Re: [John Muir Trail] Got my Permits for August!!
Think about hiking from Tuolumne Meadows DOWN to Happy Isle instead of up. Happy Isle is at 4035 feet, the section high point is 9900 feet, and the Cathederal Lakes trailhead is at 8580 feet. Day One starts with a 5900 foot climb going south, and only 1320 feet going north. Incidentally, the steepest part of this section (16% grade) is at Happy Isle. Your choice. We went north, down the big hill, and had a gentle break-in.
Have your shuttle stop at the TM Wilderness Center. You can stash food and supplies in the bear boxes in the parking lot there (the rangers encourage this). The shuttle can take you down to the Cathederal Lakes trailhead where you pick up the JMT. It's a nice, easy 2-1/2 day walk. Take the 5 pm YARTS bus from the Yosemite Valley Visitors' Center back to the TM store, retrieve your stuff from the Wilderness Center, spend the night at the TM Backpackers' campground, and head south to Donahue Pass the next morning.
A bear canister takes up a lot of space in a pack, and I don't know how comfortable your wife is with hiking, her physical condition, etc. Picking up her EMPTY canister at TMWC - or renting one there - makes sense. She could add weight and bulk gradually as she gets used to the trail. The 2nd canister can carry the ever-growing trash. Consider this scenario for her:
TM to HI or vice versa:
pack + empty bear canister
climb Donohue Pass
At Reds Mdw:
pack + bear can + excess MTR supplies
climb Silver and Selden Passes
pack + bear can + 9 days' food
climb rest of passes and Whitney
If, on the other hand, she is the Trail Gorilla type whose physical conditioning puts the reality TV survivalists to shame, simply ignore all this as the ramblings of a deluded infidel.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
Unfortunately, our permit requires us to stay at LYV the first night,
then proceed on from there the next day.
But, I am planning to leave both bear canisters at TM and start at HI
with enough food for the first 2 1/2 days and taking advantage of the
bear boxes at LYV and Sunrise Camp. We will stay the third night at TM
and pick up both bear cans there, with food for the next six days. I
can probably get all of the food for this leg into my canister and
just use hers for trash, like you say. We will be stopping at Red's
Meadow for dinner one night, so that will be one less dinner carried
in the can. And after 10 days on the trail, she should be in "Trail
Gorilla" shape and be able to carry some of the food in her canister.
I really appreciate your input as you have come up with some great ideas.
- --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "jim.ennis" <ulhiker1@...> wrote:
> I received confirmation of my permits yesterday and will start at
> Happy Isles on 8/17. I got my second choice of Happy Isles to Little
> Yosemite Valley, which wasn't what I really wanted, but I will make
> the most of it. I had originally planned on a 14-day thru-hike, but my
> wife really wants to go, so I have slowed things down a bit and we are
> planning a 19-day trip. Initially, I had planned to carry all of our
> food in my pack so as to keep her pack at a consistent 8-10 lbs, but
> now that we're looking at having 9 days of travel after leaving Muir
> Trail Ranch, I'm concerned with not being able to fit everything into
> one BV500. Probably not!! One option is to ship a second bearvault
> along with our re-supply to MTR and let my wife carry it on the second
> leg of our trip. This is probably what we will do, but I would like to
> hear from others as to any other options. I don't want to leave the
> trail for another re-supply south of MTR, so my options may be limited.
> BTW, my wife is carrying a ULA Conduit and I will carry a ULA
> Catalyst, if this helps in your responses.
I also received confirmation for Happy Isles on 8/17 yesterday. We are going to rent a Bearikade Expedition shipped to Tuolomne (or Yosemite, not sure yet) and a second one shipped to MTR. My wife and myself will carry SMD packs. We are also planning for a 9-10 days after MTR and I don't want to take a chance with our BV500. It would too small I think.
Au plaisir :-)
I've decided to leave two BV500s at Tuolumne Meadows, along with our first re-supply of food, and will pick these up on our way through. This way we will be carrying just a couple of days of food with us when we start at HI. Since we have to camp at LYV the first night and we plan to camp at Sunrise camp the second night, we can take advantage of the bear boxes for food storage. When we pick up the bear cans at TM, I can fit all of the food into my canister and leave my wife's canister empty. As we proceed toward MTR and our next resupply, we can use her canister as a trash recepticle. We should be able to get all of our food into both canisters when we arrive at MTR, since we do only freezerbag cooking and package everything as small as possible.
Most of these ideas came from Bob on this group and again, I appreciate his info.
Hope to see you on the trail,