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Re: JMT SB repeat, 2013, Alternate starting TH

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  • rnagarajan
    A number of things about the process seem odd including the lack of an online option to submit a request rather than a fax. But what seems most interesting to
    Message 1 of 28 , Nov 28, 2012
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      A number of things about the process seem odd including the lack of an online option to submit a request rather than a fax. But what seems most interesting to me is the way the authorities manage impact on the backcountry when there are no restrictions beyond where you must camp the first night. For example, a quota space for Happy Isles->Little Yosemite can be taken by someone doing a JMT thru hike spending the better part of the month in the wilderness or by someone setting up base camp at Little Yosemite for a couple of days and then returning to Happy Isles. My assumption is that quota levels are set based on the number of nights and locations travelers are expected to be in the backcountry based on some statistical analysis of past usage but maybe there are better ways. On the other hand, it would be really bad for trip planning and spontaneity if they adopted something like Smoky Mountain's reservation system which I've been looking at for a springtime training hike.


      --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "charliepolecat" <kennethjessett@...> wrote:
      >
      > Whoever employs them, they seem as confused about the 'rules' as the rest of us. It seems the whole process of getting a permit is something of a crap shoot. It shouldn't have to be this way.
      >
    • Roleigh Martin
      Because I was the one that uploaded three new permit TH entry options for doing the JMT to the file library I have heard feedback from many who have taken
      Message 2 of 28 , Nov 28, 2012
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        Because I was the one that uploaded three new permit TH entry options for doing the JMT to the file library I have heard feedback from many who have taken advantage of the options.  Most of them state that they have to call in a permit request to get the permit as often they are denied up-front (but not because the TH quotas were filled, probably because of some bias).  But I advise people when they call to start the conversation out such as follows "Hello, my name is ..., whom do I have the pleasure of speaking with?  (write down their name) then state "I understand per the web page http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/jmt.htm that quote "there is no special JMT Permit" unquote and that quote "you only need one wilderness permit for the entire trip" unquote.  Is the TH quota filled for my backup #2 or #3 option -- I see that the TH quotas are rarely filled for that hike?  If they say no, then ask for the slot.  Be nice and friendly.  I find this approach works nearly all the time.  Do not be surprised if they ask "are you a member of that Yahoo Group about the JMT?"  or something like that.  You see, only about 20 percent of the people you see on the JMT group are members of this Yahoo Group.  So obviously most people apply for the hike not using these as backup options.

        One way to plan is to put in the normal top 3 preference options and if denied, to call back up and seek these alternative backup options.  HI to Sunrise Passthrough, HI to LYV, and Glacier Point to LYV are probably the three most sought permit options.  The others are lesser used.

        Interestingly, the backcountry rangers are typically much more appreciative of such novel permit seeking options, at least that has been my experience.

        -------------------------------------------------
        Visit my Google Profile (lots of very interesting research links)
        _




        On Tue, Nov 27, 2012 at 9:34 PM, Roleigh Martin <roleigh@...> wrote:
        The next time anyone hears a lecture from a ranger such as the one below, just inform them that you read the government's official position on getting a JMT wilderness permit which is stated here:


        "Wilderness Permits

        John Muir Trail
        If you plan to hike the John Muir Trail as a continuous hike, you only need one wilderness permit for the entire trip (you do not need a "Whitney stamp"). Most people begin the hike at Happy Isles (its traditional start in Yosemite Valley), however many people begin at Lyell Canyon (Tuolumne Meadows) because permits for this trailhead are slightly easier to obtain. There is no special JMT permit."


        -------------------------------------------------
        Visit my Google Profile (lots of very interesting research links)
        _





        On Tue, Nov 27, 2012 at 7:18 PM, John <jmaddog1082@...> wrote:
         

        My permit experience was similar to Adam's in that I was granted the HI to Illilouette permit (3rd choice) for my solo trip after being denied my HI-Pass Thru and HI-LYV (#1 and #2 choice respectively).  However at the Valley permit office on the first day of my trip, I got a lecture from the permit ranger on how the HI to Illilouette permit was, in substance, an unethical loophole to fatten the HI starting point quota for JMT'ers.  


        After I explained to her that choosing the HI to Illilouette option for my 3rd choice on my application was at the suggestion of one of her NPS colleagues over the phone back in Feb 2012, she powered down and very professionally granted me an upgrade...

        A same day, solo walk-up permit for HI to LYV (at noon in late July nonetheless!)  All's well that ends well...right?

        Another JMT'er in the office at the same time had a solo GP entry permit.  We met again at Sunrise on night #2 and he said he enjoyed the GP option very much - downhill and it allowed him to bivy with a great vista overlooking the valley on night #1.

        John

          
        On Nov 27, 2012, at 9:41 AM, rnagarajan wrote:

         

        Since I can specify three choices on the application, my plan is to request the Happy Isles -> Sunrise/Merced Pass through as my #1 choice followed by Happy Isles -> Little Yosemite Valley. But I'm undecided on whether my third choice should be Happy Isles -> Illilouette or Glacier Point -> Little Yosemite Valley.

        I want to hike every step of the JMT so the advantage of Happy Isles -> Illilouette is that I'll be able to do so without a separate day hike. The downside is that if I want to make it to Cathedral Lakes for night #2 the hike from the first legal camping for Night #1 on the Illilouette trail to Cathedral Lakes could be on the long side.

        If I opt for Glacier Point -> Little Yosemite Valley, I would end up doing a day trip to/from Nevada Fall the day prior to my permit date in order to hike the full trail. I'll be camping at Upper Pines in Yosemite Valley for at least two nights prior to the trip so the day hike is not a big issue if I have to do it.

        Does anyone know if the Glacier Point -> Little Yosemite Valley *requires* hikers to stay at Little Yosemite Valley for the first night or can you pass through toward Sunrise? I know that the Happy Isles -> Little Yosemite Valley permit requires a stay at Little Yosemite Valley so I'm guessing that the Glacier Point permit has the same requirement.

        --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, Roleigh Martin <roleigh@...> wrote:
        >
        > The Illilouette Permit means you have to camp there (off the JMT) the first
        > night. You continue onto the JMT the next day.
        >
        > This year I did use the Mono Meadow TH option and it was quite nice. You
        > take a bus from the valley (I think it was 8:30) and you get dropped off
        > near the Mono Meadow TH around 9:30 (you have to inform the bus driver and
        > ticket office you want just a one-way ticket and to be dropped off there).
        > We did not start hiking until about 10:30 (a couple drove up to meet us
        > and they were late but only a tiny bit). We had a short easy first day but
        > it was nice. You immediately felt in the back-country. We had to camp
        > before hitting the JMT that first day (about 1-2 miles short of the JMT),
        > (we dry camped), a ranger showed us where the last "legal" place to dry
        > camp was that was closest to the JMT when we got our permit.
        >
        > The day before we started our JMT we did a day hike up to Nevada Falls and
        > back, so we did get the entire JMT in our hike, but the portion up to
        > Nevada Falls was by day hiking.
        > -------------------------------------------------
        > Visit my Google Profile (lots of very interesting research
        > links)<https://profiles.google.com/104440166440169700478/about>
        > _
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > On Tue, Nov 27, 2012 at 11:01 AM, vege_matic <eatonn@...>wrote:
        >
        > > **
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "vege_matic" <eatonn@> wrote:
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > After a grand time on my first JMT thru-hike across miles of snowfields
        > > and through flower-filled valleys in 2011, I've decided to return next
        > > summer. This time my husband will join me until Red's Meadow.
        > > >
        > > > It's not too early to start obsessing about plans, right?
        > > > -vegematic
        > > >
        > >
        > > I'm looking into alternate starting points for next summer's hike, in
        > > order to increase my odds of getting a permit. I've looked at Roleigh's TH
        > > Options document and have some additional questions...
        > >
        > > The Glacier Point-LYV option looks interesting, but seems to have a rather
        > > low reservation quota (6). Is it really easier to get a permit through this
        > > TH?
        > >
        > > Can the GP-Illilouette or HI-Illilouette permit be used for a JMT start?
        > > Or do these permits mandate some other take-out point?
        > > -Nancy (vegematic)
        > >
        > >
        > >
        >




      • charliepolecat
        After failing about 6 times to obtain a permit via fax - 6 different days trips to the local fax sending shop - I called and spoke to a very nice female who
        Message 3 of 28 , Nov 28, 2012
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          After failing about 6 times to obtain a permit via fax - 6 different days trips to the local fax sending shop - I called and spoke to a very nice female who suggested GP which I took. Next time, I'll just call. However, the same very nice female told me on the phone I did NOT have to stop at LYV, but was told otherwise when I collected the permit.
        • gkahn21
          You seem to have spoken with the reservation staff and the rangers quite a bit, have you ever asked them or talked about if using alternative trailheads for
          Message 4 of 28 , Nov 29, 2012
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            You seem to have spoken with the reservation staff and the rangers quite a bit, have you ever asked them or talked about if using 'alternative' trailheads for the JMT was ethical?

            --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, Roleigh Martin <roleigh@...> wrote:
            >
            > Because I was the one that uploaded three new permit TH entry options for
            > doing the JMT to the file library I have heard feedback from many who have
            > taken advantage of the options. Most of them state that they have to call
            > in a permit request to get the permit as often they are denied up-front
            > (but not because the TH quotas were filled, probably because of some bias).
            > But I advise people when they call to start the conversation out such as
            > follows "Hello, my name is ..., whom do I have the pleasure of speaking
            > with? (write down their name) then state "I understand per the web page
            > http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/jmt.htm that quote "there is no
            > special JMT Permit" unquote and that quote "you only need one wilderness
            > permit for the entire trip" unquote. Is the TH quota filled for my backup
            > #2 or #3 option -- I see that the TH quotas are rarely filled for that
            > hike? If they say no, then ask for the slot. Be nice and friendly. I
            > find this approach works nearly all the time. Do not be surprised if they
            > ask "are you a member of that Yahoo Group about the JMT?" or something
            > like that. You see, only about 20 percent of the people you see on the JMT
            > group are members of this Yahoo Group. So obviously most people apply for
            > the hike not using these as backup options.
            >
            > One way to plan is to put in the normal top 3 preference options and if
            > denied, to call back up and seek these alternative backup options. HI to
            > Sunrise Passthrough, HI to LYV, and Glacier Point to LYV are probably the
            > three most sought permit options. The others are lesser used.
            >
            > Interestingly, the backcountry rangers are typically much more appreciative
            > of such novel permit seeking options, at least that has been my experience.
            >
            > -------------------------------------------------
            > Visit my Google Profile (lots of very interesting research
            > links)<https://profiles.google.com/104440166440169700478/about>
            > _
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > On Tue, Nov 27, 2012 at 9:34 PM, Roleigh Martin <roleigh@...> wrote:
            >
            > > The next time anyone hears a lecture from a ranger such as the one below,
            > > just inform them that you read the government's official position on
            > > getting a JMT wilderness permit which is stated here:
            > >
            > > http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/jmt.htm
            > >
            > > "*Wilderness Permits*
            > >
            > > *John Muir Trail*
            > > If you plan to hike the John Muir Trail as a continuous hike, you only
            > > need one wilderness permit<http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/wildpermits.htm> for
            > > the entire trip (you do not need a "Whitney stamp"). Most people begin the
            > > hike at Happy Isles (its traditional start in Yosemite Valley), however
            > > many people begin at Lyell Canyon (Tuolumne Meadows) because permits for
            > > this trailhead are slightly easier to obtain. There is no special JMT
            > > permit."
            > >
            > >
            > > -------------------------------------------------
            > > Visit my Google Profile (lots of very interesting research links)<https://profiles.google.com/104440166440169700478/about>
            > > _
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > On Tue, Nov 27, 2012 at 7:18 PM, John <jmaddog1082@...> wrote:
            > >
            > >> **
            > >>
            > >>
            > >> My permit experience was similar to Adam's in that I was granted the HI
            > >> to Illilouette permit (3rd choice) for my solo trip after being denied my
            > >> HI-Pass Thru and HI-LYV (#1 and #2 choice respectively). However at the
            > >> Valley permit office on the first day of my trip, I got a lecture from the
            > >> permit ranger on how the HI to Illilouette permit was, in substance, an
            > >> unethical loophole to fatten the HI starting point quota for JMT'ers.
            > >>
            > >> After I explained to her that choosing the HI to Illilouette option for
            > >> my 3rd choice on my application *was at the suggestion of one of her NPS
            > >> colleagues* over the phone back in Feb 2012, she powered down and very
            > >> professionally granted me an upgrade...
            > >>
            > >> A *same day*, solo walk-up permit for HI to LYV (at noon in late July
            > >> nonetheless!) All's well that ends well...right?
            > >>
            > >> Another JMT'er in the office at the same time had a solo GP entry permit.
            > >> We met again at Sunrise on night #2 and he said he enjoyed the GP option
            > >> very much - downhill and it allowed him to bivy with a great vista
            > >> overlooking the valley on night #1.
            > >>
            > >> John
            > >>
            > >>
            > >> On Nov 27, 2012, at 9:41 AM, rnagarajan wrote:
            > >>
            > >>
            > >>
            > >> Since I can specify three choices on the application, my plan is to
            > >> request the Happy Isles -> Sunrise/Merced Pass through as my #1 choice
            > >> followed by Happy Isles -> Little Yosemite Valley. But I'm undecided on
            > >> whether my third choice should be Happy Isles -> Illilouette or Glacier
            > >> Point -> Little Yosemite Valley.
            > >>
            > >> I want to hike every step of the JMT so the advantage of Happy Isles ->
            > >> Illilouette is that I'll be able to do so without a separate day hike. The
            > >> downside is that if I want to make it to Cathedral Lakes for night #2 the
            > >> hike from the first legal camping for Night #1 on the Illilouette trail to
            > >> Cathedral Lakes could be on the long side.
            > >>
            > >> If I opt for Glacier Point -> Little Yosemite Valley, I would end up
            > >> doing a day trip to/from Nevada Fall the day prior to my permit date in
            > >> order to hike the full trail. I'll be camping at Upper Pines in Yosemite
            > >> Valley for at least two nights prior to the trip so the day hike is not a
            > >> big issue if I have to do it.
            > >>
            > >> Does anyone know if the Glacier Point -> Little Yosemite Valley
            > >> *requires* hikers to stay at Little Yosemite Valley for the first night or
            > >> can you pass through toward Sunrise? I know that the Happy Isles -> Little
            > >> Yosemite Valley permit requires a stay at Little Yosemite Valley so I'm
            > >> guessing that the Glacier Point permit has the same requirement.
            > >>
            > >> --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, Roleigh Martin <roleigh@> wrote:
            > >> >
            > >> > The Illilouette Permit means you have to camp there (off the JMT) the
            > >> first
            > >> > night. You continue onto the JMT the next day.
            > >> >
            > >> > This year I did use the Mono Meadow TH option and it was quite nice. You
            > >> > take a bus from the valley (I think it was 8:30) and you get dropped off
            > >> > near the Mono Meadow TH around 9:30 (you have to inform the bus driver
            > >> and
            > >> > ticket office you want just a one-way ticket and to be dropped off
            > >> there).
            > >> > We did not start hiking until about 10:30 (a couple drove up to meet us
            > >> > and they were late but only a tiny bit). We had a short easy first day
            > >> but
            > >> > it was nice. You immediately felt in the back-country. We had to camp
            > >> > before hitting the JMT that first day (about 1-2 miles short of the
            > >> JMT),
            > >> > (we dry camped), a ranger showed us where the last "legal" place to dry
            > >> > camp was that was closest to the JMT when we got our permit.
            > >> >
            > >> > The day before we started our JMT we did a day hike up to Nevada Falls
            > >> and
            > >> > back, so we did get the entire JMT in our hike, but the portion up to
            > >> > Nevada Falls was by day hiking.
            > >> > -------------------------------------------------
            > >> > Visit my Google Profile (lots of very interesting research
            > >> > links)<https://profiles.google.com/104440166440169700478/about>
            > >> > _
            > >> >
            > >> >
            > >> >
            > >> >
            > >> > On Tue, Nov 27, 2012 at 11:01 AM, vege_matic <eatonn@>wrote:
            > >> >
            > >> > > **
            > >> > >
            > >> > >
            > >> > >
            > >> > >
            > >> > > --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "vege_matic" <eatonn@> wrote:
            > >> > > >
            > >> > > >
            > >> > > > After a grand time on my first JMT thru-hike across miles of
            > >> snowfields
            > >> > > and through flower-filled valleys in 2011, I've decided to return next
            > >> > > summer. This time my husband will join me until Red's Meadow.
            > >> > > >
            > >> > > > It's not too early to start obsessing about plans, right?
            > >> > > > -vegematic
            > >> > > >
            > >> > >
            > >> > > I'm looking into alternate starting points for next summer's hike, in
            > >> > > order to increase my odds of getting a permit. I've looked at
            > >> Roleigh's TH
            > >> > > Options document and have some additional questions...
            > >> > >
            > >> > > The Glacier Point-LYV option looks interesting, but seems to have a
            > >> rather
            > >> > > low reservation quota (6). Is it really easier to get a permit
            > >> through this
            > >> > > TH?
            > >> > >
            > >> > > Can the GP-Illilouette or HI-Illilouette permit be used for a JMT
            > >> start?
            > >> > > Or do these permits mandate some other take-out point?
            > >> > > -Nancy (vegematic)
            > >> > >
            > >> > >
            > >> > >
            > >> >
            > >>
            > >>
            > >>
            > >>
            > >
            > >
            >
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