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RE: [John Muir Trail] mules? heading out to JMT fri 8/31

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  • Don Amundson
    Hi again Linda--Quick answers. Packers do operate on the JMT using mules. You may see some and you may not. Lots is relative. 10 would be lots to me and I
    Message 1 of 12 , Aug 28, 2012
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    Hi again Linda--Quick answers.  Packers do operate on the JMT using mules.  You may see some and you may not. Lots is relative. 10 would be lots to me and I don't remember ever seeing that many on a single trip. They have the trail right of way--I always spread my arms when approaching a pack train to get direction from the packer where I should stand.  In in emergency they may pick up an injured hiker if more immediate help wasn't available (eg Helicopter evac) but I would suspect they would defer to the local authority having jurisdiction before they would take on the the liability. The pack outfits provide services for a fee--back county trips, resupply drops, dunnage drops etc.  There are also park service packers used to support trail crews. 

    Hiking in a south north direction you'll see more people that hiking the more common north south route. It's a simple matter of odds.  The busiest season is winding down so you'll see fewer people than if you were hiking in July/Aug. How many? Hard to predict.  Maybe a few, maybe 20.  Enjoy the contact--everyone out there has a story. 

    The trail is smooth, rough, rocky, a stair case, a creek bed.  You'll encounter all kinds of surfaces. You can hike it in whatever foot gear works for you.  I use trail runners. I've seen people hiking in crocs, vibram five fingers, mountaineering boots, casual slipons and everything in between.  Anything you've used for long distance backpacking trips successfully is valid.

    The picture (if it comes through)  is from a few weeks ago looking south towards the upper basin from Mather Pass.  You'll coming towards the pass from that direction.  Split Mt. is out of the shot to the left of the picture. As you can see there is broad, relatively flat approach to the base.

    Enjoy your hike and summit adventure.



    To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
    From: lindajagger@...
    Date: Wed, 29 Aug 2012 03:14:00 +0000
    Subject: [John Muir Trail] mules? heading out to JMT fri 8/31

     
    Hello, I'm new to this digest group. We are avid hikers in CO, coming out this wk. We are hiking from Onion Valley to South Lake over 7 days or so. I just learned there are mules that carry gear up/down the JMT. Is there lots of mules. I've heard stories that the do pick up injured hikers, or gear. What is everyones observations? Or anyone have info?

    We were lead to believe this is an isolated trail, w/all the restrictions of how many people can enter the trail. How many people are we likely to see on the trail next week.

    What is the trail like? We were also lead to believe that the would be pretty smooth. Can one hike it w/trail runners shoes, or does one need a sturdier boot, vibram soled shoe?

    Do more people hike northbound or south bound--any ideas? Wish I had been able to track this group all summer.


  • charliepolecat
    On the subject of mules; here is an interesting article in today s BBC on-line on the use of mules in the California high country to fight forest fires:
    Message 2 of 12 , Aug 29, 2012
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      On the subject of mules; here is an interesting article in today's BBC on-line on the use of mules in the California high country to fight forest fires:

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-19402385
    • John
      That s our own Mike Morris!! For you JMT affectionados, you all should recognize the location of the mules traversing the burn above Reds. JDWalk the Sky:
      Message 3 of 12 , Aug 29, 2012
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        That's our own Mike Morris!! For you JMT affectionados, you all should recognize the location of the mules traversing the burn above Reds.

        JD
        Walk the Sky: Following the John Muir Trail
      • Marion Davison
        ... I d like to post a correction to the group. Gates on the trail are not to keep stock out. Stock are permitted on the entire JMT. The gates are there to
        Message 4 of 12 , Aug 29, 2012
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          Bill wrote:

          >
          > That being said there are parts of the trail where no stock is allowed.
          > There were gates in Kings Canyon NP area from Goddards Canyon Creek
          > onward to keep stock out. The first time I saw the gate I thought it was
          > to keep hikers out too and turned around lol.
          >

          I'd like to post a correction to the group. Gates on the trail are not
          to keep stock out. Stock are permitted on the entire JMT. The gates
          are there to limit the travel of stock that have been turned loose to
          graze during the night. The stockmen find bottleneck areas above and
          below the meadows they use for night grazing. They put up a fence
          across the bottleneck and a gate on the trail. Hikers are expected to
          use the gate and keep it closed. The gate keeps the stock from
          wandering too far during the night.
          It is a courtesy to always leave these gates closed. In other
          words,open, go through, close it behind you.
          Marion Davison
          stock user (llamas)
        • mitguy02
          A little off-topic, but I wish someone, or one of the guide books I read had mentioned the gates on the trail. The first time I came to one, I thought for
          Message 5 of 12 , Aug 30, 2012
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            A little off-topic, but I wish someone, or one of the guide books I read had mentioned the gates on the trail. The first time I came to one, I thought for sure we had made a wrong turn. Thankfully there weren't really any other choices other than a use trail that petered out pretty quickly and the map was pretty clear as to the correct direction. A mention in one of the guidebooks would be pretty useful here. Or maybe a sign on the gate indicating what it's for and what to do with it. That way hikers know why they've randomly hit a barbed wire fence in the middle of the wilderness. :)

            --Ian

            > I'd like to post a correction to the group. Gates on the trail are not
            > to keep stock out. Stock are permitted on the entire JMT. The gates
            > are there to limit the travel of stock that have been turned loose to
            > graze during the night. The stockmen find bottleneck areas above and
            > below the meadows they use for night grazing. They put up a fence
            > across the bottleneck and a gate on the trail. Hikers are expected to
            > use the gate and keep it closed. The gate keeps the stock from
            > wandering too far during the night.
            > It is a courtesy to always leave these gates closed. In other
            > words,open, go through, close it behind you.
            > Marion Davison
            > stock user (llamas)
            >
          • Ray Rippel
            Great point! Can someone refresh my memory? Where are they, approximately? Sent from my iPad
            Message 6 of 12 , Aug 30, 2012
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              Great point! Can someone refresh my memory? Where are they, approximately?

              Sent from my iPad

              On Aug 30, 2012, at 6:31 AM, mitguy02 <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

              > A mention in one of the guidebooks would be pretty useful here.
            • John Ladd
              For anyone who is interested, here s some links to pictures of a typical Mule http://www.flickr.com/photos/18735566@N03/3040772468 Pack train
              Message 7 of 12 , Aug 30, 2012
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                For anyone who is interested, here's some links to pictures of a

                typical Mule


                Pack train


                Stock gate


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


                On Thu, Aug 30, 2012 at 9:41 AM, Ray Rippel <ray.rippel@...> wrote:
                 

                Great point! Can someone refresh my memory? Where are they, approximately?

                Sent from my iPad



                On Aug 30, 2012, at 6:31 AM, mitguy02 <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

                > A mention in one of the guidebooks would be pretty useful here.


              • cjoslyn99
                Me too. Thankfully, I happened to be hiking at the time w/ someone from Colorado who quipped, You re not from cattle country, are you? As to location(s), I
                Message 8 of 12 , Aug 30, 2012
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                  Me too. Thankfully, I happened to be hiking at the time w/ someone from
                  Colorado who quipped, "You're not from cattle country, are you?"

                  As to location(s), I first recall running into them after crossing the
                  South Fork San Joaquin (before you cross back over, near Evolution
                  Creek).

                  There were also gates along the trail heading up Palisade Creek to
                  Golden Staircase and along Woods Creek heading to the suspension bridge.
                  May be others I don't recall.


                  --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, mitguy02 <no_reply@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > A little off-topic, but I wish someone, or one of the guide books I
                  read had mentioned the gates on the trail. The first time I came to one,
                  I thought for sure we had made a wrong turn. Thankfully there weren't
                  really any other choices other than a use trail that petered out pretty
                  quickly and the map was pretty clear as to the correct direction. A
                  mention in one of the guidebooks would be pretty useful here. Or maybe a
                  sign on the gate indicating what it's for and what to do with it. That
                  way hikers know why they've randomly hit a barbed wire fence in the
                  middle of the wilderness. :)
                  >
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