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Is Mid-September too late to start?

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  • dmwenstrup
    Hello Everyone - Good or bad, the economy is claiming me as its next victim. I was notified that my position is being eliminated at the end of August. Instead
    Message 1 of 9 , Jan 31, 2009
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      Hello Everyone -

      Good or bad, the economy is claiming me as its next victim. I was
      notified that my position is being eliminated at the end of August.
      Instead of jumping right into another job, I'm going to take a few
      months off, get in some serious bag nights and try to screw my head
      back on straight.
      I've always wanted to thru-hike the JMT so what better time.

      With all that said, I probably will not be able to start the trail
      until mid-September. Worse case towards the end of September. I'm
      planning on solo hiking and I'll be going south.

      Is that too late to start? I don't want to rush so I'm giving
      myself 25-30 days.

      Thanks for all your advice in advance!

      Kermit
    • matt
      Kermit, Don t tell anyone but September/October is in my opinion the best time to go. Logistically, it is a lot more work, but imagine, no mossies, no
      Message 2 of 9 , Jan 31, 2009
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        Kermit,

        Don't tell anyone but September/October is in my opinion the best
        time to go. Logistically, it is a lot more work, but imagine, no
        mossies, no difficult stream crossings, few people on the trail thus
        peace and quiet and the best site choices, and best of all cool, never
        hot weather to hike in. I personally plan to hike the trail this
        September.
        Cheers,
        Matt




        --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "dmwenstrup" <dmwenstrup@...> wrote:
        >
        >
        > Hello Everyone -
        >
        > Good or bad, the economy is claiming me as its next victim. I was
        > notified that my position is being eliminated at the end of August.
        > Instead of jumping right into another job, I'm going to take a few
        > months off, get in some serious bag nights and try to screw my head
        > back on straight.
        > I've always wanted to thru-hike the JMT so what better time.
        >
        > With all that said, I probably will not be able to start the trail
        > until mid-September. Worse case towards the end of September. I'm
        > planning on solo hiking and I'll be going south.
        >
        > Is that too late to start? I don't want to rush so I'm giving
        > myself 25-30 days.
        >
        > Thanks for all your advice in advance!
        >
        > Kermit
        >
      • Ima Person
        definitely sucks about the job, Kermit, but I have taken time off like what you are describing and have never regretted it.  Getting extended hiking time
        Message 3 of 9 , Jan 31, 2009
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          definitely sucks about the job, Kermit, but I have taken "time off" like what you are describing and have never regretted it.  Getting extended hiking time can be tough so take advantage of it.  Based on what I learned from my hike last year,  not many people are starting that late.  You may have some problems with food drop-offs at VVR or Muir Ranch, it would be best to check what their closure dates are.  Available hiking daylight is diminishing so that could be an issue.  Hiking weather could still be good but weather is weather and could surprise you particularly at the higher elevations.   Coldddd at night more than likely.

          Go for it!
          Al




          ________________________________
          From: dmwenstrup <dmwenstrup@...>
          To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Saturday, January 31, 2009 5:28:00 PM
          Subject: [John Muir Trail] Is Mid-September too late to start?



          Hello Everyone -

          Good or bad, the economy is claiming me as its next victim. I was
          notified that my position is being eliminated at the end of August.
          Instead of jumping right into another job, I'm going to take a few
          months off, get in some serious bag nights and try to screw my head
          back on straight.
          I've always wanted to thru-hike the JMT so what better time.

          With all that said, I probably will not be able to start the trail
          until mid-September. Worse case towards the end of September. I'm
          planning on solo hiking and I'll be going south.

          Is that too late to start? I don't want to rush so I'm giving
          myself 25-30 days.

          Thanks for all your advice in advance!

          Kermit






          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • hmdsierra
          It can be iffy so be prepared to wait out a storm or bail out. My friend and I made many trips in October, usually the second week but I have been out past
          Message 4 of 9 , Jan 31, 2009
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            It can be iffy so be prepared to wait out a storm or bail out. My
            friend and I made many trips in October, usually the second week but I
            have been out past the 25th. there is usually a small storm the first
            week of October. Almost all our trips were sunny and not too cool
            during the day. One year we met a couple of people doing the whole
            trail while we were in LeConte at Dusy Ck. Pne year another fried and
            I did the Kern river and had one night of snow at Kern Hot Spring.
            Another year I went solo the middle of October and had a very light
            dusting of snow the second night. I came odut to Roads End in Kings
            Canyon and while the sun was shining when I got there by the time my
            wife arrived to get me there was about six inches ow white on the
            ground and still coming down. The snow level was way down into the
            foothills and it rained hard all the way home and continued the next
            day. While I was coming out I met several people going in. At the
            Ranger Station I talked to a guy who was going in with friends and he
            decided to bail.

            --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "dmwenstrup" <dmwenstrup@...> wrote:
            >
            >
            > Hello Everyone -
            >
            > Good or bad, the economy is claiming me as its next victim. I was
            > notified that my position is being eliminated at the end of August.
            > Instead of jumping right into another job, I'm going to take a few
            > months off, get in some serious bag nights and try to screw my head
            > back on straight.
            > I've always wanted to thru-hike the JMT so what better time.
            >
            > With all that said, I probably will not be able to start the trail
            > until mid-September. Worse case towards the end of September. I'm
            > planning on solo hiking and I'll be going south.
            >
            > Is that too late to start? I don't want to rush so I'm giving
            > myself 25-30 days.
            >
            > Thanks for all your advice in advance!
            >
            > Kermit
            >
          • hmdsierra
            Let me add that my friend and I finished the south half JMT, South Lk to Whitney, starting the last few days of Aug and finishing near mid Sept. Saw a few
            Message 5 of 9 , Jan 31, 2009
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              Let me add that my friend and I finished the south half JMT, South Lk
              to Whitney, starting the last few days of Aug and finishing near mid
              Sept. Saw a few people, 30 or so until Whitney, and had nice weather
              all the time. It was actually warmer at Hitchcock Lks that it was in
              Aug of another year. Very cold at night, streams sometimes freeze and
              one year the lakes were ecing over.

              --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, hmdsierra <no_reply@...> wrote:
              >
              > It can be iffy so be prepared to wait out a storm or bail out. My
              > friend and I made many trips in October, usually the second week but I
              > have been out past the 25th. there is usually a small storm the first
              > week of October. Almost all our trips were sunny and not too cool
              > during the day. One year we met a couple of people doing the whole
              > trail while we were in LeConte at Dusy Ck. Pne year another fried and
              > I did the Kern river and had one night of snow at Kern Hot Spring.
              > Another year I went solo the middle of October and had a very light
              > dusting of snow the second night. I came odut to Roads End in Kings
              > Canyon and while the sun was shining when I got there by the time my
              > wife arrived to get me there was about six inches ow white on the
              > ground and still coming down. The snow level was way down into the
              > foothills and it rained hard all the way home and continued the next
              > day. While I was coming out I met several people going in. At the
              > Ranger Station I talked to a guy who was going in with friends and he
              > decided to bail.
              >
              > --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "dmwenstrup" <dmwenstrup@> wrote:
              > >
              > >
              > > Hello Everyone -
              > >
              > > Good or bad, the economy is claiming me as its next victim. I was
              > > notified that my position is being eliminated at the end of August.
              > > Instead of jumping right into another job, I'm going to take a few
              > > months off, get in some serious bag nights and try to screw my head
              > > back on straight.
              > > I've always wanted to thru-hike the JMT so what better time.
              > >
              > > With all that said, I probably will not be able to start the trail
              > > until mid-September. Worse case towards the end of September. I'm
              > > planning on solo hiking and I'll be going south.
              > >
              > > Is that too late to start? I don't want to rush so I'm giving
              > > myself 25-30 days.
              > >
              > > Thanks for all your advice in advance!
              > >
              > > Kermit
              > >
              >
            • dmwenstrup
              Thanks for the input everyone! Based on everyone s input, I m going to try to pull my departure time up as close to the beginning of September as possible.
              Message 6 of 9 , Feb 1, 2009
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                Thanks for the input everyone!

                Based on everyone's input, I'm going to try to pull my departure
                time up as close to the beginning of September as possible.

                Hmdsierra -
                If you don't mind, I have a few questions regarding when you went
                at the beginning of September:
                1) Were the resorts closed already?
                2) What kind of daytime and nighttime temperatures did you
                experience?
                3) Would you consider bringing an ice ax during that time?
                4) What was the rating on the bag you brought? Was it warm enough?
                5) Anything other special equipment you would suggest for that
                time of the year?

                Thanks!
                Kermit






                --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, hmdsierra <no_reply@...> wrote:
                >
                > Let me add that my friend and I finished the south half JMT, South
                Lk
                > to Whitney, starting the last few days of Aug and finishing near
                mid
                > Sept. Saw a few people, 30 or so until Whitney, and had nice
                weather
                > all the time. It was actually warmer at Hitchcock Lks that it was
                in
                > Aug of another year. Very cold at night, streams sometimes freeze
                and
                > one year the lakes were ecing over.
                >
                > --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, hmdsierra <no_reply@> wrote:
                > >
                > > It can be iffy so be prepared to wait out a storm or bail out.
                My
                > > friend and I made many trips in October, usually the second week
                but I
                > > have been out past the 25th. there is usually a small storm the
                first
                > > week of October. Almost all our trips were sunny and not too
                cool
                > > during the day. One year we met a couple of people doing the
                whole
                > > trail while we were in LeConte at Dusy Ck. Pne year another
                fried and
                > > I did the Kern river and had one night of snow at Kern Hot
                Spring.
                > > Another year I went solo the middle of October and had a very
                light
                > > dusting of snow the second night. I came odut to Roads End in
                Kings
                > > Canyon and while the sun was shining when I got there by the
                time my
                > > wife arrived to get me there was about six inches ow white on the
                > > ground and still coming down. The snow level was way down into
                the
                > > foothills and it rained hard all the way home and continued the
                next
                > > day. While I was coming out I met several people going in. At
                the
                > > Ranger Station I talked to a guy who was going in with friends
                and he
                > > decided to bail.
                > >
                > > --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "dmwenstrup" <dmwenstrup@>
                wrote:
                > > >
                > > >
                > > > Hello Everyone -
                > > >
                > > > Good or bad, the economy is claiming me as its next victim.
                I was
                > > > notified that my position is being eliminated at the end of
                August.
                > > > Instead of jumping right into another job, I'm going to take
                a few
                > > > months off, get in some serious bag nights and try to screw my
                head
                > > > back on straight.
                > > > I've always wanted to thru-hike the JMT so what better time.
                > > >
                > > > With all that said, I probably will not be able to start the
                trail
                > > > until mid-September. Worse case towards the end of September.
                I'm
                > > > planning on solo hiking and I'll be going south.
                > > >
                > > > Is that too late to start? I don't want to rush so I'm
                giving
                > > > myself 25-30 days.
                > > >
                > > > Thanks for all your advice in advance!
                > > >
                > > > Kermit
                > > >
                > >
                >
              • hmdsierra
                ... I don t know. We did not resupply and the resorts are north of where we started, South Lake. When we did the whole trail in 82 our only resupply was at
                Message 7 of 9 , Feb 1, 2009
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                  --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "dmwenstrup" <dmwenstrup@...> wrote:

                  > Hmdsierra -
                  > If you don't mind, I have a few questions regarding when you went
                  > at the beginning of September:

                  > 1) Were the resorts closed already?

                  I don't know. We did not resupply and the resorts are north of where
                  we started, South Lake. When we did the whole trail in '82 our only
                  resupply was at Red's Mdw. We had intended on no more stops after
                  that. When my friend dropped out my son and I took two weeks of food
                  with the idea that my friend would rejoin us at Vidette Mdw. His knee
                  was still bothering him and he and his wife brought us more than
                  enough food to finish the 4 1/2 days we had left but went back out.

                  > 2) What kind of daytime and nighttime temperatures did you
                  > experience?

                  Days are very comfortable even in October. One late Oct trip was
                  about the coldest I've had and daytime temps were 50 t0 55 F.
                  Nighttime temps are cold enough to freeze some ice on slow moving
                  creeks most Octobers. We were at McClure Mdw in mid October and my
                  friend commented that it couldn't be Fall because the creek didn't
                  freeze over.

                  > 3) Would you consider bringing an ice ax during that time?

                  No.

                  > 4) What was the rating on the bag you brought? Was it warm enough?

                  I take an Army down bag in the Fall and have only gotten cold feet one
                  night when I was sleeping on a slope that pushed my feet to the
                  bottom. The only other time I was the least bit chilly in it was
                  Upper Tuolumne Mdw right after a storm. There was a bit of snow and
                  puddles had 3/4 inch of ice at 11AM. I wore my coat to bed for the
                  only time. Once settled in I was warm but we had arrived when it was
                  in the shade and I was chilly until bedtime. That was the trip where
                  Rush Ck was frozen over in the morning but I was not even cool there.

                  > 5) Anything other special equipment you would suggest for that
                  > time of the year?

                  I always take a ten but usually sleep out unless the weather is
                  raining or snowing. We did use it above timberline for the wind
                  protection. I lie the Sierra all seasons but my friend thinks Fall,
                  October, is best. I agree with him that it is a great time to be out.
                  The trees are changing most years and the air crisp. We almost
                  always had good weather. The only time I woke up to a fair amount of
                  snow was the first week of October when there is usually a small
                  storm. We generally went the second week and missed it. The only
                  other time I had anow it waas just enough to barely cover the ground.
                  The streams and puddle stayed frozen all the time for most of the
                  week but days were 50 to 55.

                  Have a good time and be prepared to wait out a small storm or bail out
                  if it is really bad. Wish I was going too.
                  >
                  > Thanks!
                  > Kermit
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, hmdsierra <no_reply@> wrote:
                  > >
                  > > Let me add that my friend and I finished the south half JMT, South
                  > Lk
                  > > to Whitney, starting the last few days of Aug and finishing near
                  > mid
                  > > Sept. Saw a few people, 30 or so until Whitney, and had nice
                  > weather
                  > > all the time. It was actually warmer at Hitchcock Lks that it was
                  > in
                  > > Aug of another year. Very cold at night, streams sometimes freeze
                  > and
                  > > one year the lakes were ecing over.
                  > >
                  > > --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, hmdsierra <no_reply@> wrote:
                  > > >
                  > > > It can be iffy so be prepared to wait out a storm or bail out.
                  > My
                  > > > friend and I made many trips in October, usually the second week
                  > but I
                  > > > have been out past the 25th. there is usually a small storm the
                  > first
                  > > > week of October. Almost all our trips were sunny and not too
                  > cool
                  > > > during the day. One year we met a couple of people doing the
                  > whole
                  > > > trail while we were in LeConte at Dusy Ck. Pne year another
                  > fried and
                  > > > I did the Kern river and had one night of snow at Kern Hot
                  > Spring.
                  > > > Another year I went solo the middle of October and had a very
                  > light
                  > > > dusting of snow the second night. I came odut to Roads End in
                  > Kings
                  > > > Canyon and while the sun was shining when I got there by the
                  > time my
                  > > > wife arrived to get me there was about six inches ow white on the
                  > > > ground and still coming down. The snow level was way down into
                  > the
                  > > > foothills and it rained hard all the way home and continued the
                  > next
                  > > > day. While I was coming out I met several people going in. At
                  > the
                  > > > Ranger Station I talked to a guy who was going in with friends
                  > and he
                  > > > decided to bail.
                  > > >
                  > > > --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "dmwenstrup" <dmwenstrup@>
                  > wrote:
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Hello Everyone -
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Good or bad, the economy is claiming me as its next victim.
                  > I was
                  > > > > notified that my position is being eliminated at the end of
                  > August.
                  > > > > Instead of jumping right into another job, I'm going to take
                  > a few
                  > > > > months off, get in some serious bag nights and try to screw my
                  > head
                  > > > > back on straight.
                  > > > > I've always wanted to thru-hike the JMT so what better time.
                  > > > >
                  > > > > With all that said, I probably will not be able to start the
                  > trail
                  > > > > until mid-September. Worse case towards the end of September.
                  > I'm
                  > > > > planning on solo hiking and I'll be going south.
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Is that too late to start? I don't want to rush so I'm
                  > giving
                  > > > > myself 25-30 days.
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Thanks for all your advice in advance!
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Kermit
                  > > > >
                  > > >
                  > >
                  >
                • Bob Bankhead
                  Kermit: Regarding resort closures, here is the info from 2008: Reds Mdw Resort closed 30 Sept Reds Mdw Shuttle bus service stopped 3 Sept Vermillion Valley
                  Message 8 of 9 , Feb 1, 2009
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                    Kermit:

                    Regarding resort closures, here is the info from 2008:


                    Reds Mdw Resort closed 30 Sept

                    Reds Mdw Shuttle bus service stopped 3 Sept

                    Vermillion Valley Resort says hiker supply boxes can be picked up as late as 15 Oct, depending on snow conditions. However, their ferry boat service stops 1 Oct.

                    Muir Trail Ranch closed the last week of Sept, and their last PO pickup was 15 Sept.

                    Your greatest challenge would be at Onion Valley if you were looking to hitch out to Independence and back. I don't know when the USFS campground at Onion Valley closes. I'm pretty sure the OV Pack Station is closed around Labor Day, if it's even open that late. You'd have to contact Sequoia King Pack Trains at pinecreekps@... or call 760-387-2627 to find out.


                    Wandering Bob

                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • matt
                    Kermit, I finished my hike on October 18, 2008. I used a northface pyxis sleeping bag 0 degrees, synthetic. It is a good bag and weights only 3.5 pounds. I
                    Message 9 of 9 , Feb 1, 2009
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                      Kermit,

                      I finished my hike on October 18, 2008. I used a northface pyxis
                      sleeping bag 0 degrees, synthetic. It is a good bag and weights only
                      3.5 pounds. I would weigh your wilderness competence before going
                      that late or find a partner whom is experienced. I saw only around 20
                      people my whole hike after t-meadows. So it is considerably more
                      dangerous. That said, bring the right gear and knowledge and it is
                      the best time of the year.

                      Matt





                      --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "Bob Bankhead"
                      <wandering_bob@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Kermit:
                      >
                      > Regarding resort closures, here is the info from 2008:
                      >
                      >
                      > Reds Mdw Resort closed 30 Sept
                      >
                      > Reds Mdw Shuttle bus service stopped 3 Sept
                      >
                      > Vermillion Valley Resort says hiker supply boxes can be picked up as
                      late as 15 Oct, depending on snow conditions. However, their ferry
                      boat service stops 1 Oct.
                      >
                      > Muir Trail Ranch closed the last week of Sept, and their last PO
                      pickup was 15 Sept.
                      >
                      > Your greatest challenge would be at Onion Valley if you were looking
                      to hitch out to Independence and back. I don't know when the USFS
                      campground at Onion Valley closes. I'm pretty sure the OV Pack Station
                      is closed around Labor Day, if it's even open that late. You'd have to
                      contact Sequoia King Pack Trains at pinecreekps@... or call
                      760-387-2627 to find out.
                      >
                      >
                      > Wandering Bob
                      >
                      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      >
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