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Looking for partners for John Muir Trail

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Looking for partners for John Muir Trail

Postby djhess89 » Wed Mar 16, 2011 9:15 pm

I'm looking for somebody or some people interested in hiking the John Muir Trail sometime mid-summer. I'm a 21 year old male from the Bay Area and would put myself at a level three backpacker. I've done multiple trips in the High Sierra both on an off trial. I want to try to hike the trail in 3 weeks and have a great time while doing it.

I'm hoping to find someone who either knows the trail or is great with navigation, as I have some but not enough experience with maps. I would definitely try to pick up some pointers from you as we go.

Also if I can't find anyone on here maybe readers could give me some pointers on where to find somebody. Thanks!

Dan



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Re: Looking for partners for John Muir Trail

Postby AlmostThere » Wed Mar 16, 2011 10:08 pm

The JMT is sort of hard to miss... just follow the horse manure.

Only sort of kidding. The trail has a lot of traffic and the parks maintain their portions of it pretty well. Do you have dates in mind or is that one of the things you're going to try to work out? coz if you don't already have permits it's a major process - you need to decide northbound or southbound, and which trailhead in Yosemite if southbound, and get it reserved... You've missed the reservation dates for all of August and July. Happy Isles is booked solid.

Unless you have a really flexible schedule and only plan to take one or two others, and can hang out making attempts at walk in permits. That would be my plan, if I went. But I'm a local.

Mid summer may or may not work out re: high passes and snow... I would be tempted to go for late August - early September, as there would be no bugs and less snow. Going over Forester Pass about the third week of August last year, the snow was no issue at all. But I could see all the use trails from months prior when it was quite an issue...
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Re: Looking for partners for John Muir Trail

Postby The Other Tom » Thu Mar 17, 2011 4:03 am

What Almost There said plus....
Lots of people hike the JMT solo. If you don't find somebody beforehand, it won't be hard to find someone on the trail that hikes at your pace that you can "link up" with.
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Re: Looking for partners for John Muir Trail

Postby AlmostThere » Thu Mar 17, 2011 8:50 am

I would say sign me up, except I have no idea what my schedule will be - I may do a last minute run at it late season, with walk in permits, since I could scramble together some resupply boxes and have them out there in a jiffy.

Saw your post on Backcountry Buddies, btw. You shouldn't have a problem finding someone to go with. The larger issue I think is planning and permitting - not something you can do without some funds and transportation. Look at CREST and YARTS schedules, food storage rules (big deal if you don't like being hungry unexpectedly - I met a couple of really skinny guys in Vidette scrounging food from bear lockers!).
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Re: Looking for partners for John Muir Trail

Postby djhess89 » Thu Mar 17, 2011 8:29 pm

Thanks for the advice. I'm hoping to go North to South. I thought about the snow and bugs but I need to be back home by late August because school will be starting again. How easy/hard is it to get Walk In permits if I hang around? I'm fairly flexible on hanging out waiting for them if its going to be possible.
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Re: Looking for partners for John Muir Trail

Postby AlmostThere » Fri Mar 18, 2011 12:16 am

Well... I would show up on Tuesday, however you get there, and head straight to Camp 4 and get a site. Set up camp, and show up the next morning at the wilderness office, walk in at 8 am, ask for a permit for Happy Isles -> LYV (if you want to stay a night at Little Yosemite) or Happy Isles Passthrough if you want to hike on by LYV and camp further up, probably at Sunrise Creek.

When you get it you need to pay the fifteen bucks and get a Whitney exit stamp. You'll need that bear canister with you as well. Otherwise they will force you to rent a Garcia.

Might be some first come/first serve spots left for Wednesday. If not, wait til 10 (which is when they release the reserved permits that weren't picked up) and ask again. If you don't get one then, wait around til 11 when they start to pass out first come/first serve permits for the following day. If there are too many people around and you don't get one, go back to Camp 4 and pay for another night (five bucks) and repeat the process on Thursday.

You're not going to get all the food you need for 200+ miles in a bear can - so I hope you have plans to mail those resupplies well beforehand.
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Re: Looking for partners for John Muir Trail

Postby whrdafamI? » Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:22 am

I have never done the entire JMT so I am not a expert on the permit process for it. What works for my trips is that I start planning the next years trip the day after I exit from the current one. At 6 months from the start date I am on the phone to the permit office. I have yet to fail to get a reservation this way. It beats going into the office and hoping to be lucky.
Last edited by whrdafamI? on Fri Mar 18, 2011 12:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Looking for partners for John Muir Trail

Postby East Side Hiker » Fri Mar 18, 2011 10:06 am

Almost There - that was a good one about the manure.

Get a continuous passage permit. Start at some little-used pass north or south of Whitney. You may have to take a few more days to complete the trail.

One time I did it, we took two two-week trips. I've done it in 10 days a couple times. But take the time, do side trips, and take three weeks. 230, 240, whatever miles, three weeks, sounds great.

If you strike out on your own, as I have done several times, I assure you, you'll very soon meet someone who will accompany you, at least most of the way. There's so many people to meet that you can hook up with.
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Re: Looking for partners for John Muir Trail

Postby AlmostThere » Fri Mar 18, 2011 1:31 pm

One of our JMT section hikes one of my buddies quoted ... miles and miles of horse piles... ever since when I am hiking on the JMT that runs through my head. Also heard it called the John Manure Trail.

I would do the JMT solo in a heartbeat - you're never going to be alone. Between the dayhikers coming up side trails and other backpackers, you have to work pretty hard to find solitude. We would deliberately go 1-3 miles off into the woods to get away from other campers and marauding bears that wake you up twice a night rattling your canisters.
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