Mt Whitney Zone
Posted By: Steve C JMT southbound, June 2021 - 06/09/21 04:16 AM
I got lucky back in December, and was awarded a "Golden Ticket" for 3, hiking from Happy Isles on the John Muir Trail (JMT). We were worried that the June 11 start date would be bad for stream crossings and snow on the passes. So all three of us entered the regular JMT lottery in January, looking for any dates between Mid-June and 3 weeks after that. We were not picked for any of those dates--failed all the way around.

So lucky for us, the winter turned out one of the driest on record. Starting June 11 will be more like mid-July most summers. So we will be just fine. We will be the "Three Old Guys" -- average age is 65; I hit 70 this year frown . One is a novice, so we will see how it goes. Trying to keep most days to ~10 miles.

I've hiked the entire JMT, but in six separate hikes, but this is the first through-hike. What surprised me is all the planning and work way before the hike. Muir Trail Ranch's website recommends mailing their buckets 3 weeks ahead of time. So I worked up a frenzy buying all the food, measuring, re-bagging, getting everything ready. And going southbound with a zero-miles day at MTR, we needed 7 days of food. WIth canned food for the two nights by MTR, it took one bucket per hiker. With the cost of the bucket, postage, plus the $85 fee for MTR, it was over $100 per bucket! This hike is costing $$$! Funny thing, I mailed the buckets last week here in Fresno, and I was notified the very next day that they had been delivered to the destination post office at Lakeshore (Huntington Lake).

I mailed the box for Reds Meadow yesterday, and got notice today that it had already arrived at Mammoth Lakes. Priority Mail is great!

I haven't loaded the pack as of yet, but once I do, I'll post the pack weight. I'm hoping that before food & water, it will be around 20 lbs.

I'll be carrying an InReach Mini, and anyone who wants can check on our progress:

Here's a picture of Leo, Steve & Perry on Mt Dana one week before the JMT start.
[Linked Image]
Posted By: Jammer Re: JMT southbound, June 2021 - 06/12/21 08:34 PM
Looks like you are well underway and have made great time as of June 12. We go in at the Sunset Lakes TH in mid July, so you will be done before we start. Best of luck to you for an amazing journey.
Posted By: Snacking Bear Re: JMT southbound, June 2021 - 06/14/21 01:56 PM
As of now, it looks like you are enjoying the long emerald swards and lazy riverine loops of Lyell Canyon. Hope all three of you are in high spirits. Donahue and the view of the Lyell group and glacier are a good reward after a fine ascent.
Posted By: Steve C Re: JMT southbound, June 2021 - 06/21/21 05:55 AM
Came home today -- bailed out at Muir Trail Ranch (MTR), so 10 days on the trail. One exited at day 4. We completed the northern half of the JMT.

Several reasons:

We were killing ourselves trying to do more than planned each day.
We carried too much food, which weighed us down.
We started longing for a shower and soft bed -- homesickness set in.
I got an intestinal bug.
Posted By: Snacking Bear Re: JMT southbound, June 2021 - 06/21/21 01:05 PM
Very sorry to hear about the issues that messed with your trip. But I'm glad to hear you are home safe.
Posted By: Steve C Re: JMT southbound, June 2021 - 06/21/21 09:10 PM
No, don't be sorry. I am very happy to be relaxing at home. grin

I think that's part of the reason I backpack -- to realize how nice it is to enjoy the creature comforts of home.
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