Unpopular Opinion: The JMT sucks

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Does the JMT suck?

Yes
6
21%
Yes!
5
17%
Cake.
18
62%
 
Total votes: 29

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Mike M.
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Re: Unpopular Opinion: The JMT sucks

Post by Mike M. » Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:36 pm

Franklin411, my idea of a great wilderness experience does not include camping with a bunch of people near a hut and having someone cook food for me while I sip wine. I want to get away from it all and spend as much time as possible in splendid solitude. Just saying.

But, if you yearn for an experience loosely based on the Alps model, try a loop in Yosemite where you hike from High Sierra camp to High Sierra camp (e.g., Volgelsang, Sunrise, Glen Aulin, etc.). You might enjoy it.

Mike M.
Last edited by Mike M. on Tue Mar 05, 2019 11:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.








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Mike M.
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Re: Unpopular Opinion: The JMT sucks

Post by Mike M. » Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:45 pm

I don't think the JMT sucks. Like Sekihiker, it introduced me to the southern Sierra and whet my appetite to explore areas less traveled. My summer adventures almost always use portions of the JMT to access more remote routes. God bless the JMT!

Mike M.

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creekfeet
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Re: Unpopular Opinion: The JMT sucks

Post by creekfeet » Tue Mar 05, 2019 11:22 pm

I've only hiked small sections of the JMT as a means to get to more wild places, but I basically view it the same way as I do hiking in the Giant Forest or Yosemite Valley. It goes through some incredibly beautiful terrain, but I don't think of it as a backcountry/wilderness experience in the slightest.

On a side-note, it's amazing how active a March thread gets when it's not dog-related.

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c9h13no3
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Re: Unpopular Opinion: The JMT sucks

Post by c9h13no3 » Tue Mar 05, 2019 11:42 pm

:soapbox:

In all seriousness, the JMT doesn't suck. It is a thing with pros & cons. Complaining about the JMT being full of people is the same as complaining about fire for being hot & burning you. If you hate being burned, stop touching it, idiot.

The JMT is wicked fast. Pack trails are damn near ADA accessible, navigation is trivial, and I can run pretty comfortably 9-10 minute miles for a long time on it. It's a great place to do solo stuff as well, since you'll always have passers-by if you break your ankle or something.

But much like sleeping near the freeway, if you setup camp near the JMT, you'll be complaining about noise, trash, and smelly people sleeping in tents. Use it for what it is. Elevating yourself above the masses by putting down the people on it just means you probably aren't doing it right.

Sure, it's probably over rated in terms of its scenery compared to the rest of the trails out there. But new people need a place to go, because without new blood, you'll have a forum full of senior citizens talking about their dogs...
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sekihiker
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Re: Unpopular Opinion: The JMT sucks

Post by sekihiker » Wed Mar 06, 2019 12:05 am

c9h13no3 wrote:
Mon Mar 04, 2019 10:51 pm
And the only thing active is these three threads about dogs.
All this dog talk inspired me to write up a trip report for my dog Beans' first multiday hike.
You can find it at: http://www.sierrahiker.com/BeansDinkey2002/index.html
Image

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sekihiker
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Re: Unpopular Opinion: The JMT sucks

Post by sekihiker » Wed Mar 06, 2019 12:16 am

gregodorizzi wrote:
Tue Mar 05, 2019 7:02 pm
I felt like writing a post about dogs.
lol
Me, too. I was inspired to post a trip report about my dog, Beans, at: http://www.sierrahiker.com/BeansDinkey2002/index.html

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Re: Unpopular Opinion: The JMT sucks

Post by sekihiker » Wed Mar 06, 2019 12:40 am

franklin411 wrote:
Tue Mar 05, 2019 6:09 pm
We don't need to go full Disneyland, but Muirian misanthropy hasn't served us well.
It seems to me that you are confusing current extreme environmentalist's positions with those of Muir. My feeling is that he (and other members of the early Sierra Club including such pioneers as Theodore Solomons) fought to set aside from development certain areas of extraordinary beauty and uniqueness based, in part, on his experience as a shepherd in the Sierra where he saw mass desecration of wide swaths of the high country.

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Re: Unpopular Opinion: The JMT sucks

Post by sekihiker » Wed Mar 06, 2019 12:43 am

Did I mention my dog?

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c9h13no3
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Re: Unpopular Opinion: The JMT sucks

Post by c9h13no3 » Wed Mar 06, 2019 1:00 am

sekihiker wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 12:43 am
Did I mention my dog?
And I thought I was trolling >_<
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windknot
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Re: Unpopular Opinion: The JMT sucks

Post by windknot » Wed Mar 06, 2019 2:06 am

Only on HST can what I only assume was meant to be a troll post elicit such thoughtful and reasonable discussion about the true meaning and value of wildness. Plus of course a few counter-trolls. Kudos!

My opinion on the JMT is not unique -- it echoes what many/most have already said. My perspective in this forum is perhaps more uncommon -- I'm a person of color AND a millennial, quite a rare combination in these parts. And as for the question of how best to preserve wild spaces while still enabling access and encouraging participation, I do believe that a certain cross-generational understanding will have to develop. A truce, if you will.

I'm a bit old-school myself -- I can't tell if that's the reason why I joined HST at age 18 and am still here on the wrong (right?) side of 30, or if the opposite is true and y'all on this board played a formative role in helping to shape my wilderness ethos. Either way, I confess to harboring more than a bit of harmless elitism that folks who stick solely to the JMT aren't experiencing the "true Sierra Nevada" as we understand it to be. But they are still experiencing a good part of it. And many of them are millennials (yes, with their compulsive Instagramming and vlogging and social hiking), and many more of them are representative of the demographics of our country than they were 30 years ago, and all of them will carry the memories of their experience with them for the rest of their life. So doesn't the very fact that a substantial increase in JMT traffic over the past 5-7 years (depending on whether you are book or movie), almost certainly spurred by these same millennials, run counter to the argument that we are failing to build a constituency within the next generation?

The friendly debate about whether or not adding huts and toilets would be in line with our longer-term goals as stewards and constituents of this amazing resource is, in my humble opinion, a bit superfluous. No, access is not equitably distributed. Yes, a certain amount of privilege is a prerequisite. However, it's apparent that the next generation of Sierra hikers has already decided how they'd like to utilize this resource, and they are proceeding to do so in the way that makes the most sense to them. The constituency for the Sierra is already being built. It just doesn't look like it used to.

But maybe that's okay. Perhaps some of these through-hikers will catch the bug, evolve, and begin exploring other trails in search of wilder and wilder spaces. Perhaps some of those folks will even begin to venture off trail. Perhaps we'll meet them there one day. In the meantime, I will be glad that more of my peers are experiencing for themselves what I have been enthralled by for my entire short adult life. And at the same time I will be relieved that they are courteous enough to self-segregate, leaving the rest of the Sierra untrammeled for the rest of us to wander.

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