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My JMT trip report

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My JMT trip report

Postby Rosabella » Tue Sep 05, 2006 5:09 pm

I’ve finally got some time to write up my JMT trip report… it’s been hectic all week trying to get things caught up at work and home. I’m still in the process of going thru all my pictures, but I’ve posted a few of them, scattered throughout the trip.

http://rbreen3.photosite.com/JMT-2006/


Anyway… I had a GREAT time! I had originally planned on going solo, but ended up with a partner – a friend of my older son asked to join me. He had gone on almost all the backpacking trips I took my sons on when they were younger, and he really fell in love with backpacking. I was a little unsure at first, but we had a great time. We both have pretty even temperaments and never had any disagreements or problems; we both carried our own gear and pulled our own weight… and it worked great.

We started at Happy Isles via the Mist Trail on Monday, July 31st. The weather was perfect the whole time on the trail! Everything was going great and as scheduled until the end of the 4th day… we had just started to set up camp at Garnet Lake when I started having some really intense chest pains – really scary. They finally did stop but I told my partner that I wasn’t comfortable going when I wasn’t sure what had happened…. Even though I’m in the “prime of my life” (I’ve been on my self-proclaimed “prime plateau” for years now) I didn’t want to be wreckless. We talked about it and decided that we would exit the trail when we got to Reds Meadow and I would go to Mammoth to get checked. Anyway… to make a long story short, the Mammoth E.R. was wonderful, and after a long afternoon and lots of tests, they were able to determine that, although they really weren’t sure what caused the chest pains, they could definitely rule out the heart or lungs. So I got my OK to get back on the trail. (*Allyn, that’s why I didn’t run into you and your brother. :( )

We hitchhiked down to Bishop; we knew we were already behind schedule and would have to skip some of the trail. In hindsight we could have/should have gone in at North Lake and entered via Piute Pass, but I was a little nervous about pushing too hard, so we opted for South Lake and Bishop Pass. I was sad to have missed the Evolution area and Muir Pass (my favorite Pass) but I was REALLY happy to get to see the Mather/Pinchot/Glenn Pass areas and the Rae Lakes!! I hadn’t seen some of that area since the late 60’s!! How beautiful it was! It was even sweeter because for those couple days I thought I was going to have to quit.

It would be really hard to even say what area I loved the most… it really was all so beautiful. I guess I could say that one of the areas I really enjoyed was between Pinchot Pass and Woods Creek. As we descended from the Pass the landscape went through so many transformations… the rock, the plant life, the river as it went from calm to raging waterfalls, and then to end it at Woods Creek was that incredible suspension bridge (how cool was that!); I really enjoyed that day.

We had a lot of really great campsites, and a couple not-so-great, but it was all fun. Mosquitoes were really bad in a few places – Upper Lyell Canyon and the Rush Creek area especially, but for the most part they weren’t too much of a problem. I guess I can definitely say that my least favorite area was Deer Meadow…. but nothing that a good chain saw wouldn’t fix. There were so many trees down over the trail we lost count. The problem was not really the inconvenience of going around, but that the trail is becoming so latticed with side trails trying to get around these trees; what a mess it was.

Now, some of you may scoff at this, but I brought my mp3 player. I certainly didn’t listen to it all the time; some days not at all, but...ahh… listening to the soundtrack from “Dances with Wolves” or “Legends of the Fall” as I’d come up over a pass and to see the incredible views before me… well, all I can say is that it was very dramatic. I was listening to “Les Miserables” (my favorite) as I was going up Glenn Pass and a wonderful older gentleman approached me, and I immediately recognized that I met him three years ago on my last JMT hike and at almost the exact same place on the trail! (What an amazing coincidence!) We talked for a long time, and eventually he asked me what I had been listening to; he said that it was his favorite Broadway show also. As we discussed this wonderful musical it wasn’t long before we were both in tears. Anyway, the bonus for me is that, from now on, every time I listen to these wonderful pieces of music I will always remember these beautiful scenes, these wonderful experiences.

We actually made good time, and got to Whitney a couple days earlier than we had expected. We lugged lots of extra water up from Guitar Lake and spent the last night on top of Whitney in the hut (cold… but very cool!!!). After the last of the day hikers left, about 5:00 P.M., it just became so quiet… so peaceful – the perfect last day. The sunset was a little disappointing, but we had a really nice sunrise. We exited on Sunday, August 20th.

We met so many great people on the trail, but on our descent from Whitney I had the pleasure of meeting two people whom I have grown to admire so much over the last few years – I met Bob Rockwell as we were approaching the Lone Pine Lake area, and when we got down to the Portal I met Cory (Snow Nymph). Pretty Cool!!

We took a couple days, and a few side trips and day hikes in the Bishop area, and then went back to Yosemite to pick up the pickup. We finished off the trip with a day hike up Half Dome. This was my 6th trip up Half Dome, and I still don’t like those darn cables, but the view is always incredible!

What a GREAT trip!!



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Postby The Other Tom » Tue Sep 05, 2006 6:14 pm

Great pics ! Glad you had a good trip. Regarding the chest pains...happend to me once (at work). Turned out to be esophageal spasms. Felt like a kick in the chest. When my esophagus spasmed, it irritated the vagus nerve, which controls blood pressure. In addition to the chest pain, I almost passed out. Not an experience I want to repeat.
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Postby Allyn » Tue Sep 05, 2006 6:33 pm

Rosie, glad to hear everything turned out okay for you in Mammoth! Looks and sounds like you had a great trip. I will have to go through the photos in more detail when I have a chance. I understand your feelings about Deer Meadow. Coming north it was a pain dodging all of the down debris and the overgrowth filling in was a challenge as well. There were parts of the trail near the Golden Staricase that seemed like a field of bushes!

My favorite spot was the Rae Lakes basin! Beautiful views fo the lakes and mountains. I also really enjoyed Sallie Keyes lake. I was amazed at the wildflowers all along the trail and there seemed to be a ton of seasonal creek crossings! Never had a problem with the major crossings (4 were all that we had to change over shoes), but the seasonal crossings were everywhere.

My brother (Mike) and I pulled out at Red's Meadow on day 13 which ended our trip about 3 days short of Yosemite per our original plan. We were running out of steam and the feet were getting pretty sore. I also had some internal complications that needed attention. So on Day 13 we had breakfast at the Mulehouse Cafe and headed over to the cabin in Hardin Flat! Lost about 15 pounds on the trip.

Yopu are welcome to look at my trip report at:

http://www.hardinflat.com/allyn/index.html

Glad to hear everything worked out and sorry we missed out on seeing each other. If you pulled out of Red's Meadow on the 4th and headed down to Bishop we probably missed each other there?
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Postby copeg » Wed Sep 06, 2006 8:35 pm

Rosie
Great to here you made the trail again! I enjoyed reading your report and your looking at your pics, and am glad the weather wasn't as gray as 2003! Also very glad the pains you described turned out to be nothing. Congrats again!
Greg

PS - Allyn, great site you got there
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Postby Snow Nymph » Wed Sep 06, 2006 9:22 pm

Rosie,

It was nice meeting you at the Portal! You were so cute, apologizing for being dirty! You looked fresh compared to some of the others that were coming off the trail. btw, you exited on Saturday, Aug 19th! We ended up not doing the MR on the 20th. Our friend cancelled so we went back to Mammoth for a few days.
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


http://snownymph.smugmug.com/
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Postby Rosabella » Wed Sep 06, 2006 9:57 pm

Thanks, all!!

I'm curious if the rest of you experience the "post-hike-blues" that I get after a long trip. It's nice to get home and have the comforts again, but then in a couple days it starts... I get edgy and a little sad that it's all over, and I miss simplicity and the challenges of hiking day-after-day. Oh well... maybe it's just me.

:D HA! You're right Snowy!! I DID exit on Saturday!! I had totally lost track of days by then, and wrote it down wrong on my notes.

P.S. I'll ditto Greg's comment about your trip report, Allyn, pretty nice! I'm so technically challenged that it took me about an hour to figure out how to post only those few pictures... and then get the link posted on THIS site. :retard:
Last edited by Rosabella on Wed Sep 06, 2006 10:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Snow Nymph » Wed Sep 06, 2006 10:11 pm

Its not just you. I don't give myself time to get the "post-hike-blues", but if I didn't get out every weekend, I would be edgy. I was like that in January, when I went to KS. :(

Even after this last vacation, I can't concentrate on work. I'm thinking about the next trip. Today I asked for days off in Sept, Oct AND Nov so I can get a few 3-5 day weekends in. :unibrow:

I loved it on the JMT when I didn't know what day it was. The only way I kept track was my notes! :D
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


http://snownymph.smugmug.com/
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Postby ridgeline » Thu Sep 07, 2006 5:36 am

Snowy, its funny you said you forgot what day it was, I dont get out nearly as much as you but I realized after the fact, I signed the register on pointless pk Sept 05 and it was the 3rd this last weekend, thats after having to think what month it was.
maybe thats a good thing.
Last edited by ridgeline on Thu Sep 07, 2006 8:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby burtonfm » Thu Sep 07, 2006 4:20 pm

Rosie,

Congrats on your JMT hike. I'm glad you were able to re-join the trail and finish the hike. My JMT hike went great, although I bailed on a 4 day section where I was to hike through Evolution Valley. I need to plan a trip next year to make it up.

I agree with you, the section of the JMT through deer meadow was a real mess. I counted over 45 fallen trees over the trail as I made my way to Palisade Basin. I did find a national park ranger a few days later and mentioned it to him rather vigorously. He said there was a trail crew that was going to be working on the trail sometime soon (standard political reply).

My favorite section was definitely Le Conte canyon and walking along side the Kings River as it made it's way through perfectly landscaped meadows. God, that was one beautiful area. As I hiked, I day dreamed of what it would be like to stay there for a month, swiming in the river and playing the grass and talking to friends. What a life that would be.

Your "post hike blues" comment hits home with me. I can't concentrate at work after a Sierra trip. I'm constantly bring up pictures of my hikes and day dreaming about how happy I was when I was there. It's depressing. The only thoughts that give me consolation are plans for my next trip. My wife complains I have a one track mind - well... maybe a two track mind because I'm always thinking about another topic when it comes to my wife :>. I'm off topic.

As you become blue after your trips, think of others like me that have the same thoughts and feelings and know you're in good company. Here's looking forward to our next trip.
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Postby Rosabella » Fri Sep 08, 2006 6:03 am

Hi Bruce, sounds like you had a great trip also! Those mountains are just so beautiful! I was dissapointed that I didn't get to meet you and Kathy Wing for the re-supplies.... maybe next time.

Bruce, your "P.H.B." symptons sound just like mine. I've been getting my pictures in order (huuunnndddreds of them :D ) and organizing an album with my notes, and I also find myself daydreaming a lot - especially when I'm in the middle of some mundane project at work :\ . Unfortunately, I'm not going to be able to plan any other hikes any time soon - ballet classes have started and the first Nutcracker rehearsal is this weekend, and to add to that I've been asked to make three new costumes :retard: . It's going to be a busy Autumn.
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Postby Skibum » Fri Sep 08, 2006 2:59 pm

Congrats Rosie! :) Sorry I was not able to meet you at Rae Lakes. I got your note! Can't wait to see the rest of your pics!
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Postby BSquared » Sat Sep 09, 2006 6:31 pm

Well done, but what a scary interlude! I couldn't help but notice that you said, "Mosquitoes were really bad in a few places – Upper Lyell Canyon and the Rush Creek area especially." Some things never change -- I've been eaten alive nearly every time I've been in those two areas (except one very late fall trip).

Congratulations!
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