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JMT Side Trips

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  • George
    Has anyone here taken any of the side trips mentioned in Appendix E of Wenk s book? How did you like them and were they worth the extra time and effort? I m
    Message 1 of 15 , Oct 11, 2008
      Has anyone here taken any of the side trips mentioned in Appendix E of
      Wenk's book? How did you like them and were they worth the extra time
      and effort? I'm definitely taking the Half Dome trek, crowds or not.

      I'm planning for an August 2009 trip and will be able to take 3 weeks
      off from work. I envision starting in the middle of the month and
      getting back to NJ on Labor Day weekend. I'd like to make the most of
      my trip of course and some of these side trips look interesting. Any
      and all comments are welcome.
    • Kevin Cotter
      When we hiked the first half of the JMT this August (sobo to Muir Trail Ranch/Florence Lake), we visited Half Dome, Clouds Rest, and Lembert Dome. I thought
      Message 2 of 15 , Oct 11, 2008
        When we hiked the first half of the JMT this August (sobo to Muir Trail
        Ranch/Florence Lake), we visited Half Dome, Clouds Rest, and Lembert
        Dome. I thought all of them were worthwhile. Clouds Rest won't take
        much extra time if you're willing to bypass the JMT and follow the
        Clouds Rest trail instead. The trail is steep and the section north of
        the peak is exposed, but you get a great view of Half Dome. Lembert
        Dome is easy (at least compared with Half Dome and Clouds Rest), and
        gives a nice view of the Tuolumne Meadows area and the Cathedral Range.
        That hike takes less than 3 hours, including getting from/to the JMT.

        As far as the Half Dome trail goes, you'll avoid the worst of the crowds
        by going on a weekday, either very early in the morning or after 11 am.
        And make sure you bring or pick up some grippy gloves. I used leather
        gloves that kept slipping on the cables, and had to keep reaching for
        the next post to avoid sliding backwards.

        George wrote:
        >
        > Has anyone here taken any of the side trips mentioned in Appendix E of
        > Wenk's book? How did you like them and were they worth the extra time
        > and effort? I'm definitely taking the Half Dome trek, crowds or not.
        >
        > I'm planning for an August 2009 trip and will be able to take 3 weeks
        > off from work. I envision starting in the middle of the month and
        > getting back to NJ on Labor Day weekend. I'd like to make the most of
        > my trip of course and some of these side trips look interesting. Any
        > and all comments are welcome.
        >
        >


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • hmdsierra
        I don t know whch side trips are in the book but there are lots of possibilities. Definately do Half Dome. If you follow JMT rather than PCT from Red s Mdw
        Message 3 of 15 , Oct 11, 2008
          I don't know whch side trips are in the book but there are lots of
          possibilities. Definately do Half Dome. If you follow JMT rather
          than PCT from Red's Mdw go to the Red Cone before the dropoff into
          Crater Mdw. Explore Cascade Valley if you have the time. there is a
          hot spring less than a day's hike from the crossing. In Evolution
          Valley a side trip to McGee Lakes is nice. At Rae Lakes there is
          Sixty Lakes Basin. The Upper Kern has several options. For fishing
          there is Wallace Lk and I understand the uppermost of the Wright Lks.
          has big ones too. When my Son and I did it we took two layover
          days, one at Grouse Mdw and the other in the Upper Kern and got a bit
          misplaced from where we thought we were. It turned out to be fine
          too. The following years we took as many of the side trips we could
          and really explored the areaa.

          --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "George" <perrito_blanco@...> wrote:
          >
          > Has anyone here taken any of the side trips mentioned in Appendix E of
          > Wenk's book? How did you like them and were they worth the extra time
          > and effort? I'm definitely taking the Half Dome trek, crowds or not.
          >
          > I'm planning for an August 2009 trip and will be able to take 3 weeks
          > off from work. I envision starting in the middle of the month and
          > getting back to NJ on Labor Day weekend. I'd like to make the most of
          > my trip of course and some of these side trips look interesting. Any
          > and all comments are welcome.
          >
        • Steve Schauer
          i did Half Dome, and it was thrilling! Definitely worth the effort. Claire
          Message 4 of 15 , Oct 11, 2008
            i did Half Dome, and it was thrilling! Definitely worth the effort.
            Claire


            --- On Sat, 10/11/08, George <perrito_blanco@...> wrote:

            > From: George <perrito_blanco@...>
            > Subject: [John Muir Trail] JMT Side Trips
            > To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
            > Date: Saturday, October 11, 2008, 1:03 PM
            > Has anyone here taken any of the side trips mentioned in
            > Appendix E of
            > Wenk's book? How did you like them and were they worth
            > the extra time
            > and effort? I'm definitely taking the Half Dome trek,
            > crowds or not.
            >
            > I'm planning for an August 2009 trip and will be able
            > to take 3 weeks
            > off from work. I envision starting in the middle of the
            > month and
            > getting back to NJ on Labor Day weekend. I'd like to
            > make the most of
            > my trip of course and some of these side trips look
            > interesting. Any
            > and all comments are welcome.
          • Bill Plesha
            George, I ve been giving some thought to a mid-August 2009 JMT trip as well. I m not 100% sure yet, but giving it some thought (this economy may impact my
            Message 5 of 15 , Oct 12, 2008
              George,

              I've been giving some thought to a mid-August 2009 JMT trip as well. I'm not 100% sure yet, but giving it some thought (this economy may impact my decision as well).

              I purchased the set of Tom Harrison maps of the trail a while back and given some thought to some sort of an itinerary. The three week time frame is about what I thought would give enough time to enjoy the trip without having to push it.

              Were you planning to do the hike with friends or on your own?

              I have a friend and his son (the son is in his early 20's) that may be doing this with me as well, but they can only afford about 10 to 12 days on the trail so would only plan to do a piece of the northern section.

              For me, if I do this, I'd really like to do the whole trip as I look at this as a once in lifetime opportunity.

              I live in the Phoenix area now so I would probably drive over for the trip.

              Bill Plesha
              Goodyear, AZ

              ----- Original Message -----
              From: George
              To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Saturday, October 11, 2008 1:03 PM
              Subject: [John Muir Trail] JMT Side Trips


              Has anyone here taken any of the side trips mentioned in Appendix E of
              Wenk's book? How did you like them and were they worth the extra time
              and effort? I'm definitely taking the Half Dome trek, crowds or not.

              I'm planning for an August 2009 trip and will be able to take 3 weeks
              off from work. I envision starting in the middle of the month and
              getting back to NJ on Labor Day weekend. I'd like to make the most of
              my trip of course and some of these side trips look interesting. Any
              and all comments are welcome.





              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • sim ong
              Hi Bill, Many people have thought that JMT is a once in a life time trip.  Soon you will be drawn to it, and like an additive drug, you will be back for
              Message 6 of 15 , Oct 12, 2008
                Hi Bill,

                Many people have thought that JMT is a once in a life time trip.  Soon you will be drawn to it, and like an additive drug, you will be back for more.  I hike JMT SOBO last summer from YV to Whitney Portal.  I had 21 days planned for this trip.  In the end it took me 17 days with 1.5 days, hours equivalent, spent at TM, RM and Muir Ranch.  Of course one must allow sufficient time to enjoy the splendor after such a straneous hike getting there.  The only limitation is food.  I craved for a real food after about 10 days on the trail.  I was not starving but the dehydrated food tasted just the same after a while.

                I find that planning the trip is equally enjoyable.  Packing light and scrutinizing every ounce will help to make the enjoyment even more, of course without compromising comfort too much.  I discovered that I carried too much because my hiking buddies all agreed that we should be as independent as possible just in case we have to leave the trail early.  We did not share any common items like stove, first aid kit etc.  We planned it as if we are hiking solo.  It turn out it was a good move as all my hiking buddies left the trail, leaving me alone to complete the journey.

                Back to your question, side trips,  Half Dome, Lambert Dome, Rainbow falls,Minerat Falls, Devils Postpile, mineral hot springs nearby muir ranch, plan for more time in Evolution Valley, Sixty Lakes are good places to spent side trips.  I have enjoyed all these places but visited them on separate trips and not on this JMT hike.  I visited Half Dome, Sixty Lakes on my two prior trips so I do not see the need to do it on JMT hike.  They are definitely worth your time.

                I also recommend a book "The Last Season" for reading either before the trip or during the trip.  It is quite touching about the life of a good ranger.  I read this book after my trip and was able to relate to the places mentioned.

                Good luck to your trip next summer.

                Sim

                --- On Sun, 10/12/08, Bill Plesha <backpackerman@...> wrote:
                From: Bill Plesha <backpackerman@...>
                Subject: Re: [John Muir Trail] JMT Side Trips
                To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
                Date: Sunday, October 12, 2008, 4:37 AM











                George,



                I've been giving some thought to a mid-August 2009 JMT trip as well. I'm not 100% sure yet, but giving it some thought (this economy may impact my decision as well).



                I purchased the set of Tom Harrison maps of the trail a while back and given some thought to some sort of an itinerary. The three week time frame is about what I thought would give enough time to enjoy the trip without having to push it.



                Were you planning to do the hike with friends or on your own?



                I have a friend and his son (the son is in his early 20's) that may be doing this with me as well, but they can only afford about 10 to 12 days on the trail so would only plan to do a piece of the northern section.



                For me, if I do this, I'd really like to do the whole trip as I look at this as a once in lifetime opportunity.



                I live in the Phoenix area now so I would probably drive over for the trip.



                Bill Plesha

                Goodyear, AZ



                ----- Original Message -----

                From: George

                To: johnmuirtrail@ yahoogroups. com

                Sent: Saturday, October 11, 2008 1:03 PM

                Subject: [John Muir Trail] JMT Side Trips



                Has anyone here taken any of the side trips mentioned in Appendix E of

                Wenk's book? How did you like them and were they worth the extra time

                and effort? I'm definitely taking the Half Dome trek, crowds or not.



                I'm planning for an August 2009 trip and will be able to take 3 weeks

                off from work. I envision starting in the middle of the month and

                getting back to NJ on Labor Day weekend. I'd like to make the most of

                my trip of course and some of these side trips look interesting. Any

                and all comments are welcome.



                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


























                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • hmdsierra
                When my Son and I did he trail we pretty much went straignt through with only two days off. We spent the next several years going back to more leisurely
                Message 7 of 15 , Oct 13, 2008
                  When my Son and I did he trail we pretty much went straignt through
                  with only two days off. We spent the next several years going back to
                  more leisurely explore the places that caught our eye on the initial
                  trek. I imagine the same urge will come over you. We cooked our
                  meals so didn't have many cravings, the apple turnover at the end of
                  the trip was plenty welcome tho.

                  --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, sim ong <song95139@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Hi Bill,
                  >
                  > Many people have thought that JMT is a once in a life time trip.
                  Soon you will be drawn to it, and like an additive drug, you will be
                  back for more. I hike JMT SOBO last summer from YV to Whitney
                  Portal. I had 21 days planned for this trip. In the end it took me
                  17 days with 1.5 days, hours equivalent, spent at TM, RM and Muir
                  Ranch. Of course one must allow sufficient time to enjoy the splendor
                  after such a straneous hike getting there. The only limitation is
                  food. I craved for a real food after about 10 days on the trail. I
                  was not starving but the dehydrated food tasted just the same after a
                  while.
                  >
                  > I find that planning the trip is equally enjoyable. Packing light
                  and scrutinizing every ounce will help to make the enjoyment even
                  more, of course without compromising comfort too much. I discovered
                  that I carried too much because my hiking buddies all agreed that we
                  should be as independent as possible just in case we have to leave the
                  trail early. We did not share any common items like stove, first aid
                  kit etc. We planned it as if we are hiking solo. It turn out it was
                  a good move as all my hiking buddies left the trail, leaving me alone
                  to complete the journey.
                  >
                  > Back to your question, side trips, Half Dome, Lambert Dome, Rainbow
                  falls,Minerat Falls, Devils Postpile, mineral hot springs nearby muir
                  ranch, plan for more time in Evolution Valley, Sixty Lakes are good
                  places to spent side trips. I have enjoyed all these places but
                  visited them on separate trips and not on this JMT hike. I visited
                  Half Dome, Sixty Lakes on my two prior trips so I do not see the need
                  to do it on JMT hike. They are definitely worth your time.
                  >
                  > I also recommend a book "The Last Season" for reading either before
                  the trip or during the trip. It is quite touching about the life of a
                  good ranger. I read this book after my trip and was able to relate to
                  the places mentioned.
                  >
                  > Good luck to your trip next summer.
                  >
                  > Sim
                  >
                  > --- On Sun, 10/12/08, Bill Plesha <backpackerman@...> wrote:
                  > From: Bill Plesha <backpackerman@...>
                  > Subject: Re: [John Muir Trail] JMT Side Trips
                  > To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
                  > Date: Sunday, October 12, 2008, 4:37 AM
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > George,
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > I've been giving some thought to a mid-August 2009 JMT trip as well.
                  I'm not 100% sure yet, but giving it some thought (this economy may
                  impact my decision as well).
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > I purchased the set of Tom Harrison maps of the trail a while back
                  and given some thought to some sort of an itinerary. The three week
                  time frame is about what I thought would give enough time to enjoy the
                  trip without having to push it.
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Were you planning to do the hike with friends or on your own?
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > I have a friend and his son (the son is in his early 20's) that may
                  be doing this with me as well, but they can only afford about 10 to 12
                  days on the trail so would only plan to do a piece of the northern
                  section.
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > For me, if I do this, I'd really like to do the whole trip as I look
                  at this as a once in lifetime opportunity.
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > I live in the Phoenix area now so I would probably drive over for
                  the trip.
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Bill Plesha
                  >
                  > Goodyear, AZ
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > ----- Original Message -----
                  >
                  > From: George
                  >
                  > To: johnmuirtrail@ yahoogroups. com
                  >
                  > Sent: Saturday, October 11, 2008 1:03 PM
                  >
                  > Subject: [John Muir Trail] JMT Side Trips
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Has anyone here taken any of the side trips mentioned in Appendix E of
                  >
                  > Wenk's book? How did you like them and were they worth the extra time
                  >
                  > and effort? I'm definitely taking the Half Dome trek, crowds or not.
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > I'm planning for an August 2009 trip and will be able to take 3 weeks
                  >
                  > off from work. I envision starting in the middle of the month and
                  >
                  > getting back to NJ on Labor Day weekend. I'd like to make the most of
                  >
                  > my trip of course and some of these side trips look interesting. Any
                  >
                  > and all comments are welcome.
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  >
                • Brian Turner
                  I completed the JMT back in September, and I did the following side trips: We started at Horseshoe Meadow and hiked through the Miter Basin, Old Army Pass and
                  Message 8 of 15 , Oct 31, 2008
                    I completed the JMT back in September, and I did the following side trips:

                    We started at Horseshoe Meadow and hiked through the Miter Basin, Old
                    Army Pass and up over Discovery Pinnacle. This was a beautiful
                    cross-country route and one I'd recommend if you have a couple extra
                    days and would like to avoid the crowds at Whitney Portal.

                    Mt. Langley - eh, take or leave it.

                    Red Cones - very cool views and photos from the top

                    Clouds Rest - one of my favorite spots from my entire trip.

                    Half Dome - another must see!

                    Lembert Dome - easy ascent and great view. I didn't see the official
                    trail to the top, so I simply scaled the side of the dome until I
                    reached the high point.

                    Not a side trip from the trail, but in the Yosemite area:
                    El Capitan and Mariposa Grove were both worth seeing.
                  • Bill Plesha
                    As my JMT trip fast approaches (Aug. 15th) I m now looking at some potential side trips during my travels along the trail. Specifically, Elizabeth Wenk s book
                    Message 9 of 15 , Jul 3 4:49 AM
                      As my JMT trip fast approaches (Aug. 15th) I'm now looking at some potential side trips during my travels along the trail.

                      Specifically, Elizabeth Wenk's book lists 13 potential side trips worth noting.

                      Two that I definitely plan to do are Clouds Rest (I've done Half Dome a number of times in the past so am passing on that one) and Wotans Throne (pretty short and thought it was a nice way to end the trip).

                      If time allows I'd like to do one or two other side trips.

                      One on my "hit list" is Split Mountain (I like the idea of bagging another 14er). Has anyone out there done this on their trips and what did you think? Sounds like a whole day will need to be allotted for this one.

                      Red Cones seems like a nice short side trip and quick and easy to do. Black Giant?

                      I'm looking for some general thoughts on preferred side trips.

                      Thanks,

                      Bill Plesha

                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • John Ladd
                      Ida Bell Hot Springs is OK, not great. A little south of Red s Meadow. Only if you really like hot springs. Pass thru a burned-over area to get there from
                      Message 10 of 15 , Jul 3 7:19 AM
                        Ida Bell Hot Springs is OK, not great. A little south of Red's Meadow.
                        Only if you really like hot springs. Pass thru a burned-over area to get
                        there from the North.

                        Goddard Canyon is quite pretty, just south of Muir Trail Ranch.

                        Paradise Valley is also very pretty. You turn west at the Woods Creek
                        suspension bridge and hike as far as you want, then return. (I think there
                        is also a loop you could take skipping part of the JMT.)

                        John Curran Ladd
                        1616 Castro Street
                        San Francisco, CA 94114-3707
                        415-648-9279 (voice and fax)


                        On Fri, Jul 3, 2009 at 4:49 AM, Bill Plesha <backpackerman@...> wrote:

                        >
                        >
                        > As my JMT trip fast approaches (Aug. 15th) I'm now looking at some
                        > potential side trips during my travels along the trail.
                        >
                        > Specifically, Elizabeth Wenk's book lists 13 potential side trips worth
                        > noting.
                        >
                        > Two that I definitely plan to do are Clouds Rest (I've done Half Dome a
                        > number of times in the past so am passing on that one) and Wotans Throne
                        > (pretty short and thought it was a nice way to end the trip).
                        >
                        > If time allows I'd like to do one or two other side trips.
                        >
                        > One on my "hit list" is Split Mountain (I like the idea of bagging another
                        > 14er). Has anyone out there done this on their trips and what did you think?
                        > Sounds like a whole day will need to be allotted for this one.
                        >
                        > Red Cones seems like a nice short side trip and quick and easy to do. Black
                        > Giant?
                        >
                        > I'm looking for some general thoughts on preferred side trips.
                        >
                        > Thanks,
                        >
                        > Bill Plesha
                        >
                        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        >
                        >
                        >


                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • hmdsierra
                        I would definately go up Shadow Ck to Lk Ediza and on to Iceberg Lk. that puts you almost underneath The Minerets. As a bonus you get a good view east across
                        Message 11 of 15 , Jul 3 2:48 PM
                          I would definately go up Shadow Ck to Lk Ediza and on to Iceberg Lk. that puts you almost underneath The Minerets. As a bonus you get a good view east across the canyon.

                          --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "Bill Plesha" <backpackerman@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > As my JMT trip fast approaches (Aug. 15th) I'm now looking at some potential side trips during my travels along the trail.
                          >
                          > Specifically, Elizabeth Wenk's book lists 13 potential side trips worth noting.
                          >
                          > Two that I definitely plan to do are Clouds Rest (I've done Half Dome a number of times in the past so am passing on that one) and Wotans Throne (pretty short and thought it was a nice way to end the trip).
                          >
                          > If time allows I'd like to do one or two other side trips.
                          >
                          > One on my "hit list" is Split Mountain (I like the idea of bagging another 14er). Has anyone out there done this on their trips and what did you think? Sounds like a whole day will need to be allotted for this one.
                          >
                          > Red Cones seems like a nice short side trip and quick and easy to do. Black Giant?
                          >
                          > I'm looking for some general thoughts on preferred side trips.
                          >
                          > Thanks,
                          >
                          > Bill Plesha
                          >
                          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          >
                        • robert shattuck
                          Bill, This being San francisco, we got the hell out of here today––drove 20 minutes and left the fog behind. Did some pool swimming up in warm, Marin
                          Message 12 of 15 , Jul 3 5:45 PM
                            Bill,
                            This being San francisco, we got the hell out of here today��drove 20 minutes and left the fog behind. Did some pool swimming up in warm, Marin County.
                            I was thinking that Wotan's Throne was/is on the east side of whitney . . . but maybe it's not the peak that they guy bought it on.
                            http://www.summitpost.org/mountain/rock/208295/wotans-throne.html

                            Yeah, looks like a nice scramble on your last night . . . I've camped up top of Whitney six of my eight JMT's and once I get started on my way down, there's no stopping (for wotan or the ghost of John Muir, or . . . ) and I would think you'd feel the same way, but . . . last summer, I hit the summit and came down to trail camp and I had a few good hours to kill. should have done Wotan.
                            Maybe this time��but even a busy trail camp is wonderfully serene at sunset and the knowledge that you've only got a wake up and a few more miles to go��that can really have a pull on things like, side-trips, and if you're just like me, it's, "the hell with that and just get out of my way."
                            If you've got the urge to do some side trips, I'd try and knock them out before you hit Glen or Forester, because, (again, just me) you're going to be juiced and ready to get it on with Whitney and get out of there. I admire anyone who at that point can sit still, or decide to take another day and do a side-trip, regardless of the length . . . I'm just thinking, burger, beer, bed . . .
                            Split looks great, but again, plan an entire day around it, I think.
                            One of my absolute favorite short hikes is the climb up to the base, or thereabouts of Lyell Peak. If you put in a good pace going up Lyell Canyon and (and have a few hours of daylight left ) up the switch-backs, cross the river, go up another 20 minutes or so and get to the tarn and the crossing that heads up to Donahue. Stop here. good camp spots (although I won't say where!) around here, but just look up at those peaks behind you . . . you can hike up into the heavens there, but it's really a good idea to walk very carefully, or have someone with you if you go up��it's just another off the trail spot where, no one will hear you if you yell.
                            okay, must go out into the fug.
                            bob
                            http://www.summitpost.org/plans/view_activity.php?post_id=6480
























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                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          • John Ladd
                            I agree with this (see below about Ediza and Iceberg) -- sorry I forgot about it before. Mosquitoes can be fierce on parts of the Lake Ediza trail, but I
                            Message 13 of 15 , Jul 3 9:18 PM
                              I agree with this (see below about Ediza and Iceberg) -- sorry I forgot
                              about it before. Mosquitoes can be fierce on parts of the Lake Ediza trail,
                              but I don't know that it is much different from elsewhere at similar
                              elevations. Good trail and a nice way to drop your pack for awhile and hike
                              up and back in a day.


                              John Curran Ladd
                              1616 Castro Street
                              San Francisco, CA 94114-3707
                              415-648-9279 (voice and fax)


                              On Fri, Jul 3, 2009 at 2:48 PM, hmdsierra <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

                              >
                              >
                              > I would definately go up Shadow Ck to Lk Ediza and on to Iceberg Lk. that
                              > puts you almost underneath The Minerets.
                              >


                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            • lucas.golub
                              Just got back from my thru hike. I tried several of Wenk s side trips. The number one feeling I have after doing them is that the descriptions/directions for
                              Message 14 of 15 , Jul 11 11:11 AM
                                Just got back from my thru hike. I tried several of Wenk's side trips. The number one feeling I have after doing them is that the descriptions/directions for off-trail hikes are very poor (and I have many other complaints about the book, feeling is was quite sub par as an on-trail guide). You'd be best off picking a point and getting there yourself with a map and compass.

                                Cloud's Rest: very much worth it, if you don't mind the additional elevation gain and steep climbing right out of the gate. It's a good bit further than the book says it is.

                                Red Cones: worth it. Though it requires morning or mid-day lighting to really make the Ritters look their best.

                                Black Giant: Nice views but not so much better than you already get from various parts of the trail. The directions were particularly bad for this one.

                                Tawney Point: Whitney ends up giving you a much more dramatic view of the area, but this was a very nice place to enhance the Bighorn Plateau experience. Again directions were bad; I ended up on a steep talus slope when this peak was supposed to be a walk in the park.

                                My advice: moreso than peakbagging, it's great to camp at some magical locations (Upper Basin, Bighorn Plateau) and explore them in depth. Also, after reading The Last Summer on my trip home, I wish I'd explored one off-trail area like Lakes Basin.

                                Hope this helps,
                                Lucas


                                --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "George" <perrito_blanco@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > Has anyone here taken any of the side trips mentioned in Appendix E of
                                > Wenk's book? How did you like them and were they worth the extra time
                                > and effort? I'm definitely taking the Half Dome trek, crowds or not.
                                >
                                > I'm planning for an August 2009 trip and will be able to take 3 weeks
                                > off from work. I envision starting in the middle of the month and
                                > getting back to NJ on Labor Day weekend. I'd like to make the most of
                                > my trip of course and some of these side trips look interesting. Any
                                > and all comments are welcome.
                                >
                              • hmdsierra
                                I m sure you ve made a list, a long list, of places along the way to spend more time discovering. When my sone and I did JMT we pretty much breezed through
                                Message 15 of 15 , Jul 11 11:39 AM
                                  I'm sure you've made a list, a long list, of places along the way to spend more time discovering. When my sone and I did JMT we pretty much breezed through only taking two days off to look around. We made up for it in later trips to as many of the places that caught our attention. We only scratched the surface as there are so many and so little time. Had I stayed in California I intended to spend the rest of my life doing the same. Taking the time in one area lets you know it so much more.

                                  --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "lucas.golub" <lucas.golub@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > Just got back from my thru hike. I tried several of Wenk's side trips. The number one feeling I have after doing them is that the descriptions/directions for off-trail hikes are very poor (and I have many other complaints about the book, feeling is was quite sub par as an on-trail guide). You'd be best off picking a point and getting there yourself with a map and compass.
                                  >
                                  > Cloud's Rest: very much worth it, if you don't mind the additional elevation gain and steep climbing right out of the gate. It's a good bit further than the book says it is.
                                  >
                                  > Red Cones: worth it. Though it requires morning or mid-day lighting to really make the Ritters look their best.
                                  >
                                  > Black Giant: Nice views but not so much better than you already get from various parts of the trail. The directions were particularly bad for this one.
                                  >
                                  > Tawney Point: Whitney ends up giving you a much more dramatic view of the area, but this was a very nice place to enhance the Bighorn Plateau experience. Again directions were bad; I ended up on a steep talus slope when this peak was supposed to be a walk in the park.
                                  >
                                  > My advice: moreso than peakbagging, it's great to camp at some magical locations (Upper Basin, Bighorn Plateau) and explore them in depth. Also, after reading The Last Summer on my trip home, I wish I'd explored one off-trail area like Lakes Basin.
                                  >
                                  > Hope this helps,
                                  > Lucas
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "George" <perrito_blanco@> wrote:
                                  > >
                                  > > Has anyone here taken any of the side trips mentioned in Appendix E of
                                  > > Wenk's book? How did you like them and were they worth the extra time
                                  > > and effort? I'm definitely taking the Half Dome trek, crowds or not.
                                  > >
                                  > > I'm planning for an August 2009 trip and will be able to take 3 weeks
                                  > > off from work. I envision starting in the middle of the month and
                                  > > getting back to NJ on Labor Day weekend. I'd like to make the most of
                                  > > my trip of course and some of these side trips look interesting. Any
                                  > > and all comments are welcome.
                                  > >
                                  >
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