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JMT north vs south

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JMT north vs south

Postby TwoFortyJeff » Tue Sep 18, 2007 6:39 pm

If my Sierra High Route plans fall through, I'll likely do the JMT again. I did it north bound last summer and loved it. I noticed most people do it south bound though.
Does the experience differ with direction?

If I do the JMT instead of the SHR, I'm going to do it a lot slower and explore off trail peaks, lake basins, etc. I'm just not sure if direction really matters.



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Postby ericZ » Wed Sep 19, 2007 12:18 am

well, from what i know, there are a few ups and downs along the JMT. but it rises as you travel from a north to south direction. sounds like you had it easy, all the way downhill!!! ;-)

eric
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Postby Snow Nymph » Wed Sep 19, 2007 12:23 am

We didn't want to start off with 6,000' gain so we did north to south in 2001. By the time we got to Whitney, we were passing dayhikers and we had big packs! :nod:
Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free . . . . Jim Morrison


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Postby BSquared » Wed Sep 19, 2007 5:27 am

Amen to Snow Nymph. When we did it in 2004 we had a similar experience. Getting to altitude slowly definitely has its merits! Going north to south also puts the relatively dull (how can I say that!?!?! I'd LOVE to be there right now! OK, emphasize 'relatively' ;) ), low part of the trail—Postpile to Muir Trail Ranch—closer to the beginning than to the end.

I dunno, though: I'll bet it's a lot of fun rocketing down to Yosemite Valley from Tuolumne, trying not to smirk at all the tenderfeet struggling up for a climb of Half Dome. Come to think of it, it's probably a lot like rocketing down from the summit of Whitney, watching all the tenderfeet struggling up the switchbacks! :evil:
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Postby Allyn » Wed Sep 19, 2007 12:56 pm

Last year when my brother and I did the trip we went south to north and although we only made it to Red's Meadow I think the north to south would have been a better idea. This is because of the higher elevations we encountered at the beginning of the trip and I had some altitude issues going up Trail Crest and Forrester Pass. Once I got aclimated, the rest of the passes were easier (I can't really believe I said that!). Most of the traffic was coming north to south as well.

Either way you will have a tremdous climb your first day or so. If you head north to south, you have the pull out of Yosemite up towards Sunrise. South to North you have Whitney. You will probably get more sleep on your first night heading north to south as I found the foot traffic to be non-stop all night on the trek up Whitney. It was quite a sight to see an endless stream of headlamps coming up the trail all nigth long!

On another throught, resupply can be an issue on the North to South. You can resupply a few times in the beginning of the trip, but when you are really burning calories and have hit that weight deficient diet (around 5 to 7 days) you are past Muir Trail and unless you take a side trip over the east side, you have no more resupply options until you hit the end. Going the other way, if you plan your trip right you can squeeze enough food for the trip to Muir Trail without needing to resupply, then hit Red's Meadow (Mulehouse Cafe?), then Tuolumne Meadows, then Curry Village (all having fresh cooked food!)

Either way the trip should be nice.
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Postby BSquared » Wed Sep 19, 2007 1:06 pm

Allyn wrote:Either way the trip should be nice.


Ah, the crux!

:)
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Postby calipidder » Wed Sep 19, 2007 1:28 pm

I'm sure I'd enjoy it in either direction, but there is something immensely satisfying about Whitney being so easy after so long on the trail. I sped up that thing in no time and with a smile on my face. I'm sure the story would have been different if it had been the beginning of the hike. :lol:
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Postby TwoFortyJeff » Wed Sep 19, 2007 2:43 pm

Thanks for the input. I think I may try southbound this time, just to switch it up.
I forgot to mention that last summer I started on the HST so when I did Whitney on day 5, I was in awesome shape and my back was light(er). I came back over Whitney with a 45lb pack and I was still going strong while the less acclimated day hikers were mostly gasping for air.
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Postby Cloudy » Wed Sep 19, 2007 5:23 pm

TwoFortyJeff wrote:Thanks for the input. I think I may try southbound this time, just to switch it up.
I forgot to mention that last summer I started on the HST so when I did Whitney on day 5, I was in awesome shape and my back was light(er). I came back over Whitney with a 45lb pack and I was still going strong while the less acclimated day hikers were mostly gasping for air.


Lol, when I did the 22 mile Whitney day hike, I had just gotten off anothers section of the JMT and had been out for around ten days. I was passing uber athletes who looked at me with admiration... I had one studly guy and his girlfriend ask me what I did to be in such great shape (they ran 10 miles a day +) and I smiled and said "nothing, I really don't exercise at all" (which is essentially true) as I skipped up the switchbacks. That was a true Kodak moment. The next weekend, I capped it off by doing Half Dome in a day also while I was still fit.
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Postby Snow Nymph » Wed Sep 19, 2007 7:59 pm

The main reason for going N to S was to start in lower elevation. Even though the first day was 4K gain, it was easy because the altitude didn’t kick our butts! We left a cache at Tuolumne Meadows, so our packs were pretty light the first few days. The next cache was Reds Mdw, then Muir Ranch. A friend brought in fuel and fresh food. The last cache was Charlotte Lake. A few friends brought our food, clean clothes and newpapers with stories and pix of 9-11. What a great group of people! They came thru for us (we didn’t know what happened til that day). The rest of the week was quiet, and it WAS pretty awesome flying by people with our full packs (mostly because we’re not very fast). It was cool to hear comments like "you guys are animals" as we passed people. What a difference being acclimatize makes!
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Postby Cloudy » Thu Sep 20, 2007 6:33 am

Snow Nymph wrote:. A few friends brought our food, clean clothes and newpapers with stories and pix of 9-11. What a great group of people! They came thru for us (we didn’t know what happened til that day).


Oddly enough, I was in the Sierra backcountry at the same time and was clueless as to what happened. I came back into town and went to Subway for a sandwich and saw all these people staring at the TV on the wall...
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Postby TwoFortyJeff » Thu Sep 20, 2007 7:06 am

Cloudy wrote:
Snow Nymph wrote:. A few friends brought our food, clean clothes and newpapers with stories and pix of 9-11. What a great group of people! They came thru for us (we didn’t know what happened til that day).


Oddly enough, I was in the Sierra backcountry at the same time and was clueless as to what happened. I came back into town and went to Subway for a sandwich and saw all these people staring at the TV on the wall...


Looking back, do you recall a lack of airtraffic?
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