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Early June Start

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  • Joshua Barrett
    Planning three weeks going north-south. Work conflicts may make the only possible start in first week (possibly second) week in June. Would love any and all
    Message 1 of 6 , Jan 3, 2009
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      Planning three weeks going north-south. Work conflicts may make the only possible start in
      first week (possibly second) week in June. Would love any and all feedback on best/worst
      case scenarios for early travel. I'm in San Diego and our winter so far is as wet as I can
      remember (a good thing, we need it), but I assume that will leave the Sierra with a significant
      snowpack that will not be gone by the time I begin. Thoughts?....
    • Kevin Aston
      We went early July last year and were afraid of too much snow. We hit patches, the north facing slopes were the worst, much of the trail was wet from runoff,
      Message 2 of 6 , Jan 3, 2009
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        We went early July last year and were afraid of too much snow. We hit patches, the north facing slopes were the worst, much of the trail was wet from runoff, (sometimes so deep we couldn't walk on the trail) some was snow covered.  We bought mini-spikes to use, they helped. Streams were high and cold. If there is a lot of snow it makes the hike a lot harder to walk as you take one step forward and slide part way back. Some of the snowbanks start to melt and make their own north and south slope so that they become 10" deep ruts which were really hard to walk through. You may not make it in the 3 weeks, depending on how good of shape you are in and how light your winter temp gear is. Here is my web page with all of links including snow depth (which is in the lower center of the page). There are 3 different pages listed. One for Bishop Pass, one for Crabtree Meadows, and the last is for the whole state of CA and you can select the location you desire.
        http://www.kevinaston.com/JMTSpreadsheet.html

        One other thing is that some of the resupply places are not open that early. I would bet Muir Ranch is not, Reds and Vermillion might be. Supplies could be a problem.

        You would have to make sure you didn't walk over any frozen lakes, as that time of year the ice is soft and you don't want to be like the guy and dog in these pictures I took. http://www.kevinaston.com/TibbleICE.html

        If I were going that early I would be very selective of who my hiking buddies (2+) were, your life may depend on them. I wouldn't go by myself.

        The nice thing about going then is no mosquitoes.
        Planning is half the fun.
        Kevin Aston
        http://www.kevinaston.com/

        --- On Sat, 1/3/09, Joshua Barrett <einsteinly@...> wrote:
        From: Joshua Barrett <einsteinly@...>
        Subject: [John Muir Trail] Early June Start
        To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
        Date: Saturday, January 3, 2009, 10:06 AM











        Planning three weeks going north-south. Work conflicts may make the only possible start in

        first week (possibly second) week in June. Would love any and all feedback on best/worst

        case scenarios for early travel. I'm in San Diego and our winter so far is as wet as I can

        remember (a good thing, we need it), but I assume that will leave the Sierra with a significant

        snowpack that will not be gone by the time I begin. Thoughts?... .


























        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • hmdsierra
        I can compare two Fourth of July trips. The first in 1976, I think. It was typical summer with only patchs of snow to be seen mainly on the north sides of the
        Message 3 of 6 , Jan 3, 2009
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          I can compare two Fourth of July trips. The first in 1976, I think.
          It was typical summer with only patchs of snow to be seen mainly on
          the north sides of the mountains. In 1980 the majority of the
          switchbacks were under snow and we had to take a trail mdae through
          the snow. West side trail clear except for a few patchs. Ice still
          on lakes and snow on the ridge between Guitar and Hitchcock Lakes.
          The trail was mostly snow free down to Lower Crabtree Mdw. Going up
          Mt. Whitney there was a big snowbank and everybody just went straight
          up it. The hut was half filled with snow/ice. The view from the top
          was all white to the horizon. In 1982 we did the trail starting from
          YV on Aug 1. There was snow on almost every pass but the path was
          well beaten. On the 21st, or so, the north side of Forester Pass was
          a snowfield but the south side was clear. Trail Crest was clear.
          Muir Pass north side was a big snowfield but easy to navigate. South
          side had snow to below Helen Lake. My first trip to Mt. Whitney was
          early June but the next year there was four feet of snow at Whitney
          Portal at the same time of year.

          --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "Joshua Barrett"
          <einsteinly@...> wrote:
          >
          > Planning three weeks going north-south. Work conflicts may make the
          only possible start in
          > first week (possibly second) week in June. Would love any and all
          feedback on best/worst
          > case scenarios for early travel. I'm in San Diego and our winter so
          far is as wet as I can
          > remember (a good thing, we need it), but I assume that will leave
          the Sierra with a significant
          > snowpack that will not be gone by the time I begin. Thoughts?....
          >
        • Ima Person
          Joshua,  I hiked the trail last summer, started June 24, ended July 7.  As far as hiking conditions are concerned it really depends on what you are used to
          Message 4 of 6 , Jan 3, 2009
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            Joshua,  I hiked the trail last summer, started June 24, ended July 7.  As far as hiking conditions are concerned it really depends on what you are used to and experienced with.  There was snow on the passes but I found conditions very agreeable, no high water, pass conditions were easily doable, trail in good shape.   For prehike prep, I monitored the progress reports of the PCT hikers and corresponded with several.  They all were fantastic about providing current trail conditions.  Some went through, between Whitney and Tuolumne, early to mid June so were able to provide some very timely conditions.  Check on Postholer.com or any of the other PCT sites for info.  If you are not locked in to the North-to-South route, perhaps consider meeting up with some PCT hikers and travel along with them some of the time going north.  But in the final analysis, it really depends on how the spring goes for weather.



            ________________________________
            From: Joshua Barrett <einsteinly@...>
            To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Saturday, January 3, 2009 9:06:42 AM
            Subject: [John Muir Trail] Early June Start


            Planning three weeks going north-south. Work conflicts may make the only possible start in
            first week (possibly second) week in June. Would love any and all feedback on best/worst
            case scenarios for early travel. I'm in San Diego and our winter so far is as wet as I can
            remember (a good thing, we need it), but I assume that will leave the Sierra with a significant
            snowpack that will not be gone by the time I begin. Thoughts?... .






            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • hmdsierra
            Here is some historical info on snow depth for May at Tyndall Ck. You can compare the various years to what you will find this year. It doesn t have 1966 but
            Message 5 of 6 , Jan 3, 2009
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              Here is some historical info on snow depth for May at Tyndall Ck. You
              can compare the various years to what you will find this year. It
              doesn't have 1966 but I went to Mt. Whitney in June '66. the
              following year no way as you can see. The Winter of '68-'69 was a
              record year. My wife and I started JMT from YV in Sept.'69 but
              stopped at Red's Mdw. However, there was only a little snow then.
              July'80 was th yer we went to Mt. Whitney and had lots of snow. '82 is
              the year we did JMT in August and still had some snow on the passes
              and higher areas.

              255," TYNDALL CREEK (KERN R) snow course data in inches
              Date, Meas.Date, Depth,Water,Adjusted
              5/1967,30-APR-1967, 91.7, 35.1, 35.1
              5/1969,05-MAY-1969, 91.3, 45.9, 45.6
              5/1972,02-MAY-1972, 0.0, 0.0, --
              5/1973,27-APR-1973, 65.2, 26.2, 26.2
              5/1974,24-APR-1974, 57.7, 22.1, 22.1
              5/1975,22-APR-1975, 47.0, 15.2, --
              5/1976,25-APR-1976, 4.2, 1.2, --
              5/1977,27-APR-1977, 0.0, 0.0, --
              5/1978,02-MAY-1978, 95.0, 43.5, 43.3
              5/1979,28-APR-1979, 35.6, 14.4, 14.4
              5/1980,30-APR-1980, 66.8, 32.8, 32.8
              5/1981,30-APR-1981, 24.8, 10.8, 10.8
              5/1982,26-APR-1982, 76.2, 30.9, 30.9
              5/1983,27-APR-1983, 99.3, 40.2, 41.4
              5/1984,28-APR-1984, 34.8, 14.4, 14.4
              5/1985,25-APR-1985, 31.0, 11.8, 11.8
              5/1986,01-MAY-1986, 72.1, 35.2, 35.2
              5/1987,30-APR-1987, 12.8, 4.7, 4.7
              5/1988,30-APR-1988, 13.3, 5.6, 5.6
              5/1989,01-MAY-1989, 0.5, 0.2, 0.2
              5/1990,01-MAY-1990, 6.1, 1.4, 1.4
              5/1991,30-APR-1991, 33.4, 14.5, 14.5
              5/1992,30-APR-1992, 8.5, 3.3, 3.3
              5/1993,29-APR-1993, 54.9, 27.8, 27.8
              5/1994,29-APR-1994, 20.8, 7.6, 7.6
              5/1995,30-APR-1995, 69.9, 33.1, 33.1
              5/1996,30-APR-1996, 45.3, 21.5, 21.5
              5/1997,30-APR-1997, 38.0, 18.7, 18.7
              5/1998,28-APR-1998, 75.5, 33.8, 33.8
              5/1999,26-APR-1999, 22.3, 9.7, 9.8
              5/2000,30-APR-2000, 30.1, 15.7, 15.7
              5/2001,27-APR-2001, 27.7, 12.8, 12.8
              5/2002,29-APR-2002, 16.7, 6.9, 7.0
              5/2004,30-APR-2004, 5.6, 2.3, 2.3
              5/2005,02-MAY-2005, 58.1, 26.5, 26.4
              5/2006,30-APR-2006, 63.3, 29.9, 29.9
              5/2007,30-APR-2007, 0.0, 0.0, --
              5/2008,30-APR-2008, 20.9, 10.5, 10.5

              --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, hmdsierra <no_reply@...> wrote:
              >
              > I can compare two Fourth of July trips. The first in 1976, I think.
              > It was typical summer with only patchs of snow to be seen mainly on
              > the north sides of the mountains. In 1980 the majority of the
              > switchbacks were under snow and we had to take a trail mdae through
              > the snow. West side trail clear except for a few patchs. Ice still
              > on lakes and snow on the ridge between Guitar and Hitchcock Lakes.
              > The trail was mostly snow free down to Lower Crabtree Mdw. Going up
              > Mt. Whitney there was a big snowbank and everybody just went straight
              > up it. The hut was half filled with snow/ice. The view from the top
              > was all white to the horizon. In 1982 we did the trail starting from
              > YV on Aug 1. There was snow on almost every pass but the path was
              > well beaten. On the 21st, or so, the north side of Forester Pass was
              > a snowfield but the south side was clear. Trail Crest was clear.
              > Muir Pass north side was a big snowfield but easy to navigate. South
              > side had snow to below Helen Lake. My first trip to Mt. Whitney was
              > early June but the next year there was four feet of snow at Whitney
              > Portal at the same time of year.
              >
              > --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "Joshua Barrett"
              > <einsteinly@> wrote:
              > >
              > > Planning three weeks going north-south. Work conflicts may make the
              > only possible start in
              > > first week (possibly second) week in June. Would love any and all
              > feedback on best/worst
              > > case scenarios for early travel. I'm in San Diego and our winter so
              > far is as wet as I can
              > > remember (a good thing, we need it), but I assume that will leave
              > the Sierra with a significant
              > > snowpack that will not be gone by the time I begin. Thoughts?....
              > >
              >
            • Patt
              Joshua;      In reference to your possible early start date: Take a look at the muir trail ranch resupply page. At this time they are indicating that it
              Message 6 of 6 , Jan 3, 2009
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                Joshua;
                 
                   In reference to your possible early start date: Take a look at the muir trail ranch resupply page. At this time they are indicating that it may be possible to pick up a resupply as early as Wed. June 17th.This is dependent on the opening of the Kaiser Pass Rd. VVR is likely to be available earlier as their accessibility is somewhat different from MTR......
                    Hope this helps....Good Hiking
                .... 




                                                               Patt

                --- On Sat, 1/3/09, Joshua Barrett <einsteinly@...> wrote:

                From: Joshua Barrett <einsteinly@...>
                Subject: [John Muir Trail] Early June Start
                To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
                Date: Saturday, January 3, 2009, 9:06 AM

                Planning three weeks going north-south. Work conflicts may make the only
                possible start in
                first week (possibly second) week in June. Would love any and all feedback on
                best/worst
                case scenarios for early travel. I'm in San Diego and our winter so far is
                as wet as I can
                remember (a good thing, we need it), but I assume that will leave the Sierra
                with a significant
                snowpack that will not be gone by the time I begin. Thoughts?....


                ------------------------------------

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