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Concerns about a dry Sept hike

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  • Erica
    So, as others have been discussing - I m starting to get nervous about hiking in Sept based on the snow and water level reports that have been surfacing. The
    Message 1 of 11 , May 7, 2013
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      So, as others have been discussing - I'm starting to get nervous about hiking in Sept based on the snow and water level reports that have been surfacing. The SEKI facebook page posted a photo of the Kings River yesterday that was remarkably low...many commenters saying it's the lowest they've ever seen it in May....also reading that some waterfalls in Yosemite and Kings Canyon are eerily dry...

      I read Ray's blog post the other day, which was very helpful in making notes of the potential dry stretches. Based on mileage given - it seems like these dry stretches are going to be tolerable...and I'm trying to keep these stretches in mind when planning my schedule. I'm making notes on my maps of the last reliable water sources so I'll know where to stock up.

      I'm wondering if anyone feels legitimately that a Sept hike might be better of being rescheduled earlier - or if that might be an overreaction? it wouldn't be easy or convenient for me to reschedule our hike, but I'm finding myself wondering if it will likely be a significantly tougher/higher risk experience hiking in Sept vs. July this year?

      This fire season is also looking quite worrisome here in So. California - and it sounds like the Sierra's are likely going to be in the same boat.

      I'd love to hear some others thoughts on this.
    • John Ladd
      My hike is Aug 30 - Sept 18 Northbound. I think we will have to be aware of water but I think it will be very doable. In addition to checking you map and Ray s
      Message 2 of 11 , May 7, 2013
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        My hike is Aug 30 - Sept 18 Northbound. I think we will have to be aware of water but I think it will be very doable. In addition to checking you map and Ray's list, just ask people who are headed North (if you are headed South) about when they last got  water. NoBos and SoBos can help each other out.

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


        On Tue, May 7, 2013 at 8:29 PM, Erica <xericamunsonx@...> wrote:
         

        So, as others have been discussing - I'm starting to get nervous about hiking in Sept based on the snow and water level reports that have been surfacing. The SEKI facebook page posted a photo of the Kings River yesterday that was remarkably low...many commenters saying it's the lowest they've ever seen it in May....also reading that some waterfalls in Yosemite and Kings Canyon are eerily dry...

        I read Ray's blog post the other day, which was very helpful in making notes of the potential dry stretches. Based on mileage given - it seems like these dry stretches are going to be tolerable...and I'm trying to keep these stretches in mind when planning my schedule. I'm making notes on my maps of the last reliable water sources so I'll know where to stock up.

        I'm wondering if anyone feels legitimately that a Sept hike might be better of being rescheduled earlier - or if that might be an overreaction? it wouldn't be easy or convenient for me to reschedule our hike, but I'm finding myself wondering if it will likely be a significantly tougher/higher risk experience hiking in Sept vs. July this year?

        This fire season is also looking quite worrisome here in So. California - and it sounds like the Sierra's are likely going to be in the same boat.

        I'd love to hear some others thoughts on this.


      • Erica
        Thanks, John - that is very true - and reassuring. Hopefully we ll get some trail reports from people here beforehand that can help with preparation. We re
        Message 3 of 11 , May 7, 2013
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          Thanks, John - that is very true - and reassuring. Hopefully we'll get some trail reports from people here beforehand that can help with preparation. We're going to be overlapping almost exactly in opposite directions (Aug 30 - Sept 17 SOBO) ! - so, sounds like I'll be seeing you halfway!

          How much water will you be carrying in your dry stretches? I'm debating if I should bring an additional collapsible water bottle in my pack just in case...

          --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, John Ladd <johnladd@...> wrote:
          >
          > My hike is Aug 30 - Sept 18 Northbound.
        • John Ladd
          I will have capacity for 4 liters of water in a pinch, but hopefully won t encounter stretches when that much is needed. I m fairly easy to recognize - I ll be
          Message 4 of 11 , May 7, 2013
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            I will have capacity for 4 liters of water in a pinch, but hopefully won't encounter stretches when that much is needed. 

            I'm fairly easy to recognize - I'll be the one in the kilt. Say hello.

            John 

            On Tue, May 7, 2013 at 9:05 PM, Erica <xericamunsonx@...> wrote:
             

            Thanks, John - that is very true - and reassuring. Hopefully we'll get some trail reports from people here beforehand that can help with preparation. We're going to be overlapping almost exactly in opposite directions (Aug 30 - Sept 17 SOBO) ! - so, sounds like I'll be seeing you halfway!

            How much water will you be carrying in your dry stretches? I'm debating if I should bring an additional collapsible water bottle in my pack just in case...


          • Chris
            I moved my start date up from Aug 27 to May 27 in part due to concerns about water in the southern end of hike (but mostly due to wanting to get on the trail
            Message 5 of 11 , May 7, 2013
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              I moved my start date up from Aug 27 to May 27 in part due to concerns about water in the southern end of hike (but mostly due to wanting to get on the trail ASAP:-D). I will do my best to take notes about water levels during my hike (along with checking cell service at passes and other locations) and pass info onto the group.

              Chris

              --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "Erica" <xericamunsonx@...> wrote:
              >
              > So, as others have been discussing - I'm starting to get nervous about hiking in Sept based on the snow and water level reports that have been surfacing. The SEKI facebook page posted a photo of the Kings River yesterday that was remarkably low...many commenters saying it's the lowest they've ever seen it in May....also reading that some waterfalls in Yosemite and Kings Canyon are eerily dry...
              >
              > I read Ray's blog post the other day, which was very helpful in making notes of the potential dry stretches. Based on mileage given - it seems like these dry stretches are going to be tolerable...and I'm trying to keep these stretches in mind when planning my schedule. I'm making notes on my maps of the last reliable water sources so I'll know where to stock up.
              >
              > I'm wondering if anyone feels legitimately that a Sept hike might be better of being rescheduled earlier - or if that might be an overreaction? it wouldn't be easy or convenient for me to reschedule our hike, but I'm finding myself wondering if it will likely be a significantly tougher/higher risk experience hiking in Sept vs. July this year?
              >
              > This fire season is also looking quite worrisome here in So. California - and it sounds like the Sierra's are likely going to be in the same boat.
              >
              > I'd love to hear some others thoughts on this.
              >
            • Ned Tibbits
              Keep in mind a couple of things for this summer’s sierra hikes... - the southern end of the sierra is drier than the northern end (since what few winter
              Message 6 of 11 , May 8, 2013
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                Keep in mind a couple of things for this summer’s sierra hikes...
                 
                - the southern end of the sierra is drier than the northern end (since what few winter storms we got went by to the north).
                - when you’re out on the trail right now, it feels and looks like the end of June instead of early May (figure it’s about 6 or 7 weeks ahead of seasonal norms).
                 
                What’s this mean?
                 
                - It’s “Summertime” in the southern sierra (Kennedy to Horseshoe Meadows). Creeks are running real low.
                - Snowline is about 11,000 feet, something usually not seen until the end of June.
                - There will be a short “thaw” when the nights stop freezing (about now) and the creeks will be high briefly since the pack is thin. PCT thrus will still have a few creek crossing challenges.
                - Bugs will be bad early but not last long. Flowers will bloom early and die early. Dust/Heat will be bad.
                - July 4th at the MTR will feel like the end of August.
                - Short-drainage creeks will be dry by July (if the topo shows a short creek, don’t count on there being water).
                - After mid-June, creek crossings will not be a problem anywhere (doesn’t mean that you won’t get wet).
                 
                Plan accordingly.
                 
                 
                Ned Tibbits, Director
                Mountain Education
                www.mountaineducation.org
                 
                From: Chris
                Sent: Tuesday, May 07, 2013 11:28 PM
                Subject: [John Muir Trail] Re: Concerns about a dry Sept hike
                 
                 

                I moved my start date up from Aug 27 to May 27 in part due to concerns about water in the southern end of hike (but mostly due to wanting to get on the trail ASAP:-D). I will do my best to take notes about water levels during my hike (along with checking cell service at passes and other locations) and pass info onto the group.

                Chris

                --- In mailto:johnmuirtrail%40yahoogroups.com, "Erica" <xericamunsonx@...> wrote:

                >
                > So, as others have been
                discussing - I'm starting to get nervous about hiking in Sept based on the snow and water level reports that have been surfacing. The SEKI facebook page posted a photo of the Kings River yesterday that was remarkably low...many commenters saying it's the lowest they've ever seen it in May....also reading that some waterfalls in Yosemite and Kings Canyon are eerily dry...
                >
                > I
                read Ray's blog post the other day, which was very helpful in making notes of the potential dry stretches. Based on mileage given - it seems like these dry stretches are going to be tolerable...and I'm trying to keep these stretches in mind when planning my schedule. I'm making notes on my maps of the last reliable water sources so I'll know where to stock up.
                >
                > I'm wondering if
                anyone feels legitimately that a Sept hike might be better of being rescheduled earlier - or if that might be an overreaction? it wouldn't be easy or convenient for me to reschedule our hike, but I'm finding myself wondering if it will likely be a significantly tougher/higher risk experience hiking in Sept vs. July this year?
                >
                > This fire season is also looking quite worrisome
                here in So. California - and it sounds like the Sierra's are likely going to be in the same boat.
                >
                > I'd love to hear some others thoughts on
                this.
                >

              • ravi_jmt2013
                Based mostly on advice from the group, I m currently planning on maximum capacity of 3.4 liters (two 700 ml disposable bottles plus one 2L platypus). Most
                Message 7 of 11 , May 8, 2013
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                  Based mostly on advice from the group, I'm currently planning on maximum capacity of 3.4 liters (two 700 ml disposable bottles plus one 2L platypus). Most everyone seems to think that the 1.4 liters in the bottles is enough while hiking leaving the 2L mainly for camp use most of the time. But the platypus weighs just 1.2 ounces and rolls down to take hardly any pack space. If reports look particularly bad by mid August, I may just add another Platypus to my pack just in case it is needed. I will also get a preview of water conditions on the JMT from Piute Pass trail junction to the Bishop pass junction on my N Lake to S Lake hike in mid July.


                  --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "Erica" <xericamunsonx@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > So, as others have been discussing - I'm starting to get nervous about hiking in Sept based on the snow and water level reports that have been surfacing. The SEKI facebook page posted a photo of the Kings River yesterday that was remarkably low...many commenters saying it's the lowest they've ever seen it in May....also reading that some waterfalls in Yosemite and Kings Canyon are eerily dry...
                  >
                  > I read Ray's blog post the other day, which was very helpful in making notes of the potential dry stretches. Based on mileage given - it seems like these dry stretches are going to be tolerable...and I'm trying to keep these stretches in mind when planning my schedule. I'm making notes on my maps of the last reliable water sources so I'll know where to stock up.
                  >
                  > I'm wondering if anyone feels legitimately that a Sept hike might be better of being rescheduled earlier - or if that might be an overreaction? it wouldn't be easy or convenient for me to reschedule our hike, but I'm finding myself wondering if it will likely be a significantly tougher/higher risk experience hiking in Sept vs. July this year?
                  >
                  > This fire season is also looking quite worrisome here in So. California - and it sounds like the Sierra's are likely going to be in the same boat.
                  >
                  > I'd love to hear some others thoughts on this.
                  >
                • Herb
                  Erica-- It will be a very dry year for sure, but it is still the Sierra. We all get kinda spoiled by normal to wet years when water seems to be around every
                  Message 8 of 11 , May 8, 2013
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                    Erica--

                    It will be a very dry year for sure, but it is still the Sierra. We all get kinda spoiled by normal to wet years when water seems to be around every corner. But even in a dry year a hiker will cross multiple water sources in a day. Except for a few sections you will rarely be away from water for more than an hour or two. And September is a great time to be on the trail--less crowds, no bugs, crisp mornings.

                    Herb

                    --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "Erica" <xericamunsonx@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > So, as others have been discussing - I'm starting to get nervous about hiking in Sept based on the snow and water level reports that have been surfacing. The SEKI facebook page posted a photo of the Kings River yesterday that was remarkably low...many commenters saying it's the lowest they've ever seen it in May....also reading that some waterfalls in Yosemite and Kings Canyon are eerily dry...
                    >
                    > I read Ray's blog post the other day, which was very helpful in making notes of the potential dry stretches. Based on mileage given - it seems like these dry stretches are going to be tolerable...and I'm trying to keep these stretches in mind when planning my schedule. I'm making notes on my maps of the last reliable water sources so I'll know where to stock up.
                    >
                    > I'm wondering if anyone feels legitimately that a Sept hike might be better of being rescheduled earlier - or if that might be an overreaction? it wouldn't be easy or convenient for me to reschedule our hike, but I'm finding myself wondering if it will likely be a significantly tougher/higher risk experience hiking in Sept vs. July this year?
                    >
                    > This fire season is also looking quite worrisome here in So. California - and it sounds like the Sierra's are likely going to be in the same boat.
                    >
                    > I'd love to hear some others thoughts on this.
                    >
                  • speedcenter2001
                    ... hiking in Sept based on the snow and water level reports that have been surfacing. The SEKI facebook page posted a photo of the Kings River yesterday that
                    Message 9 of 11 , May 9, 2013
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                      --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "Erica" wrote:
                      >
                      > So, as others have been discussing - I'm starting to get nervous about hiking in Sept based on the snow and water level reports that have been surfacing. The SEKI facebook page posted a photo of the Kings River yesterday that was remarkably low...many commenters saying it's the lowest they've ever seen it in May....also reading that some waterfalls in Yosemite and Kings Canyon are eerily dry...
                      >

                       

                      that's because there is no snow -

                      http://cdec.water.ca.gov/cgi-progs/snow/DLYSWEQ

                      I went to the Sierra a month ago for climbing and skiing, but there wasn't any snow below 11,000 feet to even bother with ski. The inner Sierra looked like it was early June a month ago - right now I am quite sure you can do a through hike without any major snow problems on passes. In September, it'll be bone dry up there unless they get an unusually wet monsoon season in June/July, however, I recall from drought years in the 80s that when things start out really dry, the summers can be very dry as well. My first three JMTs in those years were blue skies for three weeks in July, three years in a row.

                       

                       

                       

                    • Roleigh Martin
                      Call me Mr. Paranoid, but having done these hikes for 13 straight years (HST first 7, JMT next 6), I have seen one platypus fail on the hike (where the cap
                      Message 10 of 11 , May 9, 2013
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                        Call me Mr. Paranoid, but having done these hikes for 13 straight years (HST first 7, JMT next 6), I have seen one platypus fail on the hike (where the cap resides, the plastic split).  For only 1.2 oz more weight, an extra platypus is always good caution.  Also, I always bring an extra cap, as the cap itself can split or get lost.

                        I used to also bring a cheap, ultralight water container for the purpose of making Whey Protein Shakes and Steripenning water.  Steripen support okayed the use of Zip Lock's 1 quart container which only weighs 1.8 oz apiece.  But having seen them crack on a hike beyond tape repair, I have decided to use Nalgene's HDPE 1 qt wide mouth container, weighs a tiny bit more but 100% dependable.


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



                        On Wed, May 8, 2013 at 7:54 AM, ravi_jmt2013 <ravi@...> wrote:
                         

                        Based mostly on advice from the group, I'm currently planning on maximum capacity of 3.4 liters (two 700 ml disposable bottles plus one 2L platypus). Most everyone seems to think that the 1.4 liters in the bottles is enough while hiking leaving the 2L mainly for camp use most of the time. But the platypus weighs just 1.2 ounces and rolls down to take hardly any pack space. If reports look particularly bad by mid August, I may just add another Platypus to my pack just in case it is needed. I will also get a preview of water conditions on the JMT from Piute Pass trail junction to the Bishop pass junction on my N Lake to S Lake hike in mid July.



                        --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "Erica" <xericamunsonx@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > So, as others have been discussing - I'm starting to get nervous about hiking in Sept based on the snow and water level reports that have been surfacing. The SEKI facebook page posted a photo of the Kings River yesterday that was remarkably low...many commenters saying it's the lowest they've ever seen it in May....also reading that some waterfalls in Yosemite and Kings Canyon are eerily dry...
                        >
                        > I read Ray's blog post the other day, which was very helpful in making notes of the potential dry stretches. Based on mileage given - it seems like these dry stretches are going to be tolerable...and I'm trying to keep these stretches in mind when planning my schedule. I'm making notes on my maps of the last reliable water sources so I'll know where to stock up.
                        >
                        > I'm wondering if anyone feels legitimately that a Sept hike might be better of being rescheduled earlier - or if that might be an overreaction? it wouldn't be easy or convenient for me to reschedule our hike, but I'm finding myself wondering if it will likely be a significantly tougher/higher risk experience hiking in Sept vs. July this year?
                        >
                        > This fire season is also looking quite worrisome here in So. California - and it sounds like the Sierra's are likely going to be in the same boat.
                        >
                        > I'd love to hear some others thoughts on this.
                        >


                      • casey
                        I drove back over Sonora Pass,9,600+ feet, last Saturday on my way back from a trip into the Hoover Wilderness. People were cross country skiing the P.C.T. and
                        Message 11 of 11 , May 10, 2013
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                          I drove back over Sonora Pass,9,600+ feet, last Saturday on my way back from a trip into the Hoover Wilderness. People were cross country skiing the P.C.T. and lower on the west side of the Pass at 9,000 ft. lots of people were snowmobiling. On Monday Sonora Pass was closed due to fresh snow and ice, was still closed on Wednesday when I left. Just spent the last two nights along the north border of Yosemite at about 7,000 feet. Had thunderstorms with rain/hail both Wednesday and Thursday, pretty sure there was fresh snow higher.

                          The Forest Service has only now began plowing the road to Reds Meadow and hopes to have it open by Memorial Day. There must be some snow left somewhere. Parks service doesn't expect to open Tioga Pass, 9,960 feet, until 5-11. Typically when they open the pass there is still 3 feet plus/minus of snow at the pass level. Certainly wouldn't count on going over any of the higher passes quite yet without any snow problems.
                          > >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > I went to the Sierra a month ago for climbing and skiing, but there
                          > wasn't any snow below 11,000 feet to even bother with ski. The inner
                          > Sierra looked like it was early June a month ago - right now I am quite
                          > sure you can do a through hike without any major snow problems on
                          > passes.
                          >
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