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Tackling the JMT 2017?

Posted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 10:00 pm
by pocahontus
I'm an experienced backpacker, but not a climber. After an awesome first half, my husband and I had to leave the JMT halfway (hiking north to south) at Muir Trail Ranch in 2015 due to smoke from the Rough fire. Per the Forest Service, we hiked out over Piute Pass (102 degrees!). We currently have a permit to come back in at MTR July 24th to finish the trail to Mt. Whitney. I've been told by numerous folks that it's a bad plan for me for stream crossings (I weigh 100 lbs) and that Whitney will be out of my league (not an ice ax carrying woman) during that timeframe this year. I'd greatly appreciate some additional input.

Re: Tackling the JMT 2017?

Posted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 3:13 am
by Hobbes
Typical fear mongering - you won't need an ice axe to climb Whitney by the end of July. Hikers are already ascending up the steeper east side now with just whippets. While there will still be plenty of surface snow here & there, it won't be situation "out of your league".

However, the Evolution ford will be something that might pose an obstacle - whether you are 100 or 200 lbs. I would check and assess conditions leading up to your start date. However, since you are exiting Whitney on the east side anyway, why don't you try for a Bishop pass entry if the ford remains inadvisable? That way, all you have to deal with is S fork Kings, which is manageable if you cross earlier than the trail intersection.

When the waters finally recede - whether this or another year - you can finally go back and do a section hike from MTR to Bishop, thus completing the JMT.

Re: Tackling the JMT 2017?

Posted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 11:22 am
by pocahontus
Very helpful - thanks! And a great idea to come in over Bishop Pass.