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JMT Family

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JMT Family

Postby varnes-epstein » Sun Mar 05, 2006 12:09 pm

Well Everyone - we got our reservations, too! August 9th out of Happy Isles with 7, 9, and 10 yr old in tow. We'll be joined by another adventurous homeschooling family with a 10 and 11 yr old. We plan on taking 33 days to complete the trail including summiting at Mt Whitney. Jardine-like will be our general style. Have done an enormous amount of research but are left with more than a few questions. We also will need to resupply during the second half and am not sure if a Grouse meadow resupply is feasible. Can anyone tell me about this red ant thing? How do we avoid this most uncomfortable situation other than trying not to park in their garage, so to speak?
Rosabella, you asked me when I posted some time ago about our proposed trail dates and it looks like we'll miss you. We'll be learning from everybody elses's questions as well. We can use all the encouraging support anyone wants to throw our way.
Oikos y familia



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Postby hikerduane » Sun Mar 05, 2006 1:08 pm

That's cool, taking the kids. I hope they can make it.
Piece of cake.
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Postby Rosabella » Sun Mar 05, 2006 7:23 pm

The Dusy Basin/South Lake Trail that goes over Bishop Pass is a good re-supply access. Grouse meadows is a few miles past this turn-off.

I'm sure there will be lots of suggestions, but the first thing that came to mind for me is that your kids are about the same age my boys were on their first backpacking trip. Actually, mine may have been a little older, but not by much. Anyway.... one of the favorite things that we did on that first trip was journalling.

I didn't have them write it, though. At the end of each day, I'd take each of the boys individually and had them tell me about their day and I would write it down exactly as they worded it. As they recounted the events of the day they would become so excited and elaborate on events so much more than if they would have been writing it themselves. It was fun for all of us, and it also gave me a better insight into how their trip was going. Now they have so much fun reading these journals and remembering the funny things that made such impressions on them when they were so young.

I did a lot to make that trip fun for them. It was important to me - I wanted their first backpacking trip to be a wonderful memory, and hopefully plant the seed for a love of backpacking.

Rosie
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Postby gdurkee » Mon Mar 06, 2006 8:29 pm

How are you going to get the resupply to Grouse Meadow? If by a commercial packer, it'll be two days round trip. If you can meet them on Bishop Pass, it's one day. The Muir Trail Ranch (aka Diamond D) is another good resupply point, though about 3 - 4 days north. I think they charge $25 or something to get a bucket up to the ranch. They're only 1/2 mile below the junction when you get down to Piute Creek.

Never heard of problems with ants, red or otherwise. Cross that one off your list... .

Unless you have a LOT of experience, I'd really caution against going too Jardine, if I can make him a verb. With kids especially, you've really got to pay close attention to keeping them warm, dry and fed. Kids that age have no reserves. They power along fine, but crash with no warning. If they're wet, they really get into hypothermic trouble very quickly and often don't say anything far enough ahead to prevent problems.

A good tent at a minimum. Really... .

Maybe we'll see you on the trail. Have a great hike.

George
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Postby ndwoods » Tue Mar 07, 2006 2:47 am

Yea, ditto Muir Trail ranch. They are pretty reliable...used their ferry services many many times! I've seen red ants from time to time. Usually dry sandy spots. It's not a big deal, if there are red ants we go a bit aways and get a different spot. Black ants we don't worry about. They go to sleep soon as it is cold. You'll have a blast with the kids. I backpacked with my kids all over the western US ...and now grandkids! Dee
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Postby ERIC » Tue Mar 07, 2006 8:27 am

Lost Valley Pack Station, whose property is adjacent to the Muir Trail Ranch in Blayney Meadows, also offers a similar service. :thumbsup:
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Postby varnes-epstein » Tue Mar 07, 2006 11:31 pm

Thanks for all the helpful feedback! Grouse meadows is simply our exact midpoint second half of the hike. We'll be re-supplying at Vermillion. We could put the resupply a day before or 2 days ahead of the midpoint. However, we can be as flexible as necessary. As for using Jardine as a verb - Ja Mon- will do. We have enough backpacking experience to know all of our equipment inside and out. Keeping kids paced, fed, watered, warm, focused and engaged is taking up as much mental footwork as the rest of the trip logistics. I'm happy to say, though, we have an awesome, resilient, farm/woods grown, organically fed brood (no battery powered toys taking up their time!). And speaking of light, I'm really interested in the URSACK. I've seen the polarized discussion involving some pretty attached opinions on both sides. I'll tell ya tho, looking at our total 7 day food weight for 5 people divided, more or less, between two of us- that's alot of cannister weight! I have more questions overall, but will try to ease you into them gentle-like.
Lisa of Oikos Hollow
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Postby Snow Nymph » Wed Mar 08, 2006 8:08 am

We paid $45/bucket (x2) in 2001 to go to Muir Ranch . A friend hiked in with our fuel and took some clothes back. We were about 10 days into our trip. We took our time after that (20 days) which was good because we didn't know about 9/11 until 3 days after :eek: . That's when we got our last resupply at Charlotte Lake, and spent 8 more days out. :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 Take-a-Hike » Wed Mar 08, 2006 9:08 am

Regarding Ursack, we're looking for a bear canister as well....venturing into Kings Canyon 4th weekend, up Copper Creek trial to maybe State lakes area, and I'd heard that the Ursack was granted a conditional approval. However, looking at NPS web site while making reservations for our permit, I noticed that the Ursack is listed as NOT approved. Can anyone shed light on the subject, or should we just go to REI and buy whatever they are selling these days? :\
TIA,
Perry
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Postby markskor » Wed Mar 08, 2006 9:11 am

Lisa,
Great trip plans, not rushed, & I wish you and the family the best of luck.

Perhaps you might care to expand a bit more on what exactly you mean by your "Jardine-like" approach to this trip.
Please forgive my ignorance, but I have never heard the term.
Mark
Mountainman who swims with trout
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Postby Snow Nymph » Wed Mar 08, 2006 7:49 pm

Take-a-Hike wrote:Regarding Ursack, we're looking for a bear canister as well....venturing into Kings Canyon 4th weekend, up Copper Creek trial to maybe State lakes area, and I'd heard that the Ursack was granted a conditional approval. However, looking at NPS web site while making reservations for our permit, I noticed that the Ursack is listed as NOT approved. Can anyone shed light on the subject, or should we just go to REI and buy whatever they are selling these days? :\
TIA,
Perry


You can rent the Bearikade. It holds more and is lighter than the Garcia or Bear Vault. https://id262.securedata.net/wild-ideas/rent.html

Wild Ideas website: http://www.wild-ideas.net/index2.html
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 gdurkee » Wed Mar 08, 2006 8:09 pm

The Sierra Interagency Black Bear group lists the Ursack -- with the aluminum insert -- as conditionally approved. So it's OK to use with that combination. For what it's worth, I don't think they're all that great. A bear may not actually eat your food, but after he's through thrashing the sack, you don't have much left but crumbs and mush. All mixed together. The insert is supposed to keep the food from getting crushed, but I don't see it being that effective. Also, because bears have had success getting into these before, they're going to keep working on them -- something they don't even bother doing with a Garcia, for instance.

http://www.sierrawildbear.gov/foodstora ... ainers.htm

If you've got the money, the Bearakade is the way to go. Otherwise any of the others are about equal.

Mark: "Jardine like" refers to the going-super-light equipment movement that Ray Jardine started with a book he wrote on going light. I find some of his recommendations a little to skimpy, especially for inexperienced hikers. Still, it's really gotten people to look seriously at all the junk they carry and decide if it's really necessary. On the whole, Boy Scouts with 75+ lb packs are a thing of the past, and that's a good thing... .


George
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