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#4172 - 05/10/10 07:22 AM JMT Practice
DUG Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 370
Loc: Wildomar
The JMT has been on my "bucket list" for a long time now. My best chance of getting it done will be next year in the month of July. I will retire from the Navy 31 July 2011, but if I manage my vacation time correctly I will be done "working" around mid May of that year. My wife insists the trip be done while I am still on active duty and still have full medical. This leaves the month of July as my window.

I want to hike south to north because I want to knock the big stuff out early. Besides, almost everyone goes the other way and I hate following the herd. Going S-N keeps the better bailouts during the second half when I would probably need them anyway.

I want to do it in ten days or less. Nine days, 23 hours and 59 minutes is less than ten days, so anything around that time would work. That works out to 21-22 miles a day. I can see the first day being a big mile day (while I'm fresh) and the last day being a big mile day (a lot of downhill).

Lastily I want to do it unsupported. No mail drops, no resupply, no friends meeting me, etc. That has me hauling a big load (for me anyway) most the way up Whitney. That could be a problem. Ten days will mean 15-20 pounds of just food.

My big hurdle is I've never hiked like this before. I have done several 48 hour hikes but we never even brought a stove or much food. Mylar bivys and no tents. The longest I've ever been out was last years epic failure when it took me 60 hours to complete my 70+ mile loop in Kings Canyon.

I would like to do a practice hike this year to see if I have what it takes to be out there that long. I'm thinking a three day 70 mile trip with two overnights. Any suggestions on where? I need someplace where a drop off and pick up would be easy and it should have bail out options in case it goes bad.

Your thoughts - positive, constructive, etc are very much wanted..........................................DUG

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#4173 - 05/10/10 08:07 AM Re: JMT Practice [Re: DUG]
hikehigh Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 28
Loc: 20.12345 -101.12345
The PCT from Onyx Summit(east of Big Bear) to the 15 freeway is about 75 miles and 10,000 gain 14,000 loss in elevation. Lots of places to bail out. Or the PCT from the 15 to Mill Creek Summit @ Angeles Crest HWY is 70 miles, but the gain is 19,000+
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#4179 - 05/10/10 03:00 PM Re: JMT Practice [Re: DUG]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7872
Loc: Fresno, CA
Good Luck, DUG! Hauling that much food up out of Whitney Portal will definitely slow you down. Even with superlight gear, you'll be hiking with nearly 30 lbs on your back. The thought of racing against time for that many days with that kind of a load...

And I wouldn't worry about the medical coverage -- it is not often that you hear of distance hikers needing medical attention. It's on the most heavily traveled trail in the Sierra. How dangerous is that?

If you go in July, you will be just behind all the northbound PCT hikers. They usually head through about mid-June.

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#4184 - 05/10/10 04:42 PM Re: JMT Practice [Re: DUG]
RoguePhotonic Offline


Registered: 12/08/09
Posts: 558
Loc: Bakersfield CA
I'd say it's a shame to rush through but doing it fast is better than not at all.

Why not do at least one resupply at the Muir Trail Ranch since it's so close to the trail, would cut your weight in half.
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#4186 - 05/10/10 06:08 PM Re: JMT Practice [Re: RoguePhotonic]
DUG Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 370
Loc: Wildomar
Thanks for the advice so far.

If I hike it while still on active duty and ANYTHING happens - in grown toenail, twisted ankle, anything at all and it will be covered. I doubt it will be an issue, but it makes the wife feel better.

As far as rushing it - 10 days is a huge amount of time to me. It's just how I hike.

And resupply? I've always had it on my bucket list as doing it under ten with no help or resupply.

I'm sure my practice hike will shed some light on if it's possible or not. If needed then I will adjust my plan, but I want to try to keep to my dream as much as possible..............................DUG

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#4187 - 05/10/10 06:58 PM Re: JMT Practice [Re: DUG]
MooseTracks Offline


Registered: 11/02/09
Posts: 582
Loc: Bishop, CA, United States
DUG: Getting over Trail Crest with a big load is more than do-able. The trick? Slow and steady. In 2007 for my big trek my pack was 63 pounds at the trailhead, and I went all the way to Guitar that day. My friend Doug Forbes paced me to Lone Pine Lake, making sure I was keeping to about 1.5 miles/hour. On the switchers, I sat on a rock every 10 switchers (which contributed to my pants tearing on day 1!!), but that traverse to Trail Crest was the sweetest.

If I remember correctly, I left the trailhead just after 0400, and got to TC around noon, with a healthy hour break at Trail Camp to fuel/water up. You'll be sore the next day, and beware the rolling terrain between Guitar and Crabtree and then north on the JMT to Wallace Creek, Bighorn Plateau, and Tyndall Creek. Your legs will want there to be a bit more downhill than what is actually offered...

And if you need any sort of help at all, you know who to call. smile
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#4188 - 05/10/10 08:38 PM Re: JMT Practice [Re: DUG]
RoguePhotonic Offline


Registered: 12/08/09
Posts: 558
Loc: Bakersfield CA
So on day one you intend to make your full mileage quota of 20+ miles? if memory serves that would have you going from the Portal to Tyndall Creek which is one hell of a slog.

I hope you make it so we can call you a hiking animal =P


Edited by RoguePhotonic (05/10/10 08:39 PM)
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#4189 - 05/10/10 08:53 PM Re: JMT Practice [Re: RoguePhotonic]
DUG Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 370
Loc: Wildomar
I plan on a 0200ish start that 1st morning. I'll have my comfy truck camper parked right at the trail head proper so I just need to roll out of bed and hit the trail.

I have no doubt I can pull 20+ miles that 1st day - including getting to the summit of Whitney. I've done big miles many times. What I don't know and have doubts about is being able to follow it up with multiple 20+ mile days.

I know every bit of the trail like the back of my hand all the way to the turn to Kersarge (though from the other direction). I've done it a bunch of times. There is a chunk of trail that I've never seen from there to the approach to Pinchot Pass. Then I'm on semi familar ground again as I head towards the middle fork. After that it's all new until I get deep into Yosemite on that last day.

Last year I went from OV to KC and back in a day - but I couldn't hike the next day. Walking was a challenge. I still have pain in one foot from my KC loop last year.

I don't fear big miles - I just really, really worry about big miles on top of big miles.

I guess I need to get out for a practice run this year and see how it goes. If I fall flat on my face I'll know I need to scale back. I just wanna give it a try though.

Heck, at ten days I'll only be a week shy of the JMT record. smile .........................................DUG

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#4190 - 05/10/10 09:12 PM Re: JMT Practice [Re: DUG]
SoCalGirl Offline


Registered: 12/06/09
Posts: 225
Loc: Spring Valley, CA
DUG.. you know your legs are about 10 feet longer then mine and there's no way in hell I can ever keep up with you on the long hauls... but you know if you need a support team or a bail out you can count on me.

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#4191 - 05/10/10 09:34 PM Re: JMT Practice [Re: SoCalGirl]
DUG Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 370
Loc: Wildomar
Originally Posted By: SoCalGirl
DUG.. you know your legs are about 10 feet longer then mine and there's no way in hell I can ever keep up with you on the long hauls... but you know if you need a support team or a bail out you can count on me.


You can pace me to the summit. smile Heck, we can all go up to the summit and make it a little party. Then we can meet again at Happy Isles...............DUG

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#4192 - 05/10/10 09:44 PM Re: JMT Practice [Re: DUG]
SoCalGirl Offline


Registered: 12/06/09
Posts: 225
Loc: Spring Valley, CA
That sounds doable.... wink

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#4194 - 05/10/10 10:34 PM Re: JMT Practice [Re: SoCalGirl]
Rod Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 660
Loc: Santa Clarita, Ca. USA
I love it DUG.I know you can do it.20+ miles your first day is nothing for you.Just remember to catch a few winks now and then and don't eat any spoiled salami this time.

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#4198 - 05/11/10 06:30 AM Re: JMT Practice [Re: DUG]
RoguePhotonic Offline


Registered: 12/08/09
Posts: 558
Loc: Bakersfield CA
I didn't factor in the summit bid so I believe your goal should be Wallace Creek on day one, it's 18+ miles from the Portal to Wallace Creek.

In July I may or may not see you on the trail. wink
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