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Re: Early planning stages NoBo in Sept 2013

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  • Terry
    Cottonwood is definitely easier but I find it dusty, dry and boring and you ll be walking on a lot of horse poop. The only redeeming thing about this pass are
    Message 1 of 27 , Nov 4, 2012
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      Cottonwood is definitely easier but I find it dusty, dry and boring and you'll be walking on a lot of horse poop. The only redeeming thing about this pass are the magnificient stands of Foxtail pines. To me New Army is worth the extra effort as it is way prettier and actually good for acclimitizing. I would take it slow the first couple days. Camp short of the pass at Long lake or High lake. Even better spend a night at the Horseshoe Meadows campground as well. I've hitchhiked from the junction of Whitney Portal rd and Horseshoe Meadows rd. Waited a long time for a ride during a fairly busy time in August. I would be sure to be at that junction before noon on a weekend.

      I was just at Horseshoe Meadows this year for a week long hike that started September 5th. I got a permit a week before my trip started no problem and the quotas were not filled on the day I picked my permit up. The quota is something like 48 walkups a day so it's one of the easier to get. That's why I like this area during September. We camped at Rock Creek lake by the bear box on our way out and we were the only ones there. Same thing on the way in at Rock Creek crossing. We came out on a Saturday and there were weekend hordes coming in so if you stick to a weekday start you should be fine. Once over the passes the crowds thin substantially at that time of the year. I was surprised that even Crabtree meadows only had one group camped there.
    • Jgoring1
      Cottonwood is dusty, but it s a good first day on the trail hike, and chicken springs lake(good first night) is spectacular. You could enter around mineral
      Message 2 of 27 , Nov 4, 2012
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        Cottonwood is dusty, but it's a good first day on the trail hike, and chicken springs lake(good first night) is spectacular.  

        You could enter around mineral king/ sawtooth pass from the west side (train and hired car from SF) and have a more interesting hike up past kern hot springs, etc. 

        Sent from my iPhone

        On Nov 3, 2012, at 6:45 PM, John Ladd <johnladd@...> wrote:

         

        I'm at the very early planning stages of a NorthBound JMT starting in early- to mid-September of 2013.


        I'm planning on flying to Reno and taking the bus to someplace along 395, then hitchhiking to a trailhead (NOT Whitney Portal) preferably a bit Southeast of Whitney. Ending at Happy Isles.

        I.e, joining the JMT at Crabtree Meadows via something like New Army Pass or Cottonwood Pass and the PCT. I'm trying to see at least some of the area a bit south of Crabtree Meadows and to avoid the steep/crowded trail between Whitney Portal and Trail Crest. I've been to Mt Whitney and don't need to "bag" it this trip

        I'd love people's thoughts on how to do this with the least hassles in permitting and transportation and/or the most gradual ascent and/or the most awesome scenery.

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

      • Don Amundson
        John I would suggest you look into flying from San Francisco to Mammoth. You ll have to go through LA but the fare may be cheaper than flying from SF to Reno
        Message 3 of 27 , Nov 4, 2012
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          John I would suggest you look into flying from San Francisco to Mammoth. You'll have to go through LA but the fare may be cheaper than flying from SF to Reno and you'll avoid a 6+ hour bus ride down 395 to Reno and the $53 bus fare (your price for being an old guy). I never have been able to understand why people doing the JMT fly into SFO from other parts of the country when its usually cheaper to fly into LAX on to Mammoth and catching the morning YARTS bus into Yosemite from there. At 7900ft  Mammoth is a great town to acclimate in overnight and if you're lucky John you might hook up with someone driving down to the Lone Pine area.  If you're not lucky then the Crest bus will get you there. 


          To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
          From: johnladd@...
          Date: Sat, 3 Nov 2012 18:45:30 -0700
          Subject: [John Muir Trail] Early planning stages NoBo in Sept 2013

           
          I'm at the very early planning stages of a NorthBound JMT starting in early- to mid-September of 2013.

          I'm planning on flying to Reno and taking the bus to someplace along 395, then hitchhiking to a trailhead (NOT Whitney Portal) preferably a bit Southeast of Whitney. Ending at Happy Isles.

          I.e, joining the JMT at Crabtree Meadows via something like New Army Pass or Cottonwood Pass and the PCT. I'm trying to see at least some of the area a bit south of Crabtree Meadows and to avoid the steep/crowded trail between Whitney Portal and Trail Crest. I've been to Mt Whitney and don't need to "bag" it this trip

          I'd love people's thoughts on how to do this with the least hassles in permitting and transportation and/or the most gradual ascent and/or the most awesome scenery.

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

        • Alex Cheng
          I much prefer New Army Pass instead of Cottonwood Pass.   Yes, the Cottonwood Pass is dusty and sandy.  New Army Pass is a well maintained trail.  You can
          Message 4 of 27 , Nov 4, 2012
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            I much prefer New Army Pass instead of Cottonwood Pass.  

            Yes, the Cottonwood Pass is dusty and sandy.  New Army Pass is a well maintained trail.  You can camp the first night at Soldier Lake, or the (nice) pond between Soldier Lake & Rock Creek, or at Rock Creek.  It's pretty much downhill from Soldier Lake to Rock Creek.  The second night can be spent at Crabtree Meadows.  This is a much nicer (and peaceful) route than going from WP to Crabtree Meadows.  And a day trip from Crabtree Meadows to Mt Whitney's summit can be accomplished without too much effort - provided that you get an early start.  


            From: Jgoring1 <jgoring1@...>
            To: "johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com" <johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Sunday, November 4, 2012 8:31 AM
            Subject: Re: [John Muir Trail] Early planning stages NoBo in Sept 2013

             
            Cottonwood is dusty, but it's a good first day on the trail hike, and chicken springs lake(good first night) is spectacular.  

            You could enter around mineral king/ sawtooth pass from the west side (train and hired car from SF) and have a more interesting hike up past kern hot springs, etc. 

            Sent from my iPhone

            On Nov 3, 2012, at 6:45 PM, John Ladd <johnladd@...> wrote:

             
            I'm at the very early planning stages of a NorthBound JMT starting in early- to mid-September of 2013.

            I'm planning on flying to Reno and taking the bus to someplace along 395, then hitchhiking to a trailhead (NOT Whitney Portal) preferably a bit Southeast of Whitney. Ending at Happy Isles.

            I.e, joining the JMT at Crabtree Meadows via something like New Army Pass or Cottonwood Pass and the PCT. I'm trying to see at least some of the area a bit south of Crabtree Meadows and to avoid the steep/crowded trail between Whitney Portal and Trail Crest. I've been to Mt Whitney and don't need to "bag" it this trip

            I'd love people's thoughts on how to do this with the least hassles in permitting and transportation and/or the most gradual ascent and/or the most awesome scenery.

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


          • robert shattuck
            John, I would suggest we drive you down there and I bring your car back to SF. Once you finish, you can just catch YARTS/AMTRAK back to SF, or you can have me
            Message 5 of 27 , Nov 4, 2012
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              John, 

              I would suggest we drive you down there and I bring your car back to SF. Once you finish, you can just catch YARTS/AMTRAK back to SF, or you can have me (or your wife/daughter) drive in and get you . . . just a thought. 

              Bob
              http://www.summitpost.org/plans/view_activity.php?post_id=6480




              To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
              From: amrowinc@...
              Date: Sun, 4 Nov 2012 22:00:27 -0800
              Subject: RE: [John Muir Trail] Early planning stages NoBo in Sept 2013

               

              John I would suggest you look into flying from San Francisco to Mammoth. You'll have to go through LA but the fare may be cheaper than flying from SF to Reno and you'll avoid a 6+ hour bus ride down 395 to Reno and the $53 bus fare (your price for being an old guy). I never have been able to understand why people doing the JMT fly into SFO from other parts of the country when its usually cheaper to fly into LAX on to Mammoth and catching the morning YARTS bus into Yosemite from there. At 7900ft  Mammoth is a great town to acclimate in overnight and if you're lucky John you might hook up with someone driving down to the Lone Pine area.  If you're not lucky then the Crest bus will get you there. 


              To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
              From: johnladd@...
              Date: Sat, 3 Nov 2012 18:45:30 -0700
              Subject: [John Muir Trail] Early planning stages NoBo in Sept 2013

               
              I'm at the very early planning stages of a NorthBound JMT starting in early- to mid-September of 2013.

              I'm planning on flying to Reno and taking the bus to someplace along 395, then hitchhiking to a trailhead (NOT Whitney Portal) preferably a bit Southeast of Whitney. Ending at Happy Isles.

              I.e, joining the JMT at Crabtree Meadows via something like New Army Pass or Cottonwood Pass and the PCT. I'm trying to see at least some of the area a bit south of Crabtree Meadows and to avoid the steep/crowded trail between Whitney Portal and Trail Crest. I've been to Mt Whitney and don't need to "bag" it this trip

              I'd love people's thoughts on how to do this with the least hassles in permitting and transportation and/or the most gradual ascent and/or the most awesome scenery.

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


            • Robert
              John, When you get some specific dates in mind, let me know, as I make frequent trips from the Reno/Sparks area down that way and I may save you some hassle on
              Message 6 of 27 , Nov 5, 2012
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                John, When you get some specific dates in mind, let me know, as I make frequent trips from the Reno/Sparks area down that way and I may save you some hassle on a ride. If you were going in Mid-August, I could synch up a hike and give you a lift down there as well. I am looking at that time-frame to start my JMT as well and it would be no hassles to drop you off at Lone Pine at the minimum, possibly Cottonwood, if time allowed and depending on where I end up starting this year. Another vote for New Army over Cottowood here!

                --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, John Ladd <johnladd@...> wrote:
                >
                > I'm at the very early planning stages of a NorthBound JMT starting in
                > early- to mid-September of 2013.
                >
                > I'm planning on flying to Reno and taking the bus to someplace along 395,
                > then hitchhiking to a trailhead (NOT Whitney Portal) preferably a bit
                > Southeast of Whitney. Ending at Happy Isles.
                >
                > I.e, joining the JMT at Crabtree Meadows via something like New Army Pass
                > or Cottonwood Pass and the PCT. I'm trying to see at least some of the area
                > a bit south of Crabtree Meadows and to avoid the steep/crowded trail
                > between Whitney Portal and Trail Crest. I've been to Mt Whitney and don't
                > need to "bag" it this trip
                >
                > I'd love people's thoughts on how to do this with the least hassles in
                > permitting and transportation and/or the most gradual ascent and/or the
                > most awesome scenery.
                >
                > John Curran Ladd
                > 1616 Castro Street
                > San Francisco, CA 94114-3707
                > 415-648-9279
                >
              • John Ladd
                Off-board. Thanks for the offer. We can talk about it over next summer. Might you have any interest in driving it to the LT parking lot near Happy Isles and
                Message 7 of 27 , Nov 5, 2012
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                  Off-board.

                  Thanks for the offer. We can talk about it over next summer. 

                  Might you have any interest in driving it to the LT parking lot near Happy Isles and then taking a hike for yourself out of one of the Valley THs?  That way I could just have it waiting for me?  Or we could even then drive home together if you did a loop that returned to the Valley at the same time, though maybe that's over-complicated.

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


                  On Sun, Nov 4, 2012 at 11:34 PM, robert shattuck <bobolonius@...> wrote:
                   

                  John, 

                  I would suggest we drive you down there and I bring your car back to SF. Once you finish, you can just catch YARTS/AMTRAK back to SF, or you can have me (or your wife/daughter) drive in and get you . . . just a thought. 

                  Bob
                  http://www.summitpost.org/plans/view_activity.php?post_id=6480




                  To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
                  From: amrowinc@...
                  Date: Sun, 4 Nov 2012 22:00:27 -0800
                  Subject: RE: [John Muir Trail] Early planning stages NoBo in Sept 2013


                   

                  John I would suggest you look into flying from San Francisco to Mammoth. You'll have to go through LA but the fare may be cheaper than flying from SF to Reno and you'll avoid a 6+ hour bus ride down 395 to Reno and the $53 bus fare (your price for being an old guy). I never have been able to understand why people doing the JMT fly into SFO from other parts of the country when its usually cheaper to fly into LAX on to Mammoth and catching the morning YARTS bus into Yosemite from there. At 7900ft  Mammoth is a great town to acclimate in overnight and if you're lucky John you might hook up with someone driving down to the Lone Pine area.  If you're not lucky then the Crest bus will get you there. 


                  To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
                  From: johnladd@...
                  Date: Sat, 3 Nov 2012 18:45:30 -0700
                  Subject: [John Muir Trail] Early planning stages NoBo in Sept 2013

                   
                  I'm at the very early planning stages of a NorthBound JMT starting in early- to mid-September of 2013.

                  I'm planning on flying to Reno and taking the bus to someplace along 395, then hitchhiking to a trailhead (NOT Whitney Portal) preferably a bit Southeast of Whitney. Ending at Happy Isles.

                  I.e, joining the JMT at Crabtree Meadows via something like New Army Pass or Cottonwood Pass and the PCT. I'm trying to see at least some of the area a bit south of Crabtree Meadows and to avoid the steep/crowded trail between Whitney Portal and Trail Crest. I've been to Mt Whitney and don't need to "bag" it this trip

                  I'd love people's thoughts on how to do this with the least hassles in permitting and transportation and/or the most gradual ascent and/or the most awesome scenery.

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



                • charliepolecat
                  That s what we need, a JMT@YG car. One could drive it to Happy Isles, then a hiker finishing the hike could drive it back to SF, then another hiker could
                  Message 8 of 27 , Nov 5, 2012
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                    That's what we need, a JMT@YG car. One could drive it to Happy Isles, then a hiker finishing the hike could drive it back to SF, then another hiker could drive it back to HI, and so on. This would solve a lot of problems, it just needs organizing. Anyone volunteering a car? :-)

                    --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, John Ladd <johnladd@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Off-board.
                    >
                    > Thanks for the offer. We can talk about it over next summer.
                    >
                    > Might you have any interest in driving it to the LT parking lot near Happy
                    > Isles and then taking a hike for yourself out of one of the Valley THs?
                    > That way I could just have it waiting for me? Or we could even then drive
                    > home together if you did a loop that returned to the Valley at the same
                    > time, though maybe that's over-complicated.
                    >
                  • Dave Pex
                    John, I did a similar itinerary this year. On August 11, flew into Mammoth Lakes, hitchhiked to Lone Pine (easy hitch), picked up my permit at the ranger
                    Message 9 of 27 , Nov 5, 2012
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                      John,

                      I did a similar itinerary this year. On August 11, flew into Mammoth Lakes, hitchhiked to Lone Pine (easy hitch), picked up my permit at the ranger station one mile south of town (made a reservation in early spring). The next day I hitched up to the Cottonwood TH and hiked over New Army, dropped to Soldier Lake, then cross-country to Sky Blue (on Mr. Dittli's recommendation). From Sky Blue I went over Crabtree Pass and dropped down to the lake above Crabtree Lakes. Tough climb from there up to Discovery Pinnacle, then over to Whitney and down to Wallace Creek (you could skip Whitney by just following the drainage down Crabtree Lakes and to Crabtree Meadows). The following day, I went over Shepherd's Pass and Junction Pass (Junction Pass was even more strenuous than the climb to Discover Pinnacle), then down into Center Basin (which is quite beautiful, one of the off-trail gems of the Sierras). From there, I followed the trail until Marie Lake (N of Selden Pass) where I went cross-country over to Sandpiper Lake, then down Bear Creek (and the Bear Creek Trail) and took the cut-off over to VVR. From VVR, I went over Goodale Pass and tied into the JMT to Red's, and then took the PCT to Thousand Island. Then JMT to HI. Finished August 24. A Great trip!

                      Dave Pex

                      --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "John" <johndittli@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Hi John
                      > Trail Pass is nice, the PCT n to Cottonwood is pretty classic far south
                      > Sierra forest walk. Cottonwood Pass is pretty easy from the east as
                      > well. New Army more strenuous for sure but great views and you get to
                      > see Golden Trout Lakes.
                      > Permit wise New Army will by far be the hardest obtain as GTL are a
                      > popular destination as is Mt Langley (14er). Trail I don't think is ever
                      > a problem and Cottonwood shouldn't be in September.
                      > I think if I were planning on hitching up the Horseshoe Mdws road in
                      > Sept, I would try and do it on a Fri/Sat.
                      > JDWalk the Sky: Following the John Muir Trailsee book here
                      > <http://www.johndittli.com>
                      > --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, John Ladd <johnladd@> wrote:
                      > >
                      > > I'm at the very early planning stages of a NorthBound JMT starting in
                      > > early- to mid-September of 2013.
                      > >
                      > > I'm planning on flying to Reno and taking the bus to someplace along
                      > 395,
                      > > then hitchhiking to a trailhead (NOT Whitney Portal) preferably a bit
                      > > Southeast of Whitney. Ending at Happy Isles.
                      > >
                      > > I.e, joining the JMT at Crabtree Meadows via something like New Army
                      > Pass
                      > > or Cottonwood Pass and the PCT. I'm trying to see at least some of the
                      > area
                      > > a bit south of Crabtree Meadows and to avoid the steep/crowded trail
                      > > between Whitney Portal and Trail Crest. I've been to Mt Whitney and
                      > don't
                      > > need to "bag" it this trip
                      > >
                      > > I'd love people's thoughts on how to do this with the least hassles in
                      > > permitting and transportation and/or the most gradual ascent and/or
                      > the
                      > > most awesome scenery.
                      > >
                      > > John Curran Ladd
                      > > 1616 Castro Street
                      > > San Francisco, CA 94114-3707
                      > > 415-648-9279
                      > >
                      >
                    • John
                      -Hey Dave, good to hear your trip went well. Discovery and Junction are pretty good pulls aren t they? Much better skiing, down! Sounds like you had a great
                      Message 10 of 27 , Nov 5, 2012
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                        -Hey Dave, good to hear your trip went well. Discovery and Junction are pretty good pulls aren't they? Much better skiing, down! Sounds like you had a great trip.

                        JD
                        Walk the Sky: Following the John Muir Trail
                      • dh5169
                        John, Another option is an early morning flight from SFO to LAS ($120). A one-way rental (Avis only) to Ridgecrest ($75 - 4 hours drive) The 3:35 pm bus out of
                        Message 11 of 27 , Nov 5, 2012
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                          John,
                          Another option is an early morning flight from SFO to LAS ($120).
                          A one-way rental (Avis only) to Ridgecrest ($75 - 4 hours drive)
                          The 3:35 pm bus out of Ridgecrest (Inyokern Airport) $18 - the guys at the rental would probably run you out to the airport) to whereever you want to go as far up as Mammoth.
                          Doug

                          --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, Don Amundson <amrowinc@...> wrote:
                          >
                          >
                          > John I would suggest you look into flying from San Francisco to Mammoth. You'll have to go through LA but the fare may be cheaper than flying from SF to Reno and you'll avoid a 6+ hour bus ride down 395 to Reno and the $53 bus fare (your price for being an old guy). I never have been able to understand why people doing the JMT fly into SFO from other parts of the country when its usually cheaper to fly into LAX on to Mammoth and catching the morning YARTS bus into Yosemite from there. At 7900ft Mammoth is a great town to acclimate in overnight and if you're lucky John you might hook up with someone driving down to the Lone Pine area. If you're not lucky then the Crest bus will get you there.
                          >
                          > To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
                          > From: johnladd@...
                          > Date: Sat, 3 Nov 2012 18:45:30 -0700
                          > Subject: [John Muir Trail] Early planning stages NoBo in Sept 2013
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                          > I'm at the very early planning stages of a NorthBound JMT starting in early- to mid-September of 2013.
                          > I'm planning on flying to Reno and taking the bus to someplace along 395, then hitchhiking to a trailhead (NOT Whitney Portal) preferably a bit Southeast of Whitney. Ending at Happy Isles.
                          >
                          >
                          > I.e, joining the JMT at Crabtree Meadows via something like New Army Pass or Cottonwood Pass and the PCT. I'm trying to see at least some of the area a bit south of Crabtree Meadows and to avoid the steep/crowded trail between Whitney Portal and Trail Crest. I've been to Mt Whitney and don't need to "bag" it this trip
                          >
                          >
                          > I'd love people's thoughts on how to do this with the least hassles in permitting and transportation and/or the most gradual ascent and/or the most awesome scenery.
                          > John Curran Ladd
                          >
                          >
                          > 1616 Castro Street
                          > San Francisco, CA 94114-3707
                          > 415-648-9279
                          >
                        • Robert
                          I know it s early in the game, but I will be doing the JMT NOBO next summer sometime early to mid-August. If anyone is planning a SOBO JMT trip around the same
                          Message 12 of 27 , Nov 5, 2012
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                            I know it's early in the game, but I will be doing the JMT NOBO next summer sometime early to mid-August. If anyone is planning a SOBO JMT trip around the same time, we could arrange a vehicle swap so each of us could have our respective cars at each end. It would take some coordination as to where to meet up, and where to specifically to park at each end, but would be a great solution to figuring out transportation logistics.

                            --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "charliepolecat" <kennethjessett@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > That's what we need, a JMT@YG car. One could drive it to Happy Isles, then a hiker finishing the hike could drive it back to SF, then another hiker could drive it back to HI, and so on. This would solve a lot of problems, it just needs organizing. Anyone volunteering a car? :-)
                            >
                            > --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, John Ladd <johnladd@> wrote:
                            > >
                            > > Off-board.
                            > >
                            > > Thanks for the offer. We can talk about it over next summer.
                            > >
                            > > Might you have any interest in driving it to the LT parking lot near Happy
                            > > Isles and then taking a hike for yourself out of one of the Valley THs?
                            > > That way I could just have it waiting for me? Or we could even then drive
                            > > home together if you did a loop that returned to the Valley at the same
                            > > time, though maybe that's over-complicated.
                            > >
                            >
                          • John Ladd
                            ... I ve given this kind of idea a lot of thought in the past and think the best way to do it is - as Robert suggests above - but making the arrangements a bit
                            Message 13 of 27 , Nov 5, 2012
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                              On Mon, Nov 5, 2012 at 7:31 PM, Robert <rnperky@...> wrote:
                              I know it's early in the game, but I will be doing the JMT NOBO next summer sometime early to mid-August. If anyone is planning a SOBO JMT trip around the same time, we could arrange a vehicle swap so each of us could have our respective cars at each end. It would take some coordination as to where to meet up, and where to specifically to park at each end, but would be a great solution to figuring out transportation logistics.

                              I've given this kind of idea a lot of thought in the past and think the best way to do it is - as Robert suggests above - but making the arrangements a bit more explicit

                              1) NoBo and SoBo hikers meet somewhere in the middle (like Crane Flat or Tuolumne Meadows) and swap cars. Each driver keeps his car keys and gives duplicate keys to the other driver.

                              2) NoBo hiker takes the SoBo hiker's car to Whitney Portal or Lone Pine

                              3) SoBo hiker takes NoBO hikers to the LT parking lot near Happy Isles.

                              4) Each hiker could mail to the other a letter (General Delivery at the exit TH) with details of exactly where the car ended up or just leave a voice mail message for the other with the exact location.

                              5) They each have both sets of keys so that if they fail to meet on the hike, they are both OK

                              Obviously, both have to start their hikes at about the same time, but they can end at different times.  So one hiker can be on a 12-miles a day pace and the other could be on a 8- or 20-mile pace.  They only need to co-ordinate at the start of the trip, not at the end.

                              Seems like this wouldn't be a bad thing for any NoBo hiker to propose on this board, since there will usually be multiple SoBo people with similar starting dates. Robert - hope somebody SoBo in August takes you up on this proposal

                              John
                            • charliepolecat
                              John L, Why September? Can you give some insights on why you think this is a good month to do the trail? Ken
                              Message 14 of 27 , Nov 10, 2012
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                                John L,

                                Why September? Can you give some insights on why you think this is a good month to do the trail?

                                Ken
                              • John Ladd
                                On Sat, Nov 10, 2012 at 7:05 AM, charliepolecat
                                Message 15 of 27 , Nov 10, 2012
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                                  On Sat, Nov 10, 2012 at 7:05 AM, charliepolecat <kennethjessett@...> wrote:
                                  John L,

                                  Why September? Can you give some insights on why you think this is a good month to do the trail?

                                  Ken

                                  I like the cooler weather.  Us San Franciscans are heat wimps. 

                                  You can get some fall colors in the Aspens. 

                                  Inline image 1

                                  Link to picture if you can't see it


                                  Still enough people to have the occasional good talk, but less feeling of crowds. 

                                  Easy to get over streams to some of the interesting sidetrips (e.g., Warm Lake near MTR)

                                  But mostly, I'm a heat wimp.

                                  John
                                   
                                • charliepolecat
                                  Not only San Franciscans. I don t know anyone who wouldn t wish for San Francisco weather year round. But you get used to the heat, but that doesn t mean you
                                  Message 16 of 27 , Nov 10, 2012
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                                    Not only San Franciscans. I don't know anyone who wouldn't wish for San Francisco weather year round.

                                    But you get used to the heat, but that doesn't mean you like it or want it.

                                    I'm tossing up with JMT and the Camino for May or September. Both periods would be nice for either place. Some planning still to do.
                                    I'd like to do both in the year.


                                    --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, John Ladd <johnladd@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > On Sat, Nov 10, 2012 at 7:05 AM, charliepolecat <
                                    > kennethjessett@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > > **
                                    > > John L,
                                    > >
                                    > > Why September? Can you give some insights on why you think this is a good
                                    > > month to do the trail?
                                    > >
                                    > > Ken
                                    > >
                                    > I like the cooler weather. Us San Franciscans are heat wimps.
                                    >
                                    > You can get some fall colors in the Aspens.
                                    >
                                    > [image: Inline image 1]
                                    >
                                    > Link to picture if you can't see it
                                    >
                                    > http://www.oceanlight.com/spotlight.php?img=17498
                                    >
                                    > Still enough people to have the occasional good talk, but less feeling of
                                    > crowds.
                                    >
                                    > Easy to get over streams to some of the interesting sidetrips (e.g., Warm
                                    > Lake near MTR)
                                    >
                                    > But mostly, I'm a heat wimp.
                                    >
                                    > John
                                    >
                                  • alanjrich007
                                    The Camino de Santiago is do-able in May... on the other hand I can t imagine doing the JMT in May unless you really like to posthole and camp in snow! So I d
                                    Message 17 of 27 , Nov 10, 2012
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                                      The Camino de Santiago is do-able in May... on the other hand I can't
                                      imagine doing the JMT in May unless you really like to posthole and camp
                                      in snow! So I'd do the JMT in September...


                                      --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "charliepolecat"
                                      <kennethjessett@...> wrote:
                                      >
                                      > Not only San Franciscans. I don't know anyone who wouldn't wish for
                                      San Francisco weather year round.
                                      >
                                      > But you get used to the heat, but that doesn't mean you like it or
                                      want it.
                                      >
                                      > I'm tossing up with JMT and the Camino for May or September. Both
                                      periods would be nice for either place. Some planning still to do.
                                      > I'd like to do both in the year.
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, John Ladd johnladd@ wrote:
                                      > >
                                      > > On Sat, Nov 10, 2012 at 7:05 AM, charliepolecat <
                                      > > kennethjessett@ wrote:
                                      > >
                                      > > > **
                                      > > > John L,
                                      > > >
                                      > > > Why September? Can you give some insights on why you think this is
                                      a good
                                      > > > month to do the trail?
                                      > > >
                                      > > > Ken
                                      > > >
                                      > > I like the cooler weather. Us San Franciscans are heat wimps.
                                      > >
                                      > > You can get some fall colors in the Aspens.
                                      > >
                                      > > [image: Inline image 1]
                                      > >
                                      > > Link to picture if you can't see it
                                      > >
                                      > > http://www.oceanlight.com/spotlight.php?img=17498
                                      > >
                                      > > Still enough people to have the occasional good talk, but less
                                      feeling of
                                      > > crowds.
                                      > >
                                      > > Easy to get over streams to some of the interesting sidetrips (e.g.,
                                      Warm
                                      > > Lake near MTR)
                                      > >
                                      > > But mostly, I'm a heat wimp.
                                      > >
                                      > > John
                                      > >
                                      >
                                    • John Ladd
                                      ... Even if you are comfortable travelling over consolidated spring snow, resupply would be hard on the JMT in May. Many of the standard resupply options will
                                      Message 18 of 27 , Nov 10, 2012
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                                        On Sat, Nov 10, 2012 at 7:42 PM, alanjrich007 <ajralias-ygroups@...> wrote:

                                        I can't imagine doing the JMT in May

                                        Even if you are comfortable travelling over consolidated spring snow, resupply would be hard on the JMT in May. Many of the standard resupply options will still be closed.  Vermillion for example, was just opening up when I was there May 21-25 of this year and this was a low-snowpack year. On the other hand, it was nice being on the JMT for multiple days and not seeing anyone else.  (I didn't try going over any of the passes - I was just fooling around in the Mono Creek drainage and doing some light trail maintenance and didn't try to go over any passes.)

                                        It can be done, just needs some extra prep and skills.  Take one of Ned Tibbits's classes and he'll teach you how.

                                        But September certainly wold be easier than May.

                                        John
                                      • charliepolecat
                                        Thanks, I remember pictures Ewa sent about the snow cups. Not the nicest things to have to navigate over.
                                        Message 19 of 27 , Nov 11, 2012
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                                          Thanks, I remember pictures Ewa sent about the snow cups. Not the nicest things to have to navigate over.

                                          --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "alanjrich007" <ajralias-ygroups@...> wrote:
                                          >
                                          > The Camino de Santiago is do-able in May... on the other hand I can't
                                          > imagine doing the JMT in May unless you really like to posthole and camp
                                          > in snow! So I'd do the JMT in September...
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "charliepolecat"
                                          > <kennethjessett@> wrote:
                                          > >
                                          > > Not only San Franciscans. I don't know anyone who wouldn't wish for
                                          > San Francisco weather year round.
                                          > >
                                          > > But you get used to the heat, but that doesn't mean you like it or
                                          > want it.
                                          > >
                                          > > I'm tossing up with JMT and the Camino for May or September. Both
                                          > periods would be nice for either place. Some planning still to do.
                                          > > I'd like to do both in the year.
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > > --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, John Ladd johnladd@ wrote:
                                          > > >
                                          > > > On Sat, Nov 10, 2012 at 7:05 AM, charliepolecat <
                                          > > > kennethjessett@ wrote:
                                          > > >
                                          > > > > **
                                          > > > > John L,
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > Why September? Can you give some insights on why you think this is
                                          > a good
                                          > > > > month to do the trail?
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > Ken
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > I like the cooler weather. Us San Franciscans are heat wimps.
                                          > > >
                                          > > > You can get some fall colors in the Aspens.
                                          > > >
                                          > > > [image: Inline image 1]
                                          > > >
                                          > > > Link to picture if you can't see it
                                          > > >
                                          > > > http://www.oceanlight.com/spotlight.php?img=17498
                                          > > >
                                          > > > Still enough people to have the occasional good talk, but less
                                          > feeling of
                                          > > > crowds.
                                          > > >
                                          > > > Easy to get over streams to some of the interesting sidetrips (e.g.,
                                          > Warm
                                          > > > Lake near MTR)
                                          > > >
                                          > > > But mostly, I'm a heat wimp.
                                          > > >
                                          > > > John
                                          > > >
                                          > >
                                          >
                                        • scriv.ener
                                          And in September you get to miss the skeeters. ... ...
                                          Message 20 of 27 , Nov 11, 2012
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                                            And in September you get to miss the skeeters.

                                            --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, John Ladd <johnladd@...> wrote:
                                            >
                                            > On Sat, Nov 10, 2012 at 7:05 AM, charliepolecat <
                                            > kennethjessett@...> wrote:
                                            >
                                            > > **
                                            > > John L,
                                            > >
                                            > > Why September? Can you give some insights on why you
                                            > > think this is a good month to do the trail?
                                            > >
                                            > > Ken
                                            > >
                                            > I like the cooler weather. Us San Franciscans are heat wimps.
                                            >
                                            ...
                                          • Ned Tibbits
                                            Ah, you guys are killing me with talk about what we love to do and teach! Thanks, John, for the bait... “Early-season” (pre-dry-trail) JMT “hiking”
                                            Message 21 of 27 , Nov 11, 2012
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                                              Ah, you guys are killing me with talk about what we love to do and teach!
                                              Thanks, John, for the bait...
                                               
                                              “Early-season” (pre-dry-trail) JMT “hiking” (because it incorporates walking on snow, too) is not only free of “skeeters,” but safe (if savvy) and tremendously rewarding! Sure, suncups are something to dance around, and often you’ll find yourself bitching your way through them, but their formation is fascinating and they make good camera-candy. High creek crossings can be a challenge if you find yourself there after the thaw starts, but the trick is to travel the trail before it does! Don’t like four-legged camp-robbers? Get up in the high country during the “early season” and enjoy all its benefits...like no bears, bugs, dirt, or trails (new thought, uh?)
                                               
                                              Hum...May on the PCT/JMT...is this considered “early season?” By many who follow trails they do! Early Explorers, Mountain-men, and Guides who plied their wilderness savvy so long ago (I’m thinking of Kit Carson, among many) didn’t have signed thoroughfares to follow through the mountains and, yet, they knew where they were going. Travelling these high trails year ‘round is not a current idea. The historians among us can easily note several well-known figures who have done just that. People, today, walk and ski the route, but with much caution and training, to say the least. Is it more dangerous? Of course. Can those dangers be minimized or totally avoided? Of course.
                                               
                                              It just takes Knowledge, Training, and Experience, each of which can not be eliminated from the equation to build the kind of “mountain-savvy” I’m talking about. Facing the possibility of danger crossing a snow slope or raging creek is not unlike dealing with conflict. First, you’ve got to be aware of and identify its presence. Is this slope avalanche-stable? When was the last snowfall and how thick or heavy was it? What are the layers of snow and ice like in the snowpack beneath me and how well stuck together are they? What is the likelihood the slope can fracture and slide? Are there dangerous aspects to crossing this creek where the summer trail does or should I look elsewhere for a safer, less risky crossing? What are the risks presented to me at this crossing and how can I minimize them? Can the whole thing (slope and creek) be avoided? (Think of the acronym, “STOP,” in these circumstances: Stop, Think, Observe, Plan).
                                               
                                              Second, use Knowledge and Training to minimize risk. First, Knowledge: “My Avy-1 instructor taught us about slope stability evaluation techniques. Should I dig a snow pit to check it out before proceeding or do I just blow it off in my hurry or enthusiasm and take my chances?” “I have heard that raging creeks are typically lower water volume during the morning hours, so should I just make camp early and wait or plow on through to make the miles I want?” Now, Training: “When I used my ice axe in my uphill hand while making a steep snow traverse in training, I found that it worked better to initiate a Self-Arrest. I should do that now....” “I found that crossing boulder-strewn swiftwater creeks was safer in durable, predictable footwear rather than without. Maybe I should just keep my boots on and change socks on the other side....” “Wait a minute, everybody. Stop! This slope looks too shiny ahead. Could that be ice? We should put on our traction devices just to be safe.” And this brings up the final aspect to the Safety Equation,
                                               
                                              Wisdom.  It has been said that Experience is the product of Knowledge and Training (Practice). Well, in our book, Wisdom is the culmination of them all and the prize desired through Experience. To place yourself in harm’s way, no matter the environment, without the above three, is simply to invite trouble where Wisdom will only be gained after unnecessary self-inflicted harm.
                                               
                                              Mountain Education typically teaches our Advanced Snow Skill Courses along the PCT/JMT from Cottonwood to Tioga every year during the months of May and June when there can be 6 to 10 feet of snow covering the summer trail. Ask our students, “Is it dangerous?” “Certainly can be, but we learn to Identify and Avoid, maximizing learning and fun!” would be their answer. If you want this type of mountain experience, so far different from any summer trip, we encourage you to get some training. Many retail outlets, community colleges, private schools, and Universities offer “Outdoor Education” in one form or another. Call and sign up for a course. It will bring you the wisdom, security, and confidence you desire.
                                               
                                              Among us are many very snow-savvy mountain-men and women who traverse their way for sport and profession every year amongst the high granite and snow-covered spires that populate the High Sierra and have a blast, but put their Wisdom ahead of their Pleasure while so doing in order to keep enjoying its blessings for years to come. Mr. Dittli is one of the grand masters and I’m sure he can add a lot to this discussion about “early season” JMT travel.
                                               
                                              So, in sum, early season sierra “hiking” is not without hazards, but they can all very easily be avoided or at least minimized with Knowledge, Training, and Experience. Get some and go have some worry-free fun out there!
                                               
                                               
                                              Ned Tibbits, Director
                                              Mountain Education
                                              www.mountaineducation.org
                                               
                                              Sent: Sunday, November 11, 2012 8:35 AM
                                              Subject: [John Muir Trail] Re: Early planning stages NoBo in Sept 2013
                                               
                                               

                                              And in September you get to miss the skeeters.

                                              --- In mailto:johnmuirtrail%40yahoogroups.com, John Ladd <johnladd@...> wrote:

                                              >
                                              > On Sat, Nov 10, 2012 at
                                              7:05 AM, charliepolecat <
                                              > kennethjessett@...> wrote:
                                              >
                                              > > **
                                              > > John L,
                                              > >
                                              > > Why September?
                                              Can you give some insights on why you
                                              > > think this is a good month to
                                              do the trail?
                                              > >
                                              > > Ken
                                              > >
                                              > I like the
                                              cooler weather. Us San Franciscans are heat wimps.
                                              >
                                              ...

                                            • charliepolecat
                                              Ned, it s all about time management. So few of us have the luxury of spending the months crossing the Sierras that the early travelers did. We have to crush
                                              Message 22 of 27 , Nov 11, 2012
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                                                Ned, it's all about time management. So few of us have the luxury of spending the months crossing the Sierras that the early travelers did.

                                                We have to crush our adventurous escapades into the weeks we have, so sometimes, some take the risks you so properly warn against.

                                                Not me, though, I value my life and its pleasures. I'm happy to follow the trail that others have blazed.
                                              • Ned Tibbits
                                                You’re absolutely right, Charlie! Ned Tibbits, Director Mountain Education www.mountaineducation.org From: charliepolecat Sent: Sunday, November 11, 2012
                                                Message 23 of 27 , Nov 11, 2012
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                                                  You’re absolutely right, Charlie!
                                                   
                                                   
                                                  Ned Tibbits, Director
                                                  Mountain Education
                                                  www.mountaineducation.org
                                                   
                                                  Sent: Sunday, November 11, 2012 2:08 PM
                                                  Subject: [John Muir Trail] Re: Early planning stages NoBo in Sept 2013
                                                   
                                                   

                                                  Ned, it's all about time management. So few of us have the luxury of spending the months crossing the Sierras that the early travelers did.

                                                  We have to crush our adventurous escapades into the weeks we have, so sometimes, some take the risks you so properly warn against.

                                                  Not me, though, I value my life and its pleasures. I'm happy to follow the trail that others have blazed.

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