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Re: [John Muir Trail] Re: fitting it all in . . . on the JMT. . .

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  • LEBRUN
    I believe bear canister s are required South of Pinchot Pass. Bruce
    Message 1 of 12 , May 1 5:12 PM
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      I believe bear canister's are required South of Pinchot Pass.

      Bruce


      On Tue, May 1, 2012 at 6:06 PM, Barbara Karagosian <barbara@...> wrote:
       

      I was camping at McClure meadow and a Sierra club group were hanging their food there. 

      Barbara


      On May 1, 2012, at 3:54 PM, "cjoslyn99" <cjoslyn99@...> wrote:

       


      It may be a mix of geography and elevation but i've been on sierra club
      trips where they didn't bother doing anything above 10K if not required.

      Coming out of MTR, if everything doesn't fit in my BV-500, I'm planning
      on hanging (using the PCT method) and sleeping relatively high ...
      e.g., Evolution Meadow vs. Evolution Valley. Hopefully only 1-2 days of
      that before items get consumed.

      --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "vegasjmtdave" <djpauw@...> wrote:
      >
      > but . . . I try to camp high.
      >
      >
      > It seems like the biggest problem when hiking south is coming MTR
      since that is when most people will be carrying extra food that they
      cannot fit in their canisters. Heading south, how far and how high would
      you have to hike to get out of bear country? Anyone? I assume that
      McClure Meadow would be prime bear habitat, but would you say Evolution
      lake (10,800 ft) is high enough? That's a 14 mile hike from the ranch,
      but definitely doable. Or does one need to hike further up the Muir
      Pass? Now we're talking close to 20 miles but I would rather do that
      than play around with bears. It seems kind of pointless and
      irresponsible to go through all that trouble of a resupply and than have
      a bear snatch half of it. Might as well just resupply with whatever you
      can fit in a bear can and just plan on going a bit hungry if you are
      prepared for that anyway. I want to have a good time out there, live
      with nature, let nature thrive, not fight with it. If that means some
      extra hiking, then that's what I have to do. So, I guess my question is,
      based on all your past experiences, how high must one go? I am sure
      there are other local and seasonal variables at play here too. I guess
      if one sees fresh bear scat that would be a good sign to keep moving.
      >


    • Robert
      FWIW, I have never seen bears, bear scat, or any reports of bears above Evoluttion Valley including Evolution Lake. That is quite a ways for most people to
      Message 2 of 12 , May 1 7:52 PM
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        FWIW, I have never seen bears, bear scat, or any reports of bears above Evoluttion Valley including Evolution Lake. That is quite a ways for most people to hike past MTR though. I have seen near scat in lower Evolution Valley near the creek crossing a couple of years ago. The only areas that I have seen bears over the years is in Yosemite, and multiple sightings in the Vidette Mdws. area. I really advocate a bear can that you can fit everything into for the sake of your good nights sleep and from keeping the bears from getting a food reward and endangering them later on. I wish they would put more bear boxes at trail junctions south of MTR to alleviate the problem, but I haven't had any luck in pursuing the issue.

        --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "cjoslyn99" <cjoslyn99@...> wrote:
        >
        >
        > It may be a mix of geography and elevation but i've been on sierra club
        > trips where they didn't bother doing anything above 10K if not required.
        >
        > Coming out of MTR, if everything doesn't fit in my BV-500, I'm planning
        > on hanging (using the PCT method) and sleeping relatively high ...
        > e.g., Evolution Meadow vs. Evolution Valley. Hopefully only 1-2 days of
        > that before items get consumed.
        >
        > --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "vegasjmtdave" <djpauw@> wrote:
        > >
        > > but . . . I try to camp high.
        > >
        > >
        > > It seems like the biggest problem when hiking south is coming MTR
        > since that is when most people will be carrying extra food that they
        > cannot fit in their canisters. Heading south, how far and how high would
        > you have to hike to get out of bear country? Anyone? I assume that
        > McClure Meadow would be prime bear habitat, but would you say Evolution
        > lake (10,800 ft) is high enough? That's a 14 mile hike from the ranch,
        > but definitely doable. Or does one need to hike further up the Muir
        > Pass? Now we're talking close to 20 miles but I would rather do that
        > than play around with bears. It seems kind of pointless and
        > irresponsible to go through all that trouble of a resupply and than have
        > a bear snatch half of it. Might as well just resupply with whatever you
        > can fit in a bear can and just plan on going a bit hungry if you are
        > prepared for that anyway. I want to have a good time out there, live
        > with nature, let nature thrive, not fight with it. If that means some
        > extra hiking, then that's what I have to do. So, I guess my question is,
        > based on all your past experiences, how high must one go? I am sure
        > there are other local and seasonal variables at play here too. I guess
        > if one sees fresh bear scat that would be a good sign to keep moving.
        > >
        >
      • Byron Nevins
        If you are fairly local you can get it in a beautiful and strenuous weekend resupply trip. I did this in 2008. My daughter and I each carried a Garcia bear
        Message 3 of 12 , May 1 10:13 PM
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          If you are fairly "local" you can get it in a beautiful and strenuous weekend resupply trip.  I did this in 2008.  My daughter and I each carried a Garcia bear can (fairly cheap) loaded up with the last few days worth of food.  We did the Rae Lakes loop and simply hid the 2 bear cans in the woods where the JMT crosses Woods Creek (just south of Pinchot Pass).  I returned a year later and retrieved them.  Bubbs creek (say around Vidette Meadows) is another option.  

          You could theoretically just bring food up with you in stick it into one of the MANY bear lockers in Kings Canyon Sequoia and save the weight/cost of the bear cans.  There are maps of the locations somewhere.  Many are pretty obscure.  The Rangers definitely frown on doing this though.  It would be very annoying for hikers to not have room in the locker because your food is sitting in there for a few weeks!  That's why I hid mine in the woods.

          ==========

          Bears go over passes too!  I've been backpacking for 40+ years in the Sierra.  Bears used to be a big problem.  Now I almost never see them come around the campsites.  The years of using bear canisters is paying off.  The LAW changed 2 years ago.  There no longer are restrictions about using particular bear-resistant containers with a few exceptions -- namely the Rae Lakes area and around Mt. Whitney.  I used the Bearikade in 2008 with a couple Ursacks for spillover in our 2008 thru-hike.  Never saw a bear.  The Bearikade is awesome.  The aerospace engineers that own the company like thru-hikers.  If you tell them you are thru-hiking the JMT they will give you a VERY good deal renting a Bearikade.  


          --
          All Generalizations are false, including this one.

        • half_dot
          A few years ago I ran into a large cinnamon colored bear on the Taboose Pass trail at about 11,000 feet in broad daylight. The bear lingered so I tossed a
          Message 4 of 12 , May 2 5:31 AM
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            A few years ago I ran into a large cinnamon colored bear on the Taboose Pass trail at about 11,000 feet in broad daylight. The bear lingered so I tossed a rock, making sure to miss. The bear sniffed the rock, obviously expecting it be food, then gave me a wounded, disgusted look, and ambled off down the trail.

            So there is at least one bear that doesn't mind going above treeline.

            Where it happened:

            http://www.route3d.com/yosemite/index.php?r=36.989,-118.4065,36.9889,-118.4071



            --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "vegasjmtdave" <djpauw@...> wrote:
            >
            > So, tell me if I am understanding you right. The best way to avoid bears, is to camp high when you have extra food?
            >
          • Herb
            Heading south, how far and how high would you have to hike to get out of bear country? Anyone? Whitney Portal I suppose. Technically its all bear country.
            Message 5 of 12 , May 2 8:18 AM
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              "Heading south, how far and how high would you have to hike to get
              out of bear country? Anyone?"

              Whitney Portal I suppose.

              Technically its all bear country. True, the observance of bears above 10,000 feet is rare and food thefts in Evolution Valley is extremely unlikely. But it is not impossible and it puts the bear's life at risk as well as posing a threat to future hikers if food is not stored securely.

              It was not that long ago that we didn't have bear cans or bear boxes at all. The rangers put up a few bear lines in the hot spots and otherwise you were on your own to hang your food. That system did not work, but in part that was because we as hikers did not do a good job in protecting our food.

              You can reduce your exposure by cooking along the trail and camping elsewhere, largely eliminating food odors at your camp. Camping high also minimizes risk, as does camping in lesser used sites away from water. Practice counterbalancing before you go and make sure you have a handle on the process. In high areas where trees are not avaiable, look for a bolder or cliff where you can suspend the food from the cliff face.

              Bear problems today are signficiantly less than the pre bear-can days, and hikers should not be unduly stressed over bear encounters. The situation will continue to improve over the long term so long as we take the recommended steps to keep bears away from our food.

              Herb

              --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "vegasjmtdave" <djpauw@...> wrote:
              >
              > but . . . I try to camp high.
              >
              >
            • Joe MacLeish
              If you re counting votes I have stayed at McClure and Evolution Lake easily over ten times each and never seen a bear at either. Evolution Lake is a few feet
              Message 6 of 12 , May 2 12:20 PM
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                If you’re counting votes I have stayed at McClure and Evolution Lake easily over ten times each and never seen a bear at either.  Evolution Lake is a few feet above timber line and probably is not good grazing for bears.  As far as I know McClure is not a heavy bear place either.

                Joe

                 

                From: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com [mailto:johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of vegasjmtdave
                Sent: Tuesday, May 01, 2012 3:02 PM
                To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: [John Muir Trail] Re: fitting it all in . . . on the JMT. . .

                 

                 

                but . . . I try to camp high.

                It seems like the biggest problem when hiking south is coming MTR since that is when most people will be carrying extra food that they cannot fit in their canisters. Heading south, how far and how high would you have to hike to get out of bear country? Anyone? I assume that McClure Meadow would be prime bear habitat, but would you say Evolution lake (10,800 ft) is high enough? That's a 14 mile hike from the ranch, but definitely doable. Or does one need to hike further up the Muir Pass? Now we're talking close to 20 miles but I would rather do that than play around with bears. It seems kind of pointless and irresponsible to go through all that trouble of a resupply and than have a bear snatch half of it. Might as well just resupply with whatever you can fit in a bear can and just plan on going a bit hungry if you are prepared for that anyway. I want to have a good time out there, live with nature, let nature thrive, not fight with it. If that means some extra hiking, then that's what I have to do. So, I guess my question is, based on all your past experiences, how high must one go? I am sure there are other local and seasonal variables at play here too. I guess if one sees fresh bear scat that would be a good sign to keep moving.

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