You gotta be kiddking me. Sept 2010 had some of the coldest Sept weather in memorry say after Sept 15th. I went over Taboos Pass about 9/15/10 and it was so cold that everything froze, even with my fantastic Mtn Hardware stuff.
I was only out to September 18th but most of it was pretty mild except for September 8th when I was at Lake South America. It was so cold that my water bottles were freezing at 8PM. But I do not recall September 15th being very cold.
"So this location is a ford"?!?!?!!? Are you absolutely clueless AND crazy? Calm surface water? Worst case scenario begin your ford upstream?! Jeez, what's the point? This is the Kern River. It's an Order 5 river at that point and it'll be spring runoff. There are people here with a lot of experience who have been trying to, reasonably gently, tell you about some of the problems you could encounter. You say you hiked the JMT? What did you learn on the way? I remember reading The Cactus Eaters, about a couple hiking the PCT maybe 10 years ago, and thinking "How could a guy hike so far and learn so little?"
I do not know what every river crossing is like in the Sierra. Something could be a ford or it could not be. It's not such an unreasonable question. After all the only other trail crossing the Kern to the south "High Sierra Trail" has a bridge.
I guess my point of high lighting calm "surface" water was in vain. The point was that of course I know the water is still swift underneath. And of course that style of ford would be miserable at best and unlikely I would even attempt it.
I'm not sure what you mean by what did I learn hiking the JMT. Fords are just a normal part of almost any long distance hike. It certainly is possible to reach an impassible ford but I will deal with the problem while I stand on the shore line and not in my computer chair.
It's one thing to look at a flat piece of paper -- a map -- and dream up excellent adventures. It's another to have hiked at least some of that terrain and be unable to imagine it in other conditions -- to have apparently learned nothing from 220 + miles of trails and streams. Some years ago
I certainly agree with you in terms that you can dream too big while you stare at topo maps. I learned that when I did my 2009 hike that included the whole JMT. The total hike was about 300 miles. When I left I had planned to climb 17 mountains. When I got home I had only climbed 6. I learned that it is hard enough to just hike all the miles let alone summit all these peaks along the way. And I do imagine what things are like in other conditions. I often would come to stream crossings or just hike along creeks and look at the water lines and drift wood from early season and would gawk at the incredible levels these rivers can reach and more often then not have noted of them being impassible early season. I have hiked around 1000 miles of trails in the high Sierra so I have learned plenty.
Mountaineering, at its best, is about a humble relationship to terrain and learning. There is no room for arrogance or ego
Well lucky for me I have no ego at all lol. I have nothing to prove. My hike is based completely off locations I want to visit, nothing more. I am just lucky enough to get to visit them all at once instead of 10 years of hiking.
I do agree this isn't the best time for my hike but I repeat myself again in saying there is no other time. It's now or never. And say I did hike the JMT again? that is "only" 211 miles or so. I need more time in the back country then that.
Let me say again - do a bunch of short trips, learn the terrain
What can more short trips teach me about the Sierra terrain that 1000 miles of hiking it has not?
But it can snow 6" in June... or anytime during the "summer."
I know and don't mind. Let it snow, let it rain let it hail on me like crazy. Let the lightning make me take cover like it did in 2009. I love a good storm! It's all an adventure.