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#13470 - 05/01/11 10:25 AM Re: Ultra Run - JMT [Re: trail runner]
Mlaveson Offline


Registered: 03/02/11
Posts: 20
Loc: Bay Area, CA
A trip report will definately be posted afterward. In a earlier post on another discussion, I saw you were planning on running Boston. How did it go?

I was there too; how about the weather? It was my first Boston and the experience was increadible, although I had a rough race. I learned a lot on what I would do differently for the next time (pre race and race strategy).

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#13471 - 05/01/11 11:57 AM Re: Ultra Run - JMT [Re: Bob West]
AlanK Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 583
Loc: Glendale, CA
Originally Posted By: Bob West
Evolution Creek stream crossing "should be" do-able by mid-August; it's one of the deeper crossings. When approaching the crossing on the trail, don't go straight across (sometimes waist deep), but go upstream about 100 yards to the shallow section and cross there.

When we did the JMT in 2006, we were able to do straightforward crossings everywhere at the end of July. I remember Bear Creek and Evolution Creek as the diciest. I assume that this is going to be a heavy flow year. I would definitely try to get as much advice as possible on crossings. By August, there should be plenty of reports available.

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#13472 - 05/01/11 12:04 PM Re: Ultra Run - JMT [Re: Mlaveson]
AlanK Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 583
Loc: Glendale, CA
Originally Posted By: Mlaveson
Bob, very interested on what some of the ultra runners from Bishop have to say in general about the run. Nutrition is a big thing that I am currently playing around with to make sure I'm fueled for the run.

As I said earlier, we did the JMT as a hike and ended up carrying one week's worth of food out of Mammoth. My son, who does not have an extra ounce on his body, ate more than I have ever seen him eat. I was definitely running a caloric deficit, because one can carry only so much food. Running and cutting off a few days would help on total weight, but you also need to have enough calories to keep going. If I was going to run a significant portion of the trail, I would think seriously about having a support crew. On the other hand, the JMT has been done in many ways!

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#13474 - 05/01/11 02:14 PM Re: Ultra Run - JMT [Re: AlanK]
DUG Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 367
Loc: Wildomar
Alan - I would love to hear more details of your 2006 trip sometime. I have dreamed about doing the JMT in under ten days (so anything 9 days, 23 hours and 59 minutes or less), unsupported, without resupply. Pretty much everyone thinks I'm F ing nuts, but I think you and your son pretty much did what I want to, but even faster.

My rough plan is to have a little sherpa type help getting to the Whitney summit with my gear and then leaving from there at midnight. Any gear, food, etc I decide not to take at the last minute, they will carry out. I am not counting the 11 miles to the summit as part of my trip. I expect to leave well fed and well rested.

I've heard there is someplace in our near Yosemite that I can get a burger very near the trail. I wouldn't consider a burger or four along the trail a resupply. Then again, it's my dream so I'll make up the rules. smile

My wife is pushing for me to have it done by July 31st so I'm legally still on active duty. I'll have to monitor all the reports to see if that's doable. Otherwise I'll go for mid/late Aug.

All this assumes my practice hike from OV and out Bishop Pass goes ok.

Any wisdom you can pass along? Thanks..............................................DUG

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#13475 - 05/01/11 04:37 PM Re: Ultra Run - JMT [Re: Mlaveson]
Bob West Offline


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 780
Loc: Bishop, CA, USA
I'm waiting to hear from a local ultra-marationer. Check out Sage to Summit in Bishop. http://sagetosummit.com/index.html
They specialize in distance running; they've become the local focus of ultra runs, equipment, and advice. Give them a call; they'd be glad to advise you.

You might try contacting Kevin Sawchuck; he ran the JMT in 93 hours. He ought to have some good advice.


http://www.usatf.org/athletes/bios/MountainUltraTrail/Sawchuck_Kevin.asp


Edited by Bob West (05/01/11 04:57 PM)

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#13476 - 05/01/11 05:15 PM Re: Ultra Run - JMT [Re: Bob West]
trail runner Offline


Registered: 06/30/10
Posts: 51
Loc: Florida
Mlaveson:

This was my first Boston too. I guess I did okay for an old guy. I was on pace through 17, but you probably know what happened then. I lost some time in and after the hills. I thought the weather was great, the course was pretty tough, and the experience was fantastic. I plan to go back next year. There are some guys on this board getting ready to run the Wild Wild West next weekend, which sounds really neat, though I would imagine it is one you run for the experience, not for a time.

Keep us informed on your JMT plans.

Kent


Edited by trail runner (05/01/11 06:18 PM)

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#13477 - 05/01/11 05:21 PM Re: Ultra Run - JMT [Re: Bob West]
Harvey Lankford Offline


Registered: 11/10/09
Posts: 989
Loc: Richmond, Virginia
pics from 2008, not a high snow year. July 15.

First pic is Evolution Creek looking southbound,flow is R to L.
do not wander off L as there is a hole. We went straight across as levels were okay. This year (as said earlier) it will be deeper here and you may need to go upstream.


Next pic, same time. I had already crossed, then took picture of my 6'7" cousin, so I am looking back northward, Flow is L to R.

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#13478 - 05/01/11 06:40 PM Re: Ultra Run - JMT [Re: Harvey Lankford]
Mlaveson Offline


Registered: 03/02/11
Posts: 20
Loc: Bay Area, CA
Alan K, What were some of the biggest challenges you ran into on your 9 day journey? Either geography, nutrition, trail unclear, etc... What nutrition did you and your son use? That is an awesome trip for a father/son to complete together. I hope I have the same appetite your son had! Do you have a trip report posted or written up? Like DUG, i'd love to read it.

Bob, I will give Kevin a call in the comming month or so. Thanks for sharing this contact.

TrailRunner, congrats on Boston! I have been reading the WWW discussion. It sounds like an amazing race. I would like to do it next year. Have you thought about going longer than marathons?

Harvey, thanks for the picture. This gives good perspective on what to likely expect at least geographically. We'll wait to hear what the reports are like this summer, but like most I am expecting the watershed to be much greater this year.

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#13479 - 05/01/11 07:31 PM Re: Ultra Run - JMT [Re: Mlaveson]
AlanK Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 583
Loc: Glendale, CA
Originally Posted By: Mlaveson
Alan K, What were some of the biggest challenges you ran into on your 9 day journey? Either geography, nutrition, trail unclear, etc... What nutrition did you and your son use? That is an awesome trip for a father/son to complete together. I hope I have the same appetite your son had! Do you have a trip report posted or written up? Like DUG, i'd love to read it.

I will comment more on food later. That is an interesting subject and I learned a lot on that trip.

The trail was pretty easy to follow and the terrain was about what we expected because we had been in a lit of the Sierra before (although fairly little of the JMT).

I wrote a trip report and posted it on Richard Piotrowski's old message board, which is unfortunately defunct. After DUG's post, I dug (sorry!) it up. Here is what I had on my disk. I also posted pictures here.

Quote:
Eric and I did our best - certainly our longest - hike ever, the John Muir Trail. We started from Yosemite Valley on Wednesday, July 26 and arrived at the top of Mt. Whitney just after noon on Thursday, August 3. The aftermath, the hike down to Whitney Portal, was a small adventure unto itself (more on that below).

Our original plan was for a ten day hike. That was partially determined by the need to sandwich it in between my daughter's wedding and Eric's cross country camp (he wanted a week before that to get used to running again after walking with dad for day after day). We also like to cover a lot of ground in a day. However, although our longest previous day hike was 31 miles (admittedly with 12,000 feet of elevation gain/loss), our longest multi-day hike was less than 50 miles. To gauge the JMT, we figured that is it equals about 10 Whitney Main Trail hikes in length and elevation change. Since we can do that one in less than 8 hours, we figured that we could do it every day for 10 days, even with packs, by slowing to 10 - 11 hours.

By the time we got our dates straight, there were no permits available for the Yosemite Valley Trailhead. We were not keen on basing a 10 day hike on walk-in permits, but we got some good advice from Scott M and some help from family. We decided to start out with two day hikes, one from Yosemite Valley to Tuolumne Meadows and one from Tuolumne Meadows to Mammoth. We then got entry permits for the JMT from Mammoth. We decided to aim for 9 days total because the day hikes would cover 60 miles. We figured that we could cover the remaining 162 miles down the Whitney Portal in 7 days with no need for re-supply. The day hikes, along with picking up the packs in Mammoth, were made possible by my wife and mother in law, who decided that acting as a support crew in return for several days in Yosemite and Mammoth was a great idea.

We both started out with just over 30 lb packs. We both carried bear canisters, one original Garcia and one new Bear Vault. We had enough food for an extra day. We never carried more than a liter of water until Whitney, where we each carried two up from Guitar Lake. We also took trekking poles, which we used only for the hardest creek crossings, the snow on Muir Pass, and the occasional sprained ankle (see below). We could probably have gotten the weight down another few pounds, but we did not take anything we regretted having. The packs were nice and light by the end of the trip.

I think that we had a good plan because (a) it worked and (b) we had a really great time. We both readily admit that it pushed us. We realize that we were helped by some great weather and generally good luck. Had things gone south (figuratively instead of literally), we had an extra day's worth of food. Anything causing much worse than a day's delay would have had us considering bailing out somewhere.

We experienced a thunderstorm the first night out of Mammoth (the 28th). After that, the weather was nearly-perfect. The warmest temperature was in the low 80s, the coldest in the mid 20s. Daytime temperatures were mostly in the 60s and 70s. Except for a few cumulus clouds to add some beauty, the skies were almost always clear. We saw lots of animals, but saw no sign of bears. The bugs were never a problem while moving. In the evenings and mornings in camp, the mosquitoes were pretty bad on the first two nights, almost absent on the next two, and moderate on the last two.

The passes were pretty clear. Several had snow traverses but only a few hundred feet at most. Muir Pass had the most snow, mostly on the downhill side (for those of us walking south). There were also a section going up Forrester Pass that required some care. Creek crossings were all manageable. We were warned by some other hikers to go downstream ¼ mile at Bear Creek. However, when we arrived at it a day or so later, it didn't look so bad and we forded it at the trail. At Evolution Creek, there was a sign from a ranger advising people to cross downstream a bit. Again' it looked ok when we were there and we forded at the trail. In both cases, water reached our shorts. Trekking poles helped. Creek crossings in general got old and we were always grateful for well-placed rocks and/or logs when they were available - not to mention bridges!

We had the usual array of minor problems - dumb falls, blisters, bugs, etc. As it turned out, I had one somewhat more serious problem. I noticed during the last evening that my ankle was sore. I associated this with twisting it a bit somewhere after Forrester Pass. (By coincidence, we had met a fellow earlier that day that bailed out of his JMT hike because he had sprained his ankle heading towards Forrester Pass. He opted to head out via the Bubbs Creek Trail.) On the last morning, I was a bit gimpy getting out of the blocks, but was soon barreling up Whitney. I used trekking poles all day for the first time on this trip. The trouble started on the way down. The ankle hurt with every step. I stopped and taped it up and was able to limp down to the Portal. The taped ankle was less of a problem than various sympathetic pains in my leg (presumably due to limping a bit), which were alleviated with rest stops. I kept telling Eric that the JMT ends on top of Whitney, so we had finished the JMT according to plan even if we had to spend another night out on the way down. As it turned out, we made it down in time for burgers (and, for one of us, beer).

Our original plan was to spend the night at the Portal, where my wife would meet us on Friday. However, I called her from the summit of Whitney and left a message that we had made it that far. Oh, and I did remember to wish her a happy anniversary - that's 32 straight that I've remembered. She obviously got the message because she got to the Portal from Glendale before we made it down. (Yes, I know, I owe my wife big time over this whole trip!)

Now I'm home, nursing a sprained ankle. I have time to write this instead of going running or something. And the doctor assures me that I'll live.

Here is an outline of where we were and when, with approximate mileages. I will post pictures later.

7/26/06 (25/25 miles)
6:28 AM Leave Yosemite Valley
2:57 PM Arrive Tuolumne Meadows

7/27/06 (35/60 miles)
5:23 AM Leave Tuolumne Meadows
5:23 PM Arrive at south JMT/PCT junction near Mammoth

7/28/06 (18/78 miles)
9:39 AM Leave JMT/PCT junction
4:38 PM Arrive Virginia Lake

7/29/06 (25/103 miles)
8:04 AM Leave Virginia Lake
6:50 PM Arrive Rosemary Meadow

7/30/06 (25/128 miles)
7:25 AM Leave Rosemary Meadow
6:52 PM Arrive Sapphire Lake
(Our goal was Wanda Lake, so we were short by less than a mile)

7/31/06 (22/150 miles)
7:30 AM Leave Sapphire Lake
5:45 PM Arrive about 1.7 miles below Mather Pass
(Tough day. We intended to get over the pass and were behind by about 5 miles.)

8/1/06 (25/175 miles)
7:30 AM Leave camp
6:00 PM Arrive Rae Lakes
(Back on track)

8/2/06 (24/199 miles)
7:19 AM Leave Rae Lakes
6:03 PM Arrive Wallace Creek

8/3/06 (23/222 miles)
7:28 PM Leave Wallace Creek
12:34 PM Arrive Whitney summit
1:30 PM Leave Whitney Summit
6:56 PM Arrive Whitney Portal

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#13480 - 05/01/11 08:02 PM Re: Ultra Run - JMT [Re: AlanK]
Mlaveson Offline


Registered: 03/02/11
Posts: 20
Loc: Bay Area, CA
Great tip report and pictures. Thanks for sharing!

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#13481 - 05/01/11 08:46 PM Re: Ultra Run - JMT [Re: Mlaveson]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7235
Loc: Fresno, CA
I camped at that water crossing, just in the background of the second picture. I'd say you should head upstream the hundred yards or so to the shallower crossing. I didn't know about the better spot at the time we were there.

Since you're looking for reports, I did the section last summer between Devils Postpile and Edison Lake. And got lost twice. If you read the report, it might be helpful when you come to those spots. Lost on the JMT: Reds Meadow southbound

In June, '08, I found the water crossing on the South Fork Kings River dicey (near the Taboose Pass junction). It looked downright dangerous -- deep and swift. We explored upstream from the trail crossing and found a decent log to cross. I just don't understand why SeKi people don't create a bridge or at least drop a log at that point. My son hiked that section the year before and encountered several hikers who had serious trouble there. One lost a boot, another got a gash so bad he used a needle and thread to close it.


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#13483 - 05/02/11 02:47 AM Re: Ultra Run - JMT [Re: Steve C]
Fishmonger Offline


Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 1025
Loc: Madison, WI
Evolution Creek mid July 2010, a higher snow year. I am 6'2"



not the worst crossing and we didn't bother to go higher upstream after having done Bear Creek and especially North Fork Mono Creek below Silver Pass:



These smaller streams tend to fluctuate a lot more. A year earlier, with less snow than in 2010, we had similar conditions at White Fork, just north of the Woods Creek crossing. That same location had never before been a problem, but in 2009, we had to form pairs to support each other crossing. It was more violent than the above image.
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#13508 - 05/02/11 05:45 PM Re: Ultra Run - JMT [Re: Mlaveson]
Bob West Offline


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 780
Loc: Bishop, CA, USA
I contacted my Bishop, CA, ultra runner friend, Marie. She knows a lady, Sue Johnson, who has run the JMT in three days! Marie will have Sue contact me, and then I'll contact you with Sue's email. I'm sure Sue will have a lot to share with you.

I'll contact you via the private message option.



Edited by Bob West (05/02/11 05:47 PM)

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#13509 - 05/02/11 06:03 PM Re: Ultra Run - JMT [Re: Bob West]
KevinR Offline


Registered: 11/03/09
Posts: 579
Loc: Manchester, NH
Originally Posted By: Bob West
I contacted my Bishop, CA, ultra runner friend, Marie. She knows a lady, Sue Johnson, who has run the JMT in three days! Marie will have Sue contact me, and then I'll contact you with Sue's email. I'm sure Sue will have a lot to share with you.

I'll contact you via the private message option.

I know Sue. She's a transplanted Vermonter, like myself, and now lives in Ventura County. If you have trouble getting in touch with her, let me know.

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#13521 - 05/03/11 03:47 AM Re: Ultra Run - JMT [Re: Fishmonger]
saltydog Offline


Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 1549
Loc: Valley Ford CA!!!!
Does it make anyone nervous to see these thigh-and-higher crossings being made with waist belts (and sternum straps?) cinched?
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#13525 - 05/03/11 05:46 AM Re: Ultra Run - JMT [Re: saltydog]
Harvey Lankford Offline


Registered: 11/10/09
Posts: 989
Loc: Richmond, Virginia
salty is right..

what's that eye-opening rule? - for every 1 mph of stream flow there is an amazing 100 lbs of pressure per square foot surface of your body?

All it takes is a flowing stream like that one and with just thigh- deep water you are already in trouble. Fall over and then all of your body surface plus the pack is exposed to the forces tumbling you over and over

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#13536 - 05/03/11 07:22 AM Re: Ultra Run - JMT [Re: saltydog]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7235
Loc: Fresno, CA
> Does it make anyone nervous to see these thigh-and-higher crossings being made with waist belts (and sternum straps?) cinched?


Good point, salty. But if you look closely, our gal's hip belt IS hanging loose, unbuckled.

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#13539 - 05/03/11 08:44 AM Re: Ultra Run - JMT [Re: saltydog]
Fishmonger Offline


Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 1025
Loc: Madison, WI
Originally Posted By: saltydog
Does it make anyone nervous to see these thigh-and-higher crossings being made with waist belts (and sternum straps?) cinched?



mine's open - gregory pack hip belts are pre-shaped with a rigid core and look closed even if not buckled - strap is dangling in the water:



Not responsible for the two hikers at Mono Creek, bt it looks like they did everything right:




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#13549 - 05/03/11 01:22 PM Re: Ultra Run - JMT [Re: Fishmonger]
saltydog Offline


Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 1549
Loc: Valley Ford CA!!!!
Whew! Thanks for the close-ups. I guess you can tell how old school I am: when I unhook my Kelty quick release (remember those?) , it actually hangs behind me.
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#13560 - 05/03/11 05:27 PM Re: Ultra Run - JMT [Re: saltydog]
Harvey Lankford Offline


Registered: 11/10/09
Posts: 989
Loc: Richmond, Virginia
same creek, shown for comparison. This was 7/15/08 not a high snow year. Gentle.

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