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Re: [John Muir Trail] hiking solo

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  • Kim Fishburn
    I ve met a number of ladies out hiking solo. One in particular lady I met had finally completed the whole PCT by section hiking, and she was in her 70 s, and
    Message 1 of 11 , Nov 10, 2011
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      I've met a number of ladies out hiking solo. One in particular lady I met had finally completed the whole PCT by section hiking, and she was in her 70's, and didn't start on the PCT till she had retired. I met another young lady at Muir Hut when I ducked in to get out of the rain. After it stopped we continued down canyon a couple hours. She camped close to me. I think she did it because she felt comfortable with me and found a little security. You'll meet plenty of people along the way and they'll become your friends so you never really feel alone, but you don't have to keep a schedule to keep up with them.



      From: Ewa Bialkowski <ewa.bialkowski@...>
      To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Thursday, November 10, 2011 5:27 AM
      Subject: Re: [John Muir Trail] hiking solo

       
      Hi, Rena

      I hiked most of JMT solo this summer. Snow made it a bit more difficult to navigate but guess what, I managed and did not need to be rescued. :)
      Hiking alone was a lot more fun than I expected. At no point did I feel uncomfortable but maybe it's just me. I liked it so much, I am considering doing another solo trip (possibly JMT again) next summer. Feel free to email me if you have any questions.

      Ewa

      On Thu, Nov 10, 2011 at 3:21 AM, Rena <rkoesler22@...> wrote:
       
      It's nice to be back to the JMT group. I hiked Bishop Pass to Whitney Portal with a friend in 2010. We hiked in July over some very snow covered passes but managed to make it safely and successfully. Loved the experience and of course the beauty that abounds.

      I'm thinking about hiking Lyell Canyon to Bishop this summer by myself. I am a female having hiked and climbed tons, both domestic and internationally but have never hiked alone on an extended trail. The second half of JMT seemed pretty straight forward and wanted to ask if the first half was fairly easy to navigate as well. Also, I would invite any insights from folks regarding a woman hiking alone on the JMT. It's not that I am dying to hike it alone but at this point, I don't know of anyone with the time or energy to do it with me. Any thoughts or comments are much appreciated.




    • Jean Dickinson
      Rena,I ve hiked solo many times over the years on trips from overnight to two weeks. It can be lonely at times, but also glorious. I have a fear of heights, so
      Message 2 of 11 , Nov 10, 2011
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        Rena,
        I've hiked solo many times over the years on trips from overnight to two weeks. It can be lonely at times, but also glorious. I have a fear of heights, so that's been a problem for me, whether I'm alone or with someone. So much depends on your level of fitness, backpacking skills and time of year. And that's true, whether you're hiking solo or with someone. Years ago, I did the JMT solo from North Lake to Kearsarge in August and always saw people on the trail at some point each day. Lyell Canyon to Bishop is a great trip. If snow is not a problem, river crossings would likely be the potential difficulty. As a woman hiking alone, I always choose my campsites carefully -- either places where others are in the vicinity (as in two or three other campsites already occupied in the distance) or far from anyone. And I keep going, if I don't feel comfortable. I've never had any trouble on the JMT in more than 30 years of hiking it.  
        Jean

        To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
        From: rkoesler22@...
        Date: Thu, 10 Nov 2011 11:21:51 +0000
        Subject: [John Muir Trail] hiking solo

         
        It's nice to be back to the JMT group. I hiked Bishop Pass to Whitney Portal with a friend in 2010. We hiked in July over some very snow covered passes but managed to make it safely and successfully. Loved the experience and of course the beauty that abounds.

        I'm thinking about hiking Lyell Canyon to Bishop this summer by myself. I am a female having hiked and climbed tons, both domestic and internationally but have never hiked alone on an extended trail. The second half of JMT seemed pretty straight forward and wanted to ask if the first half was fairly easy to navigate as well. Also, I would invite any insights from folks regarding a woman hiking alone on the JMT. It's not that I am dying to hike it alone but at this point, I don't know of anyone with the time or energy to do it with me. Any thoughts or comments are much appreciated.


      • Rena Koesler
        Thanks Jean, Kim and Ewa!  All great comments and words of incentive!  I will likely entertain the experience.  Love the adventure! From: Jean Dickinson
        Message 3 of 11 , Nov 10, 2011
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          Thanks Jean, Kim and Ewa!  All great comments and words of incentive!  I will likely entertain the experience.  Love the adventure!
          From: Jean Dickinson <jeandickinson@...>
          To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Thursday, November 10, 2011 10:45 AM
          Subject: RE: [John Muir Trail] hiking solo

           
          Rena,
          I've hiked solo many times over the years on trips from overnight to two weeks. It can be lonely at times, but also glorious. I have a fear of heights, so that's been a problem for me, whether I'm alone or with someone. So much depends on your level of fitness, backpacking skills and time of year. And that's true, whether you're hiking solo or with someone. Years ago, I did the JMT solo from North Lake to Kearsarge in August and always saw people on the trail at some point each day. Lyell Canyon to Bishop is a great trip. If snow is not a problem, river crossings would likely be the potential difficulty. As a woman hiking alone, I always choose my campsites carefully -- either places where others are in the vicinity (as in two or three other campsites already occupied in the distance) or far from anyone. And I keep going, if I don't feel comfortable. I've never had any trouble on the JMT in more than 30 years of hiking it.  
          Jean

          To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
          From: rkoesler22@...
          Date: Thu, 10 Nov 2011 11:21:51 +0000
          Subject: [John Muir Trail] hiking solo

           
          It's nice to be back to the JMT group. I hiked Bishop Pass to Whitney Portal with a friend in 2010. We hiked in July over some very snow covered passes but managed to make it safely and successfully. Loved the experience and of course the beauty that abounds.

          I'm thinking about hiking Lyell Canyon to Bishop this summer by myself. I am a female having hiked and climbed tons, both domestic and internationally but have never hiked alone on an extended trail. The second half of JMT seemed pretty straight forward and wanted to ask if the first half was fairly easy to navigate as well. Also, I would invite any insights from folks regarding a woman hiking alone on the JMT. It's not that I am dying to hike it alone but at this point, I don't know of anyone with the time or energy to do it with me. Any thoughts or comments are much appreciated.




        • Ed Rodriguez
          Hi Rena, I came across about 6 woman solo hikers here is a link to 2 interviews I did when on the
          Message 4 of 11 , Nov 10, 2011
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            Hi Rena, I came across about 6 woman solo hikers here is a link to 2 interviews I did when on the JMThttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGWs050Hi9Y . http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vCBLITYN8_k.  I hike the JMT last year solo, that I did not care about going solo is I had no one to camp out with at the end of the day for the most part. This was doe mostly because I was going NOBO. Going south bound am sure you will be able to find people that will walk more or less the same pace as you do, so am sure you will be able to camp out near people if you so incline. 

             


            From: Rena <rkoesler22@...>
            To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Thursday, November 10, 2011 3:21 AM
            Subject: [John Muir Trail] hiking solo

             
            It's nice to be back to the JMT group. I hiked Bishop Pass to Whitney Portal with a friend in 2010. We hiked in July over some very snow covered passes but managed to make it safely and successfully. Loved the experience and of course the beauty that abounds.

            I'm thinking about hiking Lyell Canyon to Bishop this summer by myself. I am a female having hiked and climbed tons, both domestic and internationally but have never hiked alone on an extended trail. The second half of JMT seemed pretty straight forward and wanted to ask if the first half was fairly easy to navigate as well. Also, I would invite any insights from folks regarding a woman hiking alone on the JMT. It's not that I am dying to hike it alone but at this point, I don't know of anyone with the time or energy to do it with me. Any thoughts or comments are much appreciated.



          • cjoslyn99
            Probably the safer of the two halves to do alone. First half is much more heavily travelled and you run across more exit points in case anything goes
            Message 5 of 11 , Nov 10, 2011
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              Probably the "safer" of the two halves to do alone. First half is much
              more heavily travelled and you run across more exit points in case
              anything goes wrong.


              --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "Rena" <rkoesler22@...> wrote:
              >
              > It's nice to be back to the JMT group. I hiked Bishop Pass to Whitney
              Portal with a friend in 2010. We hiked in July over some very snow
              covered passes but managed to make it safely and successfully. Loved the
              experience and of course the beauty that abounds.
              >
              > I'm thinking about hiking Lyell Canyon to Bishop this summer by
              myself. I am a female having hiked and climbed tons, both domestic and
              internationally but have never hiked alone on an extended trail. The
              second half of JMT seemed pretty straight forward and wanted to ask if
              the first half was fairly easy to navigate as well. Also, I would invite
              any insights from folks regarding a woman hiking alone on the JMT. It's
              not that I am dying to hike it alone but at this point, I don't know of
              anyone with the time or energy to do it with me. Any thoughts or
              comments are much appreciated.
              >
            • charliepolecat
              I ll pass over the deplorable state of society that makes women feel vulnerable in the company of men and say that either you feel safe enough to walk to the
              Message 6 of 11 , Nov 10, 2011
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                I'll pass over the deplorable state of society that makes women feel vulnerable in the company of men and say that either you feel safe enough to walk to the grocery store alone or you hide away at home. The truth is, you are just as safe or unsafe in either environment or actually probably safer in the wilderness than in a supermarket parking lot.

                It would be churlish to say, as the ad has it: "Just do it". but if you feel unsafe enough to ask the question here, the next question to you may be to say if you can't overcome your fear, don't do it. There's nothing worse than feeling anxious all the time.

                Hope you can do it though, and I hope I meet up with you on the trail next year - August for me.
              • Christina
                Hey Rena - I hiked the JMT NOBO solo when I was in my early 30s (that was in the 1990s). I desperately wanted to hike the JMT and didn t look too hard for a
                Message 7 of 11 , Nov 11, 2011
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                  Hey Rena -

                  I hiked the JMT NOBO solo when I was in my early 30s (that was in the 1990s). I desperately wanted to hike the JMT and didn't look too hard for a travelling companion, so I went solo. I'd done two 6-day solo hikes prior to my JMT.

                  Daytimes were easy & great - I could go my own pace, no need to coordinate with others on decisions, but nights were a bit lonely once the camp chores were done and night was falling.

                  I never felt scared - I figured that I had a greater chance of running into a dangerous person in the city vs the mountains - it takes real effort to get out to the back country and & figured the predators were more likely to look for easier prey in the lowlands. I don't know if this was an inaccurate/foolish perspective - I wouldn't feel the same about the AT or the TRT due to the proximity to civilization.

                  Regarding navigation, the JMT is a highway - really well signed and clear trail. The worst spots are around Red's Meadow and near any trail head where user trails make trail finding sometimes confusing. I'm most comfortable recommending solo hiking when the trail is mostly free of snow - I went up and down Muir pass one year (solo) in heavy snow/sun cup conditions and I'd be more comfortable doing lots of snow travel with a companion.

                  You'll see lots of folks - going NOBO I passed many people every day, but only hiked the same direction as a few. Going solo really helps you hone your camp skills and is a great way to boost your inner strength.

                  Hope you have a great hike, Christina

                  ps - On a side note, I met my husband on that JMT hike. I was going NOBO, he was SOBO. During our brief chat we realized we lived in the same city (actually, the same condo complex!!). We exchanged phone numbers and four years later he proposed at the top of Whitney at the end of a TYT/JMT hike. Follow your bliss...!
                • Roleigh Martin
                  Christina, your story has to be one in a million. A NOBO hiker encounters her husband who is doing a SOBO. Normally (10,000 times more normally) romance
                  Message 8 of 11 , Nov 11, 2011
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                    Christina, your story has to be one in a million.  A NOBO hiker encounters her husband who is doing a SOBO.  Normally (10,000 times more normally) romance would be the two hikers going each North or each South.  That is really cool and romantic.

                    On Fri, Nov 11, 2011 at 4:17 PM, Christina <cccniles@...> wrote:


                    ps - On a side note, I met my husband on that JMT hike. I was going NOBO, he was SOBO. During our brief chat we realized we lived in the same city (actually, the same condo complex!!). We exchanged phone numbers and four years later he proposed at the top of Whitney at the end of a TYT/JMT hike. Follow your bliss...!


                  • Rena Koesler
                    Christina, Thanks for all of the detail regarding your experience on the trail and the trail detail at Reds.  How wonderful and romantic to have met your
                    Message 9 of 11 , Nov 12, 2011
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                      Christina,

                      Thanks for all of the detail regarding your experience on the trail and the trail detail at Reds.  How wonderful and romantic to have met your husband on the trail going in the opposite direction.  No doubt it was meant to be.  Yes, I would imagine the evenings might get a bit lonely.  I will anticipate some of that.  Again, thanks!

                      Rena


                      From: Christina <cccniles@...>
                      To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
                      Sent: Friday, November 11, 2011 4:17 PM
                      Subject: [John Muir Trail] Re: hiking solo

                       
                      Hey Rena -

                      I hiked the JMT NOBO solo when I was in my early 30s (that was in the 1990s). I desperately wanted to hike the JMT and didn't look too hard for a travelling companion, so I went solo. I'd done two 6-day solo hikes prior to my JMT.

                      Daytimes were easy & great - I could go my own pace, no need to coordinate with others on decisions, but nights were a bit lonely once the camp chores were done and night was falling.

                      I never felt scared - I figured that I had a greater chance of running into a dangerous person in the city vs the mountains - it takes real effort to get out to the back country and & figured the predators were more likely to look for easier prey in the lowlands. I don't know if this was an inaccurate/foolish perspective - I wouldn't feel the same about the AT or the TRT due to the proximity to civilization.

                      Regarding navigation, the JMT is a highway - really well signed and clear trail. The worst spots are around Red's Meadow and near any trail head where user trails make trail finding sometimes confusing. I'm most comfortable recommending solo hiking when the trail is mostly free of snow - I went up and down Muir pass one year (solo) in heavy snow/sun cup conditions and I'd be more comfortable doing lots of snow travel with a companion.

                      You'll see lots of folks - going NOBO I passed many people every day, but only hiked the same direction as a few. Going solo really helps you hone your camp skills and is a great way to boost your inner strength.

                      Hope you have a great hike, Christina

                      ps - On a side note, I met my husband on that JMT hike. I was going NOBO, he was SOBO. During our brief chat we realized we lived in the same city (actually, the same condo complex!!). We exchanged phone numbers and four years later he proposed at the top of Whitney at the end of a TYT/JMT hike. Follow your bliss...!



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