The Bear Creek Cut-off trailhead is easy to find and right there, off the road. With cell phone coverage very sketchy out there, you don't need any type of confusion.
There's plenty of camping at the JMT/ Bear Creek junction . . . not to mention, plenty of water and a decent gain in elevation.
. . . So your friends are bringing in the resupply that you would have had waiting at MTR, but instead they're going to bring it in and you'll all carry it to MTR?
And they are supposedly meeting you at the JMT/BC junction?
I'd have them drop a car at Florence then drive up to VVR. Get some good love from the kitchen there, some beer, a nice night under the stars before they hate you, maybe . . . and in the morning you all pile into a car and drive back down to the Bear Creek Cut-off trailhead.
This of course means that you miss out on back-tracking back out of the VVR and up over Bear Ridge, but it also means that you all avoid the possibility of missing one another, out there at the junction. You can then camp along Bear Creek. That would be a good first day out.
Day two . . . cross Bear Creek and get up to Marie Lakes to spend the rest of the day and night.
Day three . . . over (easy) Selden and down to MTR . . . if you have time, cross the river, sit in the tub––otherwise, your friends head out to Florence.
I haven't been in or out on Florence in a few years, but they did have a phone there that you could use to call and let them know you are waiting. You might also buy your boat tickets when you park the car.
If you guys are all feeling good on day one, you might just try shooting for Marie Lakes, or at least Rosemarie Meadow––that way you could spend a lot more time at Marie Lakes
Date: Wed, 1 Aug 2012 06:43:03 +0000
Subject: [John Muir Trail] VVR friend-food-drop adjustments
Hope you guys are doing well! I'm back to pick everyone's brains a little bit more. :) Hope you don't mind!
I've been away from the forum for (what seems like) only a few days, and it turns out the VVR ferry decided to take a hike while I was gone. This is a problem because a couple of my friends offered to food drop and join me for two nights/three days along the trail between VVR and MTR (READ: I didn't send out my food drop to MTR!). The original plan was for them to: 1) take two cars to MTR/Lake Florence, 2) park one and drive the other to VVR, and 3) have third friend drive back home from there. Because one of these said friends is very new to backpacking, I don't want him to have too intense or hard of an experience from the get-go. Given that the VVR ferry is out, adding another 5 miles onto a day is pushing it a little bit (I also didn't realize that it was a 5 mile hike out from MTR to the Lake Florence ferry as well).
Here's the alternative schedule that I'm considering now:
1) They'll get dropped off at the Bear Ridge TH instead (is it pretty accessible by car/jeep?).
2) We'll meet up at the JMT/Bear Ridge junction, and either a) camp there or b) make it down the switchbacks if there's enough daylight. Either way a sub-10 mile day for them.
3) The second day will be a 12 mile day to the Sallie Keyes Lakes area, just past Selden Pass.
4) The third day will be an easy day for them, with a quick 4-5 miles or so to MTR, and another 4.7 to the Florence Lake ferry. My understanding is that it'll mostly be downhill, and they just need to be at the dock by the early afternoon.
They'll be hiking in with my MTR food drop, so for the two nights we're together, we'll split the food weight between the three of us (8 days worth).
How does this plan sound to you guys? I'd love any feedback or comments you guys may have. Another question, how bad of an idea is it to camp near the ~10,000ft passes (Selden, Silver)? I'm camping in a Big Agnes Flycreek 2. I know that it's dangerous to be caught up that high in a thunderstorm, but I don't have a very good idea on how likely it is to be caught in a potentially dangerous and/or life-threatening situation.
Thank you for your help!! I really appreciate it.