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#53792 - 07/05/18 11:42 AM Drop pack at trail crest?
PatientFool Offline

Registered: 06/30/18
Posts: 2
Loc: California
we're going up whitney soon for the first time coming from the west (HST trip). I understand that we *could* drop our packs at trail crest for the whitney ascent and then grab them on our way down towards whitney portal.

question is how to do this logistically? where do folks drop them exactly? will there be marmots there trying to go through our packs and how do we mitigate against that? anything else that i should be aware of?


#53793 - 07/05/18 11:50 AM Re: Drop pack at trail crest? [Re: PatientFool]
RenoFrank Offline

Registered: 08/06/11
Posts: 430
Loc: Reno, NV
My group of 4 left our packs there after coming up from Guitar Lake. I've heard many cautions about marmots there but we had zero problems. We did not leave anything (zippers, compartments)"open" but our food was in a bear canister inside each pack. It's obvious where to leave your pack - right where the JMT meets the MWMT. Typically there will already be some packs there.

#53794 - 07/05/18 01:15 PM Re: Drop pack at trail crest? [Re: RenoFrank]
Steve C Offline

Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7644
Loc: Fresno, CA
With the marmots being so active there, I would opt to put my bear canister with food outside the pack. Make sure there aren't any snacks, etc. in any forgotten little pockets of the pack.

#53796 - 07/05/18 04:32 PM Re: Drop pack at trail crest? [Re: Steve C]
Wiff Offline

Registered: 07/23/14
Posts: 38
Loc: LA
Yes. I fell victim to the marmots at Trail Camp. I must have left some M&M or something in my pack. Marmot chewed an entry hole AND a separate exit hole in the tent, chewed through my pack, and relieved himself on everything for good measure. Leave your tent open, wrap everything up, and put food far away. Little B@stards.

#53797 - 07/05/18 05:00 PM Re: Drop pack at trail crest? [Re: Wiff]
Harvey Lankford Offline

Registered: 11/10/09
Posts: 1019
Loc: Richmond, Virginia
Like Steve says, leave food in bear can outside the pack. I have seen many holes eaten in packs there. We threw really big stones nailing marmots left and right. Direct hits did not faze them. They are more aggressive there than anywhere I have seen.

The pack drop "station" is not at Trailcrest but actually down the west side a few minutes at the JMT junction.I have never seen anyone drop their pack at actual Trailcrest. You could, but it might get bumped off more easily there.

Coming in from the west, you would reach the JMT junction first anyway.

Edited by Harvey Lankford (07/05/18 05:01 PM)

#53866 - 07/14/18 03:25 PM Re: Drop pack at trail crest? [Re: PatientFool]
cantare Offline

Registered: 04/07/14
Posts: 17
Loc: California
On June 28 while waiting for friends to catch up, I sat at the JMT junction chatting with thru-hikers as we watched marmots and squirrels rifle thru a pack. They will definitely investigate and make off with anything edible. If you're hiking the JMT/HST etc you will have a bear can, make sure everything scented goes in there and leave it lined up away from the packs with all the other bear cans.

Also it's a bonus if you keep your pack & non-food gear clean of food spills & leaks, and even think of the salt from sweat (gloves, hats, pole handles) as a potential attractant...the critters in general seem almost as happy chewing on greasy/salty fabric or plastic as they are eating your food supply. Yesterday on Half Dome summit I confiscated an empty ziploc a squirrel was busily was long gone but it probably had residual salt.