So Much for the John Muir Trail

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Hobbes
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Re: So Much for the John Muir Trail

Post by Hobbes » Wed Feb 15, 2017 8:51 am

schmalz wrote:Hiked the JMT nobo last year in early June. That permit is easy (cottonwood pass), and there were barely any people out there and I did not see one bear. It's still doable in the modern era to experience the trail and get a feeling of wilderness.
Hey, were have you been? I was also going to mention one can still hike the JMT in complete peace & solitude with practically no one around (including bears). Of course, there is the matter of this one, small itzy bitzy hitch:
glen pass.jpg
Andy & I are planning on doing Taboose->Sawmill over Memorial. Interested?
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Re: So Much for the John Muir Trail

Post by Cross Country » Thu Feb 16, 2017 11:44 am

I backpacked over 500 days and never did the JMT nor ever had the desire to do it. I never climbed Mt Whitney nor considered doing it. I only climbed one peak and that only because it was easy (Observation Pk) and we had nothing else to do (catch) on a layover at Dumbell. I didn't backpack to go fishing. I"ve almost never fished outside of backpacking. I backpacked because I really enjoyed being there and liked exploring (cross country).
I fished because I like eating fish and it gave me something to do while at my favorite place in the world, the Sierra backcountry cross country. I think people do the JMT to tell themselves that they DID it. I think people bag peaks to tell themselves that they BAGGED them. I didn't go BP to tell myself or anyone else that i backpacked.
My message is to just enjoy the experience and the atmosphere because one day you won't be able to (like me) and they can be your fondest memories. Hard hiking (JMT) or hard climbing (peaks) was always just that for me - HARD. I just liked to enjoy myself Instead of showing myself - wow look what i can do (or did).

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Re: So Much for the John Muir Trail

Post by Cross Country » Thu Feb 16, 2017 11:51 am

Also I imagine that people do the JMT to challenge themselves. Being successful enough in life to enjoy my self a great deal was enough of a challenge for me.

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Re: So Much for the John Muir Trail

Post by richlong8 » Thu Feb 16, 2017 12:07 pm

So many beautiful places to explore in the Sierra, why put up with the crowds and the logistics. You have done it once, if there were particular sections that you enjoyed and would like to re-visit, include them in a trip that also includes some undiscovered country.

Exactly! this is the approach I have followed the last 10 years, and I have not regrets.

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longri
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Re: So Much for the John Muir Trail

Post by longri » Thu Feb 16, 2017 12:40 pm

Cross Country wrote:I think people do the JMT to tell themselves that they DID it. I think people bag peaks to tell themselves that they BAGGED them.
While this is probably true for some people it's a mistake to assume most people have these motivations. Perhaps you're projecting something from within yourself?

I think walking the JMT is great fun. It's why I've done it multiple times. From conversations I've had with others that seems to me to be the primary motivation.

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Re: So Much for the John Muir Trail

Post by markskor » Thu Feb 16, 2017 1:47 pm

AlmostThere wrote:I would say that the majority of the people who reserved permits did not ever pick them up,
longri wrote:I'm curious, what makes you think that? I've stood in line before for no shows and it was never anything like 50%.
Asked this very question at the TM Permit shack last season. Ranger Greg told me someone up there did a 2-year study...22% and 24% not picked up. Thus, if you add those three/four "no shows" to the 10 slots open on the "next day" quota...average 13 spots still open each day.
Cross Country wrote:I think people do the JMT to tell themselves that they DID it.
People do the Muir for any of multitude of reasons. Bragging rights... Just long enough/ possible to do in a two-week vacation... Easily accessible (5 hour drive) for tens of millions...World famous...Social media exposure. Introspection possibilities...Pride...Having and completing a goal...Safety in numbers...Self-testing...Bucket list item?
longri wrote:I think walking the JMT is great fun. It's why I've done it multiple times.
Multiples here too, always fun, but sure glad I did it much earlier in life ...just a little too big now. Still, if hadn't done it already, can understand why others have the desire...for all the reasons listed above. Many of those who are successful eventually go on to figure it out.
Mountainman who swims with trout

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Re: So Much for the John Muir Trail

Post by powderhound » Thu Feb 16, 2017 8:28 pm

Cross Country wrote: I think people do the JMT to tell themselves that they DID it. I think people bag peaks to tell themselves that they BAGGED them. I didn't go BP to tell myself or anyone else that i backpacked.
My message is to just enjoy the experience and the atmosphere because one day you won't be able to (like me) and they can be your fondest memories. Hard hiking (JMT) or hard climbing (peaks) was always just that for me - HARD. I just liked to enjoy myself Instead of showing myself - wow look what i can do (or did).
You have a point, and I have definitely met people who hike the JMT or bag peaks just for the bragging rights. Hiking with them can honestly get kind of annoying after a while...it turns into a race to get home without any spontaneity. For me, backpacking is about enjoying both the wilderness and the challenge. I've had a lot of hobbies, and something I've realized is that all of them involve challenging myself and taking something as far as I can, even if I don't get to tell anyone about it. I think some people are just like that--they get the same satisfaction from pushing themselves that others get from taking it slow. I still stop often to take in the sights or swim when I find a nice spot, but it's never as satisfying if I didn't work hard to earn it.

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Re: So Much for the John Muir Trail

Post by dave54 » Thu Feb 16, 2017 9:07 pm

I hiked it in the early 70s long before any permits were needed. No quotas at any trailhead either.

I try really hard to avoid anywhere that requires permits or has quotas. There are too many other great places to hike that have no such trappings.
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Re: So Much for the John Muir Trail

Post by zacjust32 » Thu Feb 16, 2017 10:59 pm

I'm not naming names or calling people out here, but I find it disheartening that many people think doing a trail for "bragging rights" or just to say they've done it is looked down on. That for some reason hiking the JMT in a week is wrong and that doing it in a month is the better way to do it, if to do it at all. Who are they to say that my personal way of enjoying nature is wrong? I personally don't care how people hike or what their reason is as long as they are out there enjoying themselves. Nature is too important IMO to deter people from enjoying it just because their hike may be too mainstream or not the best. Obviously PowderHound wants honest opinions here and just wants to hear all the options, but I don't want people (especially newbies) to skip experiences all together because it might not be the ideal view of backpacking some people have. I think (hope) that everyone here wants to find the best hike for PH, so I'll get off my soapbox now.
:soapbox:

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Re: So Much for the John Muir Trail

Post by Cross Country » Fri Feb 17, 2017 9:29 am

I never meant to imply that ANY reason is wrong. I was just relating what I think of it. Speaking of better, I think it's WAY better to hike the JMT anyway you do it than to not get out there. My point was that there are many ways to be in the backcountry and all of us have (good) reasons to be out there. For me, for someone to not get out there is a shame. There's so much positive out there and so many positive reasons to be there.

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