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Joining the End of a JMT Through-Hike

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Joining the End of a JMT Through-Hike

Postby BSquared » Sun Jan 25, 2009 3:47 pm

Well, my 2009 through-hike looks like it's coming together. I've got a companion for the length of the trail (with a SPOT to keep our spouses happy), we've got wilderness permits for Happy Isles on 10 July, I've got a friend in California who's willing to act as a rendezvous point and mail drop, and I'm beginning to think about food. No, that's not right: I'm always thinking about food, but now I'm particularly thinking about food for the trail.

My question is on behalf of a couple of other Marylanders who want to hook up with us for the end of the trip. We're thinking about their coming in via Paradise Valley to the Woods Creek junction (one of them is partial to a western approach); Bubbs Creek to Vidette Meadow or Charlotte Lake would be another reasonable choice. Two questions for those more recently experienced with the area than I:

    Does Cedar Grove to Whitney Portal sound like a reasonable week's trip? Via Paradise, or via Bubbs? Think of us as "average" hikers, neither go-light speed-demons nor slugs, but none of us is getting any younger. For the through-hike I'm estimating our itinerary using the old formula of 2 mph plus 1/2 hour per thousand feet of climbing.
    Is there any public transportation to Cedar Grove? My friends would probably want to rent a one-way car in the San Francisco Bay Area and drop it off somewhere — Fresno, perhaps? But then they need to get to the trailhead.

If anybody else on the board is likely to be in our vicinity during the trip (we're planning about 3 weeks, so you can estimate roughly where we'll be when), let me know and we'll try to hook up.

-B2



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Re: Joining the End of a JMT Through-Hike

Postby hikerduane » Sun Jan 25, 2009 4:34 pm

I'm thinking out of Cedar Grove, you could be on Whitney at least in four days, or five days of hiking. I went in at Kearsage Pass a couple years ago, first night at Vidette Meadow area, second night at lower Paradise Valley CG. I heard Center Basin is worth visiting. It's gonna be hot hiking up to Sphinx Creek, easier after that, but still a couple sunny spots before the jct. at Vidette and the trail down from Bullfrog. Charlotte Lake is worth seeing, scattered campsites along the north side, the bear box is down by the Ranger Station, a longer walk. Fishing was medium. Cool spots to camp at Sphinx Creek, Junction Meadow if unable to make it to Vidette Meadow. Vidette Meadow is small, at least in the area by the junction, so camping is limited there and a bear box or two.

If going up Paradise Valley to Woods Creek, add a day or two, longer way plus the 2 miles over Glen Pass from Rae Lakes. Although coming up Bubbs Creek is mostly uphill. No suitable camping from Upper Paradise to Woods Creek, except about a mile past Upper Paradise, Middle Paradise isn't too great either. Woods Creek isn't the greatest, but doable with numerous spots, look around some are easy to locate, others you need to walk around to find. I detoured into the Sixty Lake Basin, so I missed the last couple miles to Rae Lakes and picked up the trail at the SW corner of Rae Lakes for two nights there. On the south side of Glen Pass, the camping isn't too good, hang in there until Charlotte or Vidette Meadow. So much, so little time.
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Re: Joining the End of a JMT Through-Hike

Postby BSquared » Sun Jan 25, 2009 5:50 pm

Thanks a lot... several good observations in there.

hikerduane wrote:I detoured into the Sixty Lake Basin, so I missed the last couple miles to Rae Lakes and picked up the trail at the SW corner of Rae Lakes for two nights there. On the south side of Glen Pass, the camping isn't too good, hang in there until Charlotte or Vidette Meadow. So much, so little time.


Where do you pick up the "detour" into Sixty Lakes Basin? I only know the trail that goes in from the south end, near the highest Rae Lake.

-B2
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Re: Joining the End of a JMT Through-Hike

Postby hikerduane » Sun Jan 25, 2009 6:58 pm

:) You pick up the detour, wherever you want to. As I was hiking up out of Woods Creek, I kept an eye peeled for the best route/terrain to access Sixty Lakes Basin. I was lucky, I left the trail it looks like, just past Dollar Lake but before Arrowhead Lake, south bound. Looks like, just before getting to Arrowhead, there is a pass of sorts. If you look at your map, straight across from the top of Arrowhead is where you want to shoot. You have to contour around a little hill before you start up to that gap. I found parts of an old trail, so that was a good sign, indicating others used that route too. When you drop down the other side, you still have to drop some more to get into the basin, I stopped at a small lake for a rest before dropping down to the small creek that goes thru the basin. There are a few used campsites in the basin, you can tell not many people stay there though. I only saw two researchers netting fish out of one of the lakes, the morning I passed thru. It is a steep climb getting out of there, once you pick up the trail again. The map doesn't look it, but it was. I enjoyed my time at Rae Lakes and Dragon Lake more, but then I was fishing up a storm. Not that scenic back in there, but I did get a feeling of wilderness/isolation, so don't let me throw a curve your way. On the other hand, you would visit an area that is rarely seen. Sorry if my first post goes on, added info as I went.

Camping around Rae Lakes is done along the east side and the area between the two. The area between the two is pretty broken up, so you may get surprised by anyone/thing walking around. Bear boxes scattered here and there. Wish I was going, but I have bigger plans this summer.

The year I did the Rae Lakes Loop, a bear was hanging around the lower Paradise Campground, I never saw it, but it was in the area the first few hours I was there that I heard about. Mice did in some water bottles of a couple young guys I met at Lower Paradise the night they stayed at Upper Paradise CG. Those bear boxes are not necessarily rodent proof.
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Re: Joining the End of a JMT Through-Hike

Postby Snow Nymph » Tue Jan 27, 2009 7:04 pm

maybe you can post a link (like RichardP) so we can see your spot checks. If I can, would love to meet up along the trail.
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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Re: Joining the End of a JMT Through-Hike

Postby BSquared » Tue Jan 27, 2009 7:29 pm

Snow Nymph wrote:maybe you can post a link (like RichardP) so we can see your spot checks. If I can, would love to meet up along the trail.

Great idea, but I'm not sure how to do it (and I don't own the SPOT, David, my hiking companion does). Suggestions? I don't think I saw Richard's link, can you point me to it? (This is Richard from WPMB?)

-B2
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Re: Joining the End of a JMT Through-Hike

Postby Snow Nymph » Tue Jan 27, 2009 7:38 pm

yes, that's him. my spot checks go there, but i haven't been there for awhile. its in the last section, scroll all the way down. i;m on a mac now, don't have bookmarks set up and too lazy to set up. Sorry for 1-handed typing w/o caps. :rolleyes:

i sent a link, but don't remember what i did to get it. it took a few tries to get it right.
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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