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Planning Our 2011 JMT Southbound Hike - Questions About Camping and Temperatures

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  • Dane Ward
    First of all, thank you to all that participate on this forum. I recently discovered it and have found it to be a fantastic source of information. At this
    Message 1 of 13 , Nov 29, 2010
      First of all, thank you to all that participate on this forum. I recently discovered it and have found it to be a fantastic source of information.

      At this time, my wife and I are planning our 2011 southbound thru hike of the JMT. We are experienced long distance hikers, having thru hiked the AT in 2009 and The Long Trail in 2010. Recently, in planning our 2011 JMT hike, we made note of a couple questions...

      1. We've been using a great Excel spreadsheet available in this forum - "JMT Trip Planner" as a starting point for mapping out our plan. The Planner listed "Rafferty Creek Trail" and "Wanda Lake South" landmarks as camping points. Our Eric the Black Atlas doesn't show camping at either location. Are "Rafferty Creek Trail" and "Wanda Lake South" viable overnight camping spots?

      2. We are planning for a July 25 departure - depending of course on when we get permits to start. Thinking about typical JMT weather late July through mid August, should be take our 15 degree sleeping bags or our 40 degree bags?

      Thank you in advance for any related information that might be provided.
    • David Carbiener
      Hi Dana, I hiked the JMT this year with a start date of 7/27, almost like your potential start date. I would recommend using a 15 degree bag. It gets cold at
      Message 2 of 13 , Nov 29, 2010
        Hi Dana,
        I hiked the JMT this year with a start date of 7/27, almost like your potential start date.  I would recommend using a 15 degree bag.  It gets cold at those upper elevations.
        I will let the others chime in on the camp spots since I've never camped at either location.
        Have fun on your trip,
        David
         
        ----- Original Message -----
        From: Dane Ward
        Sent: Monday, November 29, 2010 8:05 AM
        Subject: [John Muir Trail] Planning Our 2011 JMT Southbound Hike - Questions About Camping and Temperatures

         

        First of all, thank you to all that participate on this forum. I recently discovered it and have found it to be a fantastic source of information.

        At this time, my wife and I are planning our 2011 southbound thru hike of the JMT. We are experienced long distance hikers, having thru hiked the AT in 2009 and The Long Trail in 2010. Recently, in planning our 2011 JMT hike, we made note of a couple questions...

        1. We've been using a great Excel spreadsheet available in this forum - "JMT Trip Planner" as a starting point for mapping out our plan. The Planner listed "Rafferty Creek Trail" and "Wanda Lake South" landmarks as camping points. Our Eric the Black Atlas doesn't show camping at either location. Are "Rafferty Creek Trail" and "Wanda Lake South" viable overnight camping spots?

        2. We are planning for a July 25 departure - depending of course on when we get permits to start. Thinking about typical JMT weather late July through mid August, should be take our 15 degree sleeping bags or our 40 degree bags?

        Thank you in advance for any related information that might be provided.

      • Peter Burke
        ... bring a 25 degree bag if you have one - otherwise the15 degree bag if you plan on some high camps, or the 40 degree bag if you sleep warm and have a tent,
        Message 3 of 13 , Nov 29, 2010
          On 11/29/2010 10:05 AM, Dane Ward wrote:
          >
          > 2. We are planning for a July 25 departure - depending of course on when we get permits to start. Thinking about typical JMT weather late July through mid August, should be take our 15 degree sleeping bags or our 40 degree bags?

          bring a 25 degree bag if you have one - otherwise the15 degree bag if
          you plan on some high camps, or the 40 degree bag if you sleep warm and
          have a tent, plus stay off the high passes at night.
        • Roleigh Martin
          Dane, for the most part (meaning about 95% of the JMT, the exceptions being the first 7 miles and last 11 miles of the SOBO JMT trail, and within 4 miles of
          Message 4 of 13 , Nov 29, 2010
            Dane, for the most part (meaning about 95% of the JMT, the exceptions being the first 7 miles and last 11 miles of the SOBO JMT trail, and within 4 miles of car campgrounds such as Tuolumne Meadows), camping is anywhere where the rules are met which are basically: 100 feet from trail; 100 feet from water; actual tent spot is not on any botanical living plants/grass.
             
            Eric's book has icons for the more "famous" camp sites, not all camp sites.  Elizabeth Wenk's attempts to indicate all known camp sites that meet the rules.  If anything Wenk's list is incomplete, but adequate and trustworthy. 
             
            Roleigh

            On Mon, Nov 29, 2010 at 10:05 AM, Dane Ward <daneward@...> wrote:
             

            First of all, thank you to all that participate on this forum. I recently discovered it and have found it to be a fantastic source of information.

            At this time, my wife and I are planning our 2011 southbound thru hike of the JMT. We are experienced long distance hikers, having thru hiked the AT in 2009 and The Long Trail in 2010. Recently, in planning our 2011 JMT hike, we made note of a couple questions...

            1. We've been using a great Excel spreadsheet available in this forum - "JMT Trip Planner" as a starting point for mapping out our plan. The Planner listed "Rafferty Creek Trail" and "Wanda Lake South" landmarks as camping points. Our Eric the Black Atlas doesn't show camping at either location. Are "Rafferty Creek Trail" and "Wanda Lake South" viable overnight camping spots?

          • Kim Fishburn
            Park rules don t allow you to camp at Rafferty Creek as its too close to the road. Many people camp at the campground in Tuolumne Meadows, or continue up Lyell
            Message 5 of 13 , Nov 29, 2010
              Park rules don't allow you to camp at Rafferty Creek as its too close to the road. Many people camp at the campground in Tuolumne Meadows, or continue up Lyell Canyon till at least the Ireland Creek Trail junction. As long as you have a hiking permit you can stay one night in the backpackers campground in Tuolumne Meadows. You'll probably be mailing food to the post office there and they have a store.

              You could camp at Wanda Lake, but not many people do. Its above treeline and is pretty rocky. Many people stay somewhere in Evolution Valley or near Evolution Lake and then hike over Muir Pass the next day, and camp somewhere south of the pass.



              From: Dane Ward <daneward@...>
              To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Mon, November 29, 2010 10:05:34 AM
              Subject: [John Muir Trail] Planning Our 2011 JMT Southbound Hike - Questions About Camping and Temperatures

               

              First of all, thank you to all that participate on this forum. I recently discovered it and have found it to be a fantastic source of information.

              At this time, my wife and I are planning our 2011 southbound thru hike of the JMT. We are experienced long distance hikers, having thru hiked the AT in 2009 and The Long Trail in 2010. Recently, in planning our 2011 JMT hike, we made note of a couple questions...

              1. We've been using a great Excel spreadsheet available in this forum - "JMT Trip Planner" as a starting point for mapping out our plan. The Planner listed "Rafferty Creek Trail" and "Wanda Lake South" landmarks as camping points. Our Eric the Black Atlas doesn't show camping at either location. Are "Rafferty Creek Trail" and "Wanda Lake South" viable overnight camping spots?

              2. We are planning for a July 25 departure - depending of course on when we get permits to start. Thinking about typical JMT weather late July through mid August, should be take our 15 degree sleeping bags or our 40 degree bags?

              Thank you in advance for any related information that might be provided.

            • Roleigh Martin
              For the last two years I camped at Wanda lake and several other campers were there. I find it a nice camp site if the bugs are not bad (they were bad there in
              Message 6 of 13 , Nov 29, 2010
                For the last two years I camped at Wanda lake and several other campers were there.  I find it a nice camp site if the bugs are not bad (they were bad there in 2008).  There is room there for about 8 tents if my memory serves right.

                On Mon, Nov 29, 2010 at 10:24 AM, Kim Fishburn <outhiking_55@...> wrote:
                 

                Park rules don't allow you to camp at Rafferty Creek as its too close to the road. Many people camp at the campground in Tuolumne Meadows, or continue up Lyell Canyon till at least the Ireland Creek Trail junction. As long as you have a hiking permit you can stay one night in the backpackers campground in Tuolumne Meadows. You'll probably be mailing food to the post office there and they have a store.

                You could camp at Wanda Lake, but not many people do. Its above treeline and is pretty rocky. Many people stay somewhere in Evolution Valley or near Evolution Lake and then hike over Muir Pass the next day, and camp somewhere south of the pass.
              • Roleigh Martin
                ps, the camp site is on the north side of wanda lake, you approach the camp spots before you get to the water s edge, coming in from the north.
                Message 7 of 13 , Nov 29, 2010
                  ps, the camp site is on the north side of wanda lake, you approach the camp spots before you get to the water's edge, coming in from the north.

                  On Mon, Nov 29, 2010 at 10:28 AM, Roleigh Martin <roleigh@...> wrote:
                  For the last two years I camped at Wanda lake and several other campers were there.  I find it a nice camp site if the bugs are not bad (they were bad there in 2008).  There is room there for about 8 tents if my memory serves right.


                  On Mon, Nov 29, 2010 at 10:24 AM, Kim Fishburn <outhiking_55@...> wrote:
                   

                  Park rules don't allow you to camp at Rafferty Creek as its too close to the road. Many people camp at the campground in Tuolumne Meadows, or continue up Lyell Canyon till at least the Ireland Creek Trail junction. As long as you have a hiking permit you can stay one night in the backpackers campground in Tuolumne Meadows. You'll probably be mailing food to the post office there and they have a store.

                  You could camp at Wanda Lake, but not many people do. Its above treeline and is pretty rocky. Many people stay somewhere in Evolution Valley or near Evolution Lake and then hike over Muir Pass the next day, and camp somewhere south of the pass.


                • John Ladd
                  In my experience, the campsites listed by Wilderness press (the source of the spreadsheet you downloaded from the Group s Files area) is reliable. Occasionally
                  Message 8 of 13 , Nov 29, 2010
                    In my experience, the campsites listed by Wilderness press (the source of the spreadsheet you downloaded from the Group's Files area) is reliable. Occasionally it's hard to find the campsite referenced in the list, but usually they are obvious.  They are not necessarily great campsites, but they have water and a adequate cleared tentpad. Erik's Atlas lists far fewer campsites.

                    If you are willing to dry camp (often my preference) there are numerous campsites everywhere.

                    For some more detail on particular locations, though not necessarily campsite descriptions go to

                    Go to Google advanced book search

                    http://books.google.com/advanced_book_search

                    In the "phrase" field, type in "Wanda Lake" (without the quotes)

                    "Wanda lake south" didn't work.- or "Rafferty Creek" - or just type "Wanda Rafferty" in the field "At least one of the words"

                    In the author field, type  "Wenk"

                    Hit Search

                    Alternatively, just go to Google books and put

                    "wanda lake" inauthor:wenk (with the quotes this time)

                    in the Search box

                    The Wilderness press JMT Guidebook (by Elizabeth Wenk) will pop up.  Click on it (and then "View all") and you will see 7 pages that reference Wanda Lake.  While you can't necessarily flip through pages indefinitely, due to copyright issues, but you often can learn a lot.

                    Better yet, the Wilderness Press Guidebook is a good buy.

                    Available new from about $14 including shipping cost

                    http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?an=elizabeth+wenk&kn=muir&x=0&y=0

                    I'd take the 15 degree bag. You have a substantial likelihood of encountering a night at near-freezing temperatures and some risk of below freezing. Print the chart found at

                    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/johnmuirtrail/files/Weather/

                    and you'll see what I mean. 

                    John Curran Ladd
                    1616 Castro Street
                    San Francisco, CA  94114-3707
                    415-648-9279


                    On Mon, Nov 29, 2010 at 8:05 AM, Dane Ward <daneward@...> wrote:
                     

                    First of all, thank you to all that participate on this forum. I recently discovered it and have found it to be a fantastic source of information.

                    At this time, my wife and I are planning our 2011 southbound thru hike of the JMT. We are experienced long distance hikers, having thru hiked the AT in 2009 and The Long Trail in 2010. Recently, in planning our 2011 JMT hike, we made note of a couple questions...

                    1. We've been using a great Excel spreadsheet available in this forum - "JMT Trip Planner" as a starting point for mapping out our plan. The Planner listed "Rafferty Creek Trail" and "Wanda Lake South" landmarks as camping points. Our Eric the Black Atlas doesn't show camping at either location. Are "Rafferty Creek Trail" and "Wanda Lake South" viable overnight camping spots?

                    2. We are planning for a July 25 departure - depending of course on when we get permits to start. Thinking about typical JMT weather late July through mid August, should be take our 15 degree sleeping bags or our 40 degree bags?

                    Thank you in advance for any related information that might be provided.


                  • Peter Burke
                    ... and note that being allowed to stay there doesn t mean you can stay there for free. Costs are the same as for a regular site in that campground. Only
                    Message 9 of 13 , Nov 29, 2010
                      On 11/29/2010 10:24 AM, Kim Fishburn wrote:
                       . As long as you have a hiking permit you can stay one night in the backpackers campground in Tuolumne Meadows.
                       
                      and note that being allowed to stay there doesn't mean you can stay there for free. Costs are the same as for a regular site in that campground. Only advantage of the backpacker camp is that if you get  there too late for your own regular site (150 are walk-in sites), you can still pitch a tent.

                      There are literally thousands of camp sites along the JMT if you don't mind carrying water a few steps and walking off trail for a bit. The only place where you simply cannot camp even if you want to is around Tuolumne Meadows due to National Park rules regarding camping near paved roads (1 mile) and "populated" areas (4 mile radius).


                    • targetdoggmechanic
                      I d second (or third) that on the 15 degree bag. This summer, on 8/6 I camped at Deer Creek (about 9k ft) and it was 33 degrees at 5am. The very next day, I
                      Message 10 of 13 , Nov 29, 2010
                        I'd second (or third) that on the 15 degree bag. This summer, on 8/6 I camped at Deer Creek (about 9k ft) and it was 33 degrees at 5am. The very next day, I camped along Bear Creek near the junction to the Bear Creek Trail, also about 9k feet, and it was about 35 degrees at 5am. These were at pretty low elevations considering much of the JMT runs about 10k feet. I have a 20 degree bag and 3 season tent and it was a little chilly for me, and I typically sleep warm. Dressing in layers seems to help for some, your sleeping pad will help insulate a little as well. In my experience, the temp rating of the bag doesnt necessarily mean you will be comfortable at that weather condition.

                        As for camping at Wanda lake, there are a lot of options if you look around for smaller tent sites, and larger, more obvious sites near the outlet. It is a great place to camp for solitude as most do camp in evolution valley or evolution lake. Sapphire also is a nice spot if you mind the work of getting to the other side of the lake. There are also some nice options just over Muir pass, near some tarns, if you dont mind "more work" of getting to them in exchange for some solitude and great views. Most people usually camp near water for the obvious reasons, but if solitude is what you want, find a water bag or jug of some sort and hike a short distance away from water, and you will really be rewarded with solitude and great views. There are a lot of collapsible ultra lightweight options on the market available for this. If all you are doing is boiling water to rehydrate dinner (like me, I love the simplicity), I fill up an extra nalgene (or similar, aquafine bottles work great and are UL) bottle at a stream for this and take it with me to my secluded camp. Or, find a water source, eat there, and pack some extra water for a dry camp elsewhere. That meal will give you an extra little boost towards the end of your day and you can hike until sundown in a few hours if you want to really maximize mileage. It also makes a quick camp setup and time to do last minute washing, etc. Plus a little time to watch the alpenglow before you are off to bed. As John said, there are TONS of places to camp not listed in the guides, you just have to take a look around off trail a bit.
                        Good Luck on your planning and hike!
                      • gordonjacobsen
                        Dane, Glad you used the spreadsheet. I just recently created it using data from Erik s Atlas. I should clarify that the spreadsheet isn t really designed to
                        Message 11 of 13 , Nov 29, 2010
                          Dane,

                          Glad you used the spreadsheet. I just recently created it using data from Erik's Atlas. I should clarify that the spreadsheet isn't really designed to highlight campsites, but more to help identify a goal for each day. The listed 'camp' sites were put in place for targets I would like to hit to accomplish a 21 day outing.

                          Also, you will notice that the areas marked 'Camp' automatically change based on the last location you visit that day. For example, if you change the day setting on Sunrise creek from 2 to 1, it will move the camp spot up to Clouds Rest. That way, you can use the spreadsheet to create your own itinerary at your own pace. I would suggest moving the days around to match your plans.

                          Does that makes sense? Hope it helps more than confuses...

                          Gordy



                          --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "Dane Ward" <daneward@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > First of all, thank you to all that participate on this forum. I recently discovered it and have found it to be a fantastic source of information.
                          >
                          > At this time, my wife and I are planning our 2011 southbound thru hike of the JMT. We are experienced long distance hikers, having thru hiked the AT in 2009 and The Long Trail in 2010. Recently, in planning our 2011 JMT hike, we made note of a couple questions...
                          >
                          > 1. We've been using a great Excel spreadsheet available in this forum - "JMT Trip Planner" as a starting point for mapping out our plan. The Planner listed "Rafferty Creek Trail" and "Wanda Lake South" landmarks as camping points. Our Eric the Black Atlas doesn't show camping at either location. Are "Rafferty Creek Trail" and "Wanda Lake South" viable overnight camping spots?
                          >
                          > 2. We are planning for a July 25 departure - depending of course on when we get permits to start. Thinking about typical JMT weather late July through mid August, should be take our 15 degree sleeping bags or our 40 degree bags?
                          >
                          > Thank you in advance for any related information that might be provided.
                          >
                        • Roleigh Martin
                          Hmm, I presumed from the thread, he was referring to this file from our library: Planning - Elizabeth Wenk Master Spreadsheet for
                          Message 12 of 13 , Nov 29, 2010
                            Hmm, I presumed from the thread, he was referring to this file from our library:

                            Planning - Elizabeth Wenk Master Spreadsheet for JMT.xls
                            Author and Publisher authorized upload of Elizabeth Wenk Master Spreadsheet used in the book, John Muir Trail, 4th Ed., 2007, Wilderness Press.

                            This is the file I consolidated and uploaded, working with Elizabeth Wenk and Wilderness Press, both of whom gave me permission to post it her and some other places, like Whitney Portal Message Board.  It is a consolidation of all of Elizabeth's appendices of tables (in the book, one is of camp sites, another of scenic waypoint/junctions -- I consolidated them so that in walking sequence, each row is what is next in going a Southbound direction) -- although someone can do a reverse sort of them and have it be in a Northbound Direction.

                            Which is the filename, description you're referring to, Gordon?

                            On Mon, Nov 29, 2010 at 5:41 PM, gordonjacobsen <gordonjacobsen@...> wrote:
                             

                            Dane,

                            Glad you used the spreadsheet. I just recently created it using data from Erik's Atlas. I should clarify that the spreadsheet isn't really designed to highlight campsites, but more to help identify a goal for each day. The listed 'camp' sites were put in place for targets I would like to hit to accomplish a 21 day outing.

                            Also, you will notice that the areas marked 'Camp' automatically change based on the last location you visit that day. For example, if you change the day setting on Sunrise creek from 2 to 1, it will move the camp spot up to Clouds Rest. That way, you can use the spreadsheet to create your own itinerary at your own pace. I would suggest moving the days around to match your plans.

                            Does that makes sense? Hope it helps more than confuses...

                            Gordy



                          • gordonjacobsen
                            He referenced the file JMT Trip Planner in his note, which maps to the one I created the file a few days back. It maps to locations highlighted Erik the
                            Message 13 of 13 , Nov 29, 2010
                              He referenced the file "JMT Trip Planner" in his note, which maps to the one I created the file a few days back. It maps to locations highlighted Erik the Black's Atlas. Give it a look see - it is in the 'Files' section under 'Planning and Transportation'


                              --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, Roleigh Martin <roleigh@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > Hmm, I presumed from the thread, he was referring to this file from our
                              > library:
                              >
                              > Planning - Elizabeth Wenk Master Spreadsheet for
                              > JMT.xls<http://f1.grp.yahoofs.com/v1/kEz0TL1-xL62gj52QBm0aF9pjkQmglPNJPa6Adw1e76HaUJ0A7fNALUEggwYZbbLkyYykLkyFz0Ha9Ua4org/Planning%20and%20Transportation/Planning%20-%20Elizabeth%20Wenk%20Master%20Spreadsheet%20for%20JMT.xls>
                              > Author and Publisher authorized upload of Elizabeth Wenk Master Spreadsheet
                              > used in the book, John Muir Trail, 4th Ed., 2007, Wilderness Press.
                              >
                              > This is the file I consolidated and uploaded, working with Elizabeth Wenk
                              > and Wilderness Press, both of whom gave me permission to post it her and
                              > some other places, like Whitney Portal Message Board. It is a consolidation
                              > of all of Elizabeth's appendices of tables (in the book, one is of camp
                              > sites, another of scenic waypoint/junctions -- I consolidated them so that
                              > in walking sequence, each row is what is next in going a Southbound
                              > direction) -- although someone can do a reverse sort of them and have it be
                              > in a Northbound Direction.
                              >
                              > Which is the filename, description you're referring to, Gordon?
                              >
                              > On Mon, Nov 29, 2010 at 5:41 PM, gordonjacobsen <gordonjacobsen@...>wrote:
                              >
                              > >
                              > >
                              > > Dane,
                              > >
                              > > Glad you used the spreadsheet. I just recently created it using data from
                              > > Erik's Atlas. I should clarify that the spreadsheet isn't really designed to
                              > > highlight campsites, but more to help identify a goal for each day. The
                              > > listed 'camp' sites were put in place for targets I would like to hit to
                              > > accomplish a 21 day outing.
                              > >
                              > > Also, you will notice that the areas marked 'Camp' automatically change
                              > > based on the last location you visit that day. For example, if you change
                              > > the day setting on Sunrise creek from 2 to 1, it will move the camp spot up
                              > > to Clouds Rest. That way, you can use the spreadsheet to create your own
                              > > itinerary at your own pace. I would suggest moving the days around to match
                              > > your plans.
                              > >
                              > > Does that makes sense? Hope it helps more than confuses...
                              > >
                              > > Gordy
                              > >
                              > >
                              >
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