it got down to 20F with a strong wind. I used a 20 degree Hammocking setup, but on the summit I was on the ground so my underside insulation was not very robust.
      “Of all sad words of tongue or pen,
      the saddest are these, 'It might have been.”


      John Greenleaf Whittier
    • I agree about the bugs. Depending on snow pack & melt. Postholer.com has links to the snow pack. I hit clouds of bugs in late July & almost none in Augast. I did get hit by a freak storm front that rolled in Labor Day Weekend & stalled for a few days. Rain lower elevation & snow higher up. All the locals said that hadn't happened for years. Most people agree Aud-Sept is the best time there
    • twistwrist wrote:

      Wow, the prices to pick up a resupply at all of the locations are outrageous...up to $100 just to pick up the package?! Is it simply because of the remoteness of the trail? Obviously I'm not used to that from the A.T.
      I take it you are talking about Muir Trail Ranch. It's remote. Supplies come by pack train or boat. It's the reason I opoted for Vermillion Valley RFesort & a long walk on a side trail into Sequia NP CG.